What to do to keep it going a while longer
So I have a 2001 Cherokee Sport 4wd, a little over 115,000 miles (it is raining & I'm too lazy to walk downstairs to check the exact mileage). I bought it from a dealer in 2004 with 45,000 miles, in order to be able to negotiate, among other things, my unpaved half-mile western Mass. driveway before the snowplow came. I never thought it would become part of my identity, but it has, and even though I've no real need for it here in Georgia, I would love to keep it going as long as possible.
It has had no serious problems other than needing every single mechanical part of the AC replaced. It has had regular oil changes & I've taken a responsible approach to other preventive maintenance matters. BAck at 50,500 miles the dealer said they found loose ball joints, but I elected not to fix and no one's mentioned them since. It has a new fuel pump (apparently rodents ate the wiring, no hilbilly jokes please). Of course, the CEL comes on at the drop of a hat. At one point the dealer suspected a blown head gasket, but a tune up & cleaning the throttle body kept it off for 6 months & there were none of the typical symptoms, just misfiring cylinders 2 & 3. The CEL came on again over Thanksgiving after a rough idle at restart in the midst of a long road trip, and after doing some reading, I'm suspecting that this most recent incident could be that "heat soak" problem described in TSB 1803103 (I haven't had the codes read yet, but this is something it has done a time or two before).
But here's my question.
Tomorrow I'm going to the mechanic (I've decided to abandon the dealer, who just keeps trying to interest me in a new car) and assuming that I don't have something hideously wrong, I want to have them look at everything that possibly could be an issue with this particular vehicle. So give me your best advice on how to keep my dear Cherokee on the road and feeling secure a little while longer.