Tag Archive for 'Vehicle'

New Brakes, Part 2

Man, that was one heck of an ordeal. So we finally got everything back together and fully changed out. We ran into a number of problems today that we were not anticipating that slowed us way down. We had broken bolts that caused us to have to exchange brackets and two defective calipers. The original O’Riely’s store didn’t have the replacement parts for the parts we purchased from them to replace the defective parts we got, so we had to go to another store to get them. It seemed like we ran into issue after issue. Diagnosing the second defective caliper took a lot of time because it wasn’t until we were trying to bleed the brakes that it was discovered. I can’t even explain all the stuff I learned in one way or the other during this entire process. However, the main thing I can say I learned is that changing brakes is nowhere near as difficult as I had thought for so many years. Sure, it’s time-consuming, but basically it’s very easy! While it has been a very long two days that has been both physically and mentally exhausting, I am very happy to have gone through it and learned everything that I have. I am very grateful to have such good friends as Nicole and Alex, who took a lot of time out of their days to help me, and especially Nicole for teaching me everything she did! So, after roughly 118,500 miles and 10 years, the original brakes, rotors, and rear calipers have finally been replaced on the Envoy!

New Brakes, Part 1

I’ve had my truck now for just about 7 years, and in that time I really haven’t had to put too much money into it. There have been some parts replaced here and there, oil changes and new tires and such. I’ve even been really lucky in the sense that a number of these repairs have been performed by friends for the cost of parts, smokes, and food. In addition to that, I am also learning things that I have never had the opportunity to learn before. Today was another of those learning experiences. Last night my brakes started making some really bad grinding noises. I’m not really surprised as I knew they were getting low, particularly since during one of the previous repairs my friend told me that it appeared my rotors were original to the truck. So today my friend Nicole help me and taught me how to change the brakes and rotors on my truck, all of them. I picked up a new jack and some various other tools along with the necessary parts and in about 8 hours we changed all four brakes and rotors. The front ones did not give us any issues but it turns out we are going to have change the calipers on the back as well, which means most likely bleeding the brakes too. Something else to learn! But that’ll have to happen tomorrow.

New Shoes

For the Envoy that is. Today is the first time I have spent some serious cash on the Envoy… I woke this morning and decided today would be a good day to go up to Discount Tire and take advantage of their free tire rotation. I knew the tires were starting to round on the outside and seeing as I had never had them rotated in the almost two years I have had it, thought it was about time. I bought this Envoy used and am pretty sure these are the original tires that came with the truck when it was new, additionally I don’t know anything about the previous owners maintenance, so I have to assume they have never been rotated. After sitting at the store for about 30 minutes while other vehicles were worked on, a technician came out and called for me. As it turns out the tires were more worn than I had realized. All four tires were either down to or below the wear bar for there tread depth. As such I had to make the decision to go ahead and replace all four tires. I went with the General Grabber HTS tire based on some discussion with the technician. With the addition of the warranty package and tire disposal and such, when all was said and done I ended up spending $710. But hey, I got that free tire rotation! 🙂

All Wheels Are A Go

Well that wasn’t too bad, the 4 wheel selector switched has been replaced and they even did it for less than the quote, a dollar less but still less. Surprisingly I was only at the dealership for about 40 minutes, I think I am happier about the speed of getting in and out than I am about the lower cost. Though I looked at the receipt and wish I had the tools, knowledge and ability to perform some of these repairs myself as the part was only $28. That would have saved me some money, but then again maybe not considering I would have had to have the tools and such as well. Oh well, it’s fixed now and functioning properly and that is what is really important.

The Cost of Ownership

Called the dealership today and got a quote to repair the switch for the four wheel drive, as it turns out they can’t replace just the knob but instead need to replace the entire switch. They gave me a quote of $97.40 for parts, labor and tax and they are estimating it will take 30 minutes to an hour to do the repair. The part needs to be ordered because they don’t have it on hand so I made an appointment for next Monday seeing as I don’t have work then. I guess next Monday I will be spending around an hour at the dealership and be $100 poorer when I leave. Such is the cost of owning a vehicle I guess.

There Goes The Four Wheel Drive

It was bound to happen eventually, especially in the winter. The switch that controls the four wheel drive on my truck finally stopped working tonight. When I purchased the truck over a year ago (my how time flies) the knob on the switch was already broke. It could slide out of the console and I could see that the plastic stem that connected to the switch mechanism was broke, but it could still be used to engage the four wheel drive. Tonight it stopped properly activating and deactivating though. I was able to put the truck in four wheel high tonight, which I needed to drive home down 94 (thanks for doing such a fine job of snow removal on the highways MDOT) but when I got back home I could only drop it into Auto-four wheel, not back to two wheel. I guess I will need to call the dealership on Monday and find out how much it will cost to replace it, hopefully we don’t get to much snow before I get it fixed.

Hitch Cover

I like that I am buying this truck because now I feel like I am allowed to do things to personalize it without feeling like it’s pointless. Case in point, today I bought a cover for my trailer hitch that also acts as an additional brake light. The best part about it is that it is a Skull! Here are a couple of pictures of it, the dark one was taken with my cell phone so the quality is low, but you get the idea of what it looks like when it is lit up. You can also see the locking hitch pin I bought to ensure someone can’t simply walk off with whatever I have attached to the hitch.

One Down, One To Go

Today, while I was at work, Joe Richmond from Auto Electronics & Accessories came by and installed my remote starter. I was really satisfied with the work that Joe performed and I loved the fact that he came to me to perform the work. I was able to go out and show him where the truck was parked and hand him the keys and go back in to work while he installed it. When he was done he called me and I went back out and got my new key fob (that controls my locks and the remote starter and replaces the factory key fob, plus the new fob is smaller than the factory one) and he showed me how it works. The distance seems to be pretty good too, so I shouldn’t have any issue starting the truck in the morning at my apartment. I would recommend Joe to anyone looking to have a remote starter installed in their vehicle. Now all I have to do is save up some money and pick out the iPod dock I want to get.

The Envoy Has Arrived

I turned in my 2006 Dodge Dakota today. The lease is up the first of December, but I have already made my last payment and have already found the new used vehicle I am going to purchase so  rather than missing the opportunity to purchase the vehicle I want I decided to turn the Dakota in early. In order to make sure the turn it went well I had the dealer (Cueter Chrysler Jeep) look at it the other day. They found some scrapes and scratches on the front bumper (looks like someone scrapped up against my bumper at one point in time) that could have cost me a penalty to turn it in. So I decided to have my insurance company look at it today and they found me not to be at fault for the damage, and seeing as I have broad form collision coverage on the vehicle, I do not have to pay my deductible to have it fixed. Turns out that there was about $300 worth of damage to the bumper, I am just happy that I do not have to pay anything for it. I do, however, need to make one final payment of $450.50 to Chrysler just to turn the Dakota back in to them, which is more than my truck payment was ($330.00) for the lease.

After spending the afternoon at the insurance companies adjustment office to get the quote and check for the damage to the bumper I went to Cueter to turn in the Dakota, sign off on the ending mileage (27, 622) and present the repair quote and check to their body shop. While this was going on Melissa was nice enough to remove my plate from the truck and then we were able to go get my new truck.

I now own (am buying) a Silver 2006 GMC Envoy 4×4 from Jim Bradley in Ann Arbor. This vehicle has everything I was looking for in an SUV:

  • 4 wheel drive
  • step ups for Kylie
  • tow package with trailer wiring
  • remote key-less entry

In addition I still have everything the Dakota had (including adjustable lumbar support, and fog lights), plus I got a few additional features that are just an added bonus:

  • Moon roof
  • Roof rack
  • Auto rearview mirror dimming
  • Heated sideview mirrors

I am also having them install one of the other two things I was really looking for; a remote starter. The only other thing I want to eventually add is an iPod dock so I can directly attach my iPod to the stereo. The starting mileage (24,204) is even lower than what I had on the Dakota.

All in all I am really happy with my decision to purchase this vehicle. Even with the added things that I got with it, my monthly payment only went up by $6.88 a month (total purchase price of $19,300), not to bad I think. I am hoping to be able to pay it off sooner than the 6 years I have financed it for as well.  The one down side is that I couldn’t get the extended warranty, hopefully nothing goes terribly wrong with it. 🙂

Riding Season Ends

That was one of the coldest motorcycle rides I have ever taken! It’s 40 degrees out and raining, so it must have been a good time to bring the motorcycle over to Chuck’s house for the winter, as he is being so kind to let me keep it in his pole barn again this year. I think last year when I brought it to Chuck’s it was cold then too, I remember it was definitely raining harder, though it might have been a little warmer. It’s kind of sad though, because I hardly got to ride at all this season due to the weather and other things not allowing for the time. Even though it was a very cold ride, it was still nice to be back on the road. However, it had been so long since I last rode that I had to jump start it three times before it would stay running, that is the most I have ever had to jump it. Hopefully next season I will get to ride more than this season, but in reality any ride time is better than none.