March 30th, 2003


When in the course of human events......,

You're young and have more time then money, some interesting life lessons can be learned.

Mike's truck has power windows in the doors. The other day [when it was still warm] the windows went down. In the evening [when the rains came] the passenger side window refused to go back up. As a temporary measure he covered it with plastic, but it was obviously a problem to be dealt with.

We tackled it today, my tools and supervision, but I wanted him to do as much as he could himself. The first task was figuring out how to get the door panel off. That done we looked at the switch, glass, tracks and motor to be sure they all appeared as they should be. Next came the shop manual, the schematic, and an introduction to tracing a circuit with a volt/ohm meter. The switch was OK and there was power getting that far, so it was time to go deep inside and pull the motor,

That's where we found something interesting.
It wasn't plugged in !
Almost every electrical part on a car will have some kind of a push together connector and nearly always theres a lock tab to keep it from vibrating apart. Sometime in the past this one had been serviced and the tab had been broken. The solution was to push it back together and warp it in two directions with electrical tape - it won't come apart again.

Lessons learned?
How to work with several different tools.
How to read and trace a circuit.
And, that most things end up having a simple solution after all.

Oh yes, if you're willing to spend a bit of time, apply some logic, and maybe get your hands dirty, you can leave about a hundred dollars worth of shop labor charges in your wallet, not theirs.
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