Fixing one problem creates another?

#1

I had a headlight replaced on my '88 Honda Prelude. As I left the repair shop, my wipers would not work right. The repair person said that was just a coincidence, but I find it hard to believe. Is he correct?

#2

He is almost certainly correct. There is pretty much zero connection between the two things.

Define “would not work right” - What are the wipers doing?

#3

And what was the cause of the wiper malfunction? It’s hard to form an opinion without that information.

#4

If you replaced a light bulb in your living room, and later that day your dishwasher failed to work, would you suspect that the light bulb replacement was the cause of the dishwasher malfunction? That would be the home-based equivalent of what you are imagining with your car.

Just as with the light bulb in your living room has nothing to do with a kitchen appliance, the headlight replacement in your car has nothing to do with your windshield wipers–unless some actual cutting and splicing of wires may have taken place. Merely replacing a bulb does not cause the failure of an unrelated system.

Please describe exactly what work was performed and how your windshield wipers are malfunctiong, so that–hopefully–this issue can be put to rest.

#5

I might suspect it if I had to remove the holding tank in the dishwasher to access the light bulb in the living room.

I changed my daughter’s headlight bulb in her '02 Civic this past weekend and had to pull the PS fluid reservoire from its bracket and set it aside to access the bulb. The manual for my '89 Toyota pickup directed removal of the front bumper (with directionals) to access the bottom screws of the headlamp retainer.

#6

You have a bad ground or an old wiper motor. Honda used to have a large cable from the top of the engine to the radiator support. If you find yours, disconnect and wire brush the ends. If you find it loose, tighten it. It may be in a different place on an 88. Do not run the car with it disconnected or your charging system will fail.