You know your car has problems when…

…you burn 29 quarts of oil on a 3,050 mile road trip. That’s right, that’s just a hair under a quart of oil every 100 miles.
Gas economy: 20 mpg
Oil economy: 400 mpg

The good news is we arrived safe and sound this afternoon at Erin’s parents’ house in northern Idaho. For that we are very grateful. Our trip got held up a couple of days ago when we broke an engine coil. We picked up on this at a gas stop in Plainview, Texas, when the car began to idle roughly and then the dreaded check engine light came on.

The good news was there was a Toyota dealership literally across the street (we have a Toyota minivan). The bad news was it was Sunday afternoon. Being a small town, by the time the dealership opened Monday morning, diagnosed the problem, got the part in, and made the repair, it was Tuesday afternoon before we were on the road again. We managed to entertain ourselves for two days, though, and then we made good time on the rest of the trip.

The oil loss, unfortunately, is not due to the engine coil. We bought our van used back in December, and it has been a great blessing to us. Turns out the previous owners, though, did not take care of the engine at all. So it has broken down at a very premature age, and it looks like we’re facing a rebuild of it before we head back to Mexico in a few weeks. I’m very partial to Toyotas (our family driving one to 330k miles sold me), but the lesson for car owners is this: It doesn’t matter how good a car you have if you don’t take care of it!

We would appreciate your prayers that we will be able to get the van repaired and ready to go for our drive to Colorado in early May and then our return trip to Mexico.

And those are our car adventures on our trip up here. We’re in good spirits and thankful to God for getting us up here safely and for the fact that we have a car to drive. I’ll share photos from the latest leg of the trip in a separate post.