How did the average guy fix anything on a car before the internet?
I was thinking about that a few days ago when the driver’s side window on my Mustang convertible started acting a little strange. The Mustang is designed so that everytime you open the door the window drops down about half an inch. When you close it, the window pops back into place. It does that so that the top doesn’t interfere with the window and the convertible top seals properly.
At least it did until about a week ago. The window would open slightly, but wouldn’t close. I would have to remember to raise it with the switch. We’re not talking a critical hardship here. Not like the old days whe you actually had to turn the crank round and round to move the glass. Imagine that! No, this was just a slight annoyance. It’s designed to do something and it wasn’t getting the job done.
Years ago when problems like this cropped up, you didn’t have many options. If you were really lucky you had a brother-in-law who knew enough about cars to explain the fix. If not, you were stuck heading to the dealership or trusty mechanic where a few dollar bills inserted correctly could always make it work just fine.
Today, I simply hit Google. I typed in “Window Gap Malfunction Door”, and the collective knowledge of Mustang owners all over the country suddenly appeared. In this case I found the forum at AllFordMustangs.com. Sure enough, someone else had faced the same problem. And like knowledge imparted from some great sage, the answer to my problem was there.
My issue was caused by the battery. I had just replaced it and that apparently jiggled the electrical system’s chi. The good news is that fixing my window was as simple as resetting the switch. Hold the switch up for two seconds. Hold the switch down for two seconds. Cycle the window up and down five times. Just that easy, the window problem was gone with no trip to the dealership and no new debt to some annoying relative.
I’d use the advice you find out there in cyberland cautiously. While the vast majority of it is just fine, there are no guarantees that the other guy’s solution will work for you without damaging something.
But at least you stand a chance that was hard to come by before the internet.
Bio: Rick DeBruhl is a gearhead since birth. Growing up he had car wallpaper in his room. In high school he spent way too much time in auto shop. After working his way through college at Sears Automotive, he turned to journalism, working as a reporter for more than three decades at KPNX-TV. Of course, he couldn't leave cars behind completely. In the mid-80s he started covering auto racing for ESPN. These days he covers IndyCar for ABC, NASCAR Nationwide for ESPN, and the Barrett Jackson collector car auctions for SPEED. His day job is working as the Chief Communications Officer for the State Bar of Arizona.