Windshield Squirters RepairBlades a-flappin' but no juice
As bad weather approaches in many parts of the country, having operational windshield squirters becomes a vital safety concern. People in snow country are well aware of how blinding dirty-snow residue can be on windshields while driving into the sun early or late in the day. A simple flick of the squirter can make the difference between getting home safely (i.e., the fluid and wipers clean the windshield) or crashing into something as a result of temporary blindness.
The Steps here show how the average motorist can help narrow down the cause of squirter malfunction. We'll begin with the easy stuff and get progressively more technical:
> First, does the washer reservoir have fluid? Don't overlook the obvious. Maybe you filled it recently, but plastic reservoirs can crack at the seams in freezing weather. (Special winter washer fluids are formulated to not freeze.)
> If the reservoir is full, have a friend turn the ignition key to ON and activate the squirter switch. Follow the hoses from the washer reservoir all the way to the squirter nozzles if possible, looking for leaks. Barbed plastic fittings are a common leak location.
> If hoses and/or fittings are cracked, replace them. This usually solves the problem.
> If the problem still exists, detach the hoses from the nozzles one at a time. When the squirter switch is activated (ignition ON), fluid should shoot out the hoses' ends. If it doesn't, the problem can normally be narrowed down to electrical instead of plumbing.
> If fluid squirts from the hoses, the nozzles might be plugged. With the hoses detached either use compressed air to dislodge dirt or ream the nozzles with a wire.
> Still no wishy-washy? Locate the squirter pump (usually on/in the washer reservoir or attached to the wiper motor), unplug its electrical connector, and use a test light to see if the plug is getting power when the squirter button is pushed while the ignition is ON. If not, a fuse might be blown (check your fuse box), mice might have munched the wiring or the squirter switch is bad. Consider having a pro fix wiring and switch problems, particularly if the squirter button is on a steering-column tentacle.
> If everything checks out to this point, the pump is likely the culprit. Detach and take it to the parts store to get a replacement.
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