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Thread: Windshield Wiper/Washer

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Windshield Wiper/Washer

    The washer on my Chevy no longer works although the wipers still works.

    Is there any fix to have the washer work again or must I replace the whole assembly?. Have anyone encountered this problem?

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    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    The washer on my Chevy no longer works although the wipers still works.

    Is there any fix to have the washer work again or must I replace the whole assembly?. Have anyone encountered this problem?
    Now I don't know about Chevys but, on all the cars I have owned, the washer has been a small, replaceable, pump that just connects to, or plugs in to. the bottom of the washer tank. Replacements are usually only a few pounds each. Else try a salvage yard. First though, find the pump, check the electrical connections for power, remove the pump and clean out the inlet and outlet ports, clean out the washer tank, and try it again. I have only had a couple or three fail in all my years of driving.

    Ken.
    Last edited by Ken; 02-02-2012 at 07:28 AM. Reason: Addition.
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    Ken,
    Let me explain. This problem all started when I poured some 20/10 washer solution into the tank holding the water. This solution is supposed to clean the glass better than plain water, but I did not like the results so I drain out the tank and replaced it with clean tap water but no water spewed out . So I'm wondering if cleaning the rubber tubes and other orifices will solve the problem? I'll try that, or maybe I can shoot some compressed air into the outlet tubings to clear the passages of shit from the washer solution. The washer worked fine before adding the solution, by the way.

    Will update with results soon.

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    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    Ken,
    Let me explain. This problem all started when I poured some 20/10 washer solution into the tank holding the water. This solution is supposed to clean the glass better than plain water, but I did not like the results so I drain out the tank and replaced it with clean tap water but no water spewed out . So I'm wondering if cleaning the rubber tubes and other orifices will solve the problem? I'll try that, or maybe I can shoot some compressed air into the outlet tubings to clear the passages of shit from the washer solution. The washer worked fine before adding the solution, by the way.

    Will update with results soon.
    It could well be that the solution you tried actually flushed crud into the tubes feeding your washer jets. If you can hear the pump trying to pump water then blocked pipes/jets are the likely fault. If you can hear the pump try disconnecting the jets and see if you get any flow. If not disconect the pump outlet and see if you get any output. This will prove whether you have blocked pipes, blocked jets or a pump problem. If it is the pipes or jets then disconnecting all the jets and using compressed air may well do the trick. If it is the pump then replacements should be readily available.

    Ken.
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    Senior Member Piney's Avatar
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    If you have someone who can help - have them activate the washer while you listen/watch the pump for activation. If you hear it working and nothing is coming out of the nozzle, then there is an obstruction, or a disconnected line. If you don't hear the pump then start investigating that...fuse?, loose wire?, bad switch?burned out motor?

    The compressed air idea will work, too...just use low pressure.

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    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piney View Post
    If you have someone who can help - have them activate the washer while you listen/watch the pump for activation. If you hear it working and nothing is coming out of the nozzle, then there is an obstruction, or a disconnected line. If you don't hear the pump then start investigating that...fuse?, loose wire?, bad switch?burned out motor?

    The compressed air idea will work, too...just use low pressure.


    It's been a long time since I worked on one of these cars but I seem to remember the washer pump is in the wiper motor, I think.
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    Senior Member Piney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    It's been a long time since I worked on one of these cars but I seem to remember the washer pump is in the wiper motor, I think.

    If that's the case then perhaps whenever the 20/10 solution was drained the pump prime was lost...?

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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    It's been a long time since I worked on one of these cars but I seem to remember the washer pump is in the wiper motor, I think.
    Correct!!!
    The pump on my Chevy is within the wiper motor assembly. I may have to replace the whole shebang, BUT, as long as the WIPERS themselves work, I'm not concerned too much. I can always have a spray bottle of water in the car which I can use to clean the windshield as needed, but if the wipers don't work and you're caught in a downpour, where are you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piney View Post
    If that's the case then perhaps whenever the 20/10 solution was drained the pump prime was lost...?
    My thoughts, exactly !!!

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    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piney View Post
    If that's the case then perhaps whenever the 20/10 solution was drained the pump prime was lost...?
    If it is only the pump priming that is lost there must be a simple way of re-priming. Try disconnecting the jets to remove any back pressure and run the pump. Or you could try setting up a syphon with a pipe run from the outlet port of the pump - sucking on the pipe might work. Even better for a posible quick fix - try slightly pressurising the water tank whilst operating the pump.

    Ken.
    Last edited by Ken; 02-04-2012 at 07:00 AM. Reason: Better idea added.
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    The simplest and usually cheapest fix for a broken washer pump is to go to an old auto parts store and ask for a Trico AWL-1 (I think that's the number). It's a manually operated washer pump that clamps to the bottom of a metal dash, and a plastic reservoir bag that you hang in the engine bay. Pull the lever, you get a nice squirt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    If it is only the pump priming that is lost there must be a simple way of re-priming. Try disconnecting the jets to remove any back pressure and run the pump. Or you could try setting up a syphon with a pipe run from the outlet port of the pump - sucking on the pipe might work. Even better for a posible quick fix - try slightly pressurising the water tank whilst operating the pump.

    Ken.
    I tried a simple test to find out if any hoses were blocked up by blowing into the rubber tubings but apparently they wren't blocked so it must be the 35-year-old pump itself.
    On that assumption, could the wiper themselves fail next? That could be a catastrophic event should that happen if I'm caught in a sudden downpour?

    Time to take preventive measures before that happen??
    Last edited by ChevyMan; 02-06-2012 at 05:12 AM.

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    Delete the message!!!!!!

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    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    Delete the message!!!!!!
    Er, which one, Chevy? - there are 12 of them.

    Ken.
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    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    I tried a simple test to find out if any hoses were blocked up by blowing into the rubber tubings but apparently they wren't blocked so it must be the 35-year-old pump itself.
    On that assumption, could the wiper themselves fail next? That could be a catastrophic event should that happen if I'm caught in a sudden downpour?

    Time to take preventive measures before that happen??


    A lot of wiper transmissions (that's the linkage system to move the wipers) use plastic fittings as a safety device. These get old with age. I don't remember how yours are put together. If you look where the rods are connected, if you see a plastic piece on the connections, it woldn't hurt to replace them. Replacing them isn't that bad. Getting to them can be a bear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    A lot of wiper transmissions (that's the linkage system to move the wipers) use plastic fittings as a safety device. These get old with age. I don't remember how yours are put together. If you look where the rods are connected, if you see a plastic piece on the connections, it woldn't hurt to replace them. Replacing them isn't that bad. Getting to them can be a bear.
    But how do I go about finding parts for a wiper made more than 30 years ago, or is that a standard part?

  17. #17
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    But how do I go about finding parts for a wiper made more than 30 years ago, or is that a standard part?


    Motormite has a section in most auto parts chains called "Help". That's where they have lots of little parts that break over time. Especially plastic parts. There is a catalog, that usually walks off, that lists all the parts they make. Chances are, you can find what you need there.
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