It's relaxation time on Saturday afternoon, having had a fairly busy day up
until now - even without my hoped-for trip down to Tring, which I now suspect
might possibly have been scuppered by industrial action at Parcelforce, though
that's sheer speculation. Despite not having managed a particularly early
night - thanks in part to Phil's sister Beth being up to visit for a few days -
I got up in fairly good time this morning, and spent a while looking at the
car, specifically trying to fix the troublesome windscreen washer system, as I
Unfortunately, on the Accent, Hyundai have followed the increasingly common
trend of mounting the washer reservoir in the wheel arch, with only the neck
poking through the metalwork into the engine compartment. I thought that
perhaps removing the front moulding from the car would give access, but despite
tracking down all its fixing points, it wouldn't budge, so I shelved that idea
- especially as the rain started to fall... To get my screwdriver underneath
the car to unscrew the moulding, I had to jack it up a little, whereupon I
discovered a hitherto unknown omission from the car's toolkit, namely the
wheel-brace that should have been supplied. Not that I needed it for the
procedure I was attempting, but it was still a little worrying, given that I
would have been completely stuck in the event of a puncture.
So I phoned my Hyundai dealer to query that, and also ask advice on the washer
problem. Regarding the former, they said the wheel-brace - and perhaps a few
other assorted tools - certainly should have been there, but we agreed it
wasn't really worth the fuss of them ordering one specially when I could get
one from somewhere like Halfords easily enough. Regarding the latter, they
reckoned that access to the washer reservoir was actually via a panel under the
wheel arch, and I would need to remove the wheel to get at it at all easily.
So I needed the wheel-brace there and then anyway, so in the end I had little
choice but to add it to my Saturday shopping list.
Obviously now slightly paranoid about the risk of puncturing or something, and
with enough rain now to dissuade me from walking as I normally would, I drove
tentatively into the city centre to do my shopping, and I had no trouble
getting a suitable universal wheel-brace at Halfords - and it looked a lot more
substantial than the Hyundai one did in the pictures in the manual, so I'm sure
it was a good buy for about a tenner, especially being an extendible one
allowing plenty of torque. Parking wasn't so easy, eventually ending up on the
top floor of the food-centre multi-storey, which in itself was an experience,
though the car-park seems to have been designed with a lot more manoeuvring
space than many more modern abominations.
By the time I got home again - having had a very yummy Bacon Whopper meal for
lunch, and finally got my hair cut - it was looking bright again, so once I'd
unpacked my food and stuff, I decided I'd get my hands dirty with the car
again. I jacked it up nice and high, and had a good look under the wheel arch,
but really couldn't see any panel that looked like it was going to come off at
all easily; I might try again sometime when I'm not going to be kneeling in
puddles, but I suspect that this might well be a job for someone who really
knows what they're doing. So I didn't actually use the wheel-brace in the end,
but it was still very wise for me to have bought it today, because I would
never have been able to drive with any peace of mind knowing it wasn't there in
case of an emergency.
But not to be defeated, I thought I'd see what I could do to the washer system
without needing specialist knowledge. I located the rubber hose that led to
the bonnet-mounted washer jets, and managed to pull it apart at a joint.
Blowing into the end attached to the jets didn't seem to pose any big problems,
with a fine spray ejecting itself from the jets, and what seemed like perfectly
reasonable air-flow against my hands. Blowing into the other end caused the
washer reservoir to froth furiously like a witch's cauldron - especially with
the green screenwash mixture! - so there was no obvious problem there either.
But, putting it all together again, it still didn't seem to be working at all
near efficiently, so I'll have to have another look, and if I don't have any
joy, refer it to my dealer for what would hopefully be a warranty repair.
Phil suggests that next time I fiddle with it, I try sucking as well as blowing
- it'll probably taste disgusting, but be harmless enough, and if there is a
blockage somewhere, it should help further in dislodging it, even if "it" ends
up in my mouth... That will do for now, though - especially as there's now
thunder and lightning around too - because although it's a little annoying that
the washer doesn't work properly, it isn't completely dead, so I can muddle
along a little longer if need be.