Saturday, February 28, 2009

I had a little health scare with the Jeep yesterday. It’s just over 190,000 miles old and my mechanic keeps assuring me it’s in really great shape. And I keep hoping it really is because, of course, it’s irreplaceable.

I have a Jeep Cherokee, which turned out to be the perfect car for someone in my profession. The majority of things I have to haul around are in the form of rectangular solids--furniture or props packed in cartons, lighting control boards, boxes of paint. The Cherokee is a box. It wastes no time or interior space with fancy shapes, like the Taurus with its sides that curve up to the roof, limiting the cargo space and making it impossible to get some things in at all. It’s great for long range driving because it’s comfortable, not too big to park in a city, and has great pick-up even now at it approaches the 200,000 mile mark.

The problem for me began when German auto giant Daimler bought Chrysler and decreed that the Grand Cherokee wasn’t enough, there had to be a second Jeep SUV. After a couple of years in development, the Jeep Liberty (we were still eating Freedom Fries then) was approaching its debut when gas prices started up, severely; SUVs were finally exposed as the gas guzzlers they are and Daimler-Chrysler’s profits began to sink fast. Realizing that they now had too many models on the market, Corporate looked at the situation hard and saw an established, utilitarian, reliable brand versus a newly tooled up factory producing a sexy gas guzzler--they did the logical thing which was to kill the popular, practical Cherokee in favor of yet another SUV.

So that’s my situation as we approach yesterday when I had to go down to Boston with a load of set pieces and props for the production, and see Shostakovich’s brilliant satiric opera The Nose after a short story by Gogol in the evening. Fritz and I had spent the morning doing errands when I stopped the Jeep outside his Center and went to move the control lever from drive to neutral. There was the most awful sound of metal scraping. Moving the lever back didn’t stop the noise, so I shut the car off, waited a couple of minutes and then started it again—no noise and the lever glided through the various options with not so much as grunt.
After checking the transmission fluid, I left for Boston more or less on schedule. The trip down, around and back passed wholly without incident, driving and automatically shifting perfectly.

I’ll have it checked out when the rest of the weekend and Monday are behind me because if I don’t, I’ll have nobody to blame but myself for what might happen.

I occasionally make grinding noises when being shifted into assorted gears as well. I wish you nothing but good luck with that ran fine for you and I!
Good luck with the Jeep. My check engine light came on late this afternoon. Had is done so any time between late yesterday afternoon and early this afternoon, I could have easily dealt with it. Now I'll have to deal with it Monday morning :-(
Maybe it was just some random piece of metal (a penny?) passing through your gears. Will, maybe you should call RAY & TOM next Saturday morning to get their take? They don't often get callers who are so close...

When my trannie elicits the horrible grinding sounds, it's because i forgot to engage the clutch!

And congrats on 190,000 miles. That is a long way for any car to go.
Okay... so check this out:

It's a group that just formed like 2-3 weeks ago. A gay dad in Texas sent me the link last week and I've been on it a couple times. It's a great hub for all dads and wanna be dads (and they have about 8 gay dads that have joined). They're still working out some kinks, but what they have so far is great!

BTW, love your blog.
Paul at
Hi Will - Our home also has an older Jeep (I have so many bodies to transport) with almost 125,000miles on it. I also occasionally get that grinding noise when shifting and I alway engage the clutch. It makes me feel good hearing how many miles you have. I would love to think I have another 65,000 left in her. Good luck on the production.
I hope the troubling sound stays away for another 190,000+ miles. I know how I can get attached to vehicles. Of course, I shouldn't talk, since I recently (2 years ago) started doing the lease thing, but, even with that, I feel a tinge of sadness when the end of my time with a car approaches. So my best wishes to your Jeep!
I hate car trouble! I am at the mercyof the local mechanic.
This past week my 2004 VW Jetta station wagon failed the DEQ test to get new tabs here in Oregon. When I was in line to take the test, not passing was not on my list of possibilities. $300 later...
best wishes!
I've been away from blog-land for a while; it was fun 'catching up' here at DesignerBlog.

Indeed, good luck with the jalopy.
Too bad I don't have an inkling about cars and stuff. When I was with my father when he was going to buy a new car he was somewhat irritated when I kept on telling him to buy a car that has a nice colour and stylish too! Sometimes I do think like a girl!

Anyway, goodluck with the Jeep!
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