The Hamilton Spectator

Answers to your car questions



Hi Dennis. Thank you for continuing to serve your readers with excellent advice and meaningful insights on all things automotive. My question relates to windshield wiper arms being moved to the raised position in anticipati­on of a snow or ice storm. I maintain that there will not be any detrimenta­l effect to the springs whereas a friend of mine claims that it will weaken the springs and therefore does not lift them. What is your experience around this topic? A bottle of Barolo hangs in the balance! Thanks.

Pat from Dundas


You both could be correct. Lifting up the wiper arms for one, two or three days during the winter to help protect the fragile rubber surface of the wiper blade, is not going to affect the tension of the wiper arm spring but it will prolong the longevity of the wiper blade. Leaving the wiper arms up over an extended period of time, such as one to two weeks however will tend to decrease the strength of the spring in the wiper arm.


Hi Dennis, I enjoy reading your column in the Spectator every week. My Cadillac

XLR has one taillight with malfunctio­ning LEDs. The complete units are no longer available from GM and used units are incredibly expensive. There are places in the US that repair them and I was wondering if you are aware of anyone in Ontario offering this service. Thanks in advance.

Paul from Hamilton


Sorry Paul, I had put out feelers and to date, no one knows of anyone who can do the repairs. Maybe some of my readers know of a place that can repair the light for you. I will let you know of any responses.


I was driving up north the other day with the children in tow and was going about one hundred and ten kilometers per hour when one of the kids lowered the rear window which resulted in the unusual thundering noise that comes when you open the rear window. The next thing that I knew is that I heard a loud cracking noise and the front windshield shattered. Enclosed is the bill for the replacemen­t of the windshield. I had to pay the first three hundred dollars. I am worried that this may be a fault design of the car from the manufactur­er and next time, the result may be much worse. I would like your opinion.

Bill from Hamilton


The thundering noise that you heard was from the outside air passing and mixing with the confined air inside the vehicle. The term used for this air interactio­n is called wind buffeting. You can reduce most of this noise by just opening another window. I never heard of someone opening a rear door glass and causing the windshield to shatter. I did call the glass company to see if they agreed that the opening of the rear window caused the glass to shatter. The glass company claimed that the windshield was cracked and did not shatter. Apparently there were mixed beliefs between you and the glass company as to what caused the front glass to crack. You were adamant that the glass cracked as a result of the opening of the rear window. The glass company tried to convince you that it was something that hit the windshield, which caused it to crack. I cannot rule out what you are telling me but the glass company told me that they also had never heard of a windshield cracking, as a result of opening the rear window. They also believed that the opening of the rear door glass would not crack the windshield. The glass company then told me that you wanted them to put in writing that the shattered glass occurred as a result of the rear door glass being lower at highway speeds. They would not put that in writing for you. When I questioned them as to why you wanted that in writing, they said that you told them that you were going after the car company for endangerme­nt of your family. That also should have been something that you should have told me. My column is an opinion column only and used to help elucidate automotive problems. This column cannot be used for the purpose of court because the wording, that I would have to use, would be based on my collected facts and not from a reader’s interpreta­tion of what they believed happened. If I found this out with one phone call, others will too and I think that you should alert your lawyer to the opinion of the glass company before you needlessly waste your money.

To my readers: Please indicate the town, city or village that you live in. Be advised that unfortunat­ely not all emails can be answered. Send your questions (including address) by email to: dennis.osullivan6­

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada