Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wham. Bam. Thank You, Ma'am.

So, I’m driving to work…minding my own business…being the short-tempered, impatient, fastidious driver that I always am…and my car starts making this noise:

WHOMPWHOMPWHOMPWUPWONKA-WONKA-WONKA-WONKA-WONKA…..WUMP-WUMP-WUMP-WUMP…..WUH…….WUH…..WUHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

Anyone??

No? No blog-diagnostics available at this time??

Whatever.

Was I concerned? Yup.

Was I concerned enough to rush somewhere to take it in? Not so much.

You see, I’d performed some oh-so-technical Kathrynville-diagnostic-testing of my own. By utilizing this highly-advanced methodology, I was able to draw certain conclusions:

  1. It did not make this horrific sound when the car was cold. This was monumentally positive, as I drive Connor to school first thing. I do believe he’d rather DIE than be seen with me in an annoyingly loud vehicle.
  2. It did not seem to matter whether I had my foot on the brake. My superior power of deductive reasoning concluded that it probably, most likely, could conceivably mean it had little to do with stopping.
  3. It only made this horrific sound when I got below about 20 mph. I’d no clue what this had to do with anything.

After three days, I’d concluded that the sound was not going to stop on its own. So, before I left work for the day, I texted my bud at Toyota:

Kathryn: OK. Car is mankig soundd from reaROf car. Likea WHOMP-putta-putta-puhhhhh. I hoep it’s not serious.

Toyota Guy: Why don’t you stop by and let us take a listen?

Kathryn: But. I am all the way HeRe @ wrok. I thnnk it’ll stops again like b/3. I’m telling you just in case somethgg bizzrre happens.

Toyota Guy: Oh? Something bizarre, huh? Got it. Should you go missing, or something. LOL.

At this point, I begin to suspect I’m not being taken seriously. I mean, LOL? Really?? And so, I decide to pull out the big guns…or, in my case, the camcorder feature on my cell phone. And I text “LISTEN” with this:


Yeah. I know. I was holding the phone sideways. This is SO not the point. Focus, people. Keep listening...ya can't miss it...and.....THERE.

Toyota Guy: BRING IT IN. NOW.

Yikes. Honestly, I was more embarrassed than anything else. Driving home in bumper-to-bumper traffic drew a tad more attention than I’d prefer. I kept sliding lower and lower down in my seat.

It turned out to be my “hub bearing”. It cost a pretty penny to replace...but it’s a small price to pay for a car with 115,000 miles on it…with relatively few issues reported over its lifetime.

If only the same could be said for its owner. But that, my lovely friends…shall have to wait for another day.

Happy 19th Birthday to Taylor! Woot! I'm so damn proud of you. Rock on, son....rock on.

JP said...

How the hell do you have a 19th old?

And my car has been making that wonka wonka sound for so long I don't notice it anymore. Of course I also may not notice it because I have NPR blasting so loudly...

Kimberly said...

My typical solution would be to turn up the radio so loud that it drowns out any noises the car might be making. :) Glad you got it sorted.

Happy birthday to Taylor!

Vince said...

Never even heard of that happening. I thought it might be the brake-shoe.
Glad you're safe.

Gigi said...

Thank goodness for camcorder features on the cell! I'm uber-impressed that your Toyota guy was able to figure out that you had a big problem from that!

Am also glad to see that I'm not the only one who tends to turn up the radio just to ignore whatever distressing sound the car may be making.

Loredana said...

My husband is started a blog for this very issue...women with car issues and how to get out of them without having to consult an actual mechanic (I'm not kidding, lol).
Thankfully you had your phone on you, I mean really talk about 'can you hear me now?'

As always you crack me up!!

I love it when my car is overheating and I'm in bumper to bumper traffic and it's about 2 degrees out and I've got the heat all the way up in the car and all my windows rolled down. NOW THAT'S A SCENE!!

John McElveen said...

I KNEW THAT!!!! Shoulda called! Coulda even fixed it via the Net.

Just Show me the Car Fax.....NO... not that---- just the Fax ma'am!

Happy Birthday Taylor!! 19 is the New 21! Get Drunk! OK- MOT--but think about it OK?

Uncle J

Kelly@MentalGarbage said...

Oh no! Well at least you were able to get something to him so that he knew whether or not you needed to come in right away.... :-)

Gay Guy said...

Your blog is exactly why I don't own a car.

Jerry said...

What an ingenious bit geniousity to record your car burping and clanking. You surpass all...well, surpassing things and I am proud to know you!

sage said...

Wow, such an interesting idea of using your cell phone! Glad it wasn't anything like brakes and sorry that your pocketbook is a little lighter...

btw, for some reason, I tried to comment yesterday and the comment box wouldn't open.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Sounds broke to me...

...wish I could upgrade from our present 'Dodge Caravan guy' to a 'Toyota guy'. *Sighs* Christmas is still nine months away...

Lauren said...

HA! Delayed but I've at last managed to hijack another computer! After reading the beginning of your post I was wondering if you were driving one of those ghost-looking things from Pac Man. By the end, I'm still not convinced. Does Toyota make ghost-looking things from Pac Man?

Alicia said...

That's a weird sound but you have a great phone that was able to capture the sound that clearly! I just had car problems too...rotor or something like that.

You crack me up, I never thought to record sounds with my phone to prove them to my mechanic. I'll definitely do it next time.

Happy Birthday to your baby boy! :-D

kathryn said...

JP: My man! This is the perfect response, btw. File this tidbit of info away in your man-file for future reference. And I'll have to try blasting NPR...I do believe I'm too damned...civilized.

Kimberly: Taylor says thanks! Yeah...I should've cranked up the tunes...I chose to be mortified instead. The term "glutton for punishment" comes to mind...

Vince: Thank you, kind sir. I suppose you've gotta get into the high numbers on the odometer before you start to hear this weird crap. No matter...for I'm back to being (relatively) quiet now. As quiet as I can be, anyway...

kathryn said...

Gigi: Ha! Yes...drowning out the bad sounds with some rockin' tunes seems to be the preferred method. I'm glad to know that denial is alive and well!

Loredana: Oh, honey! I'm trying not to laugh...but you've painted quite the mental picture! Good for hubby...doing an absolute public service for all us gals that don't know a seriously bad sound from an it'll go away sound. (I'm sure these are the technical names.) Tell me the blog address and I'll stop by and say hello.

John McElveen: HA! Oh, Uncle J...what are we gonna do with you? You're that (ahem) maniacal influence that buys his nephew his first beer...aren't you? Yes, I believe you are. Every teen-aged kids' hero and every mother's nightmare! Now, go stand in the corner.

kathryn said...

Kelly@MentalGarbage: Yup. It all worked out just fine. Ya gotta love modern technology...I was able to share it with him...and share it with you, as well!

Gay Guy: Ha! I don't blame you one bit. Did you hear that girgly-groan I made at the end? That's my "oh-crap-this-is-gonna-cost-me" groan.

Jerry: Thank you, kind sir. Trust me, though...you wouldn't act like you knew me if you heard me coming down the street with that noise! It was positively humiliating....yet amusing at the same time. Ah, hindsight...

Loredana said...

Kathryn...here you go...it's still being set up-
http://thecookingmechanic.blogspot.com/

p.s. thanks for the comment on my blog and the 'mommy' group fiasco. Guess the truth is all in what you said at the end, it's when you don't care that it really stops bothering you.

kathryn said...

sage: Thanks for taking the trouble to plow through my comment-conundrum. I don't know what's wrong with the site lately...and I've no idea how to fix it. What if I screw it up and the whole thing crumbles?! I'm sticking my head in the sand and hoping it self-corrects.

Johanna said...

19 years !?? Cool. Best part is your car is running smooth now with no issues. :-)
Car IQ Test
Before you check your car, check your Car IQ!
http://www.3smartcubes.com/pages/tests/car-iq-test/car-iq-test_instructions.asp

Straight Guy said...

Welcome back, K. I hope family life is more serene.

Technology to the rescue with your phone, but that sounded BAD. I never stick to scheduled maintenance time-lines, but when my car groans in pain, I take it in.

Not wishing this on you, but I've driven away from repair shops with new loud sounds, which is even more frustrating.

Christopher said...

Really loud usually equals something to check immediately or its the muffler which you can go with until its just too embarrassing.

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