I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee vintage 2001. It is just about to turn 200K miles in a couple weeks. It has been a good pony but it has been showing its age. The problems started years ago when the “check transmission light came on” I have a problem with cars. I do not know much about them. I know where the gas goes, where oil, engine coolant, washer, brake, and transmission fluid go. If something goes wrong I take it to a mechanic, point at it, grunt and say “fix it”. I can take apart a computer and put it back together but with cars I am hopeless. Unfortunately with the economy circling the drain I can no longer go to a mechanic and have them fix it. I have to do it myself.
Ok back to that transmission light thingy. The car is driving fine but I panic and take it to a mechanic, point, grunt and say “fix it” I return two days later and the mechanic shrugs his shoulders and states. “I have no idea what is wrong the codes make no sense.” I take the car to another mechanic; point at the Jeep, grunt, and say fix it. Another 48 hours later I get the same response. The second mechanic has no clue what is wrong either. He asks if the car is driving ok. Yes I reply, no problems switching gears, gas mileage is ok, everything seems fine but the light is on. He says it may be a bad sensor but the only way to check is to take the transmission out and take a look, but it will cost 400 dollars. The other solution is a new transmission for 2K. The world goes grey and gets a bit grainy for a moment as I keep from simply passing out onto a table with motoring magazines and tire propaganda. The mechanic continues, or you could just drive it till something obviously goes wrong, like the transmission falls out and turns into a smoking pile of twisted wreckage on I25. I go with option 3.
Fast forward about 3 years and I notice that if I have the turn signals on and I make a sharp turn the headlights turn on. Ok that is just messed up. Transmission light is still on and the tranny has not self-destructed or simply left me for a sunny beach in Hawaii where it can sip on drinks with little umbrellas in them. Later that year I get into the Jeep and it is dead… seriously completely dead. I get a jump from a nice specimen of humanity and think the battery is going bad. The next day the Jeep happily starts right up, no battery drain. Two months later it is dead again, I now take a lot of care to keep jumper cables with me. I have no idea when my Jeep will turn on me and strand my sorry butt someplace nasty like a Taco Bell parking lot.
One morning I park the car at the light rail station, yes even I am doing my part to save the world by taking public transport. Well that and my company pays for a light rail pass. I get out, lock the car and walk away. I turn around and see my headlights come back on and then turn off. Ok now that is just way beyond messed up. I go back to the Jeep and turn the headlights from auto to off. I am already late so I hurry off to work. I get back from work, start the Jeep and leave the lights off. But something is missing; a companion that has cheerily graced my dashboard for years has decided to take that nice trip to a Hawaiian beach. The check transmission light is off. WOOO HOOOO celebration time…. YAY! AWESOME! I MENDED IT!!!! A guy with the same auto mechanic skill as an orangutan has for solving quadratic equations fixed the transmission light. NO BOBO NO! OOO OOO OOO OOO!
My joy was short lived for in a week my poor Jeep was again dead. And it stayed that way. Parking for 4 hours would drain the battery like I had some battery acid vampire hanging out looking for a feast. OK so, go to the auto parts store and get a battery. I put the new battery in and it works for 48 hours before it is dead. By this time I have started to figure out that it is probably the headlight switch but I am afraid to spend money unless I am absolutely sure. A new headlight switch for the Jeep costs 68 dollars from Amazon, this will become important later but I am throwing it out now just for fun. I contact my friend Rick, another fine specimen of humanity and he shows me how to remove the switch. The process takes about 5 minutes. I still want to be absolutely sure that the switch is causing the problem.
I take the Jeep to the local Jeep dealer and I tell them my tale of agony and wonder. I ask them to please check the Jeep for any electrical problems and let me know. 48 hours later I get a call, there is no battery drain but the headlight switch is shot. the dealership asks for 120 dollars for the electrical diagnosis and offer to replace the headlight switch w for 450 bucks. The world starts to go grey and grainy again and then turns bright red, 450 bucks to replace a part that is 120 dollars retail and takes my an orangutan level of mechanical compitence 5 minutes. “Awww Hell NO!” I will take the Jeep back and replace the switch myself. Surprisingly the surgery was a success; I have a new headlight switch.
That was about 3 months ago.
On Thursday of last week, I get into the Jeep. All the lights come on. The bonger sounds good as it sings out its tune “bong! Bong! Bong! Bong!” I put the key in the ignition turn the key and ….. Nothing. No decending wirrrr wirrr wirrrrrr wirrr or tick tick tick tick of a dead battery. Voltage shows 12. Light go on, radio is good I can even open and close the windows. Turn the key again…. Nothing. I jump out of the Jeep, slam the door and start shouting language unbecoming a professional. I call home. Jonette arrives and we hook up her car to give me a jump. Turn the ignition, nothing. Try again, nothing, on the 4th attempt the Jeep just starts, vroom, no rrrr rrrr rrrr vroom. Just vroom. Next morning it is the same
Now it appears that I might have a bad starter motor. I looked up the procedure online and it seems like an easy thing to remove and replace. We shall find out this weekend. Cars can suck.
NO BOBO NO! OOO OOO OOO OOO!
Horses are a renewable resource… had any luck breeding your Buick recently?