R.I.P., my dear 4Runner

I am saddened to say that my dear beloved 2000 Toyota 4Runner is no more.  After exactly 11 years and a few days of faithful service, I had to put it down, trade it in, get rid of it.  I’ve always said that I will drive it into the ground and I almost literally did.

I came home on Wednesday to find a trail of liquid leading down the street and into my driveway, culminating in a big puddle of pink, Pepto-Bismolish looking liquid under the truck.  The coolant reservoir was completely empty, the radiator was full and the transmission dip stick was covered in the same pink substance.  I had the truck towed to the local Toyota dealer and sat with my fingers crossed, praying for its safe return.  Alas, it was not to be.

Turns out that Toyota trucks equipped with a towing package have 2 radiators: one for the engine and one, at the bottom of the engine compartment, for the transmission.  Well, something or other rusted away down there.  The radiator leaked coolant into the transmission, mixing coolant and transmission fluids, creating the said pink substance and, eventually, spilling it all out onto my garage floor.

$3K in repairs for a new transmission, new radiator and everything else that’s involved in installing and connecting them was just too much to spend on an 11-year-old truck.  So I had little choice but to leave my baby in the dealer’s parking lot and apply the trade-in amount towards a new Toyota Highlander.

This 4Runner was the vehicle I’ve always wanted.  It was a truck I loved driving even after 11 years.  I bought it when I probably couldn’t truly afford it but never regretted it.  And after all these years I don’t even have a picture of it to remember it by.

Rest in peace, my baby.  You were a great truck and a friend.