Monday, January 13, 2014

Unbalanced Toad

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My husband is an idiot savant, minus the savant part. We are towing a small sedan behind our motorhome. The car started acting strange. It developed a wobble at slow speeds. At first we thought it was the roads we were driving on, but it turns out to be an issue with the car. My husband hates to deal with businesses on the road he is not familiar with. He studies any problem for hours before he acts. In this case he finally decided we had a tire issue. He went and had two new tires put on and the tire dealer told him he also had a bent wheel. The dealer didn’t sell wheels, so we just ended up with two new tires we probably didn’t need and still have a wobble. Now he is back studying the problem again. I figure by the time he has it figured out we will have invested in two more tires, a wheel and maybe still have a wobble. I think we should figure out what the problem really is, then spend the money to fix it. He thinks we should study the problem some more. How do I convince him we are doing this all bass-ackwards?
--Unbalanced in Biloxi

Dear Bil:
You make this sound much easier than it is. I think you are lucky to have a husband that likes to study the problem. It is hard to do business on the road. I like to think that most people are basically honest, but often they are studying the problem too, using your money. The problem you describe is not an easy one to determine sometimes. Your wobble could be caused from a mechanical problem such as a bearing, tie-rod, or any number of front-end alignment parts. It could be a tire with belt separation, or out of round. If a tire dealer thinks you have a bent rim, let’s hope that is all it is. Most bone yards will sell you a used wheel with a money-back guarantee if the tire service finds it too is bent. If your tires have a lot of miles on them, replacing them is a good start and great insurance that they are not going to cause you more issues if they fail while being towed. I think your husband deserves more credit than you give him. He has studied the problem, he has sought out a professional opinion, he has made the first purchase attempt at fixing the problem, and he has discovered possible additional causes. Often the problem can be multiple issues. I would not wait long to get to the bottom of the problem. Towing a vehicle with issues is just asking for trouble. I would suggest second and third opinions with brake and alignment services and additional tire professionals. Unless you have an automotive Ouija board, I would suggest you give your husband a bit more respect and credit. He doesn’t sound like he is just throwing money at the problem, but going at it in a practical way.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink



Cheese Queen said...

Why cannot Wife simply take the car to
1)a large tire dealer for diagnosis and then go to
2) your car's dealership for a second opinion

You do not need a husband along to do these simple, logical things.

Once you have some facts in hand you can make the decisions that are required.

*Tell hubby you can google reviews for businesses that are new to you- a great way to get other people's opinions before spending money at a business you are unfamiliar with*

Anonymous said...

Well I guess you told a very nice way. Thank you from another husband.

Anonymous said...

Its always heart warming to read stories of such loving and supporting wives referring to the man of their dreams. Its no wonder divorce rates are increasing.

Anonymous said...

If you are still in Biloxi, MS go to Southern Tire @ the Exit 41 Woolmarket South off of I-10 and ask for Mike ..He is very helpful and a used car parts business is North @ Woolmarket exit...


Anonymous said...

I am single, so I just have to figure it out myself. But for couples, well, honey if you don't learn to do some of this then there may, unfortunately, come a time when you have to give up your RVing lifestyle. Hubby needs your help too.

Anonymous said...

I read the other day that you can go to "" and look up reliable mechanics by zip code. I haven't tried it - no need so far but might in the future.