A car’s wiper system provides a wiper tank with fluid, which is sprayed onto the windshield by the windshield washer pump under pressure through hoses to clean it. This way you always have a good view. If no wiper fluid comes out of the tank when the wiper is operated, this can be due to various reasons. Often the pump is faulty, but this is not always the case.
If there is no washer fluid coming out of the windshield washers, they may be clogged. They are located at the top of the hood, where dead insects, dust, pollen and limescale accumulate. With the rainwater running off they end up in the spray heads, causing them to gradually silt up. On older car models, cleaning the nozzles is very easy. To remove the dirt, it is sufficient to insert a needle into the holes of the nozzle carefully and without applying force. This also allows the nozzle to be re-directed. However, modern cars are often equipped with so-called impeller or micro nozzles. These advanced components distribute the wiping water more efficiently, serving a larger surface area. However, the risk of clogging is greater with these finer nozzles. The proven method for their cleaning is blowing through with compressed air. This has to be done from behind and for this the nozzles have to be removed. They can usually be pulled off easily. Other manufacturers mount them with a locknut, which must be unscrewed. The connection of the supply hose differs – with or without clamp – but removal is very simple and no tools are required. The clogged nozzles can then be blown clean with the tire pressure device of the service station or an air pump.
If the window cleaning system still does not work, the supply hoses should be checked. If these are cracked, loose or leaking, new hoses must be installed. A replacement is also advisable when the connection of the hose to the windscreen washer has become less elastic. The hoses may also simply have fallen off due to vibrations in the engine compartment. Leak bites by martens cannot be completely ruled out in our regions, recognizable by the clear bite marks. In that case, all pipes and cables of the motor should be inspected.
Less likely, but not completely ruled out, is a contaminated hose the reason that the window cleaning does not work. To clean it, open the hood and pull the end of the hose out of the wiper tank. Severe soiling can be loosened with compressed air and then flushed directly into the tank. If this does not have the desired effect, the entire hose must be removed and cleaned. This can simply be done with water. Special cleaning agents for plastic hoses are available from specialist shops if necessary. However, do not use detergent or soap. These agents can harm the snake. It is beneficial for the life of the window cleaning system to flush it four times a year.
If the windshield cleaning system does not function because the windshield washer pump is not pumping fluid, the wiper motor may be broken. You can check this as follows: – turn the ignition key to “ignition” and activate the windscreen washer control, or even better: ask someone else to do that. Listen under the hood for a noise from the pump motor. If you don’t hear anything, a fuse has blown, a cable is broken, or there is something wrong with the pump’s internal electronics.
The difficulty of replacing the wiper pump is in its accessibility. The part itself is simply in a rubber that is connected to the reservoir of the wiper fluid. To get to the washer pump, the wheel often has to be removed and the wheel arch trim removed. For this reason alone, many motorists opt for replacement in the garage.
In winter, frozen wiper fluid can also cause the windscreen cleaning system not to work. This can easily be prevented by using special liquid for the winter. In the case of frozen liquid, this can be a heated garage or a long car journey. Next, check the wiper tank for cracks, as frozen fluid expands.
Only fill the wiper tank with the appropriate antifreeze and pay attention to the correct mixing ratios. The liquid must be able to withstand temperatures down to – 25 °C. On the internet you will find many recipes for composing your own wiper fluid. Be careful and never use the so often recommended spirits. This can damage the windshield washer pump, hoses and nozzles. In addition, it is a fire hazard.