Windshield Washer Pump Troubleshooting
No water coming from your car's windshield washer? There are many possible reasons behind that problem. Could be that there isn't enough washer fluid in your reservoir, or there might be a leak in your system that's causing the fluid to disappear quickly. The washer nozzle might also be clogged with dirt, or the main washer pump might be damaged. Before you go replacing the pump or any other part, however, it is important to check and see whether the component is really busted. In some instances, some cleaning or unclogging will solve the problem. Checking the pump and the rest of the washer assembly isn't difficult at all.
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Tools You'll Need:
- Test light
- Compressed air
- Replacement parts (fuse, pump, or hoses as needed)
Step 1: Look for the main washer pump. Depending on your vehicle, it could be located in the washer fluid reservoir or connected to the wiper motor.
Step 2: Turn the ignition on and activate the washer. Using a test light, check whether the pump is receiving power.
- If it isn't receiving power, check the fuse to see whether it's blown. You'll find this fuse inside the fuse box. If it is blown or damaged in any way, replace the said part.
- If it is receiving power but is not working, then it will have to be replaced.
Step 3: If the pump is working well, check the reservoir for presence of dirt and the lines and nozzles for possible clogging. Clean the interior of the reservoir and unclog the lines and nozzles. You can use compressed air to force out any dirt from the lines, and you can use a pin or needle to poke through the dirt in the nozzle and remove it.
Step 4: Check for leaks on the hoses, as well as signs of breakage or cracking. If you notice any, replace the hose with a new one.
After all these procedures, test the windshield washer. Chances are, it will be back to normal and ready for work again.
Washer Pump Buyer’s Guide
- A windshield washer pump sprays washer fluid from the windshield wash reservoir to the washer nozzles.
- The washer pump helps clean dirt, dust, and grime off your windshield, which could obstruct your vision.
- This pump is pressurized and may work less effectively over time. This part is durable and can last you several years, but once it breaks down, it needs immediate repair or replacement.
- In most cars, the windshield washer pump is located behind the front bumper, in front of one of the front wheels in the driver's side wheel well.
- The washer fluid reservoir is often found at what should be the bottom of the windshield, which is the back of the engine bay.
- You can tell your washer pump is faulty if it doesn’t spray out as it should, if it doesn’t spray out at all, or if nothing happens once the switch is triggered.
- If you don't find anything wrong with the washer fluid, the hoses, and the reservoir seems clean, then your washer pump problem might be an electrical one.
- When buying windshield washer pumps, make sure it fits the specification of your vehicle.
A grimy, foggy, or dirty windshield is not just an inconvenience, it is also a safety hazard. A washer system helps keep your windshield clean and free from anything that could obstruct your view of the road. That system includes a windshield washer pump.
The washer pump is relatively reliable, doing its job of helping you keep your windshield free of debris. It is often forgotten until it starts malfunctioning. When this happens, have the part repaired or replaced right away. Read on to find out all about windshield washer pumps, where they are located, how to tell if they are malfunctioning, and how much replacing it will cost you.
What Is a Washer Pump?
A windshield washer pump pressurizes washer fluid from the windshield washer reservoir to the washer nozzles. The nozzles or jets spray the water onto the windshield. The pump gets the fluid from the reservoir into the hoses.
It is powered by a motor that generates the pressure needed to force the liquid along the washer feed tubes and out of the washer nozzles onto the windshield, rear window, or headlights.
The washer pump is part of the system that helps clean dirt, dust, and grime off your windshield, which could obstruct your vision. This pump may work less effectively over time. This part is durable and can last you several years, but once it breaks down, it needs immediate repair or replacement.
How Does It Work?
Simply put, the windshield washer pump propels water out of the washer fluid reservoir. Triggering the washer through the switch sends a signal to the control module that operates the windshield washer pump. The pump then sprays the windshield washer fluid through the hoses that are connected to the washer jets.
Where is the Windshield Washer Pump Located?
In most cars, the windshield washer pump is located near or inside the washer reservoir. Different cars have the washer reservoir in different locations. Most cars have it behind the front bumper, in front of the wheel in the driver's side wheel well. Some vehicles have it at the bottom of the windshield, which is at the back of the engine bay.
What you can do is follow the washer hose to see where your reservoir is (make sure your engine is off before you do this). If it’s in the engine bay, accessing the pump would be easy. If it’s a hidden style reservoir, you might need to remove the wheel well liner and then take out the tire itself. This can be tricky, so consult a mechanic for help if necessary.
Symptoms of a Bad Windshield Washer Pump
If you activate your windshield washer and the fluid won't come out, don't panic. This could be due to several reasons, some more simple than grave. You can do a simple inspection of the pump system to determine the cause.
Here are the common symptoms of a bad windshield washer pump:
Nothing Happens When You Try to Spray Washer Fluid
If you activate the windshield washer but the washer fluid doesn’t come out, it could mean the washer reservoir is empty or it could mean an issue with your washer pump. If the reservoir isn’t empty and you can't hear the pump working when you activate the windshield washer , then something could be wrong with either the fuse, your car’s wiring, or the internal electronics of the pump itself. There might not be any power going to the windshield washer pump.
You might be wondering, “is there a fuse in the windshield washer pump?” There is. If you don't find anything wrong with the washer fluid, the hoses, and the reservoir seems clean, then your washer pump problem might be an electrical one. You can find the fuse's location on the fuse box cover or in the owner's manual. Check the fuse and have it replaced if found faulty.
If the electrical system all checks out, then it might be time to replace your windshield washer pump.
The Washer Fluid Doesn't Spray Evenly
The washer fluid should cover your windshield evenly. If it doesn't spray out as it should, there might be a problem with the pump, the nozzles, or the hoses. If you have nozzles on your car's hood, you should see the stream of washer fluid shooting out from both of them with an even amount of pressure at the same angle.
How Much Does a Windshield Washer Pump Cost?
A windshield washer pump replacement will usually cost you around $30 to $60. Washer pumps are sold individually, depending on their brand and series.
Finding the Right Fit
When buying windshield washer pumps, make sure it fits the specification of your vehicle. Get the right washer pump for your car by entering the correct year, make and model into our search engine. You can also filter your search according to a specific washer pump location, your preferred brand, or by price range. Just click search and browse through our large variety of washer pumps.
The Different Types of Washer Pump
Are you in the market looking for a replacement washer pump for your vehicle? The washer pump is the heart of your vehicle's washer system, which keeps your vehicle's important glass surfaces clean and clear. The pump is the component that enables the washer system to release fluid for cleaning the said surfaces. When the pump gets damaged, the entire washer system becomes useless
If you are in the market on the lookout for a new pump, you need to get the right one. Today, you'll find that you can have up to three pumps in your vehicle:
Windshield Washer Pump
This is the most common type. A part of the washer system, this pump works together with the windshield wipers. When you operate the washer assembly, the pump provides the pressure to propel water through the nozzle and out into the windshield.
Headlight Washer Pump
Found in the washer system for the headlights, the headlight washer pump keeps the headlight lenses clear. It maximizes the illumination that the headlight bulbs give off.
Rear Window Washer Pump
This washer pump type mainly appears in SUVs or station wagons. It works with the washer system for the rear glass.
Depending on the set-up in your vehicle, there may be different pumps for the different washer systems or just one pump for a centralized system that washes all the mentioned surfaces. We advise that you check your vehicle owner's manual before you make any purchase.