Thursday, July 30, 2015

Post Off-Road Check List

Yesterday, when I was hanging out with my BFF's having a glass of wine at a local wine shop, I noticed a Jeep Cherokee drive by the window with branches dragging along the undercarriage of the Jeep. My guess was this Jeep just finished up some wheelin' on the off-road trails.  Well, a smart thing to do, when you are done driving off road, is inspect your Jeep.

As you know I am still reading my Jeep manual, and here is the suggested check list for checking over your Jeep after you've been on the trails.  

  • Completely inspect the under body of your Jeep. 
  • Check the tires, body structure, steering, suspension, and exhaust system for damage. 
  • Inspect the radiator for mud and debris and clean as required.
  • Check threaded fasteners for looseness, particularly on the chassis, drive-train components, steering, and suspension. Re-tighten them if required. 
  • Check for accumulations of plants or brush. These things could be a fire hazard. They might hide damage to fuel lines, brake hoses, axle pinion seals, and propeller shafts. 
  • After extended operation in mud, sad water or similar dirty conditions have the radiator, fan, brake rotors, wheels, brake linings, and axle yokes inspected and cleaned as soon as possible. 
  • If you experience unusual vibration after driving in the mud, slush, or similar conditions, check the wheels for impacted material. Impacted material can cause a wheel imbalance.
      - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - The Jeep Life! -

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Water Obstacle Tips

In my Jeep manual reading I have reached the Off-Roading section which I have been looking forward to. In the water crossing section there are a lot of warnings. Water seems to be one of the biggest factors that could cause some serious damage to your Jeep Wrangler. 

I personally don't like water crossings because of the main reason for the warnings. You don't know what you are going to find below the surface. The unknown factor -- and when I'm in my $40K + vehicle I don't feel comfortable with the unknown.

The manual states when in 4L proceed very slowly with a constant slow speed -- 3 to 5 m.p.h. and light throttle. Keep moving and don't try to accelerate. If you cross water higher than the bottom of the axle differentials you should inspect all of the vehicles fluids for signs of water. 

Now my question is -- where do I find a list of all the vehicles
fluids that I need to check for signs of water and how do I do that? It looks like I need to take a pause from my manual reading and go in search of my answer. 


     - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - The Jeep Life! -

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

More Jeep Wrangler ABC's

A mom's life can be a really busy one. Even though I don't have a job my day gets filled up pretty quickly. But today I have a little down time to continue to read through my Jeep Wrangler manual. My goal is to figure out all the systems my Jeep Wrangler has, there purpose, and how they work. 

I am at page 436 -- the starting and operating part. I did not realize how smart my Jeep Wrangler is. There are all sorts of systems and modes. My Jeep has the Transmission Limp Home Mode. Who knew? The transmission function in my Jeep is monitored electronically for abnormal conditions. If a condition is detected that could damage my transmission this mode -- Transmission Limp Home Mode is activated. That allows me to get to the nearest dealer for service without damaging the transmission.

Well... back to reading the manual...

       - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - The Jeep Life! -

Monday, July 27, 2015

Jeep Problem Solved!

It looks like I still have a lot to learn about the electrical wiring of the aftermarket lights on my Jeep. 

Last week my Jeep Wrangler's dash was lighting up and dinging. This happened several times followed by the ESC malfunction indicator light illuminating.

Checking out my newly acquired manual, it stated a malfunction in my ESC system had been detected. The ESC is the Electronic Stability Control - which senses when you begin to over- or under-steer and applies individual brakes and controls your throttle as needed to help put you back on track. 

I began calling Jeep dealers in my area, but the soonest any of them could see me was August 6. This was simply unacceptable, so I called up to my friends at Adams Jeep of Maryland in Aberdeen. 

Those folks sure know how to treat their customers!  They fit me right in, and I headed up there this morning. 

Well --- the problem turns out to be my fault. I attached my LED light wires to the wrong spot on the battery when I hooked up my lights back in March. 

The location where I attached the wires to eventually loosened the battery cables. As well as the hexed nut coned washer was not meant for this extra wiring. Thus creating high voltage which affected the ABS system thus the malfunction. 

The folks at Adams Jeep have seen this before, and know where to put the wires so they will not come loose.  
They re-attached my wires to the proper location on the battery. My LED lights are good to go, and the Rubicon is happy once again.

       - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - The Jeep Life! -

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Jeep Parts Revealed

Not just one big brown box of Jeep Parts, I received two boxes from the Big Brown Truck. It has been a long wait. The part I wanted was out of stock. Now Extreme finally has one in stock and they shipped it out to me. 

What is in the box you ask... well it matches my 

Barricade Trailforce HD front bumper.

 You guessed it - the Barricade Trail Force HD Rear Bumper w/ Tire Carrier 

Rock Crawler rear bumper (110 lbs) with tire carrier (48 lbs) 
Heavy duty 3/16" steel and 2" x 0.120" tubing
2" standard hitch receiver
Can accommodate up to a 37" tire
High strength D-Ring mounts w/ D-Rings included
Two stage textured black powder coat finish
Fits 2007-2015 Jeep Wrangler JK
3 Year Limited Warranty

My hopes are to get it installed next weekend because on Saturday I will be running in a 5 to 7 mile muddy, obstacle course, run - Mudderella. Then my plans were to head up to Rausch Creek on Sunday for a little time on the trails. Unfortunately my plans for Sunday are shot because of a little light on my dashboard. 

Coming home from running some errands yesterday, my Jeep was dinging and dinging, and the lights on the dash board where flashing. Then my speedometer needle quickly dropped from 50 mph to 20 mph then back up. Then my ESC indicator light stayed on. 

Checking out my newly acquired manual, it states a malfunction in my ESC system has been detected. The ESC is the Electronic Stabiity Control - senses when you begin to over- or under-steer and applies individual brakes and controls your throttle as needed to help put you back on track. 

Well after much research, this illuminated light could be many things -- the steering wheel isn't perfectly centered, a wheel sensor could be dirty or damaged, wires could be damaged, or a bad unit bearing. 

So Monday morning I will be heading up to the Jeep service Center to get it checked out. Even though the light NOW is NOT illuminated. I will still get it looked at. Then hopefully it will be an easy fix so I can get to installing my new Jeep Parts. Then it is off to planning my next Jeep Part selection. Hmmmm... Wonder what will be in store... more lights? bigger tires? a lift? more purple accents?

          - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - The Jeep Life! -

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Big Brown Box

I spent the weekend waiting by my mailbox for a new Jeep part to arrive. Well, the first box arrived yesterday, and the second box came today. It will be a while before I will be able to get the parts onto my Jeep. At least not until next weekend. 

On Saturday I will be running in the Mudderella race -- a 5 to 7 mile obstacle course mud run. Then my goal was to head up to Rausch Creek Sunday morning. But it looks like that is a no go. Instead on Monday morning I have to hit the Jeep service center. Darn... I was looking to hit those Rausch Creek rocky trails. 

Today while out running errands my ESC (Electronic Stability Control) Indicator light lit up and has remained on. UGH! But wait... I just went out into my Jeep again and now it's off. What's a girl to do? I'm not sure I like this fancy computer sysptem .

So in the meantime here are some clues to what was in the Big Brown Box. Can you guess what it is?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

ABC's of my Jeep

Last week I realized pumping my brakes is not a good thing considering my Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is equipped with ABS. ABS is anti-lock brake system. Pumping my brakes when I lose traction on the ice is ingrained in my driving methods, as I grew up in Minnesota and North Dakota. Now, I will have to reprogram my driving instincts on the ice and snow. 

Since this realization came to life, I began to wonder if this ABS will affect my off-roading. After a little research, I uncovered a few more ABC's dealing with my Jeep Wrangler. Now I am trying to sort out this alphabet soup. 

With my past vehicles all these ABC's never really mattered to me as my vehicle was just a means to transport me from point A to point B. Plus my vehicles didn't even have any of these fancy computer systems. But with my Jeep Wrangler, it is all about -- everything Jeep. So I am learning my Jeep ABC's and the in's and out's of these ABC's.

I chatted online with a Jeep representative about some of my questions. ABS is a safety feature and cannot be turned off nor does it turn off while in 4WD.  -- 4WD = 4 wheel drive  --
However, from my understanding while in 4lo this feature most likely would not engage because the Jeep is traveling less than 12 mph. The ABS will conduct a low speed test at this speed. 

Now here are a few other Jeep ABS's... ESC, ERM, TCS, BAS & BLD. It is a good thing the Jeep Representative mailed out the 700 page Jeep manual. My user's guide is only about 10% of that. I am excited to read more about my Jeep to get a better understanding how all these systems work and work together.

What I do know is the ESC & ERM  are safety and security features in my Jeep. The others I will have to read up a little bit more. 

ESC = Electronic Stability Control

senses when you begin to over- or under-steer and applies individual brakes and controls your throttle as needed to help put you back on track.

ERM = Electronic Roll Mitigation
Determines when a rollover may occur and applies braking force to hlep reduce the likelihood of such an accident. 

TCS= Traction Control System

BLD= Brake Limited Differential

BAS=Brake Assist System 

It is a good thing those Jeep manuals arrived today because I still need to understand all these fancy computer systems. Well, I have got some reading to do. I will let you know what I find out. 

    - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - The Jeep Life! -

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Defending The Wrangler

My beloved Jeep Wrangler is in the news again, and guess what? Some not so good comments. reports the 2015 Jeep Wrangler could have been better.
The article states this Wrangler is far from perfect, but has a ton of new and improved features. Then it goes on to state the flaws, and lists the flaws, but NOT the improved features. 

Now... I was in television news for 13 years, and I was always taught to present both sides of the story fairly. I do not see both sides to the story in this article. 
The author of the article lists the flaws, but does not list the ton of new and improved features. Where is the fair and impartial reporting?
The article goes on to state... 
... Jeep really needs to do something about the Wrangler’s braking feature. Off the road, the Wrangler brakes like a world class car but on the tarmacs, the SUV has trouble with its high inertia.
Who in the world needs to drive on the tarmac? I don't see the Presidential vehicle becoming a Jeep anytime soon.
"Jeep needs to come up with an alternative driving platform so that whenever the Wrangler is not engaged in 4WD mode, it can handle the bends with ease."
It is my understanding this is what the safety features ERM (Electronic Roll Mitigation) and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) are for. 
"Comfort too could have been better....Perhaps, Jeep should learn from the latest Ford Edge..."
I wanted a Jeep NOT a Ford... Jeep is the World Class Off Road Vehicle. I do not expect comfort while I am bouncing around the rocks on the Rubicon Trail or even at Rausch Creek Off-Road Park .
It is my belief that a reporter's job is to present the facts -- all the facts, fairly -- and the facts should be presented in context. 
I would not report that the apple leaves much to be desired as a fruit, complaining about the lack of that citrusy orange taste, or the fact the peel is not thick enough.
The Jeep may not be perfect, but what vehicle is? The least this author could do is present a fair and just list of all the pros and cons, and in the proper context. 
This article is a little more fair and impartial!
Check out my Blog Post from earlier in June -- 

    - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - The Jeep Life! -

a final note, the Wrangler scored good in various crash test. This needs to be upgraded as good is no longer enough in today’s automotive requirement.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Life Changing

The other day I remembered one of my blog posts from November of 2013 -- Click here.

I was sent a copy of a Craigslist ad for a -- "Manly-Man's Jeep". I thought -- I should check it out to see what it takes to have a Manly Man's Jeep. None of this prissy-girlie type Jeep nor the cookie cutter Jeep for me.

When I bought my Jeep Wrangler Sahara I was looking for something different, something more rugged and outdoorsy, something simple, but not girlie-girl. I love the outdoors. I like to be different and I like simple. I wanted to modify my Jeep to be different, more manly than the Barbie-type Jeeps. 

I started to make some changes to my Sahara -- to beef it up a bit. I changed out some of those plastic stock parts with a tougher, more rugged steel front bumper, and more sturdy, protective rock sliders. 

But that just didn't seem to be enough, so I traded the Sahara for the more rugged Rubicon, which included those beefier tires. I also did away with those Jeep thing stickers. But I do sport some purple decals.  

Now  -- I'm happy to say just because you make some of these changes to your Jeep Wrangler --  it is not necessarily going to make the changes the author of this ad states. 

I have not started to grow a beard or chest hair, thank goodness. Nor am I catching more fish or having dead animals stocked in my freezer. However, my husband has been stocking the fridge with wine, and he takes out the trash. There are bonfires in the driveway, and craftsman tools in my toolbox. Yes, I now have my own toolbox.  

Getting a Jeep Wrangler will make many changes to your life, and has brought many changes to my life. I have discovered many new joys that come with being Jeep Wrangler owner such as off-roading, new friendships and whole new meaning to stress relief. 

I discovered the fun new hobby of off-roading. I love to be out on those rocky trails testing out the capabilities of my Jeep Wrangler. My Jeep has also opened up a whole new group of friends with the same obsession and understanding of the Jeep World that I have. 

Stress relief... nothing is better than to hop in your Jeep with the top down and hitting the open roads to take away all those things that bring you down. The wind in your hair and sun on your face gives you a whole new perspective and puts a smile on your face. Then add in a Jeep wave or two and your mood is instantly changed! 

So let's just say if you become a Jeep Wrangler owner you will definately see some changes to your life, but they may not always be the same for everyone. 

Here's the add for you read it for yourself:

"I should start by saying that if you are looking for a “Pajama party Barbie Jeep” you my friend, should keep looking. If you are looking for a short description of to the beast before you, I can offer you two words “MEAT & POTATOES”. This is the All American chariot of the free world.

You are not dealing with any ordinary, cookie cutter Jeep son. This thing was forged from a single block of all American Tungsten Steel. Real sturdy! From that day forward my life has never been the same. Winch yourself off that couch and see if you can handle this Jeep Wrangler Sahara.

So if you are looking for a rice burning hatch back, a solar powered liberal mobile, or even a Hyundai crossover keep on looking my friend this thing is a piece of red white and blue Americana Machinery.

This baby’s pulse is pumping 4.0 liters of uncensored raw fuel through her straight six nuclear power plant. And rest assured this is no metro feminine automatic. . .you command her to obey, with your calloused hand planted firmly on the shifter. And she will obey, the first time, every time. If you can’t handle your stick shifter, or reach the clutch pedal, you better not ferry skip over here wanting to test drive her. If you stall her out, you can count on getting hit in the face with a piece of re-bar and sent back where you came from.
It has A/C but are you kidding me….Really! If you want to blow the sweat off your brow, you do it the old fashioned way: doors off, top down. “What if it rains?”. . .You whiney bitch! I told you to stop reading. . . Any man who drives this beast doesn’t give a damn about rain. Not even skin melting acid rain, Cause he’s already dripping wet in blood, sweat, dip spit, and fish guts.

If you are looking for the kind of jeep that has to be pansy parked in the garage, so the “carpet doesn’t get wet and soggy” Then you should plant your Obama sticker on some Japanese piece of shit. Cause this thing has drain holes in the floor and rhino lined to let the blood drain out from the buffalo you just killed, with your bare hands. Because you are William Wallace from Braveheart and when you get home you can leave your “sissy sponge glove car wash kit” in the pink bucket it came in. Go ahead and spark up your 6000 psi heated pressure washer on the dually trailer in your man cave, cause you are Tim Gillespie and you can pressure wash your truck on the inside. She’s got rhino lined floors with a full roll cage in case that buffalo comes back to life while you’re doing 80 over some mountain pass or flooded river.

If you’re thinking about Mexican chrome bumpers for her, think again. The bumper bashers come hand forged in a blacksmith shop in Franklin County over a wood burnin fire, out of 4 inch well casing, and railroad tracks and then I welded em to the damn chassis. That way if you get deployed you can piggy back this war wagon on a deuce and a half and chain her down tight from the four corners, so you don’t lose her when your convoy gets hit by a taliband roadside suicide bomber.

And forget about putting one of those “It’s a Jeep Thing. . .You wouldn’t understand” stickers on this machine cause when you’re spotted in this American Classic there will be no questions, no further explanation required, people will understand and get out of your way. . …real quick.

If you think you’re ready to park this panty hauler on your tract of land. If you buy this jeep you better go get your old lady ready for some damn changes around your lair, cause this shit will be happening. What will be Happening? Glad you asked….

1. More chest hair.
2. You’re growing a beard.
3. Meat Only Diet.
4. T-Rex for a pet.
5. You’re taking a job at the lumber mill.
6. Your car carries five kegs.
7. Penis enlargement.
8. Catch more fish.
9. Wire bristled toothbrush.
10. Sex in the yard.
11. Sex in the garage.
12. All male offspring.
13. Chiseled jaw line.
14. Not giving a damn.
15. Flesh turning to steel.
16. Higher salary
17. Promotions.
18. Better looking wives.
19. Better looking mistresses.
20. More golfing
21. More killing stuff.
22. More dead animals in the KITCHEN freezer.
23. More tools in your garage.
24. Bigger TV
25. Wife takes out the trash
26. Four Wheel Drive
27. Wife brings trash can in from road.
28. Wife stops bitching about clothes on floor.
29. Wife stocks fridge with beer.
30. Chuck Norris.
31. John McCain
32. Steaks for dinner.
33. Winning the Lottery.
34. Women on the side.
35. Wrestling with bea
36. Building shit out of stone.
37. Riding Lawn Mower.
38. Bon Fires in cul-de-sac.
39. Bar Fights.
40. Wife picks you up from Thee Gentlemen’s Club.
41. Craftsman Tools.
42. Jay Bisset.
43. Welding stuff.
44. Digging holes.
45. Huge Piece of meat.

Put your GPS back in your purse.
Sounds good doesn’t it?

This jeep has carried me through 155,000 miles of battlefield twice as gruesome as the second half of the movie “300″. . ..And just like a trusty steed this juggernaut has never left me stranded. If you think you’ve worn her out you drag this beast back to me in any condition. And Ill handle the rest.
But if you think you’re going to get to whip this mule you better pony up Sixty Five Hundred Dollars. . .American Cash. I’m not selling you this car unless you are clearly a pure blooded American Species, so don’t even think about it."

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Snow Driving Jeep Tips

I grew up in the Midwest where winters are harsh and
long. I spent many of those winters driving in the snow, and it became second nature to maneuver those snowy streets. I am not entirely sure I can spell out tips for driving in the snow because for me it's an instinct learned from so many years driving in it. I will do my best to list my "Jeep Wrangler Driving in the Snow" tips as best I can. However, I may need your help to add to these. 

Top Tips for Jeep Driving in the Snow 

Always carry a shovel. The shovel can dig out your tires, axles and frame when the snow gets compacted and prevents your Jeep from moving. 

Know the Snow. Knowing how to read the different types of snow when you are out wheeling is an important technique. Soft, wet snow in the sun is different than cold, wet snow in the shadows. Dry snow is another entirely different beast.

Don't Spin. Spinning your wheels just digs a hole in the snow making your Jeep sink deeper. The spinning also melts the top layer of snow, then the water re-freezes and turns to ice. You may need to back up and try different lines. 

Be Prepared.  Make sure you dress for the weather and bring along your recovery gear. 

Icy Roads. Don't slam on your brake, you need to pump your brakes. Unless you have ABS. If you start to slide turn into the slide. 

Do you have tips for off-roading in the snow? Please share them! 

Tips from fellow Jeepers

--Get the right tyres, mud are not winter. Be extra careful with the brake pedal. In very deep snow is progression is stopped due to snow being accumulated in the front you must go backwards for a short distance and then going again forward with some speed to push the snow with your jeep like a plow.
If snowing very hard.....stay at home.

-- if you have ABS, stick with the pedal don't pump your brakes. Let the computer do the work for you. 

   - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - The Jeep Life! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Finding Balance

Sixteen years ago I left my career in television news to be a stay at home mom. My husband and I decided that would be the best decision for our family. I am so glad we were able to make that family commitment. 

But now my children are older, and my mom role is changing. One thing I have come to realize -- during this time I had put myself on the back burner. I neglected myself and my needs. It wasn't until a couple of years ago, as I got older and my ever changing hormones started messing with my head, I began to reflect on my life to figure out what was next, what did I enjoy, what were my passions and what would be my next career path.  

My children were my passion, but now as they are growing up and becoming their own persons. I need to let go, and find my own life. I will always be their mom, and they will always need me, but now those needs are different and not so demanding of my time. 

When I bought my first Jeep, I had found something just for me. I loved my Jeep and still do. Owning my first Jeep opened up many exciting new doors. And so I started my journey to balance out my life. I began to search for my new passion. I created a bucket list and I started to find things I enjoyed.

My Jeep journey has been amazing. It is a continual balancing act, but so worth the outcome of making the most of life, finding passions, and working on the bucket list. Here are some great tips I used to get started -- Click here.

Along my journey I have come to recognize what it means to live life to the fullest. I try every day to do just that, to savor every moment, and to have fun. We have this poster hanging in our house and I try to do this every moment of my life. It is called the "Holstee Manifesto".

Recently, I saw the quote "Buying Experiences, not stuff, makes you happier". Thinking back on my life journey's this is very true for me. Now my goal is to work on more experiences in my life.  By the way, My Jeep is not a thing, but definitely an experience.  

There's a very logical assumption that most people make when spending their money: that because a physical object will last longer, it will make us happier for a longer time than a one-off experience like a concert or vacation. According to recent research, it turns out that assumption is completely wrong.

It's time to start squeezing in all the experiences I can get, like the Def Leppard Concert I went to last week. In two weeks I will be running in the Mudderella with my mom friends! I look forward to coming up with more experiences to experience!
And to finding that new career path I will start to march down. 

              - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - The Jeep Life! - 

60 Before 60

I recently shared about revisiting my bucket list on this new season of my life.  Bucket List Revised - 2023 As I approach another milestone...