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Breaking Down, Backing Up

The rubber on the rear wipers of the Subaru Forester began disintegrating a few months ago. Now, in the month of mud on Goose Creek, a state-maintained if picturesque pigpath of a mountain road, we really need a squirt and a swish every so often to be able to see where we've been out the back window. Well, you'd be amazed at the number of Subaru's in Floyd County that are the same make and year as ours; and every one of them has it's rear wipers falling apart at precisely the same time. So the part is on backorder, as 2004 Foresters across the country go 'round with opaque rear windows, waiting for a fix to the time-to-failure crisis aflicting their wiper blades.

And all of this was aggravation enough, what with the new seepages that have kept long stretches of our road wet and/or frozen now since December and our rear window correspondingly coated in liquid dirt. It's been interesting, being here now going on seven years, to notice how seeps and springs appear one year, vanish and move some new place along the bank, make new quagmires and ice rinks on different parts of our road. I suppose it is much the same way with underground currents as in our creeks that cut new channels, eroding the banks here, turning against a resistant boulder there. Those same forces of flow go on, sight unseen, in rivers of rock underground.

And we were about to encounter one of these new miry quarter miles coming down into Middle Earth yesterday when, odds overwhelmingly to the contrary, we met someone coming our way. And unfortunately, I was going to be the reverse-ee: the ONLY pulloff for four hundred yards was closer to me than to him, upslope, around a sharp curve, with the rocky bank on our left and the edge of the single lane falling off sharply right, into the creek 30 feet below. And I can't see out the back window, covered with the same mud that's been there since the wiper blades fell apart. About all of this, I am a little nervous, Ann is a lot.

The story has a happy ending, of course. We got home just fine. But if I could get my hands on the engineer that designed those self-destructing windshield wipers, I'd rub his face in the good earth of Goose Creek, and send him the bill for the crick in my neck I got sticking my whole upper body out the window while the Queen of Dire Consequences wailed her warnings of certain doom.


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We too love our Subaru Forester but the rear window is constantly opaque with the driving conditions here in Floyd. Mud comes from everywhere...even on a dry day! Our beef with Subaru was the rear window washer. Took them ages to get it functioning. That may be why our wipers haven't disintegrated yet. Couldn't use them for so long!!

I love it: the Queen of Dire Consequences. I want that for my new nickname!

Maybe you should carry a spray bottle and some paper towels with you until said parts arrive.

Yes, you should do the self-wash thing if you can and be sure and clean the blade because a piece of embedded dirt will scratch your glass in an arc-like fashion and will be there as a constant reminder.

Have you tried buying the wiper blade on line from a dealer in some other part of the country that may be in stick?

We are going to reassign that engineer to Mr. Wiffle in the Charmin department! Er, wait a minute, maybe we'll send him to the Kleenex division first.

G.G. Slipnut, Engineering Subaru Forestry & Paper Products

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