What to do if the windshield washer does not work in your car

Instruction for Dumbasses! How to figure out why the windshield washer doesn’t work?

The call at two in the afternoon, the father on the other end of the line, “What do I do, my washer does not work, I can’t see a damn thing, what do I do? “Maybe take the headlight off? I already tried, broke something (he broke a penny pistons while he was removing the overlay over the radiators) is not useful further” Outside -5 outside the window of snow, he is 200km from Moscow on the highway. I understand that I will not be able to help. I decide to go that way, with inevitable stops. I put antifreeze in a container under Mr. Muscle and put my hand in the window at traffic lights :). In the evening when my father arrived and started figuring out what was in the washer. All the arch in the snow at 2 cm. around the wheel, the mud flaps piled with snow, no traces of the green liquid cleaner.

Where do I start?

This is not even a manual, and you could say the pleas. It so happened that I work as a receiver at one of the many car dealers in Moscow and 80% of the customers believe that the car is like “under warranty, so you mess with it, and I will not pay money for anything. EITHER YOU KNOW THE INFORMATION AND USE IT FOR FREE OR YOU ARE NOT EDUCATED IN THIS AREA AND THEREFORE YOU WILL PAY MONEY ANYWAY! Not us, so someone else. From 2000r to infinity, depending on the mood of the receiver, but more on your arrogance, the higher the resistor goes off the higher the payment … Detail that died as a result of poor workmanship – that is, marriage, of course the warranty, but fuses, frozen and as a result of broken or torn tubes, how is it a guarantee? Those who thinks he understands a lot about cars, read far below, where there will be pictures of the washer motor. Motor when you pull the lever whirring, but there is nothing leaking, it means the hose is not torn, as it happens in customer cars, and no traces of the sweat. The fuse, respectively, is also alive, if the motor works. If the engine is not humming, it means that either the fuse is burned out or the wiring is damaged, or there is ice in the tank. I will tell you about each situation separately. You should start with the instruction manual! Especially gifted owners do not even have it. In the manual will be given a scheme with the notation of fuses responsible for a particular electrical circuit. Some manufacturers have the diagram on the back of the fuse box cover, but there are mainly pictograms. Therefore, many people do not understand their purpose. Especially for such people there is a manual, or a picture below…

The fuse should be inspected at least from the top, but it is better to pull it out and look at the light. If it burned out, then put a new one and try it. If it burned out again, then the problem is in the wiring, but 99% that there is ice in the tank. On any Zafira, the tank volume of 5 liters, but we can very often fill only 1-1.5 liters, all the rest is ice. Engineers always set the pump as low as possible, so it takes up to the last frost from the tank. Water according to the laws of physics is heavy, so in the tank it will be there from the bottom. Water or antifreeze which has not withstood our “severe” 20-degree frost freezes in a tank with a pump blade and you “arrived”.

In the picture you can see the approximate construction of the Sid motor. Give or take, many manufacturers have the same device. By the way the pump is new according to this TSB.

In this situation, only defrosting the tank will help. With removal – if the tank has a strongly curved neck (for example cars of VAG concern) or without removal if the filler neck is straight, as for example on our Cee’d. If the variant is the first, it is clear that if you have removed it, there will be no problem to defrost. It will take longer to remove it… You will empty a tank as much as possible. You either gently “suck” into a bottle or, if you have a powerful pump, put a piece of hose all the way into the tank and the other end into the bottle and take the pump out of the trunk. It is advisable not to swallow the liquid, as 10 grams is enough for the onset of visual blindness or what is worse, fatal. You put it into the same neck but not deeply and turn it on while closing the filling hole with your palm, as if clamping the pipes between your thumb and forefinger. If the pump is strong enough, the pressure will blow the liquid through the hose. If you don’t get that either, you can buy a syringe and a catheter tube at your local drugstore. Put the tube on the syringe once quickly fill the syringe, and then remove the hose liquid because of the height difference itself will go down. Then you pour hot water (no way boiling water from the kettle, the plastic can burst) into the tank and pump out several times until the tank begins to fill the amount of liquid written in the instructions! Allow it to wait and try to push the lever of the washer, if the pump jiggled, fine! If not, it is better to go to the service, in the cold usually at this point many of the forces come to an end. But this is not all! Even if a tank is completely filled with good antifreeze it does not mean that it could not freeze in pipes where its volume is much less. As you know, puddles are the first to freeze, not lakes. If you were smart enough to start the engine before that, it is most likely already warmed up. Close the hood and wait for the tubes to thaw. If the pipes for the most part pass under the hood, you can accelerate the warming, to cover the hood, radiator grille and especially the area where the wipers are with nozzles what a rag. In this way heat will not flow away uselessly through the gaps when the engine cooling fan is on, and it will warm up everything under the hood faster. On Samand in such a way once I had to heat completely frozen water in pipes in -10 degree frost. It took me 10 minutes to heat everything. Before that I danced and heated it with my hands for 30 minutes, and all to no avail. If it has warmed up and the glass is irrigating you can celebrate the victory and run to the shower or to the women to warm… One more reason why the liquid does not come forward or backward. Very often the pipes coming from the motor to the washer nozzles fly off. In this situation you need to listen to the water leak and dismantle the place locally. If under the instrument panel or on the cabin, it all depends on the curvature of your hands. As I wrote in the beginning of the post. If you do not know how, it is safer and cheaper to the service, let them disassemble. Many manufacturers have rubber tubes that just come off. Just put them back in place and clamp them with an electrical coupler to get them working again.

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This is about the size of the tubes used there. By the way the new tube with part number 986221H000 (TSB KGE09-92-V040-ED) is on the left, inner diameter 3.5 mm. On the right is the old one, with an inner diameter of 4 mm.

But some manufacturers make the hose from a corrugated tube, which often breaks when the fluid expands in the cold. Here you have to look for a repair kit to restore the connection.

This is the kind of conduit used by many manufacturers, and GM even manages to braid it into the common wiring harness going to the cabin…

Here is a description of the recovery process of such a conduit.

Certainly, anything can happen to your car, sometimes washed out motors, sometimes washed out walls and after a day or two water got into electric part of the washer motor and it died. Sometimes the pump blades, which create the pressure, would break. Sometimes it just died by itself, it happens with cars, they break… But what I have seen in my car, I was shocked.

Figure two. Sad!

According to my father, the fluid stopped flowing abruptly, as if cut off. It looked like a loose hose or a non-functioning motor, but the motor was buzzing. I went to the garage, taking the old working motor 985101F100. Got there, took off the wheel and the right wingtip, took out 5-6 pistons in the arch and 3 especially “convenient” under the bumper in the front taillight. Fender is better to remove, because the tubes to the front and rear washer go along the body just under the fender, suddenly there is a leak.

The new style motor with 6 blades 98510-1H100 is not any different from the old style motor except for the sticker with gold lettering.

Removed front window washer hose from the pump. The jet is about 10 inches, no more. Took off the hose going to the back. Same problem. No more than 10 cm. We are pumping the washer fluid lines. Decided to drain all the liquid with the hose and then remove the pump. I put the hose into the tank and start blowing into it, then drain it out. The freezing fluid started to flow out of the hose into the container with some scraps of it. We understand that this crap from the walls of the tank. We filled the tank one more time but by one third and this time we pressurized the hose with the pump. It bubbled for a minute. Drained. And so several times, poured back through the tissues.

Schematic of a simple voltage regulator with LM317

As a result, filled the tank full and decided to drain the “quick”, but did not relate the cross section of the funnel and the tank drain hole :) poured well oh very quickly three liters on the floor :) Started to remove the pump. We took off the plug and began to pull the pump by bending latch made on the tank body. Careful, it tears very easily. What did my friend and I saw on the side of the pump that goes into the tank through the gasket?

It’s an already cleaned mesh. It was not so easy to clean it, but we used an underdrilled 0.5 bottle of Bonacqua. We took the strainer out of the pump with a hook and threw it in the bottle and then closed it and whipped it like a cocktail for 2-3 minutes. Thus washed this mesh to a shine. Blew it out and put it back in. We assembled the timing device and put everything back in place.

And here is the real culprit. The paint we put in our antifreeze. Blue, green, red, yellow, whatever leaves such a mark.

After assembly and a few days of use, I noticed that the fluid started to come back with a delay. The brush takes a full sweep and then the fluid comes in. Maybe when pressurizing the rear washer the check valve presumably located in the nozzle itself got damaged. I have no other explanation. I have 150k miles on the road, will be changing timing belts, cut the check valve and check.

Why the windshield washer does not work and how to fix the problem

Why the windshield washer does not work and how to correct the problem

All car enthusiasts are familiar with windshield washer systems. It is so simple and convenient system, that it seems incredible that not all cars were equipped with them not so long ago. A car’s windshield and rear window should be kept clean, any contamination reduces the visibility of the road and what is going on around, which may lead to an accident.

Naturally, if the system malfunctions, the driver has to wash the glass from the outside himself. However, when driving, there is still no way to quickly remove the actively accumulating contaminants.

In other words, if the window washer does not work, it becomes not only difficult, but also unsafe to operate the car, as visibility in such a case is noticeably deteriorated. Consider why the windshield washer does not work and how to fix this problem.

Construction and operation of the washer

How the washer operates

Windshield washer, better known as “washer” or “washer” is a device that sprays liquid on the windshield and helps wipers do their job better. The quality of its operation depends on the serviceability of each element that makes up the system. These elements include:

  • A tank with a volume of 2.5 to 5 liters, it is in it that the liquid for cleaning the windows is located;
  • The pump, which, by building up pressure, supplies the liquid;
  • nozzles, with which the pump is equipped, which provide uniform spraying;
  • liquid level sensor, which is located in the tank and is responsible for timely warning of the driver about the insufficient level of the wiper.

Hoses, pipes, heating elements and o-rings are also part of the washer system and are responsible for its operation.

The washer system is primarily dependent on the level of washer fluid – if there is not enough, the system will not work. Therefore, first of all, to understand why the windshield washer does not work, you need to check the tank. It is worth noting that this is only one of the possible causes.

Washer works on a fairly simple scheme: in the tank under the influence of the pump pressurized, which allows the cleaning fluid through the hoses through nozzles spray on the windshield. The task of the wipers is to distribute the fluid evenly for better cleaning.

Under the steering wheel there is a switch that activates the electric pump in the tank.

Causes of windshield washer failure

Causes of malfunction of the windshield washer

To understand why the windshield washer does not work, it helps to establish the type of malfunction. They can be mechanical or electronic.

First let’s break down the mechanical causes.

  1. Fluid level . In addition to the fact that the liquid is simply missing in the tank, its level may be insufficient for the correct operation of the device: the pump simply has nothing to pump. If the fluid is enough, it is worth checking whether the system is frozen. This is especially true if the breakdown occurred in the winter. The problem of freezing fluid is solved very simply. It is enough to warm the car or place it overnight in a heated parking lot or any other warm place.
  2. Hoses . The element can tear if it becomes obsolete due to prolonged use, or come off if the design is poorly positioned. The system should be carefully inspected and replaced if it is deformed or malfunctioning.
  3. Nozzles . If you are using water to clean your windshield, this is most likely what is causing the windshield washer to malfunction. Deposits that accumulate on the parts during operation can clog the passage. In addition, the elements can trivial corrosion. To confirm this cause, you need to disconnect the hoses and supply water: if the supply through the hoses is normal, then the problem is clogged nozzles. Clean or replace them for proper operation.
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Electrical causes include the following:

  1. Fuse . Study the diagram of the fuse box, on it you can find the element that regulates the operation of the washer system motor. Replacing this element helps to restore the operation of the device.
  2. Terminals and contacts . Oxidation of these elements is often the cause of washer failure. The terminals may even fall off, causing the pump to lose power and stop working. Clean the terminals and contacts to restore proper operation.
  3. Switch . This is located on the steering wheel and should also be checked if the washer system fails. You will need a special electrical measuring device – a multimeter. Check with it the voltage when you connect the electrodes to the terminals of the motor leads. If it does not match the working indicators, it is necessary to replace the element. If everything is all right, you should look for problems in the motor.
  4. Violation of the transmission of commands or break in the circuit . It is also possible to check with a multimeter. If there is no voltage, then there is a break. Before checking, make sure that there is also no voltage on the pump terminals.

The design of the washer is simple and the defects are quite obvious, so a basic diagnosis will help you find the faulty element with ease. However, the best solution is to take care of the vehicle. Timely and proper care at times reduces the possibility of such malfunctions.

At certain times, the windshield washer system requires more attention, as the likelihood of it breaking down at these times increases.

These time periods include periods of most frequent use of the windshield washer. It is important to think ahead about when you might need them.

For example, in the fall or early spring, when there is especially a lot of slush and mud, or when it is especially dusty and hot. In both cases, you need to wash the glass more often to improve visibility and get rid of dirt. During these periods, the load increases significantly.

Causes of malfunction of the windshield washer

Options for troubleshooting a windshield washer problem

You have determined why the windshield washer does not work, the question naturally arises, how to fix the problems. Here are a few options:

  1. The cause of the malfunction – clogged nozzles or filter . They are not always associated with dust and dirt, it often occurs due to the use of specialized care cosmetics for the car, which includes wax. To remove external contamination, remove the tank – this gives you access to the filter. Take out the filter element and gently clean it. You can use a thin auxiliary element, such as a nozzle cleaning needle or wire if the dirt has accumulated in the lower area of the nozzles, to clean deep contamination. You can also use stripped wire or guitar strings.
  2. Failure of hoses impairs the tightness of the system . Here only their complete replacement will help.
  3. Pump failure . To diagnose and debug the pump, you must first dismantle it and carefully inspect it, check for continuity, find and remove dirt (you can use an eraser for rust). Wires and contacts are intact, dirt is removed, but the pump still does not work, what to do? There is only one option here, and that is to replace the element completely. Disconnect the power and pull out the wires and the tank, disconnect the hose and the connector, get rid of the fluid. This way you will have access to the faulty part that needs to be replaced.

Important: Do not rush if you decide to do the repair by your own efforts. The first thing you need to do is a complete diagnosis of the entire system. And only after you are convinced of the malfunction of the pump, pick up its replacement. Remember that this unit works when immersed in the liquid, so do not turn it on for more than 2 seconds when you check.

Windshield washer does not work well

The windshield washer does not work properly

The system works, but you can hear the humming of the pump, the liquid is delivered weakly or chaotically – this also indicates a malfunction. There can be three reasons:

  • clogging;
  • disconnection;
  • breakage.

First you need to check the operation of the injectors. To do this, disconnect the tube and check the pressure. A good flow of water indicates that the problem is in the nozzles themselves or in the place where they are connected to the tubes. If the water is not flowing well, you will have to examine other elements. First and foremost, the integrity of the tubing and the pump fitting. If the fitting is broken, it’s worth evaluating whether you would benefit from replacing it. Yes, local replacement will help save on the system itself, but you may spend quite a bit of time waiting for a new part.

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If the cause is still in the injectors, then they need to be dismantled, because with external cleaning you can drive the clog deep into the system, and in the next use it will clog the outlets again. To remove the nozzles, squeeze the latches with which they are secured. For nozzles located on the hood, look for the latch from the inside.

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You can use a narrow tool, such as a knife or slotted screwdriver, to remove the nozzles.

The nozzle must be pulled out with the tube, so gently pry it first from one side and then from the other and pull it out. In doubt – then remove the “jabot”, a special cover on the nozzle. You can not touch the wiper tips, just bend over the lining.

Dismantling of the nozzles was successful – you can proceed to the cleaning. Blow out the nozzle holes in the opposite direction from the working direction, remove the blockage with a needle and rinse. Cleaning the nozzles does not depend on what type they are, fan or jet. The important thing is attention and sensitivity – you need to remove the dirt from everywhere. If you are not sure that the cleaning went well, the elements can be soaked for reliability. For example, in soapy water or in a solution with baking soda.

Some systems have a detachable body, such nozzles are best disassembled. It is necessary to do this very carefully, because there may be a check valve with a spring and a tiny ball. The task of this element – to contain water in the pipes, it provides simultaneous operation of wipers and windshield washer system. After cleaning, put the nozzles back in place and test their work, if the water is supplied crooked or uneven, you should adjust the direction of the jet with a needle or pin. Be careful not to deform the hole.

Rear window washer malfunction

Rear window washer malfunctions

Drivers are often wondering not only why the windshield washer does not work, but also what is the cause of the malfunction of the rear window washer system. This failure is also not uncommon. The causes are almost the same as those described above. However, on the windshield more often the problem associated with clogging, on the rear – damage to the liquid supply tube.

When the rear window washer system breaks down, you can often observe the continuation of the wipers, which is accompanied by a loud buzzing. The cleaning fluid either does not flow, or does flow, but does not reach the glass.

This not only affects the view of the road and exposes the driver and passengers to additional danger, but may also cause damage to the wiper motor gearbox, since most of the composition gets there.

This has the following consequences:

  • Lubricating fluid characteristics are lost;
  • parts break and malfunction;
  • oxidation of elements and rusting occurs;
  • the unit may be completely out of order.

Solving this problem yourself is easy enough – you need to replace the tube. Standard wiper tube has a diameter of 3.2 mm, but it is worth taking into account the features of your car, as discrepancies are also possible.

  1. The tube must be drilled out of the shaft, which is responsible for fixing the wiper drive.
  2. In the area of the nipple tube must be broken off or carefully drilled so as not to punch a hole.
  3. Placing the new tube will require some effort, as the diameters of the inlet hole and the tube itself are the same.
  4. Use a special adhesive or sealant to ensure an impervious fit.
  5. If the new tube is longer than the old one, it should be cut and the cuts should be deburred to even edges.

An important step after replacing the tube is to remove traces of rust and old grease from the motor gearbox. After that, it is necessary to lubricate the system a new way, using compounds that work with different temperature ranges.

The final stage is assembly and testing.

Feedback from car owners about the work of the windshield washer

Tips of experienced car owners not only help to understand why the windshield washer does not work, but also contain a large number of useful ideas. Here are some of them.

  • The water in the washer system is frozen. What to do.

If the tank is not completely frozen, you can try the following methods. First, pour a warm non-freezing liquid into it. It is important to consider the material of the tank when pouring the liquid. Otherwise it can be deformed. Secondly, you can resort to the old-fashioned way and pour alcohol, which in contact with water emits heat.

Alcohol can also save you during the trip. If you suddenly ran out of washer fluid, you can instead pour cold water, combined with alcohol, it will help to avoid streaks on the glass and prevent the tank from freezing completely.

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Medical alcohol is best purchased in pharmacies.

If the tank is completely frozen, you can use several proven options. First, drill a hole in the ice and pour warm antifreeze or alcohol in it. In contrast to the first item to wait in this case will have longer. Secondly, you can put the car in a heated room and wait for the liquid to warm up.

There is no way to leave the car in a warm room – start the car and park it in such a way that it is blown by the wind. You will have to wait for the ice to melt before using the advice from the first point, plus warm liquid or alcohol will need to be refilled. You can also blow the tank yourself with warm air.

Another option is to buy a small boiling water heater, 12 volts. The main thing is that when you insert it into the tank, it should be immersed in the liquid. To do this, it should be drowned in ice: short inclusions melt the ice.

The methods above will work with the tank, but if the liquid froze in the pipes or nozzles, it will require heat or constant movement of the car to return them to normal function. If there is no parking, your best bet is to pour in a liquid with a freezing point around -30 or alcohol and water in a 1:3 ratio. You will know that you picked up the correct fluid, if after a couple of kilometers, the fluid is easily fed to the window.

Washer fluid contains alcohol, which evaporates from the glass and takes away heat, leaving a film on the glass, and this leads to cooling, which in turn causes freezing or crystallization. To avoid freezing “antifreeze” on the glass while driving, warm the car well.

Sometimes the best way to deal with freezing is the easiest. This may include a warm parking lot, heated garage or car service. Sometimes you can combine the pleasant with the useful, for example to repair some detail in the service, to which you have never reached, or to visit a friend in his warm garage.

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  • Why do you need citric acid in the washer tank?

Few people know, but something as simple as citric acid can extend the life of a windshield wiper system. It prevents the formation of limescale by gently cleaning the system. It is important to stick to an acceptable concentration of acid to avoid deforming the paint.

Citric acid can help if:

  • there is a buildup of limescale on the glass;
  • nozzles are clogged;
  • washer fluid has caused a deposit on the hood.

To prepare a working solution of citric acid, you need to dissolve a sachet of the substance (up to 20 g) in warm water, equal to the volume of the washer tank. It is important to stir the resulting liquid qualitatively until the acid is completely dissolved and carefully pour into an empty tank. It is important that the tank is exactly empty so as not to provoke a sudden chemical reaction.

Note that you cannot add more than one tablespoon of citric acid per liter of water. Otherwise you can damage the paint on the hood.

  • How do I make my windscreen washer fluid last longer?

Use windshield washer fluid from verified manufacturers. Remember that any cheap fluid is almost half methyl alcohol and water, which freezes at about -25 degrees. The process is slow: the liquid thickens and becomes jelly-like. Remember also that the windshield temperature is lower because of the movement. It is also cooled by the “antifreeze” itself, evaporating from the surface.

Using a low-quality composition can lead to freezing not only on the glass, but also on the nozzles or inside the pump. This can damage the system and result in additional financial losses.

Even if not necessary, it is worthwhile to flush the system periodically. Dirt, dust, or small pebbles can get into the injectors while driving and contaminate the injectors themselves or even the pump.

It’s a good idea to use a windshield washer fluid that is approved by the car manufacturer.

These simple rules will help save your car, prolong the life of many of its systems, and save you the headache of wondering why the windshield washer does not work.

The hardest part is finding the cause of the malfunction. The rest can be fixed quickly and easily enough. Replace faulty nozzles with new ones (fan type), replace damaged or deformed pipes with more modern ones. Be careful with your car and do not ignore simple actions that will help you prevent the problem and not deal with it later. For example, you can use different washer fluid: chlorinated water in the warm season and “antifreeze” in the cold season.

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