I get upset with my wife when she leaves windshield...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Nov 01, 1994

Dear Tom and Ray:

I get upset with my wife when she leaves windshield wipers and heater or air conditioner switches in the "on" position when she turns off the ignition. The wipers are often stopped "in their tracks" in the middle of the windshield. My contention is that, besides requiring more from the battery to start the car next time, the windshield wiper motor may burn up if the wipers freeze to the windshield in the interim. Am I being too obsessive-compulsive or is she being careless? She also can't remember to scoot the driver's seat back for my larger bod when I might drive the car next. I think this is like not putting the toilet seat down for women--and I do that!

TOM: Well, A.J., you're right about the windshield wipers. If you live in an area of the country that gets snow, ice, frost, sleet, hail, or any of those other things that don't stop the post office, than you should park your car with windshield wipers "off." Like you say, A.J., if the wiper arms freeze to the windshield overnight, and you start the car the next morning with the wiper switch "on," you could easily croak the wiper transmission or burn out the motor.

RAY: But you're wrong about the heater blower and air conditioner. Power to all the major accessories (like the blower and a/c) is automatically interrupted when you start the car. That's so all of the battery's power can be directed to the starter. So you should get off her case about that one.

TOM: Now let's get to the important issue; the seat. Your wife pulls the driver's seat all the way up and leaves it there when she parks, making it hard for you squeeze into the car. And I agree with you, A.J. It is as inconsiderate as your leaving the toilet seat up after you're finished.

RAY: So you need to get some bargaining leverage. I'd start leaving the toilet seat up before you go to bed. And after your wife drops down into that cold water a couple of times in the middle of the night, I'm sure she'll be more than ready to cut a deal.

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