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Case of the Aluminum Waterbottle

February 27, 2011

February 2010

So, do you remember a couple years ago when I sent my key ring on a vacation up to Utah? No? Well, that is definitely something you should check out if you need a good laugh for the day.

Anyhow, I have another one to add to the list…another nutmegHs move, but this time the culprit was one of those earth friendly, aluminum water bottles.

Let’s set the stage: I have been driving quite an elderly vehicle (mid-90’s Toyota Camry) that is still in excellent condition, but definitely has seen younger days. It creeks and whines a bit in the morning and when going around turns, you know, the usual with older vehicles. Since being in my care, I have been very diligent with the oil changes and regular maintenance…updating of tubes/hoses and other fun rubber items that older cars need to have replaced, but there had been this sound, unidentifiable sound, that had been growing more persistent over the past few weeks.

I had tried point the sound out to my husband, but it seemed to only surface when I was driving by myself (nothing better than an unidentifiable sound that only rears its head when you are alone to make you sound certifiably crazy!). Well, the sound was occuring often enough that I finally felt I could take it to my friends at the Toyota “Health Clinic” (The Truck Shop) to have them look at the issue. Not only was there a creaking sound, but now it sort of felt like something was coming through the undercarriage of the car. That couldn’t be healthy for the car, so it was finally time to take it to the specialists.

I always try to do my research before going in to a car shop so I don’t sound like a complete moron….maybe it was the CV boots or possibly a bearing in one of the front tire areas (yeah, I know, it doesn’t really help your cause if you can’t actually show that you know where the parts are that you are talking about)? I wasn’t really sure but they said they would take a look at it and let me know. Thankfully they are just around the corner from where I work, so I could drop the car off in the morning and then pick it up after work.

When I called near the end of my day, James (the owner) said that he couldn’t find anything like the noise I had described. They had driven it around the block a couple of times, and nothing to be found. He suggested that we go out in the car together so I could point the sound out to him. All I could think was, Great, I truly am crazy.

So, I hike my way over to his shop and we jump in the car for a spin around the block. James is a rather quite type of guy, so I was doing most of the talking…”So, the car didn’t make the sound, huh? Maybe I am just hearing things…How is business at the shop going?”

Ding! Grind…Creak! BANG!

Me: “THAT! Did you hear that? That is the sound the car as been making!”

Ding! Grind…Creak! BANG!

Me: “There it is again! Do you have any idea where it is coming from?”

James: “Actually it sounds like it is coming from your side of the car.”

Me: “Really? I thought it originally sounded more like the right front area…”

Ding! Grind…Creak! BANG!

Me: “Did you feel that? What do you think that could be?”

James: “Honestly, it sounds like it is coming from underneath your seat. Have you cleaned out your car recently?”

Me: “My seat? Actually, yes, I cleaned it out just a couple weeks ago. What could possibly…”

While I was uttering my final sentence I leaned back and reached under my seat to find the brushed silver culprit. That damn earth friendly aluminum water bottle.

Truly, there are no words that could be uttered by me at that point in time. My face zoomed through pink & red and settled on a very deep shade of scarlet embarrassment (not a color I would recommend wearing on a regular occasion, but is humbling to sport every so often).

I looked over and let out a quick embarrassed twitter, stated that I actually dye my hair brown (please don’t tell) and then asked the only question I felt I could, “So, how much do I owe you for your time and patience?”

James was nice enough to say that this one was on the house. I sent them over a Subway gift card as repayment for the lunchtime they likely spent on the car and dealing with me.

So, note to all those out there, make sure you diligently check under your seats for those “friendly” water bottles before taking the car in for funny sounds.

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46 Comments leave one →
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