The rain was beginning to fall, moving from drizzle into fine droplets. The wipers began to do their thing for a few seconds until there was a clunking noise and the wipers stopped in the middle of their job. This is not the first time this has happened to me. I remember at least two occasions, as they stand out for their inconvenience. One was in driving snow and the other was when the wipers were frozen to the window. On both of these occasions I was able to rig something together using pliers and a head torch. It is possible that some finger blood and bad language was also used. One of these repairs involved removing the two blades and attaching the largest to the passenger side gear which was still moving. For a while I had a single wiper which never rested in the usual place at the bottom of the window. I amused myself by imagining myself to be driving an antiquated classic. It was not a classic.
This time it was not one of my old, more than ten years old, cars. This time it was the Honda Jazz. Being only 4 years old and with low mileage I guess it was just bad luck. Luckily I was only a quarter mile from my parent’s house and the rain was trying to decide between drops and drizzle.
The culprit, as it was on all the other occasions, was a ball and socket joint that had worn down over time. These steel ball and nylon cup arrangements cannot be replaced individually. Usually the whole wiper system ends up being replaced. The cheapest 2nd had system that I could find on the internerd was £50 plus delivery. I refused to give up so easily.
This morning I stripped out the wiper system. It was symbolic that I leant over the engine and ignored it completely, the engine on this car is a mystery to me. Years ago I would have played about with the distributor, maybe strip it down to clean and dry it in damp weather. This engine is beyond me, beyond the amateur. The ball and socket I can have a blast at. I drilled out a hole, then a wider hole, and inserted a bolt.
Another hole was drilled in the nylon socket; bigger, to allow movement.
Two nuts locked it all together leaving more room for movement, but none for dislocation.
It is not a permanent fix, but it will buy some more time. Maybe it will last the winter and more. Even though it was a simple little job, it felt like a triumph over the solution of wastage and throwing money at a problem, money that could be better spent. It feels good to have fixed it, good until it fails, on a dark night, in the cold and driving rain and wind.