Tonight on the way home, I made the mistake of using the A/C. At a stop light, I niticed some unusual grinding feelings from under the car via my feet. Noticed the oil pressure also seemed low. Turned off the A/C and they went away. Turned it back on, and they came right back, and then the car died and wouldn't start, right in the middle of traffic. Backed into a turning lane eventually and tried starting it a few more times. Finally it started up and I continued on my way.
A while later I pulled off the road for a minute into a driveway. Misjudged in the dark and ran a bit over the grass. As luck would have it, there was the stump of some bush that had been cut down there, which made a terribly frightful noise as I went over it. Car seemed alright so I continued on my way. Heard some subtle noise that seemed relative to my speed, figured some bit of branch or something was wrapped around the driveshaft so ignored it until I could get home where I could have light. A mile or so later the car started making a terrible racket and I thought metal bits must be tearing off under the car. Pulled into the next drive and had a look, relieved to discover it was only a flat rear tire. I'd had a flat previously, and put a Bundt rim tire into the trunk as a spare as the wheel was the correct size. Well that didn't work at all, since the steel rim bolts were too short.
Called AAA for a tow, and then it started raining. Unfortunately it was so hot and muggy I could hardly bear to sit inside the car. Then the wind REALLY picked up and tornado sirens started sounding. Lots of lightning. That passed after a while (but the rain didn't), and finally a couple hours later a tow truck showed up, with the most brain dead driver possible - I suspect a long history of huffing fumes. Anyways got back to the garage and set about swapping the Bundt rimmed tire set from my dormant 300CD to the 450SE. Not the correct size (actually that set was from my 300SD in the first place) but consistent.
Much sweat later, the 300CD had it's BBS's installed and I had the flat tire replaced. When I went to change the front one, the car suffered catastrophic jack point failure, damaging the door in the process (fortunately the tire was not yet removed). Sigh.
Moved the badly-leaking 200D off the lift and used that to change the rest of the tires. Hope I don't get a flat in the front - I suspect the other front jack point is also rusted out inside too - the rockers look fine from the sides but there are rust holes in the front wheel well.
While on the lift, determined that I scratched up the bottom a fair bit, but no real damage from the shrubbery stump. Also figured out the cause of my exhaust rattle - a loose bracket at the front of the rear muffler. Tried to tighten the nut and the bolt broke instead, which is a part of the bracket, so now it's no longer secured at all there. Also determined that while the rear flex disc seems okay, the front one feels quite dry and brittle - I'll probably just replace both soon. Tried to raid the bracket from my 450SEL but it's quite different - the whole exhaust system uses fatter pipes and the muffler is bigger.
Yay for problems?