My wife had a bumper to bumper (OK, grille and hood to 4x4 truck trailer hitch) accident a couple of days ago. It bent the hood and the grille, the upper radiator support, and the AC condenser, and it broke the driver's headlight housing and the tack welds on the brackets that hold the transmission oil cooler.
If we deem the rest of the car driveable, I'll have to replace the AC cooler because I can hear it leaking, but I bent it back into position so that I could straighten the other parts. The top transmission oil cooler support bracket has two holes that line up with two holes on the top edge of the cooler, so I used two short #8
sheet metal screws to hold it in place. I can't repeat that for the bottom until I pull the radiator.
The radiator itself doesn't seem to have suffered, but it was shoved back on the drivers side so the fan shroud was wedged against the radiator hose and the top plate of the radiator itself (the part with the two pins that are held in place by the rubber grommets on the upper radiator support) was twisted slightly. I used a pry bar and flexed that back to mostly straight.
I got all of the bolts and screws back in place with just a bit of wedging and the loose parts are all snug again. The hood folded under on the front and creased on the left and right sides (about halfway up the hood). The hood latch catches and releases fine, and I was able to press the left and right creases back into place with my elbow. I probably should have left well enough alone, but I used a 2 lb hammer to try to bend the slightly bent upper radiator support forward again. After the second or third whack, something completely unexpected happened... the wipers came on.
The ignition was off and the keys were on my belt loop, so the wipers shouldn't have been capable of coming on. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have detached the battery since I was working on the vehicle, but I didn't expect to be near anything electrical. I tried turning the wiper switch and it had no effect. They were not moving at full speed, just sort of lazily meandering to and fro, and eventually they got out of sync and wedged into one another.
I disconnected the battery, finished putting in the grille screws and bolts and then reattached the battery: same condition. The van starts fine, and we can live with the hood damage as the van is our spare vehicle and DIY materials hauler, but obviously the wipers running will drain the battery if left to their own devices. Unfortunately, the reason my wife was in the van is because I have to replace a water pump and timing belt on another vehicle and am waiting for some more parts to do that repair.
I can't imagine what would cause the wiper issue. I've left the battery disconnected for now. I'd appreciate any help.