Cheap Jeep and instant karma
A few years ago I had a 97 ZJ with a hole in the radiator. I was living in the city at the time and had no place I could work that was warm and dry. So I called a neighborhood mechanic who had great Yelp reviews and made an appointment to drop it off. When I arrived for my appointment, the shop was dark and no one was there. I called and left a message to please call me when they got in. They never called me back so a few days later I wrote them a bad Yelp review. The manager finally called me back and said he'd like to try to win my business back and would I take my review down. I said the only reason we are even having this conversation is because I wrote the bad review and no, I'm not taking my review down and no I'm certainly not bringing you my car. I found another mechanic who did a great job who I used for a couple other small things over the years. I sold that Jeep and moved out to the 'Burbs.
A couple months ago I went on Yelp and was looking at some of my old reviews. I decided I had punished the garage for long enough and deleted my bad review. I don't know if it helped them or not but I at least decided to let go of that incident. I have now found myself in need of another car. Having owned many many Jeeps over the years I searched Craigslist and found a Cherokee Sport right in my old neighborhood. Over about a week I saw the price go from $1500 to $1100 to $900. I contacted the seller who said the Cherokee was dead. I asked if I could try to start it and she agreed but offered little hope.
I did a bunch of research on here and I figured it was probably the starter, a relay, neutral safety switch or fuse. I brought some electrical stuff and a crappy digital multimeter with me. I put the jumper cables on it and tried the starter. Very slow cranking but cranking none the less. OK so it's probably not a bad starter and definitely not the relays nor the fuses. It's probably the battery. Well, let's let the battery charge on the jumper cables for a couple minutes. With the jumper cables on, I had 13/14 volts on the battery. Should be fine. Keyed it on and it showed 14 volts on the dash. I tried to start it and again had very slow cranking. I asked how old the battery was and she said it was recent and also she had recently had the battery terminal ends replaced (at the same garage I had the bad experience with). I looked more closely at the positive terminal and with two fingers and virtually no effort I pulled the 2 wires out of the terminal end. I borrowed her socket set, shaved the crud off the wires with my pocket knife and put the wires back in the terminal end and clamped them down hard. I let the jumper cables charge it for a couple more minutes, turned the key and it started like I had driven it that morning. I took it out for a short buzz around the neighborhood (no plates) and told her I'd be back to buy it today.
Lesson learned, be nice.
I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?