Jan 9, 2007

On Mechanical Repairs, Frustration, and Bailiwicks

Saturn SL wiper transmission (Toledo, OH) I have prided myself over the years with the notion that I can do almost anything if I have sufficient time, knowledge, and motivation. In the realm of auto repairs, I have been able to tackle some fairly difficult projects, including the replacement of water pumps, timing gears, and other more-than-novice tasks on various vehicles.

I am stymied, however, in getting the windshield wipers on my 1996 Saturn SL to function properly. After checking the fuse and the electrical connections, I decided to tear the car apart to see if I could fix the problem.

It appears that the gear connecting the wiper transmission linkage is not meshing with the motor. After lubricating and tightening the bolts, I thought I got it working properly. I reassembled the entire assembly - including the body molding hiding the apparatus - but now I can't get the wiper blades to line up.

After about six hours of frustration, I have decided to take it to my mechanic. My time is too valuable to be wasting it on something that requires a greater skill level than I possess.

I should have listened to the advice of posters on car repair websites, who warned that this project is a major headache. Still, even though I was unsuccessful in saving myself $100-$200 in labor, I learned a lesson in remembering that one person cannot be an expert in every facet of human existence.


Anonymous said...

I had a problem like that with an old Toyota I had, HM. I just bought the whole assembly from the junkyard for $40.


Anonymous said...

Funny pic!

Jeffrey Smith said...

My first car was a 1964 Ford. I'm lucky if I can figure out how find the dipstick on these new ones.

liberal_dem said...

I've given up on car repairs, Mike, because they cause more frustration than the money saved.

Plumbing, however, is still my nemesis and i have yet to surrender that battle!

Hooda Thunkit said...

On our last two cars I've let the dealer do all of the work, what little it needed.

With the price of the service manuals alone, I'd rather buy some of the mechanic's time than try to save a few bucks.

However, I still research the repairs needed so that I know what has to be don anyway...