Wednesday, January 6, 2021

50000 Miles in 18 Years in a 2002 Jeep Wrangler, 45 Minutes to Air Up 5 Tires


I don't drive the Jeep as much as I would like.

I've had it since Chrysler was taken over and then neglected by Daimler, right around Xmas 2002.

Give or take a few weeks.   I'm sure I could find the specifics but it isn't really that important.

They had "Zero Point Zero Financing" and I really hated that the earlier Jeep I had had an Automatic Transmission.  

To me, it needed a stick.

I have been driving Jeep Wranglers, and the CJ7 I had back in the day, longer than anything else.

It just fits.

I have plenty of room.  It's thirsty but I don't go that far.  2778 miles in a year on average.

But every time I get in it, I smile.  Sure, it's basic and primitive, but it is beyond fun to drive.  

This is the "Bulletproof Combination" of that car.  4.0 Inline Six Cylinder, 5 speed Manual transmission.  Soft top if I want to have the sun bleach my hair and tan my skin on the way home from where ever I want to go.

Like I said, I don't drive it often.  I was working behind the TV set next to the window and when I stood up, I noticed through the living room window that one tire was low.  It meant I had to get into the car and drive somewhere to get the air back in the tires.  When I got "there" the air pump was not working no matter how I begged. 

On the way home, I noticed I was very close to 50K so I got the phone out and took a picture.

Really, I should not take pictures while driving.  40 MPH in a Jeep and I was just due to shift up into the next gear.

I got home and let him sit in the driveway.  Having to get the portable air compressor out on that afternoon meant I wanted to try it out with the power pack.  Nope.  Snapped the circuit breaker immediately.  

As it was, each tire would take 5 to 10 minutes to air up.

I pushed the car forward and settled in to sit around doing nothing for the better part of the hour.  Wait, check the watch, lather, rinse, repeat.

It gave me time to think. 

Jeep needs a bath.  Too much dust on it from the beach 2 1/2 miles away, the Bahamas, and the Sahara across the ocean.

Check the air, move to the next tire.

Wave at the neighbor.

Check the Mailbox.

Sit on the front bumper and stare at my boots.

Check the air, move to the next tire.

The air compressor is getting warm.

Started thinking.  Some day I really do want to go back to visit New Jersey.  Sure, North Jersey is one ugly city and you can see the pollution from that and New York when you approach New Brunswick, exit 9 on the Jersey Turnpike.  

But I am from South Jersey.  Life is different there.  The air is cleaner.  Not clean, simply cleaner.  After all, at 40 Degrees North, the air flows from the Midwest Cities and drops the pollution on Philadelphia. Allergies are quite common.

My allergies vanished when I moved to Florida.  It's dusty but the air is always clean until the Everglades start burning.

I do want to go back.  I have a few trips I want to make.  Out to the Pine Barrens.  Beautiful pine forests, cedar creeks, hiking trails, and maybe drive the Jeep to the top of Apple Pie Hill to look at the stars.

Once you could climb the fire tower up to the outlook and look around.  Well over the tops of the trees, at night you could see Atlantic City, Philadelphia in the distance, and way up there on a very clear night, you could just make out New York City.

Can't do all that on flat tires can you?

With Covid, you can't do it at all.  It is also 1200 miles from here so visiting my Sister, Friends, and Family as well as climbing a muddy fire tower in the wilderness is off the table.

Check the air, move to the next tire.

Might want to check the other tires while I am at it.

Spare has no air.  Pressed the air pressure gauge to it and it didn't move.  

Can't replace a flat with a dead tire, that will take more time.

Back out to the front of the car.

Lock the house doors, I need to start the car after this tire hits 30 PSI.

Check the air, move to the next tire.

Wandering around the yard is getting boring.  Sit back on the front bumper and watch the parrots screeching in the trees, the buzzards making lazy circles on the updrafts North of downtown Fort Lauderdale. 

"Hey Buzzards!  We're not dead yet!"  Seriously they must be "Pinin' for the Fjords" or something.

It's time for the spare.  Last to go. 

I plugged the now hot compressor in to the spare, sat the compressor on top of it, and settled in on the bumper.

Bumpers are important.  If your bumper does not stick out past the nose of the car enough a simple tap in a parking lot will cause thousands of dollars of Sheet Metal damage.

I figure this one will take about 15 minutes.  I started the motor.

The Jeep roared to life and settled in on a smooth idle.

50,000 miles and not a problem.  

I know this car like the back of my hand.  Many cars at this age are rusting in a junk yard.  Jeeps don't.  They hold their value.  The motors were designed in the 1950s or 1960s by Willys/Kaiser.  Then a merger to form AMC.  American Motors.  Limped along into the 1980s and got swallowed up by Chrysler.  Chrysler was mortally wounded by the "merger of equals" with Daimler Benz.

Became Daimler Chrysler.  As the joke went "How do you say the name of the company?  Daimler, the Chrysler is silent."

Then with Fiat to become FCA, and the pending merger with Peugeot and who knows what else.

Meanwhile, I inspect the tubes, the belts, the tires.  I've fixed one of the most maddening problems with Jeeps.  The Check Engine light will come on and you may or may not get A Code.

I found my problem with a finger length piece of tube that cracked and was replaced.  A truly competent young woman helped me diagnose what I needed at Autozone up on Oakland Park Blvd. 

Helpful hint - if you are in a place where a woman is working and it is "non-traditional" for her to be there... Always, Always, Always go to the woman.  She knew her stuff.

Nothing wrong with my Jeep that a bucket of soapy water could not fix.  I may wash off the dust from the Sahara Desert off the car an ocean away, but not today. 

Today, smile on my face, it is time to take the Jeep for a lap around town.

Beep!  Beep!  I'm A Jeep!  I wonder how long it will take to get to 100,000 miles?

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