I have a love/hate relationship with my car. It runs amazingly well, but it's a bit capricious at times. I think I love my jeep, but it hates me. I bought it with only 97k miles on it a few months ago and I drive it hard, pushing it to its limits with frequent and heavy use. This has caused a lot of things to die and go wrong, aside from the things that were already wrong with it.
I bought it for $2000. I've put in about that much into it, repairing it, and making it run better. We live in an era which has been great for DIYers. I can go online with basic mechanical knowledge, spend a few hours doing research and watching youtube videos, then fix what is wrong with it. Granted, it probably takes me longer than it should, since I'm basically teaching myself as I go along. There is a special sense of pride that comes with fixing something that you didn't know you could fix.
I have been diagnosing and fixing everything that goes wrong with it, and I could easily spend the next few years' worth of weekends fixing everything that is wrong with it, then improving what's already working well.
I've named the car Rufus, because it looked and ran "rough" when I first got it. It has a lot of character and I really love driving it. It runs smoothly now, brakes with efficiency and grace. It outpaces most cars on the road when I need it to, and the gas mileage, while still abysmal compared to efficient vehicles, has greatly improved.
The best part is that I am now so familiar with it that I know what to fix next, what to invest in and improve to make it better. Of course, all it takes is time and money, which always come in limited supply.