Windshield washer fluid not working? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 11-30-2012, 10:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Windshield washer fluid not working?

Have a 1996 Outback. wipers working front and back BUT no fluid coming out. Checked that there was fluid, checked fuse and all ok. Have been told could be the motor. Where do I look and how to check.
Thanks for any advice.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Moved to correct forum.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When you press the "wash" button (for either the front, or rear), can you hear the related washer pump motor run? There should be a noticeable sound from the motor, especially if the car is a quiet area, engine off, key at ON and hood up.

If yes, then there could be a blockage in the hose(s).

If no, then it could be the motors, but it also not uncommon for the connectors at the motors to become badly corroded, so much so that they don't make a good connection, in which case, cleaning the contacts will often resolve the problem.

Both the washer motors and their respective wipers work off the same fuse, so that fuse is okay if the wipers work.

The washer motors are at the bottom of the windshield washer reservoir.

Last edited by plain OM; 11-30-2012 at 06:23 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There is often a mixup on how to actually activate the washers vs the mist fuction. I don't don't how far back this issues goes. The mist function shows a diagram that 'looks' like it should be the washers, but in fact just moves the wipers for mist. This is on the little flap on the top. However, the actual washers function when pressing the button on the end of the stalk. I have to have this conversation about every two years with my wife when she asks to me fix the washers because they stopped working. This time I think I made fun of her too much. She won't forget now where to get the washers to go, but I also won't be seeing any attention anytime soon...

Tom
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Agreed. A lot of times I see customers coming in saying my washers aren't working. I ask what are you doing to engage the wiper/washer system? They say that they're pulling back on the stalk. That'll only engage the mist function that'll wipe only once unless held down. It's the button at the end that'll engage the washer fluid motor.

I'd definitely recommend following the steps in the 3rd post to see if you're able to rectify your issue. Most of the time (80%) it's just a blockage in the wiper washer tubes somewhere in the line(s). It's rare to see a motor blow out or to have a bad electrical connection. In my two years of being an advisor at Subaru, I haven't seen a motor blow out yet.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Definitely check to make sure you're using the right switch to engage the washer fluid. That fooled me for a few minutes when I first got the car. also, like people have already said, make sure when you hit the button for the washers that you hear the motors engage...it should be an electrical whirring noise. If you don't hear that then the motors aren't coming on and its time to check the connectors. The motors should be on the wiper fluid reservoir. The motors are cheap and easy to replace if needed.
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Duh..... Thanks.... susan
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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In our 05 outback there are two small filters buried under the hood insulation. Mine were clogged so I just removed them, worked fine!
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tingum View Post
In our 05 outback there are two small filters buried under the hood insulation. Mine were clogged so I just removed them, worked fine!
I do not believe there are any filters at least not visible on 99. If they were to put in a filter more logically it would be before the pump. Most likely it was just a connector.

I pulled the reservoir on my 99 to check the pumps. Both easily had washer fluid pour out just from gravity so not plugged. One pump read 0 in continuity the other read between 5-3 ohms but neither pump works.

Just by mouth the hoses to the front window are able to pass fluid. Was not able to force fluid through the hose by mouth to the read window.

Check valve maybe? Fuse good as the wipers run and believe there is only one fuse. Since on pump shows 0 continuity does that mean it is the stalk?
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