Technical Loss of windscreen washer fluid

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Technical Loss of windscreen washer fluid

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Oct 13, 2009
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I recently filled up the windscreen washer fluid, but yesterday found I had run out again. I refilled the reservoir today and noticed that I could see the level slowly dropping, but could not find any leaks and no puddles appeared underneath. I primed front and rear jets to expell any air and refilled the reservoir, but the same thing happened. I removed the pump and put my finger over the outlet which stopped the level going down any more. When I put the pump back in, the level started to drop again, so it must be draining somewhere along the line. However, the lines run up from the reservoir and without the pump running it should not be able to drain. Has anyone else experienced this and found a solution to the problem?
 

Ralf S.

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It must be leaking *somewhere*. Are you sure sure that there's no fluid collecting in the undertray or inside the front bumper etc.?

If blocking off the pump stops the leak, then that suggests the leak is in the bottle itself.. since an unblocked pump may just be allowing air to be drawn into the bottle and letting the fluid leak out from somewhere else... whereas blocking it creates a vacuum that restricts the leak.

You need to find where the fluid's going... it's a weird one for sure.


Ralf S.
 
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Thank you for your suggestions. Well it probably would have helped if I had not tried to diagnose the problem after torrential rain when the undertray already had a puddle of water. The water has continued to slowly drain and I suspect it is leaking through the rubber grommet where the pump goes into the bottle. I cannot find a part number for just the grommet and suspect that it is either sold with a complete pump, or reservoir. In the meantime, I have smeared a little silicone grease on the rubber and it seems to have improved. I will continue to monitor the level.
 
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Today's update:
The level has gone down slightly, but only to the bottom of the filler neck, which is a lot less than before. However, while cleaning the interior of the car today, I discovered that the passenger footwell is soaking wet. I have removed the carpet and lifted the underlay and am now drying it. It appears to be fresh water rather than washer fluid, so I suspect it is another, unrelated issue. It's amazing how much sponge there is on the back of the carpet and underlay and how much water it can absorb. I have since poured water over the windscreen, but could find no sign of water ingress.
 
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Found the problem:
Rear wash pipe is fractured. I tried the rear washer and saw the water pouring out of the wiring loom where it kinks up from the floorpan where it goes around the B pillar. The pipe is bundled in with the wiring loom, so I undid the tape holding it all together and was able to expose the pipe and found the fracture. Just need to go to the motor factors to buy a suitable connector to fix it.
 
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It's fixed. I cut the pipe and fitted a 5mm straight connector. I was going to put heat shrink over the join, but didn't have any large enough to go over the corrugated pipe, so wrapped it securely (after first testing for leaks) with electrical tape, then taped it back to the main loom. All I have to do now is wait for the carpet and underfelt to dry out. The carpet is in the sun in the garden and the underfelt is raised above the floor on a block of wood in the car with a fan heater and the doors open.
If it is of any help to others, the split was where the loom changes direction just in front of the B pillar, where it runs through a retaining box with removable lid.
 
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Found the problem:
Rear wash pipe is fractured. I tried the rear washer and saw the water pouring out of the wiring loom where it kinks up from the floorpan where it goes around the B pillar. The pipe is bundled in with the wiring loom, so I undid the tape holding it all together and was able to expose the pipe and found the fracture. Just need to go to the motor factors to buy a suitable connector to fix it.

I'm trying to understand where you actually mean. B pillar is central to car so are you looking under the carpets/trim?
 
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Sorry, yes that was a bit misleading. It is about halfway along the door where the loom rises from the floor to the top of the sill to go over the crossbeam which supports the seats. The loom enters a plastic box with a removable lid for this change of direction and that is where the leak was. Hope this helps.
 

Eurocanuck

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Nov 14, 2021
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in my wifes 500x a hose connector that goes from under the bottle towards the rear just under the drivers door hinge area broke, shop said it was a common fault
 
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