Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's a Jeep thing

We bought a used vehicle the other day.
A 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee with nearly 140,000 hard-earned miles on its odometer.
Despite the high miles, I figured it was a solid vehicle that the kids could use to get to work and school.
Only our daughter, Breanna, has driven it to work the last two days, and has gone 0-for-2.
We bought the Brandon Inge of vehicles.
The Grand Cherokee started both mornings. It started when she headed out to lunch with a co-worker two days ago, but did not start when it was time to leave the parking lot of the Big Boy restaurant.
Breanna turned the key and nothing. It was silent as a librarian’s stare. An hour and a half later, the tow truck driver arrived. He checked the battery’s charge. It was fine. He checked for loose connections. Nothing wrong there, either.
Exasperated, he finally wandered to the passenger’s side door and opened it. He reached across and turned the key and the Grand Cherokee started.
Yesterday, the same thing happened. The Jeep started fine in the morning. It was fine all day long until it was time to leave work. Breanna turned the key. Silent as a cat burglar with narcolepsy. I drove 30 minutes to go pick her up. Before we left, I took the key to the Jeep, put it in the ignition, and it started right up.
Exasperated, I called the used car lot where we bought the Grand Cherokee. The mechanic told me there was a problem with the vehicle’s security system. If it failed to start, I had to lock the driver’s side door and unlock the passenger’s side door.
I followed his Arthur Murray Dance Studio routine of hippity hopping from one side of the vehicle to the other side of the vehicle.
Sorry, it still did not start.
Then the used car lot owner told me to go to the passenger’s side door, turn the key to unlock the door and back again to lock the door, and then go around to the driver’s side door, unlock it, get in and start the car.
I felt like I was playing a solo version of Twister. Is there a chiropractor in the house?
Nope, it still didn’t work.
The Grand Cherokee is going back tomorrow. I am going to swap it for something else. Preferably something you don’t have to do the hand jive to dismantle the security system. Hopefully, something I don’t have to do be double jointed to get the engine to turn over.
We don’t need fancy. We don’t need swank. We just need something that will start.


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