How to Repair a Windshield Washer Pump

Repairing a windshield washer pump is not something that you are likely to need to do very often. Windshield washers generally require very little maintenance and can last years without any so long as the washer fluid reservoir is always kept full. In most cases when your windshield washer is not working properly, there are not many things that could be wrong with it. Typically, problems will be caused by a poor electrical connection, clogged nozzles or a fuse that has blown. In the case of a bad electrical connection, the pump may not be able to supply the washer fluid to the nozzles of the wipers. You can normally repair the pump yourself with a few basic tools. This is far more cost effective and taking the car to a mechanic.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Multimeter
  • Rags
  • All-purpose cleaning agent
  • Silicone grease
  • New fuse

Step 1 – Replace a Blown Fuse

One of the most common reasons for a windshield washer pump not working is because the fuse has blown. The fuse is extremely quick to replace. Park the vehicle and turn on the windshield wipers. Leave the engine off but the key on the on position so that the car still has power to it. If you hear a humming in the washer pump, then there is no problem with the fuse. However, if you do not hear any humming, it is extremely likely that the fuse will need replacing.

Access the fuse box inside the car. Normally, the fuse box is located beneath the driver’s side dashboard or in the glove box of the passenger seat. Refer to the owner’s manual for further details. Find the old fuse for the windshield wipers. It should be clearly marked. Replace it with a fuse of the same amperage.

Step 2 – Repair the Electrical Connection

To find out if the electrical connection is damaged, you will need a small device called a multimeter. Connect the multimeter to the windscreen wiper pump. You will find a pump located directly beneath the fluid reservoir under the hood of the car. You should find that the pump gives a reading of 12 volts if the electrical connections are working as they should. If this is not the case, then you will need to take it to a mechanic.

If, however, you do find that there is no voltage at all, then you should clean the terminals on the connecting parts using an all-purpose cleaner and a dry, lint-free rag. When you have done this, apply silicone grease to the surfaces.

Step 3 – Clean Clogged Nozzles

Inspect the nozzles to see if they are clogged. If you can hear the pump humming but no fluid is coming from it, then it is likely that the nozzles are blocked. Turn off the wipers. Follow the washer hose from the nozzle to the reservoir where the fluid is kept. You will find a barbed plastic connector. Disconnect this and turn the wipers on again. The washer fluid may squirt from the hose. If this is the case, then the nozzles are indeed clogged and will need to be cleaned by using small pins to remove any debris. You can also blow through the tube to dislodge any debris.