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Wheels Keep Us Going Places

By Babs IversonPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - July 2023
Photo by Pavel Pînzari on Unsplash

Well, where is the time going? It's hot! It's already July!

Back on the 28th of June, the outside temperature was 106 degrees. Yes! That's what the overhead console displayed. Normally, the van's air conditioner blows ice-cold air. Sweating and drinking plenty of water, obviously, the 2006 Chrysler Town & Country van wasn't blowing and providing the comfortable air that we are accustomed to. It's not necessary to have air conditioning to travel from one point to another. That's true! Air conditioning is a luxury. In this Texas heat, it becomes a necessity.

Naturally, the air conditioning issue started the gears in my brain to turn. This caused me to think about the number of vehicles that we have in our immediate family. There are four families. Each family has one to four vehicles. Counting the vehicles in my head, we have nine total. That means we have 36 wheels and counting. Counting? Yes, have an eye out for a car for my granddaughters.

With so many vehicles, the odds are that something will go wrong. Murphy's Law! Besides the air conditioning in our van, my grandson had a problem with his car on the 25th of June. Our initial thoughts were the ignition system. Realizing that the car was way over overdue for spark plugs, my first thoughts were the distributor and plugs. Of course in August of last year, when the timing belt was changed, the mechanic should have changed the spark plugs. The spark plugs weren't changed. Ugh!

Since the car did not start, the tow truck had to deliver the Honda to our trusted mechanic. That was on Monday the 28th of June. By Wednesday the 30th, there was a diagnosis. Three words you don't want to hear. "Needs head gasket."

If that wasn't bad enough, the trusted mechanic informed my grandson that they didn't do a head gasket replacement. What? Texting my grandson that they did head gasket work before. He texted back, "Things change."

Furthermore, there may be other issues that came to my attention. Shared them with my grandson. Therefore, he asked the mechanic whether the engine was worthless.

The mechanic replied, "I wouldn't be surprised if the engine is gone."

When a car won't start, it could be a head gasket or a cracked head. To determine if the engine is cracked, you have to take off the head gasket. As you know, you need three things to start a vehicle. You need fuel, compression, and spark.

According to the car guys, when compression is low, they recommend replacing the head gasket. While the head is off the gasket, the engine should be inspected for missing pieces or cracks. Furthermore, valves should be checked to make sure they are properly operating.

If an engine is required, there are several options. With each option, there are pros and cons. If you want to know the pros and cons, there is an informative article online that can be found here.

Interestingly, the engine could be refurbished. That option surprised me. Another option is to rebuild the engine which is different than refurbishing. While the other options are purchasing a remanufactured engine or having the vehicle's engine remanufactured and the last option is purchasing a used engine with low mileage.

During the 2020 Pandemic, our neighbor chose to buy a low-mileage engine for their 2009 Honda. Which was the right choice for them, the Honda is still going.

As for how we will proceed, not sure. No decision has been made. Having all the documentation for the 1994 Honda Civic, we know the car's history. That is important to me. (In 2016, my former car was gifted to my grandson.)

In case you didn't know, the 1992-1995 cars were the best and that's when Honda's Civic received its reliable reputation.

Until recently, we had two vehicles. Besides the 1996 Chrysler Town & Country van, there was the 1997 Ford Ranger that had a manual transmission. A year and a half ago, the truck was offered to my friend's grandson. At that time, the truck wasn't accepted.

Unfortunately, his ride was recently totaled and he needed wheels. Because the truck hadn't been driven on a regular basis, minor repairs had to be made along with the air conditioning service. For under $600, we had the truck ready for him. Now, he has wheels that will keep him going places.

After a year's search, in 2019 a Toyota was found at the right price. Purchasing the Toyota for my other grandson, this gave him wheels. Remember 36 wheels and counting? Yep, there is a search in progress. This time a search for an older pre-owned vehicle for my granddaughters' that will allow them to go places too.

Writer's notes: Thank you for reading my wheels story. Wheels keep us going places.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Happy trails...


About the Creator

Babs Iverson

Barbara J Iversen, also known as Babs Iverson, lives in Texas and loves her grandkids to the moon and back. After writing one story, she found that writing has many benefits especially during a pandemic and a Texas-size Arctic Blast.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (31)

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  • Jay Kantor3 months ago

    Dear Babs - I'm such a 'GearHead' a Dinosaur expression. But trying to get through the H-Pattern 'Schtick' instructive coordinates is pure pop-the-clutch disaster - With the Youngins 'Expression' ~ Who need this? ~ Hmm! - With Pleasure - Jay

  • C. H. Richard3 months ago

    One thing I can tell by reading this story is that you are one really cool and awesome grandmother. I can also tell that you know cars. I'll agree on the best car years too. My 1995 Ford Thunderbird I still consider one of the best cars I have ever owned. Great job on sharing a story we can all relate to. ♥️❤️ Also congratulations on your top stor❤️

  • Gina C.3 months ago

    Enjoyable read, Babs! I feel like I learned something about cars 🤗 Congrats on Top Story!!

  • Very interesting. Quite the ordeal--& it's ongoing.

  • Fantastic 😊 congratulations on your top story it was well deserved 👍 I don't know much about cars but I feel I understand them better now hehe

  • Caroline Craven3 months ago

    Growing up in the U.K., I really didn’t feel like I needed a car much. But then I moved to the US. Five months without wheels was so hard and weird. Now I can’t imagine not having a car. Great read Babs!

  • Thavien Yliaster3 months ago

    Hondas, Toyotas, and Ford Rangers, yup sounds like a list of reliable cars to me. The only thing that doesn't make the list in my opinion is the Chrysler. In own of our family's vehicles, since it's a combo of two brands, the parts that have only broken so far are the Chrysler parts. That manual transmission Ford Ranger sounds like an absolute blast to drive. I'm not a big fan of four cylinders, but the Honda Civic's engine is pretty decent, especially when it's high revving. I would like to try their K-series engine. I would say if You can, try to find a Mercury Mariner, it's just a Ford explorer that's a little more of the luxury side, and if You do go for one I suggest the 3.0L V6. Those babies can be like diamonds in the rough, little gemstones some times. If not, a lot of people go for Toyota's Rav 4s, 4-Runners, and Tacomas along with their camry's. I'd say try looking for a used Sequoia. They share the Tundra platform, and get passed up a lot. There's a lot more of them on the market than people that search for them imo. If not, why not go for the Honda Ridgeline? V6 engine with FWD that can become AWD as needed, and it shares the same platform with their SUV. People say they're not trucks, but they got a bed and tend to get the job done. Rode in a friend's ridgeline and it was such a smooth ride I thought we were going fast when we were just nonchalantly cruising. Besides that, the Ford F-150 is America's #1 pickup truck for a reason. I say stick with the Triton 4.8L V8, and avoid the 5.4L V8 at all costs (I heard that one broke down a lot).

  • Colleen Millsteed 3 months ago

    Like computers, cars are great when they work but when they don’t….arghhhhh! Great article Babs and congratulations on your top story.

  • Rachel Deeming3 months ago

    I have the search for cars in my near future with my son on the verge of driving age. Finding one that is reliable for a fair price is going to be interesting! Great article!

  • Naveedkk 3 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!!

  • Congratulations 🎉 On Your Top Story✨💖😉

  • The Dani Writer3 months ago

    Wow Babs, you've got automotive moxy to go with your immeasurable sweet heart! Floored by your car guru-ness. Congrats on the top story!

  • Melissa Ingoldsby3 months ago

    Such a sweet thing to give him a ride! That temperature is murder! Ugh! I hate the heat of summer. I loved your story❤️❤️Congratulations on top story Babs💞

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    Congrats on the TS

  • Naomi Gold3 months ago

    I do not drive. I’ve never had a driver’s license—never wanted one. I know nothing about cars, except how to get one to pick me up on an app on my phone if walking or public transit isn’t an option. Yet, this was a fascinating read. Probably the only story in the “Wheel” community I will read. Good luck on your search. Congrats on Top Story! 🥂

  • Lamar Wiggins3 months ago

    Great story, Babs. It taught me a thing or two about engines. And congrats on your top Story.!

  • That was an interesting read, and congratulations on your top story, well deserved

  • Donna Renee3 months ago

    Ooof That’s way too hot for me! 🥵. This was a great read, Good luck with all of those wheels! 🥰

  • Babs, congratulations on Top Story! 👏 I identify with your temperature and vehicle woes. I am having the same issues. 😥 Good luck!

  • KJ Aartila3 months ago

    We just bought a new vehicle about a month ago - so much to consider, it was hardtop decide - but our Toyota has reached over 400,000 miles - it has been passed on to our daughter, but is about at the end, so we are looking to purchase another used car for her! Timely article - Thank you for sharing it! ❤️

  • Real Poetic3 months ago

    Congratulations on top story! 🎉

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    Well, my friend you know a lot more about cars than I do. Great article.

  • Gerald Holmes3 months ago

    I have been to Texas in summer and air conditioning is a must there. Well done Babs.

  • J. S. Wade3 months ago

    Love this story. You are a great narrative writer a Babs 💜

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