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Old 02-16-2021, 12:40 PM   #1
C. Gadda
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Default Minor Washer pump dilemma

Been having issues with my windshield washer. Neither nozzle was spraying very well, or at all. I had my mechanic blow out the tubing, which improved matters but did not restore 100% functionality. Note that the pump runs, but I suspect it is not at 100% new efficiency (this is the original pump on a 95 SC2) I've gone ahead and purchased a new pump which brings me to my dilemma.

The replacement pump has a different connection, which requires me to splice in new wiring. I can certainly do that, but since I'm not 100% sure it's the pump, I hate to make a small but radical modification to my wiring only to find that I've not fixed my problem. Now I've seen on eBay a couple of washer fluid reservoirs with (per the description) working pumps attached, but I hate to go through the trouble of obtaining a spare reservoir and pump, only to find the pump is potentially as weak as my current one.

What I'd really LOVE to find is a "new old stock" pump that has the correct connections but is otherwise unused. Anybody know a source for something like that?

Thoughts? Is there something else I should check before going ahead and splicing in the new pump? Thanks for any help.
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Old 02-16-2021, 02:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: Minor Washer pump dilemma

Connect the "plumbing" to the new one you have and power it direct from the battery to see if it pumps OK; then mod the wiring. The polarity of the pump probably matters, so be sure to get that right or it may not pump at all.
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Old 02-16-2021, 02:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Minor Washer pump dilemma

Did you blow out the spray head? That is the part most likely to be plugged.
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Old 02-16-2021, 03:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Minor Washer pump dilemma

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Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
Did you blow out the spray head? That is the part most likely to be plugged.
I believe they did the nozzles as well. I have ordered a pair of new OEM ones just on speculation (after all, it is an almost 26 year old car...)
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Old 02-16-2021, 06:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Minor Washer pump dilemma

I would check the wiring going to the pump to air sure itís getting a full 12-14 volts. Too low of voltage and the pump wonít work at full power. Mine last summer developed a bad ground and wouldnít turn on at all.

If you do need a new one, you could try grabbing one from the junkyard for the original connection. They arenít a very common part to fail
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Old 02-16-2021, 09:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Minor Washer pump dilemma

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Originally Posted by Zeebins View Post
I would check the wiring going to the pump to air sure itís getting a full 12-14 volts. Too low of voltage and the pump wonít work at full power. Mine last summer developed a bad ground and wouldnít turn on at all.

If you do need a new one, you could try grabbing one from the junkyard for the original connection. They arenít a very common part to fail
Thanks for the tip. Since my car was at my mechanic for a smog check, I had them take a look at the voltage - turns out it was fine so it is more likely my pump that's worn out.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Minor Washer pump dilemma

I worked on an intermittent washer spray problem recently and when I went into it to replace the pump I found slime in the bottom of the reservoir which was clogging the pickup. After cleaning it out the sprayer worked like new with the old pump reinstalled.
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Old 02-20-2021, 09:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Minor Washer pump dilemma

I've seen blue slime from the food coloring or whatever they use in windshield wiper fluid.

what I've been doing is letting the fluid run low towards end of winder, then using distilled water throughout spring and summer. Might add a drop of dish soap or an oz of white vinegar if I remember
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Old 02-20-2021, 10:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Minor Washer pump dilemma

Remove tank, put in dishwasher. (after saving the fluid inside)

Turn OFF heated wash, heated rinse, and heated dry, and do not let the spouse catch you.

Reinstall...
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: Minor Washer pump dilemma

I'm glad I came across this thread. I too have been having intermittent issues with the windshield cleaning fluid sprayer. I don't need to use it very often, so I haven't bothered to find a solution. I didn't know about the slime that may accumulate at the bottom of the tank... and I didn't know that it would be okay to use plain water. I'll definitely keep these things in mind for when/if I decide to do something about it.

Wait... wouldn't vinegar mess up the paint?
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Old 02-22-2021, 03:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: Minor Washer pump dilemma

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Wait... wouldn't vinegar mess up the paint?
It's theoretically possible, as it is about 5% acid, but we are talking about an oz of vinegar in a half gallon of distilled water (gallon, for 3rd gens with the larger washer reservoir). If you wash while not moving, most of the liquid will drain down the windshield, and if you wash when moving, only a little will run along the roof and door pillars and will quickly evaporate. Probably won't even strip any wax.

Here's an actual test of vinegar held onto car paint for 2 hours, no damage to paint was visible

https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/...harm-car-paint
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:11 AM   #12
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Default Re: Minor Washer pump dilemma

I've made my own washer fluid using a recipe found here. They use way more vinegar in the summer mix than I do. I tested my winter mix by leaving the jug outside in -10F ambient temps. The blue (or other) is just add coloring.

https://www.yourmechanic.com/article...samson-dikeman

Quote:
Windshield washer fluid is a brightly colored liquid made of methanol, a poisonous alcohol. Sometimes, small amounts of other toxic alcohols, such as ethylene glycol, are added to the mixture.
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002803.htm

And a MSDS I found for one brand, shows 1/2 methyl alcohol and 2/3 water
https://www.corcraft.org/wcsstore/Ad...20to%20Use.pdf
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: Minor Washer pump dilemma

Thank you, alordofchaos, for all that good info. I had never bothered to find out what washer fluid really was. I could be the only person that didn't know about this, but maybe it will help others.

And I agree, a very diluted water/vinegar solution will not be a problem. The instructions on the site you linked use a 25% solution, but 20% or even less would work too.
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Minor Washer pump dilemma

Yeah, I'm only using an ounce or two of vinegar in a half gallon of water, lol.

Also just noticed the typo
Quote:
1/2 methyl alcohol and 2/3 water
should be 1/3 methyl alcohol
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