Troubleshooting an Inoperative Windshield Washer Pump

windshield washer pump

What Is A Windshield Washer Pump?

A washer pump is the complete windshield wiping system for a car. The system might be constructed to wipe only the front end or both the front and rear end of the windshield. The mechanism includes a motor-powered pump that exerts pressure on the washer fluid that hosts in a reservoir.

As a result, the fluid gushes onto the windshield through the outlets of tiny pipes onto the windshield.When the wiper system is activated, the wipers act to wipe the windshield with the sprouted washer fluid, and cleans the glass to be clear from dirt and other contamination. Thus, the driver will have a clear visibility to the road while driving the car.

Why A Washer Pump Becomes Inactive?

If the wiper system is activated and the washer fluid is not sprouted on the windshield, the following could be some of the possible causes:

  • The washer fluid is inadequate
  • The washer might be filled with dirt
  • The nozzles are blocked with dirt
  • The nozzles or hoses are cracked or broken
  • The nozzles are not directed properly

You can check with one or all of the above causes before you confirm to replace the washer pump system.

How To Troubleshoot The Washer Pump System?


Washer Fluid Level

Check the reservoir that holds the washer pump fluid to ensure if the liquid is at sufficient levels or not. If the reason is with inadequate levels of washer fluids, then obviously the fluid will not sprout when pressurized by the motorized pump.


Fill the reservoir with enough level of washer fluid solution by making use of a suitable sized funnel. Ensure that you use a formulated and non-freezing fluid during the cold seasons.


 Existence Of Dirt In The Washer

Sometimes, the chances are that the nozzles are clear, but the washer itself contains dirt, that settles at the bottom layer of the container and does not allow the fluid to pass from the reservoir to the nozzles. In such situations, you need to clear the washer.

For that, first you need to uninstall the reservoir from the wiping system of the car, and clear the dirt.Once cleared, reconnect the washer to the appropriate hoses and wires.


Passage Through The Nozzles

A nozzle is a tiny pipe through which a fluid passes to sprout at the outlet, when pressurized. If the nozzle is blocked with even tiny dust particles, the fluid will not pass through the tiny path.

Thus, ensure that the nozzles are clean and clear from dirt and other thick fluids like oils. If you find that the dirt is blocking, unclog the tiny pores of the system by making use of thin wires, pins or needles. This way the path will be clear for the washer fluid when pressurized.


Broken Nozzles Or Hoses

Apart from checking for the clogged nozzles and hoses, you also need to find out if there are any broken or cracked nozzles or hoses. If you find them, it means that the fluid is getting leaked before it reaches the windshield. Therefore, replace the faulty ones with good ones to ensure that the wiping system works properly.


Direction Of The Nozzles

One more reason that might not activate the fluid onto the windshield is that the nozzles are not directed to a proper direction. If you find so, adjust the direction to the center of the windshield so that it surely sprouts on the windshield.

Use your fingers to adjust the direction if the nozzles are fixed through tabs. Else, use screw drivers to loosen the nuts for adjusting the direction. Also, certain assembles need pliers to adjust the direction. Therefore, use appropriate tools while trying to adjust the nozzle direction.


The windshield wiping system of a car contains many sections that collectively work with systematic actions to sprout the washer fluid onto the car’s windshield. The wipers, when activated, will make use of the liquid to clear the dirt from the glass. Therefore, a proper functioning wiper system is essential for a safe drive.

Hence, make use of the above troubleshooting steps to enable the smooth functioning of the wiping system. If none of the above steps work, and the reservoir itself is cracked, then it is time for replacing the washer system with a new one.