Monday, 3 January 2011
A wheel inconvenience
We were not far out of town when Elmer started making a funny noise. Nick stopped and checked the tyres but all were OK, so we continued on. The noise worsened and we pulled over. My side of the car dropped just as we stopped.
An oncoming vehicle stopped. The driver asked what had happened as he had seen our car behaving oddly before pulling over. He and Nick investigated and found the wheel had dropped, not as a result of a flat tyre but rather because nuts had loosened and then fallen off completely (damaging the wheel studs in the process).
Erin, Vaughan and I got out while Nick and Ryan put Elmer onto our high-lift jack. There was very little shade, so we sat in the shadow of Ryan's ute.
(Nissa rang shortly after we stopped, to say she had rung Countrylink and all was fine for the next day's departure. I explained the most recent drama and said we would find a way to meet her at Bourke - 400 kilometres away. I even suggested a hire car, much to Ryan's amusement)!
There were calls to and from the NRMA. We were 160km west of Cunnamulla and a similar distance from Thargomindah, the two closest mechanics. Ryan said we would be better to try and fix things ourselves and he probably had all that we needed in his shed.
Ryan dropped us home then he and Nick went back out to Elmer with various tools. They worked for several hours in the sun and heat - it was still 35 degrees at 7:00pm when they finished. They drove around town and called in to a number of locals, trying to source replacement wheel studs.
When they had exhausted every possible avenue, Nick returned home.