Well, I finally had to trade it in around 2010: my 1992 Mercury Villager Van. After driving it for years and years, it was getting harder and harder to find replacement parts. As a matter of fact, it became somewhat comical with some of the issues I faced with the van in its last few months in my possession. It would be hard to mention exactly everything that went wrong but I'll try.
The motor continued to run well for the most part, but it was peripheral issues that took its toll. For example, the door locks on the car broke so that I couldn't lock my car. The passenger's side window went out. The radio only worked part of the time. The lock on the glove compartment box broke so I had to prevent the glove compartment from flying opening while I was motoring by securing it with duct tape. The sun visor on the driver's side broke so I had to cover my eyes whenever I drove in open sunlight. Sometimes the hatch on the back took several tries to get it closed. The wiring on my tail lights became frazzled so I sometimes only had one operating tail light. I guess the issue that finally made me give it up was the air conditioning compressor. It broke down and my repair guy had difficulty finding a replacement. He did find an air conditioning compressor that had never been used by looking for it on the internet but it failed after a few months. I thought, "That does it!!! I just can't get through another Alabama summer without air conditioning." So, finally, in October 2010, I traded in my van with 262, 000 miles on the odometer and purchased a used 2006 Kia Optima.
What a difference it makes to drive a newer car (although I purchased it used). The air conditioner works. The radio works (it even has a CD player...the van had a cassette player). I can lock the doors with the push of a button on my key ring. There is better gas mileage. Better comfort. Better controls. Everything is better, better, better. To me, this car is heaven-sent. When I purchased it, it appeared to be the perfect car for me and my bank account. Furthermore, I actually have developed quite a fondness for my Kia, my affection most likely based on my woeful interactions with the van in its latter debilitating years.
Kind of reminds me of the joy that occurs when coming through a trial. In James 1:2 it says, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials." Although it would be hard to describe my cancer battle as a joyful experience , there is now a certain sense of happiness, a peace within for surviving what I did with the major surgery and chemotherapy. Psalms 30:5 says, "...weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning." This is certainly true. Cancer, especially chemotherapy, was dark and painful. Now, I can view my present situation with joy. Consequently, I can look back and say how, with God's help, "I made it!" or "I overcame it". It tried to destroy me but I ultimately am the victor. It's a great feeling.