Saturday, January 22, 2011

WARNING: Driving a Car is Addictive

My navy blue 1995 Saturn SL crossed 180,000 miles today while driving home from the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships on Lake Nokomis.

180,000 miles. Not many people drive, or are able to drive, their car for 16 years and 180,000 miles.  That level of durability and consistency fits well with my frugal nature when it comes to cars. I'm not a car guy and there are many things on which I'd rather spend my money.

Last summer I made this warning sticker and affixed it to the back of my car and I believe it to be true. It's my way of reminding myself how easy it is to think that I have to drive somewhere, when really there are a number of different ways to travel. 9/11 forced us all to become conscious of America's addiction to oil and I decided I'd try to lessen my personal use.

However, I certainly don't abstain 100%. I bike or walk when I can and ride the bus a lot, but sometimes its just easier to drive. Also, I really enjoy road trips around the country, especially on the small highways. It's a great way to see America. In fact, this car has been through every southern Canadian province including Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. It's also been across all the northern states from Maine to Washington, down to California and through the Rocky Mountain states over to Missouri. It lived in the Utah mountains for 2 winters and never required 4-wheel drive to get through massive blizzards in mountain passes (though I did have to pull  out the chains on occasion).

Here's the proof of mileage. I do not condone taking photos while driving.
This car has been really good to me and I haven't had a car payment in over 10 years. Each of the last few years I've had to drop $500 to get something fixed, but lots of people spend that every month on a car. I'd much rather drive this baby into the ground, tuck the savings into my retirement fund and check out of corporate America a year or two earlier than everyone else.


Karin said...

Wow! Keep on walkin' (or bikin')!

Simon Schempp said...

It IS addictive, especially when it's the car that you love. You must've taken care of your car well enough for it to reach 180K miles. 16 years, huh. Not a lot of cars last that long.