Friday, March 22, 2013

Never Trust a Jeep

For the past few years SSG and I have been dealing with ongoing motor vehicular failures.  Not lemons- just older cars that while once good were failing more and more as they crept ever closer to the 20 year mark.   As we live in what is generously defined as a "small town" of 6.8k (2010 pop. census) and generally commute to opposite points in the state, two cars have been a necessity.  

Fortunately, we are typically able to borrow my uncle's Jeep for the times when we are down to a single car.      Not so fortunately, my uncle's Jeep has become unreliable of late.   She's always been quirky.  She handles nicely and if the radio works only when she's "in a good mood", well that's what my droid is for.  The heater works great, even if the fan doesn't, but it's in general a good solid Jeep.    That is until she decided to start playing tricks.

Start up, get to driving and all of a sudden you're stopped at a stop sign and she'll completely shut down.  Battery dead, no charge.   That happened twice.   Then she wouldn't start up one morning, on a day when SSG was at Drill for the weekend and Not Home.  Of course.   Two days later, I have to do laundry, so haul the loads into the Jeep, go down to the laundrymat and do the laundry.   It's cold and boring watching the washer machines turn, so I climbed back into the Jeep to sit comfortably...and watch the battery go from charged to flat in less than 5 minutes.    Still, the seats are pretty comfortable.

 So....nothing to do but walk home after making sure the laundry was done and loaded into the Jeep.   Came back later that night with SSG to change out the battery.

She made it through the bi-weekly shopping and extra stops for house viewings I had scheduled for yesterday morning at least.   Driving the Jeep isn't as scary as driving my old baby when her brakes went (in the winter, morning of a snow storm- THAT was fun) but it is a tad bit disconcerting to see the Check Gauges light pop on and you see the battery gauge is flat-lining while driving at 60+ miles per hour and wondering just when the engine is going to decide to stop firing or doing whatever it is combustion engines do.  Combust?  Whatever, I'm not a mechanic.

SSG believes it might be the alternator.  What ever that thing is.   Again, not an engineer.

Phe's Maxim #9:  Vehicles go when you turn the key ignition and press on the pedal.  Add gas as necessary.    If you expected a mechanic you should have married one.  

As long as she doesn't play cutesy with the "I'm working! Oh, wait- now I'm not." game I'll be happy.

Phe's Maxim #10:  Never Trust a Jeep

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