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Thread: Car Repair Advice

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    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Car Repair Advice

    I couldn't believe there wasn't already a thread about this.

    So...I have a car problem. We've all heard the stories about mechanics tricking women (or car-clueless men) when the take their car in for repair. So I thought I'd come here for advice first, so I can go in with a little bit of knowledge. Or, if I'm very lucky, maybe someone will tell me its something I can easily fix myself.

    My windshield wiper blades stopped working yesterday. We'd had snow and I'd flipped them on when I got in the car. I didn't realize that they were still frozen down. So when I turned them on, they made a big racket and the passenger side one flipped up on top of the driver's side one and got stuck that way. I turned them right back off and righted them, but it was already too late. When I turned them back on, the passenger side one flew off () and the driver's side one wouldn't move.

    Now, car people, here's my question. Is there only one wiper motor? The passenger side "stump" still moves, so if that's the case, then there's nothing wrong with the motor or the fuses, correct? Could it be that the driver's side has just come loose somehow? Is there an easy way to reattach it? As for the passenger side, I'll just buy a new one and clip it on there. I'm just concerned about what to do with the driver's side. I don't want to be charged for replacing a motor if that's not the problem. Help!
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

  2. #2
    Premium Member FinallyHere's Avatar
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    It sounds like the wiper motor still works. There's probably some kind of linkage between the motor and the wipers that probably became disconnected on the drivers side. Hopefully that just needs to be reconnected.
    Some people are like slinkies, they're useless until you push them down the stairs.

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    Resident curmudgeon Newfherder's Avatar
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    Each wiper has its own motor. It sounds like the passenger side one just came off, and that the driver's side has stripped the teeth that attaches the wiper arm to the motor. The teeth on the motor are generally harder than those on the wiper arm, so the motor is probably still OK and you just need to replace the arm assembly.

    Disclaimer--every time I listen to Car Talk on NPR, I try to diagnose along with Tom and Ray. I'm rarely right.
    "The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination."
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    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Oh cool, thanks, guys. I'll try getting under the hood* tonight and see if I can figure out what could have come loose.

    * I just had an embarrassingly girlie thought of, "ugh, I just got my nails done"
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

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    Premium Member FinallyHere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer;2233952;
    Oh cool, thanks, guys. I'll try getting under the hood* tonight and see if I can figure out what could have come loose.

    * I just had an embarrassingly girlie thought of, "ugh, I just got my nails done"
    I don't want to discourage you but sometimes times you can't get to the wiper motor just by opening the hood. There might be a panel that needs to be removed to access the motor.
    Some people are like slinkies, they're useless until you push them down the stairs.

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    A Meat Loaf Aday... ClosetNerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newfherder;2233949;
    Each wiper has its own motor. It sounds like the passenger side one just came off, and that the driver's side has stripped the teeth that attaches the wiper arm to the motor. The teeth on the motor are generally harder than those on the wiper arm, so the motor is probably still OK and you just need to replace the arm assembly.

    Disclaimer--every time I listen to Car Talk on NPR, I try to diagnose along with Tom and Ray. I'm rarely right.
    I adore Car talk with Tom and Ray We've had so many car troubles over the years, I can diagnose all manner of problems now. But I still love to listen to the show and learn more things along the way.

    I am actually thinking of calling them myself.. as our car seems to have some sort of electrical bug. Whenever we step on the breaks, the headlights dim and the radio goes to static. Same thing happens when we try to put down the back passenger side window
    ~There is no way to Happiness. Happiness is the way.~

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    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FinallyHere;2233964;
    I don't want to discourage you but sometimes times you can't get to the wiper motor just by opening the hood. There might be a panel that needs to be removed to access the motor.
    Is it something that can be taken off with just a screwdriver? Or is it more complicated than that? I'm good with basic sort of car maintenance, but not so good if I have to figure out how a bunch of stuff fits back together.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

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    Premium Member FinallyHere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer;2233969;
    Is it something that can be taken off with just a screwdriver? Or is it more complicated than that? I'm good with basic sort of car maintenance, but not so good if I have to figure out how a bunch of stuff fits back together.
    It really depends on the car. You have to take check and see what it looks like.
    Some people are like slinkies, they're useless until you push them down the stairs.

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    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Just as an update...I fixed the wipers. I changed the blades (which had become tattered from the ice) and then took the very technical approach of jiggling the one that wouldn't work. I'm sure it'll stop again, but its working now.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Unklescott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer;2235665;
    ..and then took the very technical approach of jiggling the one that wouldn't work. I'm sure it'll stop again, but its working now.
    That's always a good first approach Star. Good job.


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