The 80,000 Mile Addendum

Just a few days ago, The Voyage of DH finished a tour of one of the creepiest spots in Massachusetts: the site of the murder of Lizzie Borden’s parents. The rest of my weekend was far less macabre, however, as I spent time visiting friends, hiking through scenic woods, playing retro video games, and breaking a major milestone with my car. On Sunday, returning from a trip to New Hampshire, I passed the 80,000 mile mark. For this post, I thought I would take a break from visiting new locations and instead provide a brief update on the vehicle that takes me to all of these exciting places around the country.

Since its purchase on May 1, 2015, my 2012 Honda Accord EX-L V6 coupe has provided thousands upon thousands of miles of enjoyable driving. Through it all, the car has only required routine maintenance: oil changes, tire rotations, a new battery, new rear brakes, engine and cabin air filters, and a transmission fluid change. The only repairs to date have been a new wheel (thanks to a cavernous pothole on the Schuykill Expressway in Philadelphia) and a  new windshield (thanks to a tractor trailer, a large rock, and the New Jersey Turnpike).

The car still performs well. The engine has plenty of power, yet remains fuel-efficient, averaging close to 30 mpg on the highway. I do keep an eye on the fluid levels, and everything appears normal. However, my only concern is the rash of V6 engines from this generation of Accord (2008-2012) which burn oil and end up needing piston ring replacements. Honda has extended the warranty on these engines to unlimited years and 150,000 miles, so I’m not too worried, but it is something to monitor. I have not seen any evidence of this issue affecting DH, but I continue to monitor the oil level. The car actually feels like it is handling better now than when I first purchased it- its cornering feels more precise, and it feels more stable at high speeds. Of course, perhaps like an old, well-worn baseball glove, I’m just getting more accustomed to my car the older it gets!

The interior and exterior are still in good shape. Outside, the paint has some chips on the front bumper from rocks and other roadside debris, but overall the car still looks good. The interior has held up very well, with no fading or cracking of the leather seats of the dashboard. All the electronics still work, and the stereo sounds terrific. The car’s cargo capacity has been very impressive, the Accord seemingly transforming itself into a pickup truck for my move from New Jersey to Massachusetts. I had no idea my car could hold so much stuff! My only planned purchase is for a second set of wheels and a set of Nokia Hakkapeliitta R2 snow tires before next winter, to plow through the worst of the New England snowstorms.

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Stopping by Jordan’s Furniture in Avon, Massachusetts. I’ve been there so many times lately as I furnish my new home, I feel like I should list Jordan’s as my second address.
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Hiking a woodland trail near Amherst, New Hampshire with a college friend.
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My friend jokingly refers to New Hampshire as the land “North of the Wall” (a Game of Thrones reference). If you notice, it was April 8 and snow was still on the ground. Look closely and you can also see my friend’s dog ahead of us on the trail.
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Mike’s Auto Service in Amherst, New Hampshire. Mike’s is a 1930s service station that is still in operation today. Very cool.
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Sunday morning, heading back to New Hampshire to meet up with friends. This is downtown Lowell, Massachusetts. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. The sunroof was open and the stereo was up!
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Crossing the John E. Cox Memorial Bridge in Lowell, which straddles the Merrimack River.
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New Hampshire! If you look closely, the sign says both “Welcome” and “Bienvenue.” The closer you get to Canada, the more French you see.
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After running errands, my friends and I decided to swing by Pinball Wizard, a retro video game arcade in Pelham, NH that I last visited in August for my birthday. Sadly, Pinball Wizard is closing in the next few weeks, and we decided to stop by and pay our respects.
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I’m really gonna miss this place… sigh.
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Galaga. It was released in 1981, and I remember playing it as a child. It was also notoriously difficult, testing your reaction times and patience. Imagine my surprise, then, when I managed to set the 4th highest score!
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Paperboy. One of the most difficult video games I have ever played. The objective is simple: to deliver newspapers. What makes it challenging? You can crash into cars. Storm drains. Dogs. Skateboards. Runaway hula hoops. Cones. Bodies of water. Etc. Etc. Etc. 
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“Millionaire.” This pinball machines is an embodiment of the 1980s.
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Driving home at the end of a terrific weekend.
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80,000 miles!

Overall, I am very, very happy with my Accord. Were something to happen to DH and I needed to replace it, there is a short-list of cars I would consider: a pre-owned 2016 or 2017 Honda Accord V6 Touring sedan, a new Honda HR-V, or a new Subaru Crosstrek (I’ve sadly come to the realization that my next car should have four doors). However, replacing my Accord would be a worst-case scenario. I am still very satisfied with my car, and there is nothing else on the road that I want to purchase in its place.

As the snow melts and the temperature rises, I have planned several fun trips for this spring: to Maine, Connecticut, and some very interesting spots right here in Massachusetts. Thank you for continuing to read these writings, and for coming along on this special segment of the Voyage of DH!

‘Til next time.

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