Pricey Auto Discuss: I am a very pleased proprietor of a 1993 Jeep Wrangler that I grew up with. It has 250,000 miles on it, and I appreciate it to demise. It suits in the very small parking postage stamps in the town around me, it has sufficient clearance and four-wheel generate for the snowy winters and steep roadways below, and finest of all, it is so straightforward to operate on (I do all my own mechanics). Even so, it is really not genuinely a pleasant dimension for the family that I would like to commence in a few years. And when I am driving the interstate, I’m both keeping up the truckers in the suitable lane or barreling together at 3,000 rpm though I panic internally that my motor will kick the bucket from the work.

All of this is to say: I am wracked with indecision. Drop a crate motor in or obtain a new-ish motor vehicle? Ray, what are your thoughts? What are the automobiles that in shape the bill most intently? I am not super fearful about trustworthiness due to the fact I get pleasure from functioning on my motor vehicle (presented it’s not catastrophic failure).

What autos are the least complicated to get the job done on at present? It appears like anything beneath the sunlight is jammed into the motor bay, and you’re nearly eliminating the motor to access the oil filter. Thanks.


Pricey READER: Oh, Casidy. You possibly considered this was a automobile issue, failed to you? I actually believe it really is extra than that. I consider it is really about adulthood.

The ’93 Wrangler signifies your youth. You grew up with it. You experienced loads of adventures with it. It did not issue if it broke down. So what? Another adventure! You had no obligations.

And now you are wondering about beginning a spouse and children, and you worry that it can be time to — yikes! — get practical. And I imagine you might be proper. However, absolutely nothing is likely to be as simple to work on as a Jeep from 1993 (which was pretty similar to a Jeep from ’83, a Jeep from ’73 or a Jeep from ’63).

But if you really like the barbaric mother nature, unreliability and occasional roof leaks of your previous Jeep, you can generally get one particular of the newer, four-doorway Wranglers. But individuals are major money and not good for toting young ones. So at minimum see how the other half drives right before you purchase another Wrangler.

There are a ton of rugged-searching crossovers these times that have all of the realistic characteristics you adore about your Jeep — the all-wheel-push, the ground clearance, the compact sizing. But what they also have is consolation, protection, excellent mileage, dependability, a quiet inside, excellent handling, and room for strollers and child seats. Oh, and they’re all equipped to keep in their lane for extra than a handful of seconds.

I will record a few. You can have to go on some examination drives and see what appeals to you: Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, Ford Bronco Sport, Nissan Rogue, Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V, VW Tiguan, Jeep Cherokee, Mazda CX-5.

Specified the rugged self-impression you’ve got gotten utilised to driving your Jeep, I might start off with the RAV4 and Bronco Activity, and go from there. And if you want possibly of those to journey just like your Wrangler, set an further 10 lbs . of air in the tires.

And here is my final suggestion: You should not promote your ’93 Wrangler. It is really not truly worth a large amount anyway. In its place, shop it. It’s going to make this changeover a little a lot easier. Then, once your children are screaming and driving you insane, hand them around to your wife or husband for a couple several hours and go out and get your fingers dirty doing work on the Wrangler.

It’s going to be an escape from the chaos of your future everyday living. It’ll remind you of the independence and adventures you have experienced. You can revel in that even though turning your wrenches. And it will turn out to be a lot more important to your self-picture when you graduate to that minivan, Casidy.

Dear Car or truck Talk: I have a 2005 Saturn Ion with 127,000 miles on it. It can be in very excellent problem for its age. However, about a yr in the past, I was driving it at about 25 mph when the electric power steering indicator warning light-weight (“PWR STR”) and the chime warning audio arrived on, and the ability steering stopped operating.

At accurately the exact same time the transmission dropped down to and remained in very low equipment, and the speedometer stopped functioning. Also, at the similar time, the examine motor gentle arrived on, and when I pressed the brake pedal, there was a clicking sound.

Just after a short time, anything at the same time went back again to typical. The auto was good for about a calendar year. Then it transpired all over again. Now it has been going on intermittently around the previous three weeks. The similar complications all arrive at the identical time and afterwards go at the similar time. I took it to my mechanic who checked it for unfastened wires and loose connectors. He explained he even disconnected and reconnected all the connectors at the car’s computer system but could find very little.

At this time, the car or truck has been fine for about a week. Any feelings?


Dear READER: Yeah. My first assumed is to obstacle your opening statement that this auto is in very very good ailment for its age, Dennis.

I assumed that possibly some failing sensor put your car or truck into “limp property method.” That is the very same mode you go into after the neighbor kid leaves his bicycle out on the sidewalk, and you bang your shin on it. Limp household method is designed to safeguard your car’s catalytic converter.

If the computer system gets a reading through for 1 of the engine’s sensors that implies that damage might be completed to your pretty high priced catalytic converter, it will have interaction limp property method, which lessens the engine’s power substantially, producing it appear like you’re in minimal gear. And which is commonly accompanied by a reduced power mild.

But you’ve got obtained so several other warning lights on that I think your mechanic was on the ideal observe to glance for a extra systemic electrical difficulty.

Generally, what we would do in a scenario like this is a thing referred to as a shake check. Mainly, you get onto each wire and connector you can locate in the car or truck and shake it, hoping that you can reproduce the difficulty and narrow down its source. And if you might be actually fortunate, when you might be yanking on all the wires, the automobile catches hearth and that solves the difficulty.

There are so a lot of issues it could be: a corroded floor wire, a undesirable ignition switch, filthy connectors in a wire harness, a bad electronic management module (personal computer). Even a failing fuel pump could trigger some of these symptoms.

I know you can not go to your neighborhood Saturn vendor any longer (RIP), but you may look at conversing to a person at a friendly Chevy dealer, which serviced these automobiles after Saturn bailed.

Perhaps they’re going to figure out the selection of signs and symptoms and help you save you a number of hundred hours of diagnostic detective function. If not, you can give your mechanic another crack at it and see if he finds a stored fault code in the laptop or computer this time or normally will get lucky.

And if that won’t operate, rest assured, Dennis, you’ve got gotten your cash out of this motor vehicle. And if you make a decision it’s time to go on — like Saturn did 10 several years back — no one is heading to imagine considerably less of you. Superior luck.

Ray Magliozzi dispenses information about vehicles in Car Discuss just about every Saturday. E mail him by going to