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Old 07-01-2006, 05:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Windshield Washer Pump Repair Experience

I recently found both my windshield washer pumps ( 99 Subara Forester) were not working. I thought this unusual and removed reservoir and both pumps to check the motors. Both motors showed reasonable winding resistance, so I hooked them to 12V bench power supply to check if they would run. Neither would run but both did "click" slightly when voltage was applied.

My wife doesn't use the pumps frequently and I wondered if they were perhaps just stuck due to corrosion or calcium deposits. I thought about what might free them (soaking in vinegar, etc) and finally thought of simply "slamming" the flat bottom down on the bench surface to free them. I wasn't too optimistic this would work but it was easy enough to try. Surprisingly, this procedure fixed both pumps and they are still working two weeks later.

Not a big deal in terms of cost savings, as I could find replacements for < $20 apiece easily enough, but a nice result that others might also employ.

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Old 07-01-2006, 04:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great tip!
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Old 07-01-2006, 05:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Perhaps it was that gummy gel stuff that grows in damp places? Were you using alcohol based fluid (which ought to inhibit this) or just plain water?

If it was something that got dislodged by slamming the pumps, then I'd be on the lookout for clogged nozzles in the future as the stuff migrates through the system. A pin is usuallly enough to clear them out.
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Old 07-02-2006, 09:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I cleaned the reservoir while it was out. It wasn't too dirty, but not pristine. I noted there is no inlet screen and other cars I have (Honda products) have an inlet screen to filter the windshield cleaner fluid.

I use primarily the cheap, 1-gallon mix from Walmart, et al, but occasionally will fill w/ water when out of mix. I have had minor problems w/ clogged nozzles, but no more than expected.

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Old 07-02-2006, 09:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasForester
I use primarily the cheap, 1-gallon mix from Walmart, et al
My favorite too! I recently started adding Prestone's anti-bug stuff, which really improves performance.

Never had a clog problem so far.
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default thank you ~ I was able to get my pumps to start without removing the washer tank...

the advice about smacking the pump worked for me.

after checking the fuse in the dash panel, I asked my wife to cycle the front and rear pumps ~ listening really close, I heard each pump "click" when she activated the pumps, but nothing else ~ so I knew the electricity was getting to the pump...

anyway, I just took a blunt tool (the back of a metal chisel, approx. 3/4 inch wide) and tapped it with a light mallet against the top of each pump, and asked my wife to try the pumps again. the rear pump started after a couple of taps, and the front one started after tapping on it for a while...

anyway, I was able to get the pumps started without even having to remove the washer tank...

thanks again for the tip about smacking the pump ~ this was the only forum where I found this suggestion :~)
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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ishmael,

Welcome, I'm glad you found this thread!!
Browse around some there's a bunch of great information here.


dm

For some reason, I'm really happy someone pulled up a 2 year old thread and solved their problem!!
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Old 11-02-2008, 02:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Glad it worked for you. I found that one pump failed again after a few weeks and decided to replace the pump. I think lack of use is the big killer here.

good luck
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Talk about 'reviving this thread every two years'---
I just had an intermittent front washer pump stop working (wipers work so I can assume it isn't the fuse or they likely wouldn't work either).

How easy is it to get at the pumps? I believe it is 'a task' to remove things to GET to the tank to remove the tank to get the pumps off... etc.

Since winter has now set in, I need the wipers and fluid pump to work for deicing reasons but am very NOT excited to throw more money at a mechanic to do another repair right now.

Thanks for info. Will try to do some more reading on my own also.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Washer Pump Works!

After reading this post, I had to try this technique out on my 2000 Forester. My rear washer pump "groaned" when trying to pump out fluid. After tapping it rather hard from the top with a screw driver and a ratchet (only striking tool I had), I tried out the rear washer fluid and soon enough, we had JUICE! I reccommend to anyone who has a failed or failing washer pump to try this technique. What do you have to lose? It's already broken, smack her around a bit! Good Luck and God Bless!
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yeah, this 'repair' took me about 20 minutes! Once I realized the washer reservoir was just held in place with two bolts, they came off quickly and the only hitch was getting the hoses off nicely (heat gun) as they don't allow for much 'working room' with the hose length so lost a bit of fluid as the lower pump hose came off.

But I did the 'smackdown' and things are working again and keeping ice off my windshield. Now if I can just get that pesky 'super cold weather' symptom of gas leakage smell addressed..... and the 'super cold weather' symptom of the rear door light staying on when the back hatch won't 'believe it is latched'...

Haha.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Worked for me!

My wife's 99 Forester washer pumps had quit completely. Today, I had the reservoir raised up out of the way to change to new plugwires (original wires took us to 236,000 miles--not bad! I remember when plugwires were good for 30-60,000 or so)
I decided to check out why the washer pumps wouldn't work. After googling and finding this thread, I tried the fix.
I removed the wiring connectors, which were filthy and filled with a cream colored crud. Not sure if that was some kind of dielectric grease or what. It just looked bad, so I cleaned it out as best I could, and cleaned off the spade connections with an alcohol-dipped q-tip. I pushed some clean dielectric grease into the connectors before reassembling. I had also removed the pumps from the reservoir completely, so I cleaned them up a bit and rapped them several times to try to jar things loose inside.

It much easier to remove and reassemble all of this than I'd expected; the worst was dealing with the very short wiring & tubing lengths, but not all that bad. Once back together, I ran the pumps again and the front pump works just fine now. The rear hasn't been successful yet, but I may give it another try when my wife is around to have her hold the washer button on the control stick and I'll tap on it at the same time. It does sound like the pump is running when asked for.
I might also have a problem in the tubing between the pump and the rear wiper, so I'll remove the hose and try again to see if it's even moving any liquid.

In any case, thank you to the original poster of this thread! Even with a new pump, I'd have had to go through all the same steps to remove and reinstall. I'm glad I saved $20-40 on pumps!

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Old 01-30-2011, 05:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default This fix worked!

The front washer on our daughter's 99 Forester stopped working, no pump noise at all, and in New Hampshire in January, the washer is needed.

First tried whacking it in place using a screwdriver and hammer but nothing changed. Took the tank out and gave the pump several whacked on its bottom and was rewarded with pump noise when power was applied. But after reinstalling and trying with fluid, the pump made running noise but nothing came out of the jets. I gave the pump several whacks with the screwdriver and hammer rig and now have a strong spray of washer fluid when needed.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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HaHa - if you can't fix it with a hammer it must be an electrical problem
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Revived again.

I just went out and bought a second hand front washer pump believing that would be the problem.
'Ehhhhhh'- thanks for playing.
Put the new one in and it still didn't work, so I'm assuming its somewhere in the wiring. The fuse is fine as the wipers themselves still work; they run off the same fuse.
I'll have a look at the wiring in a second. Anyone else got any ideas as to what might be the problem?
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