Friday, September 14, 2018

Car Maintenance And Car Browsing

So the car is in the shop again. At 120,000 miles its time for some major maintenance including coolant and brake flush and fill, new spark plugs and wires, and yet another ball joint has decided to become disjointed. Mucho expensivo.

On the upside the car has been reliable and has been paid off for awhile now so this is the price of keeping it in action. It will soon be going to Abby as she will start driving imminently. This will mean a "new" (read used) car for me.

Anyways, due to the expense and time of the repair and ordering parts in, the shop threw in a "free" rental for me today and it was upgraded (as the rental place was out of sedans) to a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

Upside is I really like this beast. It's got ridiculously good visibility and it feels like it has no blind spots at all. Good seating height which is more comfortable than my current car, and surprisingly the suspension is very good and you don't feel the bums bumps in our Michigan roads as much. As an unlimited, it has got 4 doors, plenty of room in back and front, and handles like a dream.

Downside to this one model is it clearly had a repair to the driver's side door and requires extra effort to close and has some weird wind noise/pressure feel while driving as a result. Not a detraction from the model overall though.

As a Jeep itself, it has the weirdest placement for the all the window controls - they're all together in the center of the dashboard, so if a rear-seat passenger wants to open a window, they have to ask the driver to do so. Kinda strange placement. The A/C isn't quite as powerful as it could be but that's about all the negatives I've got so far.

However, both the kids and Tash were unanimous in pronouncing it ugly as sin. Apparently the white body with a rear black cap and overall styling is unappealing to them. Just no appreciation for the functional lines of the original SUV, what can I say?

So yep, kinda tempted to make my next purchase a 4-door Wrangler, but the spousal/child veto will be strong, and checking out the price of 3-year old+ Wrangler Unlimited models they don't seems to depreciate too much. Maybe one of the newer Cherokees will meet with their approval. The next car will need 4 wheel drive to handle the Driveway of Doom™.

Still, there's no immediate rush and plenty of time for contemplation and smart shopping before any choices need to be made.


Jeff B said...

"the suspension is very good and you don't feel the bums in our Michigan roads as much"

Run over a lot of bums in the road, do ya?


Beans said...

For those tossing their votes into the hat over aesthetic reasons, tell them they have a vote once they pony up some money.

Might work on child. Spousal, not so much. But you can try, right?

Give them a choice, 4 door fullsize pickup earth-humper, or 4 door Wrangler. See how that floats.

Aaron said...

Jeff B: You'd be surprised, it was like a hobo colony by my office the other day.... Yes, quite a few Michigan drivers make asses of themselves in the road as well.

Beans: A very good point regarding the kids, but with the spouse, as you say not so much....really not so much. They're thankfully not rasining dumb objecting for environmental reasons but more for appearance.

drjim said...

Just don't get the Rubicon sub-model. Between the truly off-road suspension and the YUUUUGE tires, they bounce you around quite a bit.

I've been driving Grand Cherokees the last 20 years, and only had normal maintenance issues. I'd buy another one, but geeez.....they sure have gotten expensive.

jon spencer said...

My nephew bought a off lease Grand Cherokee and he really likes it.
Whoever was the original leasee wanted every bell and whistle, so it is plenty fancy.
Even with the deprecation and vehicle being a used one, as "drjim" say's they are costly.
But it was still a lot less than new.

Comrade Misfit said...

My recollection from reading various auto issues of Consumer Reports is that Jeeps have about the worst reliability/repair rating of anything on the road, other than Land Rovers.

The only Jeep in my family was a '90s Grand Cherokee that had some sort of repair-shop-homing mode, in that it made frequent trips to the mechanic.

Aaron said...

drjim: Yep a Grand Cherokee is on the potential list for a replacement vehicle. New is spendy but a few years old they depreciate a heckuva lot faster than the Wranglers, and probably more practical for me.

jon spencer: Yep, the JGC is still not a cheap car. I'll likely look for something off lease in a year or so.

Comrade Misfit: Yep, reliability reports have Jeeps as less than stellar. Mind you, my old, bought used, 01 Jeep Cherokee lasted for years and made it to 120,000 miles before being replaced with the only major repair issue being the A/C evaporator failing.