First day of winter break and we’re on our way to Idre for a week of skiing.

We’d barely started our 6-hour drive when noticed the car making unusual amounts of noise and behaving oddly in curves. The noise got worse and worse until the car sounded like a propeller plane. The rear end vibrated so strongly that the luggage piled up in the back was shaking up and down by several centimeters. We’re used to the car sometimes being noisy (the engine suspension is worn out and replacing it is not worth the expense) but this was something different, and we were getting really worried that this might indicate structural problems. Noise is inconvenient; the car breaking down in the middle of nowhere in the freezing cold would be a tad worse than inconvenient.

With incredibly lucky timing we found an auto repair shop in Falun that was open on Saturdays, and got there minutes before the mechanic shut shop for the day. He looked and poked and said it was a good thing we hadn’t driven any further, because the problem was a damaged wheel bearing. Apparently you shouldn’t drive with a bad wheel bearing – according to Google this could end in all sorts of bad ways, including the wheel falling off or totally seizing up.

In another stroke of luck, the guy called another guy who turned out to have the right kind of wheel bearing in stock. So we hung out at the repair shop while he replaced it.

We got to Idre late, but with all four wheels still attached to the car.