DIY Auto Repair: How to Smooth the Front-End Grind (The McMurray Chronicles)
Anyone who’s seen a couple episodes of Letterkenny knows about a recurring character named "McMurray." It’s established in the first couple episodes of the series that “McMurray is a piece of sh*t”.
In 2017, I bought a car from a now-closed dealership. They sold me a lemon. Considering how soon they closed after I bought that car (less than a year), it’s not surprising. I’ve had constant problems with it. Throughout my entire ownership of this car, I’ve driven it with no known and/or audible problems for a grand total of one day. That day was earlier this summer. Yeah.
Once I saw the McMurray character and the other characters’ near-universal opinion of him, I knew what to name my car. If it’s not obvious, I named my car "McMurray"…because it’s a piece of sh*t.
A POS? THIS face?! (Letterkenny Problems via YouTube)
Actually bringing this car to a mechanic every time McMurray breaks down would bankrupt any working-class citizen and send all of that mechanic’s kids and grandkids through Harvard. So I decided to take the DIY approach to auto repair. I’m now a YouTube-certified mechanic (joking) who has saved tens-of-thousands of dollars (not joking) on repairs. With the INSANE prices of used vehicles nowadays, I’m certainly unable to afford upgrading from McMurray any time soon. I want to share my experiences with you – the YouTube-certified mechanic in training – to save you some money. Just remember: you need your own tools (or a good friend who will lend them to you). If you can’t change your own oil, you shouldn’t attempt fixing your own vehicle. You’ll make it worse.
I speak from experience.
Welcome to: The McMurray Chronicles!
I was driving along, minding my own business, when I noticed a grinding noise coming from the front end of McMurray…but only when the steering wheel was turned at least slightly to the right. Left turns were grind-less bliss. Right turns were painful.
Internet searches of the symptoms pointed to three possibilities: a bad CV axle, a bad wheel bearing, or a Transformer caught in my brake caliper.
Took the front passenger-side wheel off and found no Transformer. So the grinding was either coming from the CV axle or the wheel bearing. I went to the local auto parts store and bought a new CV axle.
Between having to soak everything in PB Blaster & WD-40, hours of pounding on rusted metal with a hammerfor, and lots of new cuss words, I wanted nothing more than for a plane to fall out of the sky and land on McMurray. Insurance fraud isn’t a joke; but when you have bone spurs in your spine and a landlord who really doesn’t like idiots who work on their own cars on the property but does like sending nasty emails about it, I was ready for an Act of God to put McMurray (and thus, me) out of its misery. That didn’t happen, I eventually knocked enough rust off to get the CV axle out and replaced, and put everything back together. A right turn out of the parking lot confirmed that I did indeed REPLACE THE WRONG PART, as the grinding was still there.
It was ME the entire time! BWAHAHAHAHA!! (IMAGE: Choad)
At this point, the only other possibility was the wheel bearing. There wasn’t much rust left to obstruct this operation, so it only took me about 30 minutes (wheel off to wheel back on) to replace the wheel bearing. A right turn out of the parking lot (and many more to be sure) confirmed that it was the wheel bearing that was grinding.
What I Learned
Start with the smaller, less intrusive (and cheaper) parts to replace, then move on from there. Or just be rich and take it to a mechanic.
On the Next Episode of The McMurray Chronicles:
McMurray suddenly (and randomly) lost a LOT of horsepower. Like, topping out at 15 mph downhill. McMurray’s a piece of sh*t.
Need a laugh after trying to fix your POS? Don't be spare parts and check out Letterkenny bloopers.
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Gallery Credit: ASH