When we were first married, my Uncle Bob told us that he was in favor of purchasing cars with over 200k miles because all the major problems had probably been taken care of by then. With that in mind, we purchased a 1997 Chrysler Town & Country to replace my wife’s minivan. The minivan has 211k miles but with a new windshield, new tires (swapped from our old van), newer transmission, clean leather interior, and almost no rust, it seemed like a very good deal for the money. And after a trip to Pennsylvania and back, we’re vey happy with the new family van.
But just to be sure, I took the van in for an oil change and general check-up. It was then that one of the mechanics pointed out something that I had overlooked — a rust hole on the front of the driver’s side strut tower. If you aren’t familar with that term, this is the part of the body to which the top of the vehicle’s spings and struts attach to the body. On most cars this is visible in the engine compartment above the wheel well. On our new van, the rust had eaten through the metal so that I could poke my finger through. Suddenly the exceptional deal wasn’t as exceptional anymore.
After talking it over with Tom Hurst, a welder from our church, we scheduled a check-up at his place today. His prognosis was calming: “It probably looks worse than it is.” The first step was moving the battery, fuse box, and wiring harness from the immediate area. With that out of the way, Tom cut away the rusty metal until the real hole appeared. It was the size of my fist! Yikes! But after three hours of work, a new piece of metal is welded into place and painted so that if you didn’t know better, you probably wouldn’t notice it. Thanks, Tom!
If you are in the Mentor, Ohio area and have need of some welding, click here to contact me and I will pass along your information to Tom. He is skilled with all types of welding and has almost 40 years of experience including cars, trucks, and heavy machinery. No job is too big or too small!