Friday, 30 August 2013

The Saga of the Wishy Washy Wiper Water Bottle

From Tamara de Klusvrouw's
contact page. 
Or how I took my first step out of Stepford.

This is the fascinating tale of how I came to eventually do lots of things for myself instead of trying to find ever more tactful ways of reminding the Baron that I needed them done. Along the way you will learn many new things - most importantly how to get the bonnet of your car open and which little bottle is the wishy washy wiper water bottle (big clue: it looks nothing like a perfume bottle -there is no pouffy squeezy thing on the top of it, wink).

Wishy washy wiper water
bottle available from ebay
Perfume bottle. Pic
from Secret Salons
It started with me going into one of the party threads on the board of writers I go on and having a discreet li'l whisper. Of course, being an academic, I did also attempt to find out how to fill the wishy washy water bottle by doing a literature review but I tell you what, those car manuals are not written by anyone who has a clue about the MILF mentality.

Now then, gather round. I've come in here to ask this as there won't be feminists rolling about laughing at me in here, hopefully. In here I'm hoping you'll pitch in in a sisterly way and tell me what to do.

Richard Wolf sings a hymn
to the Jag XKE
If it helps you can picture me standing by a Jaguar E type with my skirt hitched up. (C'mon, you are writers, use your imagination. Make it a smart skirt not some rara number, please! The MILF has standards, y'know.)

I've asked my fella five times to put some water in the windscreen washer bit of the car and I'm bored of driving around peering through the murky windscreen at vague moving shapes outside while ferrying a precious Piglet to cub scouts and the like. I looked in the manual and it says put special VW washer-splasher in the water. Now I have two questions:

Do I have to put some special water in the washer water container? Or can I put boiled water out of the kettle or something in there?

Available at knock down price!
Does it have to be VW washer-splasher bubbly stuff or will the Piglet's Hello Kitty bubble bath do? I mean, standard wishy-washy stuff I could prob. buy from the garage near ASDA, so I don't have to go to the other side of town (down near the Bluebirds' stadium - don't ask) to the VW garage and get drooled over by a lot of mechanics, as well as ripped off for being a GIRL.

I may have to come back to ask how to get the bonnet open (stop LAUGHING!) but that should be in the manual, right? 

(skirt hitched up emoticon)

Thinking I was just having a larf, many of my pals in the party thread politely didn't pick up my plea for Knight Errantry. It took another Woman to realise that I was not joking.

Oh, I'm so with you. We're having an issue with a loose mirror on the driver's side of the car. It likes to pop out of the casing and dangle as I'm driving. Last time it did it to me, it was bouncing off the side of the car. I called the mister when I got to the party I was going to and told him that, since it still hadn't been fixed after THREE MONTHS, the next time it popped out on me I was either going to let it beat the shit out of the paint, or rip the little fucker off and leave it in the middle of the road.

For your question, I'd recommend avoiding Piglet's Hello Kitty bubble bath. When you manage to get the bonnet open (there might be a switch inside the car), I can't imagine that you shouldn't be able to use the standard stuff. If it creates a problem... well, maybe someone should have listened to you before you got to the fifth request.

Good luck

I could not believe my ears!

God, exact same thing with our right wing mirror! Fella's response: I just use the rear view mirror

Can you imagine! "Use the rear view mirror." Y'know the one he was referring to - that mirror that's actually for adjusting your lipstick? I mean, DUH! (wink)
Pic from this blog illustrates short story. 
At this point, my great friend Handley_Page realised I seriously did not know how to put water in any receptacle in my car's engine and tentatively offered some advice in exchange for the magnets from our broken pippity-ping (Welsh for microwave oven). 

HP, I only want to know how to put water in the windscreen wiper washy thing. I have honestly tried to figure this out for myself in a scholarly way by studying the manual but it's no good. I need a person-who-knows-about-cars. The pippity-ping is yours.

What kind of car do we have? We have a black car. 

(<Snerk>, OK, I've actually got a VW Polo.)

HP replied: 
If it really IS a polo:
the release catch is on the left hand side below the glove compartment , about at knee height.
Pull it fairly hard and then open bonnet by releasing the safety catch at the front of the bonnet( bit fiddly first time, might need to use torch to get familiar with mechanism.)
You'll find the washer bottle somewhere in the engine compartment, usually somewhere by a wing.

(Wing? I thought we were talking about my car! not a light aircraft.)

Thank you so much HP! So helpful. And courteous as well. They don't make them like they used to. Well, not if you believe what you read in that Orgasm thread anyway! What insights being offered by the Laydees.

I have had such a nice day today, AND learned how to open the car bonnet. I thought there might be a handle under the dashboard but I was looking on the wrong side - the driver's side. Next thing you know, I'll be cleaning the sprockets and tidying up the spark plugs. Well I would do if I wasn't such a slut .

Chain and sprockets
HP started serioiusly pitching in with the proper stuff at this stage. Now listen carefully cuz there are very good tips in here. You don't want to get your feather duster going over spark plugs 'n sprockets for nothing, after all:

Cleaning spark plugs is not the simple deal it once was, so just leave them alone is my advice.
If you find a sprocket in your car, check your bike first, cos you'll have to look damned hard for one outside the engine/gearbox assembly.
If in washer doubt. just use water !

Phew, well, there we are my dears! Umm ... well, no not quite.

Cuz when I came to try and look for the release catch on the left hand side below the glove compartment, I had a terrible job! There was a piccie in the car manual and it clearly showed a nice blue handle but was there such a thing anywhere in that bit of the car where you have some space to keep a couple of spare pairs of shoes and a cocktail dress just in case? Niet. There I was, lying all over the seats with my head down in among the crisp packets and spare shoes, waving my legs in the air as I attempted to look for a blue handle. I was messaging HP frantically and he could hardly type he was so busy wiping the tears of laughter out of his eyes. Gah! So finally I found the handle under his guidance and it was not blue at all! It was just the same dull grey as the rest of the inside of the car, they made it some nice shade of blue in the pic just to trick ditzy MILFs into imagining there would be a bit of a splash to lift the colour scheme of the car interior. Huh!

Here you can see the sort of
seriously boring interior which
disguises important handles from
needy MILFs. Yah - that one. Look
look, it is there, carefully camouflaged.
Oh well. And then I was pulling on the handle and hoping I would not pull so hard it came off in my hand, cuz when you are an ex-rugby player these things will sometimes happen, dahlink. (Although I have never had to try and screw back a body part, I hasten to assure you. I mean screw back on, as opposed to ... yah, OK, never mind! Stop sniggering and concentrate on this most important information about the handle.)

Well the bonnet sort of clicked and when I went to look you could lift it up a bit but just like HP warned me, there was still a safety catch holding it in. I didn't need a torch to find it and push it back but I jolly nearly had to call emergency manicurists to the scene cuz these things are no good for your nails, sweet thing. Then I had the bonnet opened and - you will be v. impressed at this bit, dahlink! - I sort of 'memembered that once when I did open a car bonnet there was a kind of metal rod that you could lean it on so it stayed open and I found it and found the hole it slotted into (I am good at slotting things in holes - wink) and there I was with complete access to the car engine .

Gah! just look at all those bottles!
How is a MILF supposed to choose?
But but but. There were all sorts of caps and bottles and receptacles for this and that in there! I did kinda think the white plastic one with the blue cap looked likely to be the wishy washy wiper water bottle but I did not wish to be making a mistake. Y'know how it is when by mistake you put a bit of Chanel No. 5 in the bottle that ought to have Guerlain's Jardin de Bagatelle in it, or, quelle horreur! some v. young cub of a waiter puts Bollinger in your glass that is already half full of Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque - :eek:! I did not wish for that sort of dreadful disaster to be going on in my car engine cuz I need the car to take Piglet to synchronised swimming.

I was going to take exciting pix of the various bottles I could see in there to message to HP so he could tell me which was the right one, and then - what a piece of luck! Nice painter blokes turned up (finally ) to paint the front of our house. I could ask them. The two young cubbish ones giggled and blushed but the older one was extremely courteous and polite and even checked my water levels. I mean the water levels in my car!

And so ... finally, dahlinks, I went in the house and put some water (just tap water will suffice, I have been given to understand) and Ecover washing up liquid in a jug (this li'l MILF is very eco-friendly y'know, oh OK, just very friendly <snerk>). I took this concoction outside and poured it in the white plastic bottle with the blue cap.

And it worked! I could not believe how nicely I could suddenly see the road and whizzing cars and lorries coming towards me and all sorts while I drove along.

From How Stuff Works (windshield wipers)


  1. Does your local authority have evening classes in Car Maintenance?

    If so, they usually start with the basics like how to open the bonnet.

    Many years ago when I went to such a class, I expected it to be full of young would-be boy-racers. It wasn't. It was full of disgruntled wives whose husbands wouldn't fix the car, and single women fed up with being patronised by car mechanics.

    The instructor worked for the local Lotus dealer and would turn up in one of the demonstrators, or a recent trade-in. He couldn't use the Lotus for the demonstrations, so used any car that the students turned up in - usually mine because my Upright Ford was so basic. Everyone could see everything easily.

    The classes were a success. Everyone learned the basics. I knew them already but I and a couple of other 'advanced' students moved on to relining brakes, changing clutches and decoking the engine.

    The single women and the few single men practised other 'basics' after the classes. ;-)

    1. Mmmm ... that does sound tempting! Who knows what I might pick up there (wink).

      It is kinda hard for me to get out in the evenings. I do my own lectures, of course, and I have started going to burlesque shows occasionally. I would like to learn Welsh but I must give car maintenance some thought. Perhaps they do daytime classes for disgruntled MILFs to take when we are not ferrying the piglets from cubs to karate.

  2. Wishy Washy advice:

    When the weather turns colder, you need to use proper windscreen washer liquid, diluted according to the maker's instructions. If you don't - the washer water could freeze in the tank or in the tubes leading to the washing jets. That could be an expensive repair.

    You can buy windscreen washer liquid from supermarkets or car part stores. You can buy it ready-to-use (more expensive in the long run) but easier. You just pour that into the bottle. Or you can buy the concentrated liquid and dilute it. But the supermarkets don't play fair. Their 'concentrated' liquid is more diluted than that from car part stores, or is a smaller container. Supermarket windscreen washer liquid might seem cheaper, but it isn't. DON'T buy it at a garage and definitely NOT at a motorway service area. They charge the earth for it.

    It depends on how cold it gets in Stepford. If it gets below -10C then you need a higher concentration. A concentration unnecessarily high costs you more money and streaks the windscreen. Too low - the water could freeze. Trust car manufacturers to make life difficult.

    During Spring, Summer and Autumn plain water with a small amount of washing up liquid is OK. In cold weather when frost is possible only proper windscreen washer liquid correctly diluted will do.

  3. Oops! Added information:

    1. NEVER use antifreeze intended for the car's cooling system in the wishy-washy bottle. Most antifreeze is a good paint stripper.

    2. Concentrated or diluted wishy-washy windscreen liquid is POISONOUS. Keep well away from children and cats.

  4. Ooh, this is all v. helpful. Stepford is a reasonably temperate zone, although it can get snowy on rare occasions when the weather forecast says "Barbecue Summer coming up!" and the like. I will go to a supermarket or car parts store and inspect their goods (wink).