Colin performs car maintenance, round 2

Given my abject failure in fixing my car cigarette lighter a while back, the title of the post may bring this kind of image to your mind:

Or this:

Or possibly even this:

Well, I’m pleased to report that my car didn’t burst into flames, no explosions occurred, and I wasn’t set on fire and had my dead carcass eaten by a dragon.

So what did I do? Next to nothing actually. A couple days ago when leaving a gravel road I heard a clunk up on my front passenger side. Immediately thereafter came a high pitched ‘Wheeeeeeee wheeeeeeeeeeeee wheeeeeeeeeee’ sound that went in time with the tire rotation. I was about 2 minutes from home so I drove the car to the motel, fearing the worst. An axle wearing out, a wheel bearing, the CV joint, SOMETHING expensive. Not to mention, Ohakune has very limited resources in town – it has roughly 1,000 people after all.

Before taking it to the mechanic, it’s off to Google first. I want to know what the problem might be so I know what to expect from the mechanic, and if it is something easy, possibly something I can just fix myself (unlikely as that may be).

What did my prolific searching turn up? The most likely cause had to do with the dust shield – either the shield had gotten bent and was touching the rotor or a pebble had gotten inside. Easiest way to tell? Either take the tire off and look or simply drive and see if the pebble grinds down to nothing. Either way, nothing serious or dangerous. I decided to do one more day of driving and see if the sound went away, after that I’d pry the tire off and fix the dust shield as necessary (can be done with a screwdriver).

The next day, after about 10km of driving and upon hitting 70km/hr the sound started getting fainter until it disappeared completely. Pebble is gone (I assume).

Car goes in for a government required inspection in November (every 6 months here in NZ!), so I can double check everything then anyways (assuming nothing breaks down in the meantime). But I’m pretty sure that little problem solved itself. To me, Google deserves a cape since it’s pretty much a superhero. It is THAT awesome. Thank you once again Google for saving the day (and my money).

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