There is a reason I’m paranoid about vehicles, but really???
When I was driving to town, then my mother’s, then home again, the van was doing just fine. I drove into the yard to unload, then left the van there until it was time to pick up my daughter from work. The giant puddles of water are smaller than they were, but it’s still really muddy.
In fact, I could feel the van sinking in the mud as I drove through the yard gate on the way out. There are going to be some serious ruts to try and fix when things are finally dried out.
The van seemed to have trouble in the mud, and I still felt a sort of … sluggishness… as I drove to the gate. As I went through, I found myself thinking, did I hear a noise? What was that? Hmm… not hearing anything anymore.
I left early so I could play a bit of Pokemon Go and top up the gas tank. With gas prices so low, I’ve been keeping full every chance I can.
Playing Pokemon Go means driving to different spots where I can park safely for a bit, spin some stops and catch some Pokemon. For the most part, the van seemed to be fine, but every now and then, I’d hear… something. Or the van would feel… odd. Particularly when I made a left turn into the gas station, but it didn’t seem to be there when I made a right turn to leave.
By this time, my paranoia meter was in high gear!!
It wasn’t until I was driving into the pharmacy that it really kicked in. I was making a left turn at an intersection, with an immediate left turn to get into the parking lot, so basically I was making a giant U-turn. As I was turning, there was a most definite and unequivocal knocking, and a matching vibration. Once parked, I walked around the van, trying to see what might be making the noise, but could see nothing.
When my daughter joined me and we started to leave the parking lot, the knocking noise was there, and I was starting to feel a shudder. By this time, I was able to pin it down to the front driver’s side tire area.
As we drove the next few blocks, without any turns, we could still hear the knocking, though not as much as while turning. Instead of making our usual turn to go home, I drove straight to the garage. It was closed, of course, but where else was I to go?
My daughter and I got out and tried to see what might be making the noise. No luck. So I phoned the mechanic, knowing that the business number was his cell phone. Thankfully, he answered, even though he was at home. I told him what was going on (and he remembered our vehicle). Unfortunately, he was going to be closed until Tuesday, since it’s Easter weekend. That’s the earliest he could order parts. Would I be able to leave the van? Could someone come and pick us up in my mom’s car? Yes, he remembered her car, too!
I haven’t driven my mom’s car since I drove it home from the garage, last time. The differential is still making a noise, and while he recommended driving it for about 100-150km. He’d done a flush and the noise should have stopped, but perhaps the fresh lubricant needed to work its way into the nooks and crannies. I didn’t want to drive if when I had someplace specific to go, so it just didn’t happen. In fact, with my daughter’s reduction in shifts and reduced need to run errands, and not even using it to drive my mother around lately, I was seriously considering suspending the insurance. The only reason it hasn’t been done is because I wasn’t sure how the insurance office is doing things right now, and if I could do it over the phone.
Now, I’m glad I never got around to it.
While figuring out whether it was worth my trying to drive it home, he suggested I drive it around the block and see how the van behaved, then call him back.
I made it to the grocery store parking lot, across the street.
The knocking noise kicked in as soon as I took a turn, and the van started to shudder. I pulled into a parking spot and called him back, telling him it was now even worse. We spoke for a bit, and he told me that once I worked out how to get home, call him to let him know where I was hiding the key.
I called my husband to drive my mother’s car and come get us. He can barely get in and out of the vehicle and it’s incredibly painful for him, but we didn’t have much choice.
Then I drove the van back to the garage. By this point, the knocking was even louder, and I could feel the entire van shuddering. It was definitely coming from around that front driver’s side tire.
So now that van sits at the garage, waiting for Tuesday. My hope is that it’s just some mud that got into something it shouldn’t have, and that it’ll be an easy fix.
Thankfully, we don’t have to drive anywhere for another week, though my daughter’s work is going to be doing some changes with schedules. If she does end up getting new shifts, I can only hope it won’t be until after the van is fixed!
Then, maybe I’ll leave my Mom’s car there again, so he can check that noise from the differential again.
I really don’t need this!!