March 14, 2006



As necessary as some means of transportation is to daily life, it sure can be easy to take it for granted until something goes wrong. For me, the trusty 'ol Ford Aerostar ('94 edition) seems to be giving me indications that it is getting tired. Now having only 195,000+ miles on the odometer certainly shouldn't be cause for alarm; unless the "recommended maintenance" has been, uh, overlooked to some degree.

Does the transmission have any "recommneded maintenance"? Does anyone really follow these 'recommendations' for a tranny? Since these are only 'recommendations', what if they are not "followed to a T"? (What if they aren't followed at all?!) Does the transmission oil & filter/screen really need to be changed/cleaned "periodically", just like the engine oil (i.e. every time the tappets start knocking - about once a year?)?! (By the way, when the valve lifters get noisy in the motor, would that explain why only 2 quarts of dirty engine oil drains out during my annual oil change?)

Well, sometimes, no matter whether you try to avoid breakdowns or not, things just happen, right? (There. Saying that made me feel better.) For me, the old beast has been good. But lately, it wants to shift from overdrive back to 4th or 4th back to 3rd when I'm cruis'in along at 60 or 70 mph. Not a big deal for the tranny, I guess, but the engine (remember those tappets?) tends to whine a little. That whining is contrary to the "babying" I give my old beast (you know, to try to make it last). Come to think of it, that rythmic back-and-forth shifting probably isn't the best for the tranny either, huh?

So I decided I better have it looked at ($$$) to determine the cause ($$$) to suggest possible solutions ($$$) and hear the pros & cons to my options ($$$). Then I'll need to authorize the most economical "fix" (remember the year '94 vintage and the mileage 195,000+ odometer reading - not to mention my empty pocketbook!? most economical "fix"?) for parts ($$$$$$) and labor ($$$$$$$$$$$$). All this IF it is something that can be figured out AND repaired. (Otherwise, I guess I'll either "put it out to pasture" or just shoot the beast!) ('Course then I'll need to find something else to get me to-and-from. Anyone have a moped they'd consider selling cheap?!)

"I am confident I will be able to get it back on the road again soon."
(Keep repeating this over & over ... )
I am not so confident which regular bills will have to wait in order to have enough cash to pay the repair bill!

Stay tuned. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Right now, I'm gonna find out if there are any "recommended maintenance" items for the '96 Chrysler Town & Country. (Only 189,500+ miles on this one!)
I wonder where the owner's manual is? Hmmm ...............

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet for better wheels.

Take me for instance. I recently had to switch from a sleek '94 Eagle Summit with 151,000 miles to an even sleeker '95 Buick LaSabre with 153,000 miles.

Chicks dig it.
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