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home : columns : duck ponderings August 16, 2017

8/7/2017 4:39:00 AM
Duck Ponderings: Finding the creaks and the squeaks
About David Webster
From Lovett to Hope, David Webster, former Hope 5th grade teacher, pulls his writings from great people and great experiences.

David Webster


Due to hitting black ice and totaling our first van, a 1997 Dodge Caravan, we were in need of another vehicle. We ended up at Patterson Auto in North Vernon. After much deliberation, we purchased a 2002 Chrysler Town & Country with low mileage, one with a few more features than our previous model! We also got a bonus by finding out our salesman had a recording studio which I have been at many times since for a variety of projects.

We quickly fell in love with the Chrysler. Oh, it had some problems over the years but understandably considering we drove it for over 200,000 miles. I fondly remember our trip to Yellowstone and how the four of us had plenty of personal space. My wife particularly loved the cargo shelf in the back, a nifty feature.

We chose to sell the van to my sister, Pam, while looking for our next vehicle. She also fell in love with it. Unfortunately, she was in an accident. The van did a good job protecting her but was totaled.

In the meantime, we decided our next vehicle would be another van. How many of us have stated we would never drive a van? Well, we turned our attention to the Honda Odyssey and purchased a new one after hours of research. It certainly had more features related to safety with a camera providing a great right side and back view when on roads with multiple lanes!

However, when going over uneven terrain, it had creaks and squeaks, more than in my aged body. I was thinking a technician would hear the noise while driving it and resolve the problem during the first scheduled service. The sound was not heard, and I decided to give it more time.

It wasn't long before the creaks and squeaks seemingly got worse! I was confident the noise would be heard the next service. Well, I could not get the van to duplicate the sounds when asked to drive it with the technician in the passenger seat patiently waiting and listening as we traveled several miles! It would not to be the case until my third oil change while on a vacation. By that time, I was about ready to drive passengers crazy complaining about all the noise.

The issue wasn't determined quickly by Honda in Florida! When I was asked to take a ride once again with a technician, I thought about the number of times I reported a vehicle issue to Dad only for it not to happen in his presence. Amazingly, the technician heard the noise as I was describing it before pulling out of the lot. Needless to say, I was relieved. He didn't hesitate in giving the reason -- front struts. The problem was soon resolved with the warranty taking care of it.

We have driven the Odyssey for miles without any creaks and squeaks and any complaining. I am convinced we have a very reliable vehicle. Now it is just a matter of finding a cargo shelf for my wife!



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