Tag Archives: jeep

She’s Sensitive

Car? Is it a car? An SUV? Nah. It’s a Jeep.

I really do like the thing, but it’s trying at times. I might have mentioned that it had developed a starting issue. Sometimes. Last week – every so often, it wouldn’t turn over. Still cranked and all, no run down battery. Just wouldn’t start. And then oddly, if we jumped it – even though it was already cranking – it started right up. Weird. So, we took it in to our awesome mechanic Tim. (Who was recommended to us by many, including Adirondack Musing.)

Tim couldn’t get the car to break. That is, it started every time, without fail. Revved right up. Almost as if the car was too embarrassed to show its laziness away from home. Like it was on its best behavior for Tim. So, he kept the Jeep for three days. Started it several times each day. With great success. (I can’t decide whether that is terrific, or aggravating.) So, he gave it back. How does one handle a 21 year old tank that may decide not to start at some point.

We went over to Advance Auto and bought one of those little jump-starter boxes. Problem solved.

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Free Parking

The Jeep is dead. Long live the bus.

Well, friends, it’s dead. It’s not really, completely, totally dead. (I’m a little too cautious for that – I wouldn’t keep a problematic vehicle on the road if I could help it.) On life-support, I suppose. It’s going to be time for brake shoes any day now, and we have a transmission fluid leak. That’s right. I dared to speak The Automobile Repair Which Should Not Be Named. Transmission. So, yeah. We may sell it off for parts or projects and call it a day.

Remember friends, we’re talking about a 1989 here. Having the  transmission seals (or worse) replaced at the same time that we are going to be needing new brakes … Well, you know. There is a point of diminishing returns. And if we needed an entire transmission … no way. So, we may junk it. We’ll think about it.

So, we shall be car-less for a while. How are we able to do that? The county bus, and the kindness of friends. We’re on the bus line, and they’ll pick up right here. Partner’s office is a designated daily stop. Perfect. And for that matter, all of our neighbors go exactly the same direction each morning. Groceries and errands? Said neighbors have claimed us as family, so we have no problem there.

So, it’s off the road. I don’t quite know whether this is a bold decision or a foolish one, but I do know the following. 1. I’m not going to be running a dangerous car on the road. 2. This will put us ahead, to some degree – We could likely get five-hundred or so bucks to junk it or sell it off (got advice from a friend who own a body shop), besides not spending forty bucks each week on gas. Puts us a good ways toward buying a new car. A little. Maybe.

In the time being, it will sit. And it does run. Not going to take it anywhere, but it does run. Like, if there were a aliens-from-space fireball explosion headed for the property and we needed to flee in our old, dirty Jeep – Indiana Jones-style – we could.

Too bad. I liked the Jeep. Ah, well. As Indy says, “It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.”

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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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Am I That Predictable?

Did you totally know I would have a terrific first day back home and follow up with a totally positive post?

Probably.

It goes well, folks. Very well. Yesterday was a awesome day. To merely say that I was happy to be home among the farms and hills of my beloved Franklin County is a gross understatement. So let’s not dwell on the weekend. Whatta ya say? I’ll leave it at this – We have a hole to dig out of, but it’s not as financially disastrous as we thought. We have two cars to fix, and we charged a ton of hotels, food, and gas, but it’s not a total  disaster. More to the point of today’s post, let me play-by-play my Glorious Monday for you.

  • 7am In the morning light – the house is almost gone! Seriously!
  • 9am We discover we do still have a considerable amount of ready cash.
  • 11am A very good friend we haven’t seen in a year stops by – very sweet.
  • 12pm Two different folks over at the store tell me how nice it’s looking.
  • 2pm I learn that an acquaintance does exhaust work (Jeep) real cheap.
  • 3pm Got a plan together to lose the huge lumber piles I was worrying over.
  • 4pm The electrician comes by – our service is going in late this week!
  • 5pm Beers with the neighbors – kindness and commiseration.
  • 6pm We look at the credit card statement – it’s really not that bad.
  • 7pm Ordered a dumpster to get rid of the final piles of house trash!

And that, my friends, is the kind of day you want to have when you’ve just stepped out of a weekend’s worth of bad luck and misery. Now, I have to get to filling that last dumpster. You have a great day too!

000_1738

It’s a mess, but the beast is gone. There used to be a house there!
Starting to look like our property actually has some promise!

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Transmission Not Received

Didja ever have one of those days?

One of those days during which you are sure that in addition to losing your sense of humor, you may just flee into the night? That’s not just yesterday – it’s this whole weekend. Seriously. However, since the place I would run away to is our RV in the Adirondacks, I suppose I might as well just stay on task.

Thursday – We head way-South to meet Southern Mechanic that fixed our Jeep, so we can give him his van back. In The Bronx (of all places), the transmission on the van goes. I am at a relative’s house with the dog, partner is stuck on on the Bronx River Parkway. Cops. Smoke. Expensive tow truck. Garage in which no one speaks English. (I’m not kidding.) I get The Call.  I throw up. (It’s what I do.) We decide to bring the car back to the relative’s house, because we can at least put it in the driveway behind a tall fence in a decent neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the Jeep is still in Southern Mechanic’s posession. He is irritated. He is no help. At all. In desperation (I suppose), he tries to sell us the van for $1400 plus the repair bill, which will likely be another $1500. (Not an option.) However, we do feel that it is our responsibility to fix the van, since it was in our posession. Southern Mechanic acts like we are going to screw him. He does the whole, “Well, I hope I can trust you,” thing. As if we’re not being completely stand-up by paying a few thousand bucks to replace the entire transmission on his stupid van. I can swallow a lot of things, but being assumed dishonest is not one of them. Especially when I have proven myself otherwise.

We rent a car from Newark Airport. The one tiny piece of luck in all of this is that we have a free rental day. However, with a hefty repair bill for a van that is not ours pending, and a van owner acting like he’s getting the short end of the stick, well … ya know.

In the light of Friday at the relative’s home, I’ve realized a few things though. Stuck down here in the city, even with cable, normal electricity, coffee with Regis and Kelly, water pressure, and reliable internet …  I want to go home. Bad.

Home to the Adirondacks.

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One Brick at a Time

Actually, they all came down at once.

While there was briefly a plan to take the compromised chim down “one brick at a time,” we thought better of it. Regular readers probably know that we moved the RV out of the way, so we’d be able to simply pull it down. Be sure to watch for the ground shaking when the chunk hits the ground in the second section of the vid! Thar she blows!

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Back on the Wheel

Whew!

You know those little gerbil wheels? That’s how I’m feeling. It’s a good thing though. We’re back in New York, and straight back into the crazy – had to jump right back into work and I’m going to need to get back on the packing train this evening. We had a wonderful time with our friends at Hidden Haven, and honestly, it was nice to get away from things here for a few days.

100_0225The big surprise? We didn’t bring the jeep back. Don’t panic – it’s fine. I drove it around up and down the rutted roads four-wheeling the whole weekend. Wild Bill wants to do a few more things with it to put it in great shape, so our friends offered their van. We’ll switch the van for the jeep at a later date. Also, this plan gives Wild Bill an open window, and there’s no rush. I sure had fun diggin’ holes and running the thing around all weekend though!

I’m working on a production of Little Shop of Horrors (you know … the musical about the man eating plant), and the plants are arriving today. So I’m off to be there when they arrive. And then rehearsal. And then back home for more packing. And I need to play through another score this week – a play I wrote the music to is going to Philadelphia in the Fall, and we have a rehearsal this month. All good stuff though! You have a great day too!

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