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Another reason I'm not an auto mechanic

Last week, after the third major snowstorm in the last few weeks, my car's windshield washer pump quit. I refilled the tank, but it didn't do any good -- no spray. I muddled along, waiting to get the time to get it fixed. In the meantime, I tried it occasionally to see if it would spontaneously fix itself.

A couple days later, I noticed that when I trying them, I could hear the pump struggling. There was hope! I got out of the car, cleared and fussed with the nozzle, crossed my fingers, reached in the window and hit the washer function again.

I was rewarded with a spray of cleaner across my windshield -- and a bit of overspray right into my face.

Apparently, some ice had clogged up the nozzle, but the repeated attempts and changing temperatures had cleared it.

Although I saved the money of an unnecessary repair, I have to wonder if it would've been worth the blow to my dignity and pride to take it to a mechanic and let him get the faceful...

J.


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Comments (19)

Have you ever tried pouring... (Below threshold)
Rick13:

Have you ever tried pouring some hot water on the area?

Jay, if your pistol jams, t... (Below threshold)
PTG:

Jay, if your pistol jams, take it to your gunsmith immediately!

Reminds me of my first car,... (Below threshold)
Robin Burk:

Reminds me of my first car, a used Dodge Dart with a slant six engine - whoo eee!! (well, as much whoo eee as I could afford - I had dropped out of college to work and save some more money before returning).

Anyway, as I was driving home from the lot a truck started crowding me. I tried to blow my horn to warn him as he pushed into my lane, pounding all over the inner areas of the steering wheel. No horn.

The Dart darted nicely into the next lane, fortunately, so I survived and the next day I took the car and my outraged nevers back to the dealer. Waited 10 minutes until the mechanics came off of their coffee break. An older guy ambled over and listened to my excited story. Then he leaned in the driver's window, pressed the small button on the rim of the steering wheel and kept a polite, straight face as the sound of the horn filled the garage. Red face!!!

PS: I second PTG on the gu... (Below threshold)
Robin Burk:

PS: I second PTG on the gun .....

I know not everyone is bo... (Below threshold)
mark m:

I know not everyone is born with "the gift" but have you NEVER had that problem before???. I'm not sure of where you are from but if you are a northerner.....use only washer solvent (DON'T ADD WATER to get you by) and if need be during a brutal cold snap, add some rubbing alchohol. It will evaporate any moisture from the system as well as lower the freezing point of the fluid. [[this is usually covered by ALL the local media on the first "how to prepare for driving in the winter" segments]] :)


Jay, there is a reason ... (Below threshold)
Peter:

Jay, there is a reason that certain controls are most easily reached by sitting in the driver's seat.
You can eliminate, except in really cold areas of the world where one merely minimises, the problem by running pure washer fluid in the winter.
I run Rain X washer fluid year round, it doesn't freeze until about 20 below or so and the slick surface coat it leaves makes it easier to get the bugs and birdshit off in warmer weather.

I hate cars with the horn i... (Below threshold)
Jay:

I hate cars with the horn in strange places. Which they generally seem to be on anything since airbags started appearing.

Expanding on what Jay just ... (Below threshold)

Expanding on what Jay just said, I had exactly the same problem two weeks ago. Here's what it is- Apparently the cheap 'blue' crap they sell for a buck or so a bottle is so watered down that it'll freeze in as warm as 25 degrees or so and will freeze in the nozzle (generally when you need it the most!) Replace your windshield washer fluid with something that sports a 'de-icing' agent (the rain-x Jay mentioned works nice... exactly what I picked up). That ought to clear the problem for you.

PS... whoops, should have a... (Below threshold)

PS... whoops, should have attributed it to Peter... Sorry... misread the comments

I've heard that tow truck d... (Below threshold)
Jon:

I've heard that tow truck drivers here often put rubbing alcohol in with their washer fluid. I've got a case of it sitting in my garage, so I tried it. It hasn't frozen up yet, and does a good job cleaning the windshield, but now I smell wintergreen every time I run the washer.

The difference is Jay, the ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

The difference is Jay, the mechanic would have known to get in the car.

And what is this "ice" problem you guys are talking about?

I wish they would put the d... (Below threshold)
ridgerunner:

I wish they would put the dimmer switch back on the floor board. the hands are far too busy on today's cars.
P.S. I also use the rain X. the blue stuff freezes up in a hard frost.

"And what is this "ice" pro... (Below threshold)
mark m:

"And what is this "ice" problem you guys are talking about?"

Turd!!.

On a better note....it's in the mid to upper 30's here today...friggin heat wave.

Um I live in California... (Below threshold)

Um I live in California

Yea, good question what is ice?

(side note, I live in Bakersfield, in the central valley, we get anywhere from below freezing at night in winter to 125 degrees in the summer, so I HAVE seen ice. Not to mention the ONE time it snowed in Bakersfield and stayed on the ground - in my living memory that is, January 1998)

hehe Cripes, I could have ... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

hehe Cripes, I could have told you that - whatever you do, don't try to fix anything really important.

dufus!

Cindy

If you had taken it to a me... (Below threshold)
DJ:

If you had taken it to a mechanic, he would have pulled it into the service bay, gone on break, and then looked for the problem after the ice had melted. It would have sprayed fine. He would have thought you are an idiot and you would have thought he is an asshole.

Fix it yourself and avoid the expense and irritation. Then use only 100% washer solution that is made for low temperatures and the problem will never recur.

Send my consulting fee to tsunami relief.

I hear ya! I got hit in the... (Below threshold)

I hear ya! I got hit in the face with washer solvent more than once doing the same thing. Jay, I like your humorous writing style!

Suggested new post title:<b... (Below threshold)
JoeEgo:

Suggested new post title:
"Another Reason People Live in Southern California"

Not to rub it in or anything.

Paul,Just cause yo... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

Paul,

Just cause you're in LA doesn't mean you have to rub it in to us northerners with 0 degree weathers!!

Brat.

Cindy




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