Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bad timing...

A week ago Sunday Carolinians were buying bread and milk in anticipation of the incoming snow...or more correctly, the changeover from the heavy rain to snow late in the day. I had been shadowing Keith Monday at WSOC that day, and was heading home around 1pm when the driver-side windshield wiper began to make a loud clicking noise. Then it quit. Then it started. Then it quit.

About half way home I noticed the same wiper making erratic sweep patterns, sometimes going far left, other times only part way left. Mind you the rain was pouring and going without wipers was not an option. Finally, the last 10 minutes of the ride was quite uncomfortable as the noise had gotten much worse and I would manually run the wiper once every 15 seconds. But I did make it safely.

I should clarify that I was driving the 1991 Subaru wagon that I was given through the house work I did last doesn't leak in the driver's door like my old Escort wagon, and it's a great driving car to boot, low mileage, and dare I say much cleaner inside!

After the weather warmed I began my inspection of the wipers and quickly realized the driver's wiper assembly was loose, as if the mounting bolts had come off and the unit had fallen into the cowl. I was hoping that whatever the problem was that I could somehow fix it myself to save money.

That was/is not to be.

The area the wiper bolted to is sheet metal that was spotwelded at the factory, and the whole area around the wiper broke through from sheer stress (it's not rusted out, just cracked from pressure). I've seen a lot of things on a lot of cars, but never have I seen something like this before...

I went to a couple of repair shops, and both said to go to a body shop as it would need welding to fix it...I do a lot of things, but welding ain't on that list! Just when I was in a bit of despair, one mechanic said to put the longer driver's wiper on the centered passenger's wiper post and adjust it for a big centralized sweep. He went on to say that a lot of kids customizing their cars go to a central solitary wiper to look different, which it does...

And so, for now, this will do just fine! Didn't exactly make lemonade from lemons, but it works. With this gloomy economy, stepping stones are welcome, very welcome.

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