Snow: Why your car might be shaking like a paint mixer

Two people dig their vehicle out from frozen snow in Center City; ;hope they checked the tires.

When we finally got out of our driveway the other day, we had a familiar and unpleasant experience.

Once we reached about 40 mph, the vehicle began shaking violently, very much as it did some years ago when we were driving in the White Mountains and learned we had a broken front axle.

We figured it wise to visit our mechanic, Bruce Pancoast, in Paoli, who unlike us, actually knows what he’s doing.

Naturally, by the time we got there, the car never had run better.

It turned out that some of that particularly dense and heavy snow-ice cocktail had become lodged in our wheels. We suspect it oozed through the grooves in the wheel cover, and had taken awhile to melt.

This, naturally, disrupted the weight balance of the car. Pancoast told us that this has been a viral issue, and an office poll has confirmed that assertion.

This particular icy mass had particularly adhesive qualities and was quite heavy. At least 1.5 inches of liquid fell across the region, in some cases close to 2.5.

An inch of water over 1 square foot weighs 5.2 pounds, so 2 inches would weigh over 10 pounds.

It is entirely possible that under certain circumstances a given wheel could be burdened with several additional pounds of weight.

That would be plenty to create imbalances and give your car the shakes.

Next time it snows, it would'nt hurt to check the wheels and knock out any additional snow you happen to see.

Here's some advice from folks who live in places where this is more often a problem.

In any event, the remedies certainly are cheaper than replacing a broken axle.