Wilmington, NC: Need help.
I was directed here at the suggestion of /r/Jeeps and I have a bit of an issue. If someone could offer guidance or recommendations on mechanics or would like to teach me *anything* at all about my Jeep, I'd be most appreciative.
I bought my first Jeep ('94 XJ - no modifications) in October 2012 and I've had nothing but issues since. I initially took it to Midas for an inspection when I purchased it. $1100 later, the car failed the inspection, but it did have new brakes, new tires, and a new serpentine belt. About a month later, I had to have the steering box and power steering pump replaced (both still leak). Shortly after that, I had to replace the front tie rod, the heater core, the radiator, vacuum hoses (Midas failed to tell me that I had 2 of 6? vacuum hoses, and the two I had were taped in and the wrong size), computer, spark plugs, and various other things.
Recently, I had a shop replace a cracked head and the head gaskets. The issue is... the Jeep makes a popping sound when it's accelerating, shakes when accelerating, and the gas mileage has decreased dramatically. It also smells like it's burning oil. I have no idea what to do at this point.
If someone could offer any suggestions, I'd be so appreciative. I really need the vehicle to work. And aside from that, all I've ever wanted to drive is a Jeep.