A Basingstoke woman has left her husband devastated after her car started making what she initially described as ‘a funny noise’. Debbie Simmonds was immediately asked by her husband Brian, ‘What kind of ‘funny noise’?’, clearly expecting the traditionally terse reply ‘I don’t know what kind of funny noise, it’s just a funny noise, alright?’
On this occasion, however, while Brian was mentally preparing himself for the customary argument about the difference between a squeak and a squeal, Debbie described a low but persistent rumbling sound that appeared to be coming from the front of the vehicle.
Rather put out by the lack of provocation, Brian next asked if the noise was present all the time. He was again anticipating an impatient response along the lines of ‘How am I supposed to know? I had the radio on. Anyway, stop wasting my time with your silly questions. Just go and fix it.’
‘It seems worse at higher speeds but yes, it’s there whenever the car is moving,’ came the astonishing reply from Debbie. ‘And it’s definitely part of the running gear as it varies with the car’s speed rather than the engine speed,’ she added staggeringly, without being prompted.
A visibly shaken Brian stutteringly began, ‘Well, I suppose it could be …’ but he was interrupted by his wife who said, ‘Wheel bearing, near side front I reckon’. During the subsequent investigation, a flabbergasted Brian confirmed the diagnosis, thereby putting their twelve-year marriage in jeopardy. ‘I nearly filed for divorce on the spot when I spun that wheel and heard the noise,’ he said. ‘Cars that make funny noises provide a time-honoured battleground for couples and I wondered where it had all gone wrong.’
Fortunately, Brian also spotted the need to replace a leaking brake hose while fixing the wheel bearing and so was able to ask his wife to help with bleeding the brakes. An unholy row over what constituted ‘slowly’ and what was meant by ‘hold your foot down until I say to release it’ was the inevitable income, thereby restoring their marriage to normality.