Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Ball Joint, Two Tie Rods, and an Axel Shaft

Question: Why does everything that is currently wrong with my car sound dirty?

Answer: Because life is mocking me.

So I was noticing over the past month or so that it was starting to get awful hard to turn corners in my car and that even when I was driving straight the car kept drifting to the left. Sensing an expensive alignment issue, I of course ignored the problem and kept on driving. And driving. And driving. To Sudbury and back one weekend. To Schenectady and back another. Up and down the city. Always in the car, always going.

Things came to a head on Monday when after beginning my journey home from a job interview I noticed that I could barely turn the wheel and it wasn't springing back afterwards like it normally would. Thinking that the expensive alignment issue had turned into an expensive power steering issue, I decided that the best thing to do was to get my car safely home and in my parking spot in the backyard and worry about the problem later. Naturally.

So of course I figured I was home-free as I pulled into my driveway and started to make the run up the hill leading between the houses and then into the backyard, but just as I pull of the street I hear a loud crash and my car can't move forward anymore. I stop, get out, inspect the car but don't see anything wrong - I haven't hit the curb, nothing looks off physically about the car - and so I re-enter and try to start up the driveway again. As soon as I hit the gas, I hear another loud bang and feel my car shift slightly to the left side. This time when I get out to inspect the situation, I see my car sitting on top of my front driver's side wheel.

On top. Of. The front driver's side. Wheel.


I also see metal, presumably the part that holds the wheel in place, lying on the ground underneath my car. I also see millions of tiny green dollar signs floating around my car as I silently take in the scene.

I immediately call CAA and set to waiting for four excruciating hours for them to send first a mechanic who doesn't even look at my car before proclaiming that I need a tow truck (I'm not sure what part of "my wheel feel off my car" didn't scream send a tow truck to the operator I spoke with first, because apparently she thought it was a mechanical thing?) and then eventually a tow truck to try to extract my tire-less car.

Two days and $800 later, my car is back home and wheel-ful. I'm pretty pissed that it happened at all (nothing like life giving you a swift kick to the groin when you're down, right?) but also super thankful where and when it did: if it had been either of the two weekends before it could have fallen off while I was driving on the highway or in the middle of nowhere and if it had happened 3 feet either to the back or the front of where it ultimately came off I could have either been in the middle of the busy street blocking rush hour traffic or in the middle of my driveway wedged between two houses with no way to get out of my car (and with no way to extracate it from between the houses, either!).

So let's just say that if my wheel had to fall off my car, I couldn't have picked a more perfect place for it to happen.

Plus, now I get to legitimately say that I am a ball breaker. No big deal. A BALL BREAKER.

(Thanks to Jay for pointing that out..... !!!!)

1 comment:

Cubbi said...

WOOT! I made it into your blog!!! Look at me! I can be funny!

Fear not about your donkey kick. You are beautiful. In every single way. Falling tires can't bring you down. Christina knows.