Jeremy's almost but not quite entirely moribund blog

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Windshield wipers

A few months ago, the windshield wiper switch on my 2000 Honda Civic broke, resulting in funny behavior like the blades stopping the second you let go of the lever, even in the middle of the windshield, and when you pull the lever back to squirt the windshield, it'd keep squirting forever until you push it back.

The car was due for a safety inspection, and I figured it wouldn't pass in this condition. I picked up a new switch at the local Honda dealer and installed it this morning. The wipers worked like they should, but the windshield squirty-things didn't squirt.

Just yesterday I topped off the wiper fluid, so I knew that wasn't the problem. This pointed at the pump. Looking under the hood, I couldn't even see the pump. Only the top of the reservoir poked through the maze of frobnitzes and gormishes. Looking up from below, I couldn't see it either. I was worried I'd have to remove the front bumper, but it turned out the pump is situated just in front of the front wheel and is accessible through the wheel well once the cover is removed. I picked up a new pump at AutoZone (which was much less expensive than the switch, interestingly enough), drained the fluid into a bucket, and swapped pumps. Now I can squirt the windshield again; in fact, the new pump almost overshoots the windshield entirely. I guess it's a little more powerful.

With a working windshield wiper system, I took my car to Jiffy Lube for the inspection, and they told me my blades needed replacement... so one more trip to AutoZone.

Side note: Jiffy Lube also told me my air filter needed replacement, and they offered to do it for $15. I declined, because I knew the air filter is easy to install, so I thought I'd save a few bucks. Until I saw what the new air filter cost at AutoZone: $15. I guess next time I'll just let Jiffy Lube do it.

I also replaced the cabin air filter and windshield wiper blades on the family van. And my Civic has a door that won't open from the outside... maybe I'll make a clean sweep of it and look at that this evening.

Aren't cars fun?

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