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Windshield washers are fairly reliable, so it won’t be often that you will encounter problems with them. But if you do, here’s what you should do to fix it.

Generally speaking, a washer pump in any car’s windshield wiping system is designed to move the washer fluid through the hoses. This pump is a motorized one, and it puts pressure on the fluid to allow it to be squirted through a nozzle on to the front or back glass pane of the car.

When this fluid is sprayed on to the glass pane, it helps to remove dirt and dust, so you can get good visibility while driving.

Now the problem is when the fluid does not come out when you press the fluid button. Read on to find out what can be wrong and how you can fix this problem.

Check The Fluid Levels

The simplest and also the most often overlooked problem is an empty reservoir. If there is no fluid in the reservoir, obviously nothing will come out even if the pump is in top working condition. To rule out this possibility, check the reservoir and add fluid if necessary. Many times, this should fix the problem because windshield pumps are not used often and they also tend to be highly reliable and long-lasting.

To add more fluid, buy a good quality washer fluid and fill it in the reservoir using a funnel. You will find a hose that leads to this tunnel, so simply pour your liquid into this hose. During winters, it is best you use a non-freezing washer liquid.

Clean The Hoses And Nozzles

If the reservoir is reasonably full or if you have just filled it with liquid, then obviously we can rule out the first solution.

The next place to check is the hoses and nozzles. Sometimes, these may be clogged with dust and dirt, and this could prevent the fluid from flowing freely from the reservoir to the windshield pane. So, clean the nozzles and hoses with a clean cloth and remove any dirt and dust that may be accumulated inside it.

The best way to do this is to poke through the clogged nozzles with a thin wire or even a long pin. You can follow rinse them with water, after taking out this dirt. Alternately, you can press your wiper handle, so the fluid that gushes out of the nozzle will clear the remaining dirt and dust.

To clean the hoses, you can remove them separately or simply siphon off all the dirt by filling it with water. Of course, if you take this easier option, you may have to repeat it several times until the water that comes out looks clean. This can save you the effort of removing every hose or reservoir and fitting them back in.

In most mild to medium cases, this should fix the problems and your windshield fluid should start flowing freely to the wiper pane. But if the problem persists, then it is a severe case, and the most likely cause is a damaged pump.

Troubleshoot Windshield Washers Pump

Troubleshooting the windshield washers pump is a little complicated, so attempt it only if you have prior experience with automobiles and their parts. Otherwise, you are better off taking it to an experienced auto repair company to fix it for you.

Here are the steps to troubleshoot this pump if you decide to go ahead with it.

  • Check The Washer’s Condition

The first step to troubleshoot a faulty or malfunctioning windshield washers pump is to check the washer’s condition. There is always a possibility for dirt and dust to accumulate in the reservoir and this can prevent the fluid from having a free flow.

Open your car hood, and look for a washer cap. It is black in color and will sit on top of a white hose, and it will have the words “washer fluid only” written on the top. Open this lid and check the reservoir for any dirt. If you see dirt sunk at the bottom of the reservoir, remove it from the car completely and clean it well. You can use a dry cloth to wipe out all the dirt that is accumulated in it. It is not a good idea to wash it with water, so just clean it with a dry cloth.

After cleaning the reservoir, put it back into the car and connect the corresponding wires and hoses.

  • Look For Cracked Hoses

After putting back the washer reservoir, look for cracks, leaks or breaks in the hoses that are connected to the reservoir. Run your hand through the pipe to identify any existing cracks and replace them right away.

You can even test which hoses have leaks or clogs by detaching them one at a time. This is a good way to check if washer liquid is exiting through them.

Replacing these pipes may not be an easy job, so do it with extreme care. In case of doubt, get in touch with your nearest auto repair mechanic.

Sometimes, there will be nothing wrong with the hoses. They will be in perfect working condition with no clogs at all and yet, fluid will not come through it. In such a case, the cause is electrical problems that can be fixed only by a reputed mechanic.

Other Problems

Besides the above major problems, there could be many other small and minor problems that could prevent fluid from getting to your windshield pane.

Aim Of Washer Nozzle

One common problem is the aim of your washer nozzle. Instead of pointing to your windshield pane, it could point elsewhere, and this means, the wiper liquid will not reach the place you want. Adjust them to the right position.

Some pointers to note while adjusting the aim of washer nozzle.

  • If the washer nozzle is on the wiper arm, then it won’t need any adjusting because they are already position at the center. In such a case, the aim of your washer nozzle is not the problem, so look for one of the above alternate problems.
  • When you want to adjust individual nozzles, you can do that by simply moving a tab that is attached to each nozzle. You can do this movement by hand. In case, your nozzle doesn’t have any tab, look for pliers and adjust them with your hand.
  • If you have fixed nozzles, the best way to adjust them is to lose the retaining nut. You can find this nut located inside the car hood. As you adjust the nozzle, ask someone else to press the wiper to see where the fluid is splashing. Ensure that as much of the fluid is getting sprayed on the windshield. After adjusting the nozzle position, put back the retaining nut and close the car hood.
  • You can use pliers and screwdrivers to adjust the nozzle. Consider using even thin wires if you think the nozzle’s opening is too small. However, while making the adjustments, be gentle and never try to put excessive force on the nozzle as there is always a possibility for you to break it. This, in turn, could spiral into a more expensive affair for you.

Electrical Problems

Earlier, we briefly mentioned electrical problems in the pump. When there are no other possible causes for fluid not coming out, you can pin down the problem of electrical problems.

Though it is not recommended you fix this problem by yourself, especially if you are not familiar with auto components, still here are the steps if you want to do it.

  • First off, turn off your car.
  • Look for a pump near the washer fluid reservoir. Usually, it is found in the reservoir or inside it. Sometimes, it may even be attached to your windshield wiper’s motor, depending on your car make and model. But this is the area where you should look for the pump.
  • After identifying the pump, unplug the electrical connector.
  • Once that’s done, turn on the ignition.
  • Take help from someone and ask that person to activate the wiper fluid and keep it on.
  • Now, sue a test light to check if power is coming to your power. You can hear a humming sound as well. Alternately, place your hand gently on the pump to feel a vibration. These are signs that your pump is getting power.
  • In case, you can’t see, hear or feel the pump running, it means your pump is not getting power. One place to check for is the fuse. See if it is blown and needs to be replaced. If so, look for the pump fuse in your car’s fuse box and replace it.
  • If the pump still doesn’t get power, it is time to take it to a mechanic shop, as you may have to replace the pump itself.

Thus, these are some ways to troubleshoot your windshield washer pump.

Sources:

  1. How to Troubleshoot a Windshield Washer Pump – wikiHow
  2. How to Diagnose and Repair a Faulty Windshield Washer Pump – Your Mechanic

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