How to Repair a Windshield Washer Pump

How to Repair a Windshield Washer Pump

Windshield washer pumps have a long lifespan. It’s also one of the most underappreciated items on a vehicle. You don’t even realize how important washer fluid is until it stops flowing. At that point, you wonder how people ever lived without it. Fear not! I’m going to show you to repair a windshield washer pump.

The first step is to diagnose the problem. Diagnose is the keyword here because chances are that it’s not your washer pump causing the problem. Here’s a step-by-step look at how to diagnose and repair your windshield washer system.

  • Air compressor and hose
  • Screwdrivers
  • Socket/Ratchet Set
  • Wrenches
  • Digital Voltage Meter
  • Small Pin

Note: Diagnosing your washer pump is a two-person job. You need someone to activate the system while you are outside of the vehicle.

Step 1: Check the Fluid

This is an obvious step so let’s get it out of the way first. Check your reservoir to make sure that it has fluid in it. While you’re at it, you might as well make sure that the fluid is not contaminated. Is there algae growing in the reservoir? Is there any debris floating around? If so, then you should drain and clean it. Check the owner’s manual of your vehicle to determine the best way to accomplish this.

If the reservoir was empty, then refill it. Have someone else activate the washer system to make sure it works and then inspect the system for any leaks that might have caused it to lose fluid. If it works now then you have fixed the problem.

On the other hand, if you checked the reservoir and found it full then move onto the next step.

Note: I still encourage you to remove and clean the reservoir.

Step 2: Check the Fuse

You will need to be parked in a quiet location in order to accomplish this task. Have someone operate the washer system and listen closely for the buzz of the pump. Did you hear it activate?

  • If you heard a slight buzz, then move on to Step 3.
  • If you did not hear a slight buzz, then continue reading this step.

Look in your owner’s manual to locate the fuse box. Check the washer pump fuse. If it’s blown, try replacing it. A blown fuse can mean that the pump is going bad so if it blows again, you will need to replace the entire pump.

If you heard a slight buzz, changed the fuse and the system still isn’t working, then move on to Step 4.

Step 3: Clean Clogged Nozzles

I actually recommend that you remove the reservoir and hoses for this step. Since you’re going to have everything taken apart at this point, you should go ahead and clean out the entire washer system. Start by cleaning out the reservoir if you haven’t done so already. Then use compressed air to blow out the hose. Now all that’s left is to use a small object like a pin to clean out the nozzles. Simply loosen any debris from the nozzle and then use compressed air to blow it back through the hose.

Step 4: Repair the Washer Pump

If you didn’t hear the pump activate during step 2, then the problem is going to be the pump itself. In most cases, the pump is located inside of the washer fluid reservoir but you should check the owner’s manual to determine its exact location. Before removing the pump, remove the electrical connector and hook it into a digital meter. If your meter registers voltage, then replace the pump.

If no voltage is coming through, then there’s an electrical problem. You will have to seek the advice of a professional. Give us a call or fill out the form on this page to determine your next course of action.

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