I made it just fine on my trip. However, every now and then it takes me a while to get it started. I have to hold the key down for several seconds, probably about 20to or so before it attempts to start. It doesn't do that all the time though.
That seems a little excessive if it's really 20 seconds, but it is normal for any modern fuel injected car to need a few seconds between turning the ignition to "on" and actually cranking the motor.
I have an automatic habit of always waiting about 3 or 4 seconds after I turn on the ignition before actually cranking the motor. It gives the fuel pump and electronics a chance to go through their power-on routine. I think 99% of people just turn the key and crank it at the same time and as such I usually pass off "it takes forever to start" issues with this. But I'm far from an expert, and I could surely be very mistaken.
(previous Car, Mazda Protege, went 150,000 miles before I replaced anything ball joints and tie rods)
Yea, I hear that. I've driven a few smaller cars to their death and never really had to worry about ball joints before. My theory is that it's just a matter of having a heavier (at least I assume?) vehicle with more unsprung weight at the end of the suspension to handle. I think it just beats up the strut style suspension which only has one control arm. So that one control arm (and everything attached to it) tends to wear out very quickly. And once a ball joint loosens up, it doesn't take long for the tie rod to also wear out as it's all connected, obviously.
So the more I think about it, the less I guess I'm too worried about it. Especially since now I know how to change them again if need be. She (my wife) really likes the Compass, and after spending the weekend working on it I'm start to fall more in love with it too. I was pretty dead set on trading it in after I fixed the front end. But then I fixed it, fixed the alignment, and realized how nice a car it really is when it's all fixed up.