All good things must come to an end :(
Two days ago we began having some braking problems with our Pontiac Torrent tow vehicle. We were unsure what was going on, but we were also having some problems with the car overheating while idling. So we booked a service appointment with Regal Chevrolet, in Lakeland Florida for 7:15am on Wednesday, April 6 for an analysis of what was wrong and what might be required to repair the issue and get us back on the road.
At 9:00am we got the terminal diagnosis. The Torrent had blown the right side strut, which supports the wheels and the ABS braking system, which is why we were having issues when we hit the brakes. The repair involved changing both struts on the front of the vehicle, at a cost of about $1,750. The second, and worse issue was the overheating. The car had a blown head gasket, which was caused they figured, by advanced age and the extremely rusty underside of our 10 year old vehicle. The cost to repair/replace the head gasket was $2,250. So, our great little tow vehicle would cost over $4,000 US to get her back on the road, which is slightly over $5,000 Canadian.
It didn't take us long to make the decision to put our loyal vehicle out of her misery. There will be a new blog on the route forward from here in a couple of days. This blog will eulogize our trusty steed that is headed for the crusher.
We bought the Torrent in May, 2011, about a week before we bought the boler. The original meeting between tow-er and tow-ee was a bit stormy. On the second day out the boler hopped off the trailer hitch and we had to do a re-attachment at the side of the road on Digby Spit. But they eventually learned to live together.
But the pair really came into their own when we had 2 feet added to the boler hitch and after that they were off and running. The Torrent and boler paired on trips totaling 350 days. The Torrent faithfully hauled the boler through 9 of the 10 Canadian Provinces, and 31 of the 48 states of the USA.
The Torrent had 70,000 kilometers on her odometer when we took ownership and this morning, when we shut her down for the last time it read just over 233,500 kilomters. In 5 years she had put on 163,500 kilometers and this past winter went through her 10th rough Nova Scotia winter. Age and distance had done her in.
Here is a picture of her from a month ago, at the launch of our current adventure:
So, as Jenny and I pause to reflect on her passing, we can only come up with one thing to say...right to the end she did her job...it falls to us to not have noticed the signs of her failing health, for they were all there. To launch her onto a 20,000 mile journey only to have her fold up and die after just 4,000 miles is tragic.
The need to replace her, in Florida of all places, is another story, for another day. This blog entry is all about our now departed Torrent. Rest in peace, old steed. You have nothing to be ashamed of...you did your job, and very well indeed. We kept the license plate holder from the front of the car, with the Canadian flag, as a memento.