The front left tire of my car has been making a weird sounds, on and off, for a few months now, kind of like banging a stick back and forth inside a plastic pail. It would just come and go, but yesterday afternoon, as I was driving home on the expressway at 70 MPH, it started in earnest, really loud, accompanied by a shaking of the steering wheel. Needless to say I freaked out and slowed down to a crawl, much to the chargrin of the other drivers, and made it home ok. This morning the sound started again as soon as I left the house, then it went away, and started once more when I was on my way to deliver some office paperwork not far from my neck of the woods in Miami Beach. As soon as I dropped those papers, I called my boss to let him know I wasn't coming in, and made my way back to my area to drop the car off at a mechanic.
I took the backroads, which means a 15-minute trip took almost an hour, but I didn't dare risk the expressway again, not when the sound was now very loud even at 20 MPH. Thank G-d I made it ok to the mechanic and they are already fixing the car; the ball bearings on the front left tire needed to be replaced, and the wheels rotated. It'll cost me about $500 that I don't have, but I will gladly credit card it. I want no funny business with tires, especially after last April, when a friend from the synagogue died from his SUV having lost a tire on the expressway, sending his car into a series of spins. It was the first thing that came to my mind yesterday and earlier today as I heard the sound and then felt the car shaking. $500 is a small price to pay for assuring as much as it's in my power that I will avoid a potentially-lethal accident.