Tuesday, May 5, 2020

ARRRGH......PC Isuues of My Own Making....Jeep Repair, etc, etc, etc

Some time ago I was having a great deal of trouble getting a version of OpenSUSE installed on a few machines, and threw in the towel. I decided on Kubuntu 19.04.

WELL......I screwed the pooch by NOT getting one of the "Long Term Support" releases. And now this version is unsupported, and since I also missed upgrading it to version 19.10, I'm stuck with it, and no longer get any updates, and don't have an easy path to upgrading it to a newer one.

Yes, I suppose it could be done by somebody with more linux-foo than I currently have, but after spending two days trying dozens of "Recommended Solutions" with ZERO positive results, I'm tossing the towel in again, and going to do a clean install of 20.04_LTS, which is supported until April 2023.

I'm grabbing my passwords, bookmarks, and some other files off this disc, then I'll install another hard drive, and put 20.04_LTS on it.

I'm glad I have several 4TB disks sitting around, and I'll make sure not to miss the next "End Of Life" notice for 20.04_LTS.

I had to take my Jeep into the dealership yesterday for some work. My Check Engine Light has been on for about 6 months, and my code reader told me the code was for the Oil Pressure Sending Unit. Looking it up online reveals that code means it failed "Off Scale High", and although I can clear it, it throws it again about 10 seconds after the engine is up and running. I bought a new sender at O'Reilly's, but I can't get a wrench or socket on it without having the Jeep several feet in the air (No Thanks!), or getting it on a lift. I would have taken it to a local garage like "Grease Monkey", but I also had four recall notices on it for various things, so I bit the bullet and took it to Fort Collins Jeep.

I dropped it off at 1000, and they called at 1245 to come and get it. The sensor (Genuine MOPAR!) was $60, and the labor charge was $108.75, for a total bill of $191. Looking at the receipt I see they charged me $16.31 for "Customer Pay Shop Charge For Repair Order", which is a bit cryptic, but most likely means I paid that amount to just issue and process the work order. Back In The Day when I was running a shop we never would have charged for something that. It was just considered part of the overhead in running the place, like the lights, heat, telephone bill, parts washer and shop towel service, and was included in our hourly labor rate.

Kinda reminds me of McNamara and his "Whizz Kids"  squeezing every penny they could out of things like the M16.

"Well, if we delete the chrome plating and change the powder type in the ammo we can save $3 a rifle!", or whatever the cost was.

To take a little sting out of handing over $200, I'm going to write it off that I paid about $75 to get the sensor swapped, and the other charges were for the recall notices.

The $40 I spent on the sending unit from O'Reilly will get stuffed into the "Bad/Uncollectable Debts" column.....

I certainly can't complain about the service. It's a brand-new building, the service bays are immaculate and have all the latest diagnostic equipment, and the free ( ? ) coffee was very good. The staff was very efficient at getting me checked in, and equally efficient at taking my payment and getting me back on the road.

Two of the recalls were for reprogramming the "Final Drive Controller Module" and one for the "EBC Controller Module", and the Jeep appears to start and run smoother, so I can't complain there, either.

I talked with the Service Manager, who was out writing tickets, and he said their business is down about 70% compared to what it was before The Virus. Cars are selling OK, but he didn't know how much the volume was down. He winked and said you could get some really good deals on certain cars in stock, and they'd make me an exceptionally good offer on my existing Jeep. I'd imagine they're getting eaten alive by their "Floor Plan" with Jeep/Chrysler, as they're a fairly high-volume dealer.

The next things I have to do on the Jeep are to get the oil changed, get it smog tested, and then renew the plates. And I still need to get the windshield replaced, and it needs new front struts and rear shocks. I'd ordinarily get new inserts for the front struts, but that means tearing them apart to replace the cartridge, and as long as they're apart I should replace the top strut bearing and the rubber-bumper/strut-rod protective boot parts. If I just buy complete replacement units I get all that, plus new springs. It also cuts the repair time significantly, because as soon as the old one comes off, the new one goes on, saving me a couple of days of tearing things apart, cleaning and replacing parts, and then putting it back in.

The rear shocks are easy-peasy, just regular "Tube Shocks", and I'm kicking myself for not doing it when I did the rear brakes. Once you take the rear wheel and tire off, the shock and all the mounting bolts are right there in front of you. The hardest part is getting it in the air and pulling the wheel/tire off.

So, Life Under Quarantine continues, and projects are being worked on.

And I just about have my Lightning Detector Project from last summer finished, just in time for the Spring storms!

Be safe!


  1. I hate to share what the service on the Ducati (and two new tires) cost.

    1. I'm guessing around $1200?

      Some of the furrin' cars I worked on back in Illinois in the 70's had tune-up bills (12 plugs, twelve wires, TWO distributor caps, two rotors, four sets of points, etc) that were around that number, but that was 50 years ago!

      Geesh, I've been doing this stuff a looong time!

  2. Not so much fun, but several headaches solved, and it didn't cost that much.

    1. "Fun" never was considered, but you're 100% correct, I had to get these issues knocked out!

  3. It's always good vs. bad... sigh

  4. One of the reasons I've driven beaters for years. Hauls my ass down the road and a big repair bills means bye-bye. I'm not concerned with styling and profiling.

    1. I've had this thing since new, and it's been exceptionally reliable, sturdy, and comfortable.

      And I'm kind of attached to it as it's probably the last new car I'll ever buy.

      To me, if I can't do the work myself, I look it like a vet bill from taking the dog in!

  5. I'm saving for a new rig -- the present beast has 270k and it's not what it should be. So,spend 1k+ on suspension etc or put that into a new vehicle? Everyone says "new" and I agree, I think.

    1. I have about 85,000 on this rig. Not too bad for being 14 years old.


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