Mechanic or Suspension

​​‘Well,’ I mused, as the car began to bounce and shake underneath us. ‘That doesn’t sound great.’

         ‘It’s never done this before,’ Micha frowned from the driver’s seat, his fingers clenched around the steering wheel.’

         ‘Do you need to pull over?’ I asked nervously, clinging to the handle above my door.

         ‘What if it doesn’t start up again?’ he asked, eyes flicking back and forth from the shuddering steering wheel and the pitch-black dirt road.

         ‘What if a wheel falls off and we go careening into a ditch?!’

         ‘Don’t be so dramatic,’ Micha rolled his eyes, then wrenched the wheel back with a startled yelp.

         ‘We almost drove into a ditch then, didn’t we?’

         ‘I don’t have to answer that,’ he said, refusing to make eye contact. ‘Look, we just have to make it to Underwood, then I promise you we’ll pull over.’

         ‘Do you know any good mechanics near Underwood?’ I frowned. ‘Do you know anybody near Underwood?’

         ‘An uncle,’ he insisted. ‘Once. He moved. Before I was born.’


         ‘What choice do we have?’

         ‘Not dying?’

         ‘Again, with the being so dramatic,’ he said – although I noticed that his fingers were firmly wrapped around the wheel this time.

         How expensive is suspension repair?’ I asked, trying a different tact.


         ‘Well, all this damage you’re doing to your suspension,’ I said, nonchalantly. ‘It won’t be cheap to fix. You know that, right? I was just curious if you had an exact number in mind already.’

         ‘This is what the suspension is built for,’ he said, sounding very unsure of himself. ‘Isn’t it?’

         ‘Not really,’ I grunted, as we hit a particularly big bump. ‘Just, pull over, we’ll call your roadside assistance and get a mechanic out here to tell us what to do.’

         ‘Uh…’ Micha grimaced. ‘Alternatively…’

         ‘You don’t have roadside assistance?’

         ‘I never saw the need,’ he whined.

         ‘Can you see it now?!’

         Obviously, I can see it now!

         And, right on cue – the engine cut out.

Shaky Wheel Alignment







‘Does your steering wheel always do that?’ my brother asked me nervously from the driver’s seat. I looked up from my phone with a frown.

         ‘What do you mean?’

         ‘It’s shaking,’ he said, relaxing his grip slightly so I could see it juddering his arms.

         ‘I’ve never noticed it before,’ I said. ‘What did you do?’

         ‘What did I do?’ he asked, disbelief colouring his tone. ‘It’s your car! I’ve only been driving it for five minutes.’

         ‘Exactly,’ I narrowed my eyes suspiciously. ‘And now it’s… broken.’

         ‘Oh, it’s not broken, you drama queen,’ he said, rolling his eyes. ‘But if I were you, I’d get it looked at, quickly.’

         ‘Eh,’ I waved him off, turning to look out the window. ‘I’ll ask about it at my next car service. Ringwood, next exit,’ I pointed at the green sign.

         ‘I see it, I see it,’ he grumbled. ‘I’m just saying, it might be a big issue.’

         ‘It might also just be the terrible roads around Ringwood,’ I shrugged. ‘I’ve never been here before ­– maybe they all have shaky wheels.’

     ‘Or maybe you need a reliable brake pad replacement mechanic. Ringwood can’t really be to blame for you not looking after your car.’

         ‘I’m not taking my car to your brother-in-law,’ I cut him off.

         ‘Oh, come on, you barely know the guy,’ my brother sighed, indicating for the off-ramp. ‘He’s just started his new business, I think it’ll be really good once he gets his numbers up.’

         ‘Obviously,’ I frowned. ‘That’s the definition of a business doing really good. But no – I don’t trust him.’

         ‘What’s he ever done to you?’

         ‘He stole my wallet at your wedding!’

         ‘Oh,’ he frowned. ‘Right.’

         ‘I’d much rather find a reputable mechanic around Ringwood for my breaks,’ I said, settling back into my seat. ‘At least, one that won’t actively steal from me.’

         ‘It was just one time,’ my brother protested. ‘He’s changed!’

         ‘Highly unlikely,’ I scoffed. ‘Besides, he’s probably going to go out of business soon and I don’t want my car wrapped up in his bankruptcy proceedings. Ooh, turn here – I feel like a burger.’