Let me start out by saying, I only have one vehicle. No back-up, no Winter car, just the one. So, when something goes wrong, I have to get it fixed as soon as possible. You don't realize how much you rely on your vehicle, until it is suddenly unavailable for some reason or another.

So, last Wednesday evening, when I heard a funky noise coming from my vehicle, I thought maybe it was ice caught up in the wheel wells, because that happens in our great state here, often. So, not worrying too much about it, I went about my normal routine. Then the sound got worse. Ok, we can deal with this, maybe the brakes have moisture in them, they squeal sometimes when that happens. Pump the brakes, and keep going.

Ok, now we are at Friday morning, and the sound is getting worse. Ugh, my thought is I cannot afford a huge repair right now, but, I need to get this fixed. I just replaced the brakes a couple years ago, it's not sitting funny or handling weird at turns. Vehicle isn't shaking either, so what is going on? It sounded like either something was dragging on the ground, or I had hit a cat, neither one a good thing. Well, the heat shield for the exhaust is hanging, could that be the problem?

Melissa Hall/Townsquare Media

Yeah, that was not the issue. Heat shield came off, and the noise got worse, if that is even possible. I grounded myself for the weekend, if I could not get a ride anywhere, then I was staying home, so as not to drive in case it was something very serious, like a wheel bearing.

On Monday, I drove to work, carefully, babying the vehicle the whole way. My mechanic was going to meet me at work here, to check it out, and let me know what was going on. Unfortunately, he was not able to meet me though. What is a person to do?

I will tell you what I did. I called another garage, it needed to be checked out for safety's sake, and Seykora Automotive got me right in. He made zero promises on being able to fix it right away, if it was labor intensive, but, he would take a look at it. I thought of Seykora's because they were a guest on Talk of the Town, at the end of December, they came in with the Owatonna Chamber of Commerce. Also, they are very close to our studio here.

So, he got my vehicle in right away, put it on the hoist, and started to spin the wheels. Every single one was fine, except the front driver's side. It squealed and made an awful grinding noise, very high-pitched and grating on the nerves. Ok, so that is where the problem is. And what exactly was the problem?

The infamous "rock" Melissa Hall/Townsquare Media

A rock -- well a pebble with aspirations to become a rock -- stuck between the brake pad and rotor. It was so tiny, but, the whole tire had to be taken off before the rock/pebble would come loose. It fell out, and we almost lost it. I have never had this issue before. Apparently this happens quite often, people will pick up all sorts of things and not even realize it. Once the pebble was out, no more noise. Amazing how that all worked out.

Total time for them to check over my vehicle and fix it, 10 minutes. All of that concern that it could be a huge repair, and it was a tiny pebble. You better believe I kept that pebble too. A good reminder that sometimes the smallest things can cause the most noise. Thank you so much to Clint Seykora at Seykora Automotive for getting me in right away, and understanding my concern over the noise, even though it was a minor thing.

One thing for sure, owning a vehicle is expensive, and having stress and anxiety over an unknown issue is the worst.

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