Sunday, March 04, 2007


After driving all around in the rain without windshield wipers last Sunday, I was happy to discover that the weather was clear for Monday's drive between Durham and Greensboro. But by Tuesday I was already hearing weather predictions about the major storm that would dump rain on central NC Thursday, and I knew I might be in trouble for Friday's return trip. So I took the car to a garage where they sort-of laughed at me. Here is what I've learned about windshield wipers: in modern Japanese cars, there's a little plastic panel on the assembly's base, just where it connects to the car. Beneath that panel is a standard nut that sometimes loosens when subjected to temperature extremes (or when the wiper motor is activated while the blade is frozen to the windshield, as I'd inadvertently done). All I needed was to tighten that nut--something done with any wrench, pliers, or even my fingers in a pinch. In seconds, the mechanic was done "fixing" the problem that had so worried me the day before. He didn't even charge me; but I tipped him. In my own defense, I also discovered that older American cars have an inaccessible pin which sometimes shears deep inside the mechanism that attaches to the motor itself. My last car was a seventy-one Buick, and if I stopped here, I feel like I'd have a decent excuse for not knowing I could fix this problem with my fingers. But my second-to-last car was a Nissan so I really should have known this already. Anyway, the storm really did hit Thursday, so I was glad I had wipers. Tornados ravaged several states, and were predicted for NC Friday morning, but the sky was again clear by the time I drove back to DC. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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