But it looks like it's time. The mechanic's techs refuse to drive it, and all the stuff that needs to be replaced (with labor) come to about what I paid for it in the first place. And it would be stupid of me to put it off any longer, I'd feel really dumb dying due to a brake failure after taking up skydiving, and I would be devastated if I killed someone else in the process.
I'm inclined towards a Honda Element or a Subaru Forester, and I really wish that there was something like a high quality new Samurai-like small SUV that didn't have the RAV-4's ten thousand dollar "hot model" markup.
Car payments. Sigh. I've gotten very used to not having car payments.
On the plus side, I've got The Motley Fool and Consumer Reports on my side, and will refuse grease wrestle in the slime with dealer salesmen. A few test drives, lining up my own credit union or personal financing, and then a faxathon.
And it will be nice to have a car that doesn't clank.