love-hate relationship

I drive a 2002 Jeep Liberty Sport.  Its survived 207k+ miles so far and just had its 5th set of tires installed.  Its been paid off for 2 years now, and seems to keep getting me where I need to go.  It has been, however, begging for attention over the past few months.

I’ve got a good support structure in place for this beast though.  I stick to the same Uncle Ed’s Oil Change store where the manager now recognizes me when I come in – I’m probably there twice as often as any other customers because of how quickly I burn through the miles.  I like to call these guys my “triage”.  They change the oil, but also do a great job of finding problems that I can’t hear or see.

Like, in September when they replaced my serpentine belt that was demolished, and found that I had a chunk missing out of one of my engine crank pulleys.  And again in December when they found that my water pump was leaking.

So, I generally go from Uncle Eds to Protech Automotive.  Protech are my all-purpose mechanics who’ve done a great job of keeping me on the road.  This week, they replaced my front and rear pinion seals.  Sooner or later, I’ll let them replace my transfer case.

Protech doesn’t do tires … but, I’ve had a great relationship with Bell Tire and I don’t even bother shopping around for prices anymore – they always seem to be the best deal no matter how much looking I do.

I’d really been pushing the limits on that last set of tires.  I really should have replaced them when I had the shocks & strutts replaced in May, but I’d decided to just have them rotated instead.  I had planned on getting new tires before the winter, but so many other things came up (including Nick needing new tires on his pickup) that I just kept pushing it off.

With the weather being so bad lately, I’d decided that I needed to get new tires soon, but when I had it at Protech the other day, getting the pinion seals replaced and having them look at what I thought was a bad wheel bearing, they sternly recommended new tires.  I took that as my cue.

I knew it was bad, and could feel the sketchiness when driving, but I didn’t realize just how bad it had actually gotten until I drove home from Bell Tire yesterday and I wasn’t scared.  It really felt like I was driving a whole new vehicle.  It was amazing.  At first I thought it was all in my head, but when Nick was driving it later on, he completely agreed.  Its really solid and smooth now.  Heh.

But alas, here I am again, waiting for the Jeep.  I’m still getting some weird dragging noise, and I figured I’d have the alignment checked – but they took it for a drive and don’t hear the dragging noise.  Which means, I’ll probably take it back to Protech again next week to have THEM listen to the dragging noise *sigh* .

Its great to have  a support system, but its tiring to keep having to call on them.

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1 Response to love-hate relationship

  1. j says:

    yaaay new tires! it’s amazing how important they are.

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