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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Life as a Country Western Song.

(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."

The end.

10 comments:

  1. YOU HAD ME SITTING ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT AND WHAT MOUNTAIN? I'M THANKFUL FOR MY SON'S JOB AT NAPA AND CURRENTLY GOT A RAISE A HIGHER Position & offered a 401k--stay off those mountains

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  2. Somebody was looking out for you, and glad you had noggin enough to stop the car before you DID go over the mountain! We've made it almost habit to personally check the lugs on the wheels after someone else does work on the tires / wheels as we also had a close call with a tire center's negligence on tightening the lugs.

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  3. Judy - Congrats to your son! It's good to hear of someone getting promoted with a raise and benefits! Wish I could stay off that mountain, but I'm on one side and my job is on the other.

    Carolyn - I think you're right. It's been 3 weeks since I had work done, so I'm not sure if it's that or aged lug nuts. In any event, I will keep my ears peeled from now on.

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  4. The place I get my tires changed makes me return 24 hours later to have the lugs retightened. Always thought that was odd. Maybe not?
    I once had my axle snap coming down the mountain from Pittsfield. That was exciting! Almost as exciting as the time my passenger side carpet caught fire, since there was a hole in the floorboard right above my catalytic converter.
    Maybe that's why we're friends. We have near-catastrophic automobile events in common!

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  5. Kay - Woot! So THAT's the reason! It's a sad state of affairs when I am so happy that it was only having the wheel almost come off, and not something like a stuck caliper. Carpet on fire? That must have been pre-me -- I would have remembered that!

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  6. Isn't it strange how often these weird, unusual occurrences happen soon AFTER you've had a vehicle in for some kind of service? Just sayin'.

    Keep writing those country western songs. But don't quit your day job yet. ;o}

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  7. Oh my, you were very lucky. My Husband seems to think that all vehicles are good for 400,000 miles even if they are held together with duct tape. Needless to say I have experienced a wheel falling off and once an entire axle falling off as we were driving. So I feel your pain. Thats what I love about the village model. Being able to walk to places would be wonderful and not needing to use a car. I cant imagine a reason my leg would fall off, but I guess you never know.

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  8. By any chance do you have a Saturn? Every person I know with a Saturn says they will go til the wheels come off LOL! Seriously, my friends have some that have topped 250K!

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  9. Oh you are one very lucky little girl! That could have been very, very bad! Well, thank goodness all is well!!

    (Erin, of course Saturns run forever...that's why they stopped making them!)

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  10. Mama Pea - Yep, poet and songwriter are now off the bucket list!

    Jane - I tend to agree with your husband, but this was a wake up call! I'd rather either ride a horse or a bicycle, myself. Then, again, the horse could kick me and the bicyle wheel could come off. Nothing is, as they say, perfect.

    Erin - No, I have a Ford Focus stationwagon. I love it, really. I'm aiming for 200,000+ The old gal and I have been through a lot.

    APG - Heehee - isn't that so? Once they get something that lasts a long time and works great, it's gone!

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