Thursday, January 10, 2008

False Alarm

Or Jeep Masters, Part II.

As per my previous post, I took my Jeep in to Jeep Masters of Austin last week for a new starter. Like I said earlier they gave my Jeep a now-complementary once over of all the things it needed. Like any car with 73k miles on it, there are things that need attention. I did receive a dire warning from the shop that my lower radiator hose was going to go at any moment and for $108.00 they would replace the upper and lower. The price was very fair, but having given the Jeep a once over recently I was suspect. I declined.

But they are professionals, so I headed over to AutoZone for new hoses. Boo Hiss to AutoZone for not carrying these common wear and tear parts. I had to wait for three days for hoses to arrive. (How many Grand Cherokees do you see in one day?) So today I ripped up my knuckles and pulled the hoses out, put new one's in, and flushed the cooling system. The last part was not required until 100k, but when does it hurt to do this early?

Getting the easiest thing done first, I replaced the upper hose, no problem. The lower hose, is not fun, but not impossible either. Much to my disappointment, my lower hose was fine. No dry cracks or striations from bulging. Once cleaned up it was hard to tell from new. While no hose lasts forever, this one was not going to blow. I would have driven to El Paso with a hose in this condition and not thought about it twice. I'm really not upset at doing the job, you do need to replace the hoses and belts on your car. I just won't be doing it later.

I love small independent shops. There were two that I used in Los Angeles that I swore by. Once was in Hawthorne the other in Hollywood. I send people there all the time when asked and I still have their numbers. I'm disappointed because I wanted this to be my Jeep shop. I understand every shop has to make it's money, but unwarranted scare tactics are no way to keep my business or earn my sought-after recommendation.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Catch-Up and Tune-Up

Happy New Year to everyone, I've been preoccupied a bit lately. My Mom came in from Christmas and we did a bunch of home improvement projects. I was stuck on colors for my laundry room and guest bathroom and she came through with some great choices. And she also painted the rooms for me! Go Mom! New Years was lame as I've been sick with the stomach flu for the past week.

Here a few Christmas shots of the kids (dogs) as it's all about them. They truly enjoy getting packages and playing with the boxes. I kid you not, Baxter and Logan took a box from the garbage in the backyard and tore it to shreds while having the time of their lives. Oh what a mess. Mike's dog Ripley stayed with me while he went home to his family and she was an absolute riot playing with this plastic bag of Milk Bone snacks. She dragged it around the living room until the contents spilled out. How resourceful. Of course Baxter being 90 lbs of pure energy he was yelled at a few times and took refuge behind the couch.

Austin today is incredibly nice for those of you freezing or my friends in California who are soaking. The forecast today was 75 and sunny. Perfect day to get outside and give the Jeep a tune-up. Earlier in the week I had taken the Jeep to Jeep Masters here in Austin to have a starter put in. No foul, they wear out over time and need to be replaced. I give mixed reviews to Jeep Masters, while they did a through review of my Jeep for problems they could fix, they attempted to charge me for the review itself. They were kind and took it off the bill as I had just asked for a new starter, however I opened the hood today and found they had not re-secured the air filter box when they opened it. Kinda sloppy, so the jury is out on them.

Best wishes to everyone for a happy and healthy 2008!