Front Windshield Washers do not spray. - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 03-05-2011, 04:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Front Windshield Washers do not spray.

The front windshield washers do not spray.
The rear window washer is O.K..

If I disconnect the wiring harness to the front window washer pump,
and apply 12V, the pump works fine.

I checked/cleaned the connectors at the pump.

There does not appear to be 12v at the pump when
pulling back on the window wiper stalk.

Thanks in advance,

Gerry
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Some wiper/washer switches are "pull back for washer" and others have a button on the end of the stalk. I just want to first confirm that your's is the pull back type and not the one with the button, right?

Are the contacts on the motor, and in the harness connector that attaches to the motor, clean? Corrosion/dirt can prevent a good contact when the connector is attached to the motor.

Do the wipers work? If the wiring diagram is the one for your car, then if the wipers work, the fuse is good. And, if the fuse is good, then there should be 12 V at pin 2 (YB) of the washer motor harness connector (measured between pin 2 and a good ground) when the ignition switch is at On. This is the next thing to check.

Pin 1 of the harness connector at the washer motor is connected terminal E at the washer switch. When the switch is pulled back, it connects the E and EW terminals. Although it's off the bottom of the diagram as posted, I believe the EW terminal is connected to a ground. So, with the washer motor connector removed from the motor, measure the resistance (Ohms) between pin 1 (LgR) of the harness connector and ground. (To be safe, first make sure the ignition switch is turned Off.) The resistance should be fairly high with the switch in the normal, off, position, but drop down close to zero (perhaps a few Ohms) when the switch is pulled back.

If the resistance remains high when the switch is pulled back, then the switch could be bad (dirty contacts is possible) or there's a problem in the wiring from the washer motor to the switch, or from the switch to ground.

If the resistance does drop to zero with the switch pulled back, the motor could still be at fault. It might work when 12 V is applied directly to it's terminals, but when connected via the connector, the voltage could be somewhat lower and the motor, due to age, might not be able to start up.

Does your washer reservoir also have a rear washer pump? Is the connector the same? Does the rear washer motor work? If so, you could put the front washer connector on the rear washer motor, and pull the front washer lever back. This is another way to see if the power and connections through the front washer switch are good -- if they are, the rear washer motor will run.

Do the tests, see what happens, and let us know.
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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plain OM,
Wow! I'm impressed! You have about as complete a response as could be given to solve the problem. Nicely done!
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plain OM View Post
Some wiper/washer switches are "pull back for washer" and others have a button on the end of the stalk. I just want to first confirm that your's is the pull back type and not the one with the button, right?

Are the contacts on the motor, and in the harness connector that attaches to the motor, clean? Corrosion/dirt can prevent a good contact when the connector is attached to the motor.

Do the wipers work? If the wiring diagram is the one for your car, then if the wipers work, the fuse is good. And, if the fuse is good, then there should be 12 V at pin 2 (YB) of the washer motor harness connector (measured between pin 2 and a good ground) when the ignition switch is at On. This is the next thing to check.

Pin 1 of the harness connector at the washer motor is connected terminal E at the washer switch. When the switch is pulled back, it connects the E and EW terminals. Although it's off the bottom of the diagram as posted, I believe the EW terminal is connected to a ground. So, with the washer motor connector removed from the motor, measure the resistance (Ohms) between pin 1 (LgR) of the harness connector and ground. (To be safe, first make sure the ignition switch is turned Off.) The resistance should be fairly high with the switch in the normal, off, position, but drop down close to zero (perhaps a few Ohms) when the switch is pulled back.

If the resistance remains high when the switch is pulled back, then the switch could be bad (dirty contacts is possible) or there's a problem in the wiring from the washer motor to the switch, or from the switch to ground.

If the resistance does drop to zero with the switch pulled back, the motor could still be at fault. It might work when 12 V is applied directly to it's terminals, but when connected via the connector, the voltage could be somewhat lower and the motor, due to age, might not be able to start up.

Does your washer reservoir also have a rear washer pump? Is the connector the same? Does the rear washer motor work? If so, you could put the front washer connector on the rear washer motor, and pull the front washer lever back. This is another way to see if the power and connections through the front washer switch are good -- if they are, the rear washer motor will run.

Do the tests, see what happens, and let us know.
plain OM,

Thanks for your support on this issue.

I replaced the factory connector with some crimp-on female spade connectors and all is well.

Thanks,

Gerry
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yup, corrosion/dirt at the connector.

Glad you found it.

Thanks for the follow up. Others might benefit.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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...back from the depths.

I will be digging into this today. Thus far all fuses are good, front wipers work fine and rear motor/wipers work fine.

Continuing the saga of my OB being as different as possible, my wiper lever can be pulled to the rear to activate the pump AND also has the button on the end of the lever. I thought I read where some cars are made with either/or. Pulling the lever also activates the wipers but using the button only activates the pump.
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I had a similar problem, a clip routing the hose broke and the hood was pinching the hose shut...

But how your switch behaves is odd.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNY_Dave View Post
I had a similar problem, a clip routing the hose broke and the hood was pinching the hose shut...

But how your switch behaves is odd.
yep, my 03 is stock, and despite the icon showing spray for 'pull back', it ONLY sprays if I depres the button on the stalk's end.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Oh, I thought you were saying it spayed when you pull back.

Pulling is for 'mist', gives one wipe.

Hitting the button turns on the washer and the wipers wipe automatically (which I hate and disabled).
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNY_Dave View Post
Oh, I thought you were saying it spayed when you pull back.

Pulling is for 'mist', gives one wipe.

Hitting the button turns on the washer and the wipers wipe automatically (which I hate and disabled).
Lol. Thanks for clearing the pull mode operation up. I generally pull and hold it.
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