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How to repair a windshield washer pump

Updated March 23, 2017

Windshield washers usually require nearly no maintenance and can continue to work for years and years as long as the washer fluid reservoir is kept full. In the rare case that your windshield washer is not functioning properly, there are only a couple potential causes of the problem; a blown fuse, clogged nozzles or a poor electrical connection that is preventing the windshield washer's pump from being able to pump the washer fluid from the reservoir to the nozzles. No matter what your experience level is, you can save yourself a trip to the mechanic and repair your windshield washer pump yourself quickly and cost-effectively.

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  1. Park the vehicle in a quiet place and turn the windshield wipers on. Leave the engine off with the key in the on position so that the car still has electrical power.

  2. Listen for the humming of the windshield washer pump. If you cannot hear the humming of the pump, there is almost certainly a blown pump fuse and you should access the fuse box and remove the pump's fuse. The fuse box is on the inside of the vehicle underneath the driver side dash board. Check the owner's manual of the vehicle for official fuse box location, as it may vary from vehicle to vehicle.

  3. Replace the fuse by inserting a new one in place of the old one and snapping it into place with your fingers.

  4. Check the for clogged nozzles. If you can hear the humming of the pump but you are unable to get fluid from the pump. Turn the wipers off and follow the washer hose from the nozzle to the reservoir where the washer fluid is stored until you find the plastic barbed connector.

  5. Disconnect the barbed connector on the washer hose and turn the wipers on again. If washer fluid squirts out of the hose, the nozzles are clogged and need to be cleaned.

  6. Clean the nozzles by inserting a small pin into them to remove any debris and then blowing through the tube with your mouth.

  7. Check the electrical connections on the pump by connecting a multimeter to the pump. The pump is locate directly beneath the washer fluid reservoir under the hood. The pump should give you a reading of 12 volts if the electrical connections are fully functioning. If the pump does not have 12 volts of electricity you will have to take the vehicle to a professional. If it does have voltage proceed to the following step.

  8. Clean the terminals on the pump's connection with an all-purpose cleaner and a rag.

  9. Coat the clean terminals with dielectric silicone grease, which you can purchase at your local automotive store.

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Things You'll Need

  • Multimeter
  • Rag
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Dielectric silicone grease
  • Fuse

About the Author

Writing in both Spanish and English, Martin Adamovic has been covering psychology, marketing, lifestyle and sports since 2009. She has served as a sports journalist for a variety of mobile sports applications in Europe, including General Mobile and Bravo Game Studios. Adamovic holds a B.A. in Spanish and business from the University of Colorado and is currently studying law.

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