Our minivan has been less than optimal for quite awhile now. It's had issues from the beginning (we had to replace the transmission for the first time about 2 months after we got it then had to do it a second time about 2 years later) but we survived. Things really started going downhill when WE went in the ditch in January and the front bumper got pulled off when it was getting pulled out. The bumper was ruined and we never got around to replacing it, so we've been driving around without one. It was just the plastic cosmetic bumper, so it wasn't a structural thing, it just looked awful with the front of the van exposed, but on the bright side, we didn't have to open the hood to see if we needed washer fluid, we could see the whole fluid tank just by looking at the van. About 2 months ago, the van made a weird noise while I was driving it and I discovered my power steering pump went out. We weren't quite prepared to spend $500 to get it replaced, so we've been driving it without power steering since then. Once again, we all got used to it and it built up our arm strength, but pulling out of parking spaces was a really pain in the butt. Then about 2 weeks ago, it started making that weird squeaking noise by the alternator belt that we'd already spent about $400 to fix about a year ago. I was really really ready for a new vehicle, but hubs wanted to keep limping it along.
But then came Thursday night and now all bets are off. Hubs was driving home from a comedy event he was hosting and managed to get himself some grilled venison - that's Wisconsin-speak for hitting a deer with your car, if you were wondering. Not just one deer, he did it right and managed to get 2 deer at once. My van is not only merely dead, it's really most sincerely dead. These things never come at an opportune time, but 12:30am is not the time you want to get a call from your husband asking you to come tow your dead van home. At least it happened close to home, within the same 1 mile stretch that I hit a deer with the same van about a year ago, so I can't really blame hubs, that place is stinking deer alley. This being a small town, WE said by the time he got to school the next morning, about 5 people knew his dad had hit a deer the night before. How these things get out so fast is beyond me, besides our family, the only people who officially knew hubs had gone road warrioring were the two cops who wrote up the accident report and I hardly think they cared enough to run around spreading the word around town. Actually, when the 2nd cop came over to the van window and asked me how bad the damage was, I pointed to our truck parked in front of the van, (remember that one? No door handle, holes in the floorboards, etc) and said, "That just became our good vehicle."