View Full Version : Change Windshield Washer Pump and Clean Filter in 2005 Saturn Vue

01-08-2012, 12:38 PM
My '05 has had weak washers since I bought it. It even froze on me a couple of times when it faced frigid PA weather... thanks, Florida people, for using washer fluid that freezes! :x

TIP: If you live up north and buy a vehicle from the deep south, change that stuff out ASAP before winter hits!

After gradually mixing in some RainX fluid, I assumed the issue would clear up. It kinda did, but it didn't last. So I thought...

Time to get that bottle out and have a look.

Remove the battery.

Remove the bolt that holds the washer fluid bottle and coolant bottle to the inner fender. Then, remove the screw that holds the washer bottle to the radiator core support. Disconnect the hose from the bottle that goes along the fender. It's right above the bottle. You can see it near the bottom of the first picture.

Slide the bottle up and out enough to reach the wire plug and hoses. There are two hoses "clipped" onto the bottle. One is for the windshield and the other is for the rear window washer. Wiggle both of those off of the washer pump. Remove the clip holding the wire connector to the washer pump. Pull the plug off.


Your bottle is now free to continue.

The pump slides out of the grooves holding it into place on the bottle. Slide the pump out.


Pull the rubber plug out of the bottle. This is the filter screen. Mine was caked in slime, which ultimately lead to pump failure. The pump would run, but nothing was happening.


You now have the pump and filter out of the bottle. Clean screen and replace pump, if necessary. I picked one up at Autozone for $26. Advance Auto Parts doesn't sell them. NAPA does, but none of my local stores had one.


This is the original GM pump (pictured). It's the same pump used in the Equinox and Torrent. Local salvage yards wanted to sell the bottle and pump together as a unit for $25. I don't need a bottle, and for $1 more I have a new pump, not used.

Install in reverse order. Close the hood, lift the wiper arms up to "winter mode" (highest possible position, pictured below) and test the new pump. Once you verify the pump is working, you're good to go.


So, if your washers seem to be slowing down, get that filter checked and cleaned before your pump burns out. :yes:

01-08-2012, 03:26 PM
Thanks for posting, (I'll archive) That -20 blue stuff is pretty worthless up here!

Been fun hanging out here for the past few weeks, :) I'm back home tomorrow with no broadband.

01-08-2012, 04:15 PM
I remember a couple of years ago having the the washer fluid freeze up on me. I checked the bottle of fluid that I had in my shed and it read "Southern formula" it wouldn't have been a problem if I finished it up during the summer. I had to siphon it out and put other stuff in there.

01-08-2012, 04:26 PM
I'm not a big fan of the nozzle design on the VUE. I rather have multiple streams, than the mist like spray.

I was originally shocked to find out that 1 gallon wouldn't fill it up the washer reservoir.

Thanks for the write up!

01-08-2012, 09:13 PM
Excellent write-up!! Something I can add to my weekend projects for the summer :)

A trick I've found useful for up North (Winnipeg!) to avoid freezing is to, obviously, use winter fluid. But I also get those small bottles of gas-line antifreeze (alcohol). I split one small bottle between 2 or 3 jugs of washer fluid, and it cuts the frost in the mornings without having them crystalize over again. Don't put too much, or it will ruin the washer pump!

08-23-2012, 11:17 PM
I noticed some less than stellar performance of the front sprayers the other day. The fluid wasn't hitting as high up on the windshield as I remembered.

I was able to remove my washer bottle without removing the battery- just the battery cover, after freeing the coolant bottle from its mounts. And I managed to not spill most of my washer fluid.

After I removed the screen, it had some black stuff over it. I'm not sure how to describe it. It almost looked like the rubber material used as part of the screen had been broken down and come loose in the bottle and pulled against the screen. Not slime like Red described.

Back together it seems to work like I remembered.

10-16-2012, 06:53 PM
I have a 2005 vue 2.2 125,000 miles. The system works seamlessly when fluid is in the tank, but the washer system does not hold fluid overnight. There is a small leak somewhere in the system. I removed the tank and positively verified it was water tight. I checked the grommet junction for the pump and it too is watertight. I checked each of the short hoses leaving the pump to the front and rear systems and they didn't leak either. Then I noticed something; with the pump inserted into the tank, fluid will pass from the tank through the pump and out the rear hose outlet. No fluid passes through the front hose outlet. (This is done with the tank outside the vehicle.) Could the pump be the problem? If not, how can I chase the leak to it's source?