Wiped Out Wiper Stalk

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Apr 14, 2016

Dear Car Talk:

Someone recently broke into our dear old 1994 manual-shift Honda Civic (possibly for a dry night of sleep) and thanked us by breaking off the windshield-wiper lever. Now we can't drive it when it rains. Our mechanic is searching for a replacement, but as time passes, chances don't look good that he'll find one. We don't want to have to replace this car just now. Any advice on how to rig an adequate replacement?

-- Gail

Gee, I would have thought the stick shift would have been a bigger impediment to sleep than the wiper stalk -- if you know what I mean.

It sounds like your mechanic may be looking for a new part -- which would be hard to find. If so, suggest that he change tactics. This is absolutely a job for a junkyard.

These switches are practically indestructible, so if you find a junkyard that has one, it'll almost certainly work. If it's still in a car, your mechanic will have to remove the steering wheel to get at it. But then you just remove four screws and unplug the harness, and it comes right out.

I really think you'll be able to find a used switch at a junkyard. But if worse comes to worst, you could just buy any double-pole toggle switch, wire it up and mount it somewhere on your dashboard. That way, you'll still have both wiper speeds.

You even could mount it on the side of the steering column, where the broken stalk used to be. It won't be elegant. But neither is your '94 Civic. I have a feeling you might be a toggle-switch kind of girl, Gail. Good luck.

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