$1200 on my Jeep…


I have Jeep 4.0 liter Wrangler model year 2000.  This was my first car, thus, I have abused it, battered it, and generally mistreated the poor bastard.  I try to put oil in it every, oh I don’t know, 12000 miles, changed the tires out when they are past the point at which driving is probably safe, and haven’t taken it in for a factory scheduled maintenance…ever.

Radical Hill (outside of Montezuma, CO near Keystone)
My jeep on Radical Hill outside of Montezuma, Co near Keystone

So last weekend I was in Vail and my buddy Jim and I noticed that the clutch sounded funny, making squeeking sounds and what not.  Which, to be honest, wasn’t surprising, I’ve noticed the clutch being weird since 2006.  Also the gears are really loud when I change them too, which of course is due to the lack of fluid in the transfer case.  So I come down from Vail last Sunday afternoon, which the drive down is not very clutch intensive, and I drive to Boulder to look for houses slash not go home.  After spending the afternoon unfruitfully locating both a house or an iPhone3G, I head back to Denver.

I get three blocks from my house and put the clutch in at a stop light, and it starts wailing, like super loud horrible metal is being destroyed under my feet, wailing, and I try to put it in gear and I stall it, restart it get it in gear and basically roll the thing to a stop in front of my house.  Awesome, now I’m going to have to get it fixed.

My dad reccommended I take it to Todd at Maximum Auto/The Speed Shop in Wheatridge.  Todd’s son and I were in drumline together in high school, and Todd built really freaking amazing props for shows, he’s a talented engineer, and turns out he builds drag racers for a living.  So I’m going to have to get my car towed, so I decide to just purchase the AAA plus package for $117, which gets me 100 miles of towing, in addition to all the other AAA benefits (the tow would have probably would have cost just as much anyway).

Anyway, get the Jeep up there on Monday morning, they call me on Wednesday and tell me a new clutch is going to run around $300.  Sweet, a lot cheaper than I thought.  Thursday morning they call back and say, clutch is done but we notice some other things…of course they did.  Front brakes are cooked, leak in the radiator, alignment needed, and probably new shocks.  I ask how much each of those is, and which one they reccommend doing if I have to pick one.  The said do the brakes, it’ll run $350, sweet, that’s cheap, do it.

Thursday afternoon I get down to the shop to pick up the Jeep and pay for the bill.  Turns out they weren’t quoting me labor!  The clutch was like $300 for part…and $400 for labor! The brakes ended up being like $300, like they said, but only for parts…and another $200 in labor…which adds to $1200 freaking dollars!

But considering that I’ve abused the crap out of that car, its never been in the shop (only twice for accident repairs that weren’t my fault), driven it to California and back, been pretty mean to it off-road (I’ve gotten a foot of air in it…on my high school’s property no less…there are witnesses)…I mean $1200 for almost 9 years of abuse…not to bad I guess.


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