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Discussion Starter #1
On my long drive into work yesterday (three hour commute due to snow storm), I wasn't getting washer fluid to the windshield. When I finally pulled into work I figured I'd give it one more shot and it worked. Commute home yesterday, nothing again. This morning I tried again and still nothing. On my way home I hoped maybe it was either frozen or out, so I stopped and got some Prestone cold weather washer fluid. Opened the hood, removed the cap and as soon as I started to pour some in it filled to the brim. Confused, I looked at it for about ten seconds and suddenly the fluid went in. Isn't that odd? What would cause that, back pressure? So I continued to pour more in and fit in about 2/3 of the container. Went back in and tried but again, no go. Not hearing the pump I feared the worst. When I got home, I disconnected the hose under the hood and it appeared dry inside. Laid out down and got a couple of drops out of it due to gravity. With the hose still disconnected, I turned the key to ON, and tried. No pump noise, no fluid out. Checked for a kink in the hose by the hoods hinge and it looks fine. Also, I noticed that when I originally finished filling the reservoir at the store, it was to the brim. Now the fluid level has dropped down a few inches. I believe the fuse for the pump is the same for the wipers right? So it can't be that. Again, due to the single digit weather in an apartment complex, my options for further self diagnosis is limited. How difficult is it to install a new one? I read I need to remove the passenger side wheel and splash guard, correct? I know that the lack of pump noise obviously points to the pump. But I had wishful thinking that it may be another thing, like cold weather. Just found it odd not only with what happened when I first put fluid in tonight, but also that it suddenly worked yesterday and now nothing again.

Thanks for any help and input.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'm sorry, I just saw someone's post questioning the location of the pump and how to was moved here a short time ago.
 

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I'm sorry, I just saw someone's post questioning the location of the pump and how to was moved here a short time ago.
That was my post - Im in the same boat (Im not sure why it was moved as I put it in the MK1 forum). My pump runs but no fluid comes out. That is why Im trying to find out about how much needs to be disassembled to get to the pump to see if its clogged or the fluid is frozen. I cant find a good online picture if the pump/reservoir on a 05-07. I know the splash shield needs to come off but not sure if the reservoir need to come out to get to the pump.

Paul
 

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Pic of the pump from RockAuto.com. Looks like it pops in using a grommet to seal to the reservoir. SHOULD be accessible from outside but it may be stuck between the res and the rest of the car, requiring removal of the res for access. Mine has be been freezing up on my the past couple of days; pump runs but no fluid, once the engine heat thaws the lines I get fluid again. I think someone watered down my fluid before I bought the car because I've never had this problem before.

 

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Sounds frozen, see how it does when it warms up a little more.

Drive to work could have thawed it for a while, then frozen again.
 

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Most washer fluid is only good to ~20 degrees unless otherwise specified. No biggie just let the engine bay warm up before you try to use it or get winter specific fluid(usually -10 degrees or so)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Anyone know about my problem and symptoms? I had purchased the cheap blue stuff when in a pinch over the spring. That was still probably in the reservoir when I put in the Prestone -25F stuff last night. I'm not hearing the pump but could that have been frozen over also? Last night it was about 1 degree or so no hopes in it working again.
 

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Funny, I had almost the SAME problem yesterday! I didn't even try it this morning, but I'm pretty sure it was just frozen. It worked yesterday afternoon! My pump was making noise the whole time though. Prob the pump. They go bad and this weather definitely stresses so now is when they're going to go. My brother just had to do one on his Subaru.
 

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Just now on my way into work my pump didn't even make noise. I tried it after driving for 20minutes while at a red light so I would have heard the pump if it was working. Guessing that either the pump doesn't like the cold or the fluid froze the impeller in place. I'm surprised that it didn't work after the drive but maybe the system was still frozen. Now my windshield is all streaky from the wipers dragging the salt back and forth with no fluid to wash it away...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok. Luckily they aren't a wallet breaker. But once I remove the passenger side tire and wheel liner, how difficult is this fix? Will I be able to easily find the pump and remove it? I don't see a How-To for my 07 but from other reads and videos of other makes and models, it appears to be all similar.
 

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If truly frozen (and it seems likely) the pump won't make noise & you don't want to try it for long - that would burn out a good one eventually.

If the reservoir was inside the engine compartment running the car would help more than the now typical fender well location.

In the severe cold it's a little easier to avoid spray when driving, and what dries on the windshield can be removed by rubbing with a dry cloth when stopped - no water necessary. Alternative cleaning is snow on a warm windshield plus wipers, but that doesn't work well in these temps., better for when it's warmer.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just now on my way into work my pump didn't even make noise. I tried it after driving for 20minutes while at a red light so I would have heard the pump if it was working. Guessing that either the pump doesn't like the cold or the fluid froze the impeller in place. I'm surprised that it didn't work after the drive but maybe the system was still frozen. Now my windshield is all streaky from the wipers dragging the salt back and forth with no fluid to wash it away...
I'm in the same situation! My windshield looks very bad. I'm embarrassed, lol.

I was hoping the same thing in terms of the pump being frozen over. I also hoped that me placing the Prestone -25F fluid would have done some good replacing and unfreezing the crappy blue gas station fluid, but that was hopeful. Unfortunately, my car will never be in a garage or warmer place and is at the mercy of the outside temps.

How come my reservoir would fill immediately upon pouring the new stuff, but eventually worked its way down? Perhaps some original fluid frozen until the new, warm stuff was put in? Wouldn't the new stuff thaw the pump?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If truly frozen (and it seems likely) the pump won't make noise & you don't want to try it for long - that would burn out a good one eventually.

If the reservoir was inside the engine compartment running the car would help more than the now typical fender well location.

In the severe cold it's a little easier to avoid spray when driving, and what dries on the windshield can be removed by rubbing with a dry cloth when stopped - no water necessary. Alternative cleaning is snow on a warm windshield plus wipers, but that doesn't work well in these temps., better for when it's warmer.
Good points. Yeah, it wasn't very bright for me to keep trying these past few days if it is frozen over.
 

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As long as you don't hold it "on" for long it shouldn't hurt, trying to "free" it by holding it on does the damage instead of helping.

I thought you may have had some frozen up in the neck of the bottle from your description of how the new stuff went in. Splash up & freeze there.

There isn't much surface area for the new stuff to work on, that's why it won't unfreeze anything quickly. Like thawing an icicle by licking the end, it's not the fast way.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As long as you don't hold it "on" for long it shouldn't hurt, trying to "free" it by holding it on does the damage instead of helping.

I thought you may have had some frozen up in the neck of the bottle from your description of how the new stuff went in. Splash up & freeze there.

There isn't much surface area for the new stuff to work on, that's why it won't unfreeze anything quickly. Like thawing an icicle by licking the end, it's not the fast way.
haha, great analogy sailor.

Hmmm.... only way I can tell would be to warm up the pump. I don't want to buy it if I don't need it. It looks to get close to 40degrees here on Sunday. Maybe I'll try and wait until then and hope that those 8degrees will be enough!
 

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Yeah, anything better than single digits will help.

It's too bloody cold for even the proverbial hair dryer to help, even if you could stretch a cord. Slightest breeze chills too much.

Camped out for New Years once when it got silly cold, White Wine froze solid with a beautiful star pattern of the alcohol centered in the bottle. It took long submersion in a pot of water on the fire to thaw out, as it separated when it froze.

That explained how "Apple Jack" is distilled from Hard Cider by freezing, and shows why thawing is harder than keeping it from freezing in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
wow.... what were you doing camping out in conditions that cold?!?! (When I camp I'm in a pitched tent on the hard ground)

I am glad to hear that these pumps could get frozen over to the point where you wouldn't hear it at all. When I was trying to get it running I was afraid it was busted...
 

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Crossing fingers for ya that it's just frozen, evidence of freezing in the tank (freezes last) points that way.

Yeah, that was in tents on the hard ground - made plans to do it without expecting it to get THAT cold. Didn't have a -30* rated bag then either.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ouch! and thanks sailor. I'll just get a rag and wipe the windows down as best as I can for the time being. Appreciate all of the help guys!
 

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I will try to chime in, those my answers are typically simpler...

Could it be possible that the old fluid is still in the lines. It doesnt have the same tolerance as the new stuff. With it being in there so long is it possible for it to break down or evaporate any, effectively leaving you with a majority water mix? With that staying in the lines and you go to use it, it would be frozen already?

I don't know..makes sense in my head. Though with the engine heat right there is should thaw it out right, it gets pretty warm underneath there.


Another thing you could do is put some Rain-x on the windshield to help with the snow and salt and mist.
 
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