(All together now) "Oh, I'm a drivin' down the mountain with my front wheel comin' off!"
Given that I drive an older model car and have driven it for many miles (just passed 180,000), I am very tuned-in to it's little squeaks, grunts, bangs, and other noises. This morning on my way UP the mountain, I detected a different sound - a sort of quiet 'thump, thump'. Hmmm. It was just barely detectable and I was thinking that I ought to stop at my garage and have them look at the wheel.
Then, I was coming DOWN the mountain and the volume turned up. And got louder with a definite metallic quality to it. By then I was running through what I thought it might be and how serious it was, and if I could make it to the garage. Then I was praying and inching along and finally (and fittingly) was able to pull into the parking lot of a church's community center. I called the garage and they sent someone out. Did I mention it was pouring rain, too?
He turned the wheel, looked at it with a flashlight, then grasped the wheel and... it almost came off! The lug nuts were so loose they were within millimeters of coming off. Holy Crap! (as Kayten would say). He tightened them up and followed me to the garage. Where the verdict was that they were old and worn out. Well, aren't we all? Speaking for myself, of course, especially after that drive. They replaced all of the lug nuts with shiny new (read: expensive) ones.
I am wondering if, just by some odd chance, it was because they were not tightened all the way after my last visit three weeks ago?
"Oh, I'm a drivin' myself on new lug nuts, straight into the poorhouse, m'dear."