Help Me Understand Why This Hyundai's Wiper Aged So Much More Than the Rest of the Car

I’ve got a little Friday afternoon mystery for you: the other day, I was in traffic, behind a 2004 or so Hyundai Santa Fe. Normally, not a terribly exciting vehicle to contemplate. But this one had a strange detail I don’t fully understand: for some reason, the rear wiper assembly seems to have aged at a rate that looks to be at least twice that of the rest of the car. What happened here?

Look at that wiper. It’s rusted all to hell, all the plastic covering bits are gone, the blade is gone, the point where it mounts to the tailgate has corroded the surrounding paint, eating away at it, as well as the little block that acts as the rest for the upper part of the wiper.

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The rest of the car appeared to be in quite good condition for a roughly 15-year-old car, but not the rear wiper. It looks like someone aimed an age-o-ray right at the wiper and then had to leave before rapid-aging the rest of the car.

Is this just due to rust? There’s a few other exposed metal parts on there—why were they not affected? Why would just the wiper be so afflicted? I mean, hell, if anything should be able to handle a bit of moisture, wouldn’t you think it’d be a wiper?

Maybe I’m overlooking something obvious? I’m baffled, though. Thoughts?

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)