Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blessings in Deep, Deep Disguise

My Darling Wife reported that Bad Robot was shaking while driving and pulling to the right. I went for a 2 minute test drive and told her it felt like a wheel out of balance, and not to worry about it. She responded that it felt just like her parents' car felt, just before something broke in the front end and she crashed . . . on the highway . . . at speed . . . and didn't drive for years because it scared her so bad. So it bothers her.

Fast forward to last Sunday and it's CRAZY. I took the slow road to church to keep speed down because the vibration was worse with speed. Turning, the wheel would slip 1x/revolution and jerk the steering wheel. Very odd, now I was thinking a tire might be flat-spotted but Bad Robot has antilock brakes and I don't think it CAN flat spot a drive wheel without doing some donuts on the highway or something.

Fast forward to today, and I just rotated the tires to see if the vibration was on a particular wheel. All of the wheels have weights on the outside, and some of them have some funky curb-checks. One of the front wheels (the one I thought might be messed up) had a spot where there obviously USED to be a wheel weight on the INSIDE of the tire. Uh-huh.

Oh, and that same corner has a bad wheel bearing, maybe 3mm of play when the wheel is rocked. So I've got an appointment to have the mechanic look at it because a) its' under warranty and b) I have an irrational hatred for working on this car.

Test drive: wheel steady as a rock, no vibration and no pulling. Hands-free driving impressed #2 enough on the way out that he requested an encore on the way back home. I did it, after making sure he knew that it was dangerous.

Where's the blessing here VFD?

If the tire hadn't thrown a weight, I might not have noticed the wheel bearing going out until it threw the WHEEL and she crashed . . . on the highway . . . at speed . . . so. Silver lining, thanks Jesus.

#2 asked what would happen if the wheel came off. I told him "absolute BEST, best case scenario, you crash." He visualized it and I think it made an impression. Good.

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