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was a grease monkey today?!?

Posted by klseiverd (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 25, 13 at 20:20

Car has been doing this TOTALL random and infrequent sputter for... a long time. Brother suggested changing air filter before taking it in anywhere... he's NOT a mechanic, but new filter was only about $15. Car parts place said, just undo clips, pull out old filter, put new one in and reclip. Went out around 10 this morning and already HOT/HUMID here in NJ. Turned key just far enough to put all the windows down before popping hood. Rear wipe started running intermittent on its own... car was NOT on?? Wrestled old filter out... have no clue if it was dirty or FILTHY?? Pretty clean on top but pretty gray/black on bottom. Back wiper still going... oh, that happened 2 times before but stopped after about 5 minutes after leaviing to come home from school. Could only wrestle 2 of 4 clips back on to air filter. Wanted to pull fuse on rear wiper, but didn't have that little gizmo to pull fuse. Of course, hadda just about stand on head under steering wheel and fuse was WAY up in one corner... need adult strength and hands/fingers of a 3-4 yo. Drove to car parts place to throw myself on their mercy to fasten those 2 clips... which the guy did gratiously! The rear wipers mysteriously STOPPED less than 100 yards from store?? They actually opened up a fuse puller to "try"... car apparently has what they call "mini-fuses" and doo-dad wouldn't grip anything. They used really small eedle-nose vise grips and pulled fuse. Surprised car did this while NOT running? Maybe a "relay"... whatever that is. Just gonna leave fuse OUT... thinking if car goes all "Christine" on me in the middle of the night... dead battery? Ever experienced anything like this?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: was a grease monkey today?!?

This is an interesting set of circumstances, but how can anyone make a reasonable guess if they do not know what they are dealing with? For example, is this a car old enough o be a collector's item or is just a 12 yr old car with gremlins in its electrical system? So what make, model, engine and year?

Likely, your rear wipers are operated by a circuit board that contains a "pulse wipe"/ delay function. That could be misbehaving. But you'd think the wiper should shut down if its control switch (on the dash or steering column) was turned off. This is a concern if this thing is taking off on its own. If the control switch is on a stalk on the steering column, the driver may inadvertently activate it.

An engine with fuel injectors may occassionally sputter if there is a load of old fuel in the gas tank. If the car has sat for 2 to 3 months with a load of fuel with 10% alcohol, the alcohol attract moisture and may have absorbed enough water to degrade the fuel. A fresh tank of gasoline can alleviate this problem. However, if the trouble is electrical, then other measures must be employed.

I can think of problems with an old fashioned distributor with points, but I am betting your car does not have such.

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