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Autos

How to fix a car windshield washers

Keeping them squirting. A washer that squirts weakly or not at all may be clogged. Disconnect the hose from the nozzle and have a helper operate the dashboard switch. If fluid flows from the hose, clean the nozzle hole with a needle. If the nozzle can’t be cleaned, replace it.

If no fluid flows from the hose, look for kinks. Reposition and reshape the hose. If it’s still clogged, disconnect the hose at the pump neck. If fluid flows from the pump, blow out the hose with compressed air.

Some hoses have a check valve and filter. Disconnect the hose at this part: if fluid flows through the hose from the reservoir, replace the filter.

If no fluid flows from the pump, check for a blown fuse. If the fuse is good, either the pump or the switch is defective. Connect a 12-volt test lamp to an engine bolt, and probe the two terminals of the washer motor with the pointed tip while a helper operates the switch. If the test lamp does not light with the tip on either terminal, the switch is defective. Have aprofessional replace it.

If the test lamp lights, the pump motor is defective. It’s easier to install a universal pump, sold in auto parts stores, than to replace the original pump. Mount the new pump under the hood, splice in new hoses, and leave the old assembly in place.

If the spray is off-target, re-aim the nozzles. Use needle-nose pliers to gently bend a tubular nozzle: don’t pinch it. To swivel a ball nozzle, insert a needle in the hole.

Fluidic nozzles are fixed in place and cant be bent, but may be re-aimed by installing a shim, available from the car dealer. Nozzles fitted to wiper arms are not adjustable.