Wednesday, May 9, 2018
An unexpected road hazard
While driving home from Amarillo yesterday, Miss D. and I passed an 18-wheeler parked on the side of the road. Two of its rear tires had blown out, and strips and fragments of rubber and steel littered the road for several hundred yards.
Somewhere in that distance, without our being aware of it, a piece of tire rubber wrapped itself around the driver's side front wheel steering arm and drive shaft, on the inside of the wheel. We didn't notice it at highway speeds, because it didn't affect the handling of the car in any way; but when we turned off the highway and slowed to normal speeds, on the last leg of our journey home, it was obvious (from the sound) that something was rubbing against something else. When we arrived home, we looked inside the wheel well, and found the problem. The rubber strip may have damaged the lining of the wheel well, and we couldn't see anything else it might have done.
This morning we dropped off the car at our local mechanic, who will check it out and make sure everything's operating normally. We may have to wait while he orders a new lining for the wheel well, but the car should be usable in the interim.
I just thought I'd mention it because this sort of incident is tricky. We could have unwrapped the rubber strip ourselves, with a bit of bending and twisting, but there are brake lines and electrical connections in the area that one really doesn't want to damage. If they let go in future, without warning, they could cause a nasty problem. We'd rather pay someone now to check everything out and make sure that won't be an issue in future.