Keeping used cars running takes a little money, and a lot of luck. It also takes more knowledge and experience than I have, so this next post is probably more about saving me from my own ignorance than anything else.
We have an extra car sitting in our garage. I personally see no need to have more cars than drivers, but we held on to it because it was paid for and we will have extra drivers home for the summer, and a new driver a few months after that. It had been running really rough and not always shifting properly, but it would be good one day, bad the next. Then the silly alarm system kept going off at all hours, so we finally just disconnected the battery. Since then it has been sitting, gathering dust, with a flat tire as a bonus. What a waste of garage space I thought.
Decided it was time to see if it would run again or not – basically registration is coming up. Hubby pulled the tire, found a large nail, and got that fixed. Then he pulled out the battery that was no longer holding the charge, found it well past its life expectancy, and replaced it. For the price of a flat repair and new battery I feel like we have a new vehicle! We still need to test it out further, but it looks like the bad battery was probably the cause of all the sporadic issues we were having. Go figure.