Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Praising a Boring Car: Our Camry at 100,000 Miles!

In a nutshell, our 2011 Toyota Camry has passed the 100,000 mile mark, and other than a bad hair day in Milwaukee (had to replace the original battery) during a recent trip has proven to be a reliable piece of equipment that gets around 34mpg on the highway. This is the smaller engine 4 cylinder XLE model, so while we splurged on leather seats, dual climate settings, and a sunroof, we cheaped out on the smaller motor too.

The Camry is a huge seller in the US because of those qualities, plus that fact that it will swallow a huge amount of suitcases or groceries in the trunk. It rides smoothly with three normal sized people in the back seat, and as Larry the Cable Guy would say, can "Get 'er Done"!

In other words, it's the exact opposite of what you want to drive and have fun with; would be terrible at an autocross or any kind of high performance event, and is so exciting to look at that one magazine review basically said something like "My hand brushed up against the Camry exterior and fell asleep".

So, that day in Milwaukee was exciting because the car just did not turn over in the morning. If you're at home with a bunch of tools and another vehicle this isn't much of a big deal!  But if you're out of town and are ready to head out for another day of fun and adventure it kind of stinks and makes you curse every automobile every built, because you just KNOW that they are ALL just waiting to die and leave you stranded when it stinks the most.

The top 3 days that cars choose to die include: 1-The Day You Pay it Off, 2-The Day The Warranty Expires, and the dreaded 3-First Day You Take It Home. This day in Milwaukee was just a few days after it was paid off, and turned out to be only a dead battery. Hey, the original battery lasted over 5 years so I can't complain too much about that! Thanks to the friendly Holiday Inn worker that helped me out, and thanks to my wife for reminding me that we had jumper cables in the trunk!

After a quick jump, driving to an O'Reilly autoparts store, and purchasing one battery, I took advantage of their loaner tools (one adjustable wrench), and the car started right up with the new battery. All in all not much of a delay, and the rest of the trip went smoothly in the mighty Camry.

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