Try visiting a car mechanic, it’s another world altogether. What I know about cars and car repair would fit on the head of a pin. I know they need gas, oil, tires, and an engine. I also know where to put the gas and I could probably find the dipstick if I had to; I can even fill a tire, but not change it. Beyond that, I’m lost.
Recently my sweet old car developed a shimmy. Well, I say shimmy, but it was more violent — Elvis getting tasered. At first it was just the steering wheel, but eventually involved the entire body. We shuddered and rattled from bumper to bumper wherever we went. Shoot, the coins in the ashtray drowned out the radio. It was that bad.
I worried a tire was loose or the axle was bent or something big and vital was really, really, seriously out of alignment. I kept hoping it would self-correct, because I’m not a rich woman. I’m not even a poor woman. I’m scraping bottom. Still, I need a car and ultimately decided the repair might prove cheaper than a tire flying off at 60 mph — all things considered.
So this morning I took it for an oil change and told the service writer about the vibration. I even did an imitation. Although he didn’t roll his eyes, I could tell he wanted to. That’s the thing about taking my car for service, I validate the stereotype of a scatterbrained woman. It’s humiliating.
In the end,three hundred dollars, give or take, will fix the problem which is: the belt inside a front tire had broken and formed a big, ginormous lump. It threw the car off-balance; the poor thing was hobbling at high-speed.
They put on the spare — for safety’s sake — and I drove away without any noticeable vibration. It’s like a new car. Now I just need to scrape together the cash for two new front tires.
Sheesh, who knew tires had belts? Who knew tires got lumpy? Three hundred is a chunk of money, all right, but it’s probably more manageable than, say, a new transmission or a new steering thingy or six weeks in Intensive Care. Right?
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