Tuesday, September 10, 2013

And I Repair Cars

Third Tail light by Teckelcar
Third Tail light, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Last week I brought the van in for new tires. One tree was shot to heck and I was driving around on the spare. I had a sneaking suspicion that at least one other tree needed replacing and had the shop check them all out.

I was right and in reality all needed replacing and after the *ahem* slightly overdue inspection it turned out I had a burnt out reverse signal light and the third tail light was so dim it was effectively nonfunctional. Thus my van earned a big old reject sticker. Since my van is rather geriatric, 9 1/2 years to be precise, and a discontinued mode my mechanics didn't have the tail light on hand. They told me I had 15 days to correct the problems and maybe I should look around for a tail light in a junkyard. It is a complicated part and it would be silly to spend a lot on such an old vehicle.

After a bit of research I discovered exactly how complicated the part is, in order to replace the third light I would also have to replace the windshield wiper motor. Yes,that's right, the Ford motor company in all its wisdom combined the tail light and the rear wiper motor. The above picture shows the entire part. Every mechanic I've talked to this past week has shook their head and said that's crazy.

Unfortunately I could not find a used one, this was after two junkyards and a dealer in salvaged auto-parts. So I was stuck going to the dealership and ordering from them, note the parts department thought the combo was crazy as well. Today the part came in and I was able to successfully install the new wiper motor and tail light. Toss in a new reverse light buld and I was good to go for inspection.

It's nice to have a vehicle without a rejection sticker.

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