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The Noise Sleuth

Have you ever experienced a weird sound in the car . . . a squeak or rattle . . . that you couldn’t find the source of?

If you have, then you’ll know the angst of driving along and having that sound randomly appear.

I had one of these noises crop up a month or two ago, and y’all, it started driving me nuts.

I know that’s a short trip for me, but c’mon . . . humor me, okay?

I really can’t pinpoint an exact day when I started hearing it, but all I know is that whenever I’d go over bumps or make turns, I’d hear what sounded like the seat belt in the back was hitting the inside of the car.

Back when I had children living at home, they wouldn’t always pull the seat belts tight  when they’d exit the car, so they would hang loosely and bounce around.

Being the fixer-upper kind of gal that I am, that was the first thing I checked, especially since Rooster and N had been home in March and had been in our car for two whole weeks.

That didn’t seem to be the issue, but that didn’t stop me from tightening them over and over again, in the hopes that I’d stop hearing that sound.

Eventually, I told the Mr. about it to see if he could hear the sound.

Crazy is a lonely land, y’all, and I wanted some company – or to be rescued from.

He commented that the sound seemed to be coming from the driver’s side.

Hello!  He could hear it too!  He was either crazy, like me (because the longer you’re married, the more you resemble one another), or his hearing was just as good as mine.

Sometimes, it would sound like there was a bottle of water rolling around back there.

Well, I tested so much last year that it wasn’t unusual to have cases of water in the back of my car.  I figured one of them had gone awol from the packaging.

I looked under the seats several times, praying that I’d find a bottle.

I didn’t.  I did, however, find a package of Pop Tarts under the back seat.  That must have been N’s from when they visited in the spring.

Ha!

I found ways to pull up the back parts of my car and open up compartments that probably shouldn’t have been opened.

I checked under the spare tire and relocated some of the hardware that I thought was rolling around back there.

ALL of my attempts proved futile.

I’d reached the end of my rope and was giving serious thought to driving to the Toyota dealership to get them to check for me.

But first, I prayed.

Do not ever tell me that you can’t pray for anything because y’all, you most certainly can.

God knows when a person has reached her wit’s end, and this noise was it for me.

Today, that is.

Ha!

I’d had an idea brewing in my mind that I acted on in the middle of my afternoon – right after I got home from a quick trip to the grocery store (and renewed angst over that noise, which was unbearable on the way home).

I had periodically thought about the middle of the back seat, so I went out and checked.

Sure enough, there was a place to connect a seat belt.

Hmmm.

I got out the car’s manual, visited the index, and turned to the section about seat belts.

That is when the angels sung, y’all.

There was a picture of the seat belt port – located in the ROOF of my car – on the DRIVER’s side.

This was how it looked when I saw it . . .

See it hanging there?

Yep.  That had the makings for a teeth-grinding ride – especially for a person who doesn’t like repetitive noises.

I think that it got knocked loose when I was taking one of the dogs to be groomed or when we were loading/unloading luggage from our recent trip.  Heck, it could have happened when I was taking stuff home from my classroom for the summer.

I played with it a bit, trying to figure out how to secure it.

Untitled

Go ahead and admire my talent.

I haven’t tested things out yet to see if the noise is, indeed gone.

I’m preferring to live in La La Land for a little while longer.

Actually, I was busy in the house the rest of the afternoon and never got around to taking the car for a test drive.  I’ll check in the morning, though.

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