Hello dear reader(s)!
I love my Beastess! If you haven’t read my blog-type-thing before, you may have heard me extolling the virtues of the Beastess in some of my other posts. For those of you who do not know what the Beastess is, the Beastess is my 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. The Beastess was my grandmother’s before her vascular dementia made her unable to drive. So I bought the Beastess from her estate, at slightly over market value, because I didn’t want it to seem like I was stealing her car that she was forbidden from driving.
Because my grandmother owned it, it was in excellent condition. She hardly ever drove it, and for being a 20 year-old vehicle, the mileage was low. In the entire time I’ve owned it, I have only had to replace the water pump, and a half axle. Oh, and tires, I go through tires on that thing like a baby goes through diapers. Or an incontinent adult, take your pick.
My Beastess stayed home when I went to Seattle for my transplant. Since it was our original plan to live in Seattle permanently, the original plan was to originally plan to bring it up when I became okay to drive again and wasn’t in the hospital for the majority of the time. But as with all plans, originally, the origin of the original plan may not have been a good plan, originally. Even after I was okay to drive again, we decided to hold off for a while on bringing the Beastess up for two reasons.
- Parking sucks in Seattle.
- Driving a full-sized vehicle in Seattle is both impractical, and difficult.
But oh, how I missed the Beastess. My mother, who took the bus to her job most of the time, was kind enough to let us drive around in her 2001 Kia Rio (“Paulie”). (Yes, we name our cars, sue us.) In Seattle, Paulie was a pretty good car. Despite being a stick-shift with the weakest clutch ever produced (been replaced like 6 times, and still slips going up hill or after quick gear changes) Paulie’s little engine got good mileage (compared to the Beastess), fit well on the narrow streets of Seattle, and kept chugging along despite being what was commonly referred to as a “throw away car.” My mom loves her car, and always taps the dash and says “Best car EVER!” when she drives it, but I respectfully disagree. Paulie is a good car, but Paulie is no Beastess.
The Beastess is so easy to drive. She responds to the slightest touch on the wheel. She has 4 wheel drive and can get me through the snow, or the sand at the lake, over curbs if necessary (and it has been necessary, long story) and can do pretty much anything I ask of it. She starts with ease, and she has plenty of power.
When I first got back home and began driving the Beastess again, I was regularly shooting past the speed limit after taking off at red lights before I was even through the intersection. I’d look back in my mirror and see the other cars still on the line. I forgot what it was like to have a vehicle that actually responds when you push the accelerator. I was driving my V8 like it was the Kia. Thankfully, before getting any tickets, I have since adjusted accordingly. She is an automatic (which I don’t like) but her transmission is very well-built and has no problems shifting at the right times. The torque on the Beastess is excellent, to the point of being able to bark the tires if I really wanted to. (However, I go through tires fast enough, thank you, so this is not something I do.)
The Beastess has a tow package, which means that from the dealer, (or the factory, not sure who installed what), there is a trailer hitch and an extra cooler by the radiator to handle the increased load. My dad has hooked his trailer up to it and had no problems hauling it around town, full of carpet and junk removed from the house where I currently reside.
And thank goodness for that tow package.
Because there is a recall on the Beastess. Of all the wonderful things about my Beastess, there is one, very, very bad thing.
It seems the Beastess has a shitty gas-tank (or placement, or both), that can leak and explode during even low-speed rear-end collisions. Think Ford Pinto. I’ve been driving around in a potential death-trap.
Only, probably not so much.
You see, the fix for the recall, is not to replace the gas tank with a new one (the positioning itself will always cause it to be an issue), the fix is to install a Chrysler OEM trailer hitch. The very same trailer hitch, I have had from the beginning. The engineers have figured the addition of that trailer hitch will absorb and deflect enough of the energy from a low-speed rear end collision, so as to prevent the gas tank from tearing open and leaking, possibly exploding and killing everyone.
I still have to take the Beastess in for an inspection, to ensure the tow package was properly installed and no damage was done to the tank during said installation, but since it’s been 20 years, I’m pretty confident everything will be fine. So I’m waiting for a call back from the local dealer to schedule my inspection appointment.
Apparently there was a story on the news (according to my mother) that the NTSB is pissed about how long it is taking Jeep to schedule these inspections and repairs, so I may be waiting some time. But hey, it’s already been 20 years, what’s a few more weeks, right? Unless I get rear-ended and there is a problem.
Now, you might be asking, what about high-speed collisions? Well, here is something that is true for pretty much every car made. In a high-speed rear-end collision, your gas tank is probably going to burst open anyway. So the best you can hope for is that someone will pull you out before it goes boom.
The worst part about all of this, to me? I will be without my Beastess for a few hours.