My trusty, ecologically correct little Prius began showing signs of early Auto-Alz- heimer’s a few months ago. Despite my husband’s urgings, I put off getting a new car. Sure, the Prius was 17 years old, but it only had 116,000 miles on it, and at the rate I was accumulating miles (less than 1,000 miles a year), I had hoped it would be the last car I would own.
But our trusted mechanic, the same one who told my husband that his 14-year-old Camry was good for at least another 100,000 miles, held out no hope. Those warning lights weren’t a fluke, the super mega battery that powered my car was beginning to fail, the power steering was liable to go out if I drove at freeway speed, and I should get rid of the car while it was still drivable at all. He obligingly cleared the warning lights one last time, and we trundled down to the car dealer.