The Ignition Musician

Well, it starts. I can say that for it.

Is there any reason a piano-player needs to know the components of an automobile ignition and how it works? Well, now I do.

After this week’s Jeep repair bill (we’ve started to think of them as weekly now), it starts. In fact, it starts just fine even when it’s 40F outside. And you don’t even have to pump the gas pedal. This in it self, my friends, is a luxury. Dare I think positive? We’ll see. If it passes inspection (seems like it should) and runs a few weeks without crapping out again, I may begin to let my guard down. We’ll see. I’m conflicted, because I really do like the thing. However, I do not like doubling its cost by repairing a new thing each week.

jeep1Curious how we got stuck with this lemon-I-love? Here’s a brief history. A mechanic friend down South suggests, “Buy a used car down here. No salt and no road rust. I can find something cheap and check it out for you.” Sounds reasonable. Last April, he found a 1989 Cherokee for $1150. He checked it out, the owner disclosed the fact that it had a cut-off issue. However, it had new injectors and a very expensive set of mud/snow tires. Friend can fix the cut-off thing. We go down South a month later, he hasn’t been able to figure it out yet. We borrow an extra van of his (which proceeds to lose its transmission during a hellish weekend you wouldn’t believe).

We go down that weekend, and drive the thing from the South to Northern New York with a broken exhaust that sounds like a freight train, and iffy starting. (However, the cut-off issue is fixed. Vacuum sensor.) The hurricane remnants hit Maryland as we’re coming through, hotels, credit card bills, you can imagine. We get back here to New York, shake off the horror of the trip, and send the thing off to our mechanic for a sparkling new exhaust and catalytic converter. Done.

100_0225We drive it home, and not only is it fussy; it doesn’t start the next morning. Sounds like the coil or plugs. Curiously, I am managing to keep a decent attitude about the thing. I even still sort of like the thing. (Because I have to?) So, our guy here comes out to put a new coil in, and the battery has run down. Back to his place via a tow. He replaces the coil, all the spark plugs, and does something or other to the alternator. So, nowadays, it seems to work. We have a completely new exhaust, and a completely new ignition system. Why can’t I find it in my heart to hate the thing?

I have no idea.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “The Ignition Musician

  1. There is NOTHING I hate more than having car trouble. But, y’know…the more work you do on it, the closer it is to being “like new.” 🙂 I’m disappointed for you. I was pulling for the Jeep from the get-go. I thought they were practically indestructible.

  2. Corky

    You can’t hate it cause it is PURPLE!!!

  3. I know everyone swears by their own mechanic, but we always used Tim Devin’s in Jay. Everyone in Wilmington recommended him to us, and we were really, really happy with them for years.

    And for vets there’s a lady in AuSable. Google seems to say it’s Susan Benway- in case Rufus needs a new primary care physician.

    I’m a little concerned with your excitement that the Jeep is starting when it’s 40 degrees out. You do remember it’s going to get a heck of a lot colder than that in January, right?

  4. Love your blog. Sounds like you’ve done the major repairs on the Jeep so let’s hope that perhaps you’ll have fewer Jeep-related expenses this winter.

    Are you planning on living in the RV through an Adirondacks winter?

    Rick

  5. I’m totally onboard the cold thing – I was thinking about having a block or tank heater put in. I guess I was more saying that the fact that it started, and even started a *bit* cold was nice. Had a good start this morning too!

  6. You old softy, you! I’d have blown it up by now! You have the patience of a saint,… hope you have good luck with it now. Those tires will serve you well. Keep smiling!

  7. themac

    You do love that Jeep, don’t cha? Sometimes, though, you need to toss in the keys, take off the plates and walk away. Once you fix one thing, it’s something else that needs repair. This is why I bought new in ’03. Knock on wood, haven’t had a problem yet. But I am about to hit 90,000 miles.

    I love the GM is giving doc advice for Rufus.

    BTW: how is he acclimating to his new home? Catch any wildlife yet?

  8. Nothing like your first 4WD, is there? I remember ours well–a 1963 GMC that ran long enough to get to the farm and never started again. Since then we’ve had several, even one tank of a Jeep similar to yours. My best love was Michael T. Truck, a Chevy with a heart of gold that hated my 2nd husband but always ran for me. I hope your Jeep is over its moving north issues and all is well for ever and ever, amen.

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