windshield washer not working [Archive] - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum

: windshield washer not working


bob123
12-22-2009, 05:36 PM
Both front windshield washers are not working, however the rear one is working. This has happened a couple of weeks ago and has been fine since.

We just came back from an 11 hour trip to NY and the temperature was about 25. I believe the fluid is not frozen so I have no clue what the problem is.

Also, do we have only 1 fluid pump that controls the front and rear?

robby
12-22-2009, 07:49 PM
Two pumps in one bottle.
The rear pump sits higher and once fluid drops to its level, the front still has some fluid to work with.
With the hood up, and you listening with the key on, not running, have someone pull the lever to see if you can hear the motor.
They are fairly noisey as little pump motors go.
I am not certain if they are individually fused but I'll bet they are on a shared power circuit.
Since you said it misbehaved once before....I'll bet the motor is going away.

Rob

bob123
12-22-2009, 10:43 PM
Thanks Robby, I will test it out tomorrow.

I am not great with electrical components, but how would I know I have a bad relay?

I am just trying to think of other possibilities just in case I do hear the motor.

It will stink if I can't get this to work when we will head back home through wet snow without a clean windshield.

robby
12-23-2009, 06:37 AM
Although someone with a service manual will need to chime in, it is not custumary for this circuit to require a relay.....very low draw component.
The reason I think you should listen for the pump motor to run is to determine if the motor is inoperative or the hose is obstructed with????
Doubt if ice is involved though, otherwise the rear wouldn't work either.
By reviewing the owners manual in the fuse section you will be able to determine if the two motors are seperately fused.
Again though, since you indicated it stopped working once already, and then recovered, I'm still thinking likely washer motor failure.

Rob

bob123
12-23-2009, 11:32 AM
Update: Well, just went outside to see if the motor is working. I did hear the front and rear motors turning.

Now the rear wiper washer is not working. I did fill up the washer fluid, but it only took a cup or two.

Is it possible the dealership just added water or added water to their washer fluid?

I just don't understand why now this is happening.

Note: I do take the Commander to the dealership for the $18 oil change, but I will probably switch to synthetic soon.

bob123
12-23-2009, 02:27 PM
Just came back from a parking garage in town and now both are working. I guess I just keep crossing my fingers whenever I pull back on the lever.

Ranger6882
12-23-2009, 04:40 PM
frozen lines?

Little Evil
12-23-2009, 05:51 PM
I would guess you have blue water for washer fluid and that it is freezing up. Washer fluid should be mixed with methenol to prevent freezing. The down side is that most shops deal with concentrate washer fluid that each dilute before putting into vehicles. Methenol is typically only available from distributors during the winter months and it is rather pricey per drum. As part of regular winterization, washer fluid should be flushed and changed with either the methenol fluid or some other de-icing fluid.

GPintheMitten
12-23-2009, 06:27 PM
I think there was a discussion on this last winter. You can probably get some concentrated methenol at a hardware store, auto parts store or maybe drugstore and add some to your washer fluid container to lower the freezing point.

jeep5253
12-23-2009, 06:28 PM
I think there was a discussion on this last winter. You can probably get some concentrated methenol at a hardware store, auto parts store or maybe drugstore and add some to your washer fluid container to lower the freezing point.
http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7606&highlight=washer+fluid&page=5 (http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7606&highlight=washer+fluid&page=5)

GPintheMitten
12-23-2009, 06:30 PM
5253, you beat me to it, I was just going to edit my post to point to that thread.

robby
12-23-2009, 07:19 PM
Well Bob,
Since you are from Tenessee where it rarely gets below freezing, they probably are using the blue solvent sold down there to ease bug removal, but, the freeze point is 32 above.
So, most likely your freezing up while you are visiting the cooler areas.
Up here, the stuff looks the same but as noted, has alcohol added to drop the freeze point....usually -20f.
Probably while being in the parking garage the underhood temp was above freezing long enouph for it to melt and free up.
Buy a gallon of the -20 stuff, fire up the jeep and just hold the washers to pump it out.
Refill and purge the lines with the new solvent....you'll be fine for the rest of your trip.

Have a good trip and a great holiday,
Rob

Little Evil
12-23-2009, 07:23 PM
Who needs wipers when the water sheets off the windshield using Rain-X? I have personally driven 50 mph in the rain and didn't turn on my wipers as the water rolls right off.

According to the manual, waxing your windshield "MAY" cause rain sensing wipers from working properly. How many of you use an automatic car wash that waxes your car?

bob123
12-23-2009, 10:57 PM
I just thought even the regular "blue" washer fluid did protect under freezing, but I never even had to add any fluid since the dealership usually topped off the fluids.

Who wants to bet they just used water down fluid?

Well I heard from a family member that he uses the "orange" Rain X washer fluid which protects to -20. I just topped of the reservoir so maybe that will melt some of the frozen fluid.

We will probably not be driving the Commander for a few days so I am not in any panic; well until we leave on Sunday.:icon_biggrin:

Little Evil
12-24-2009, 11:42 AM
I don't think you should have any issues with the Rain-X as you do not have rain sensing wipers.

Blue washer fluid should protect, but the methanol does evaporate off, so after a short time, you simply have blue water. I try to use my washer fluid everyday (when I remember) so that everything keeps flowing well. Good Luck.

bob123
12-24-2009, 08:30 PM
I did not even start the Jeep up today so I really did not test the system out.

If I do change the fluid to Rain-X, will the freezing protection evaporate just as quickly as the regular "blue" fluid? I know both freezing points are very close to each other, but what makes the Rain X fluid heavy duty?

robby
12-25-2009, 07:44 AM
Regular washer fluid is rated -20f
Rain X is rated -25f
Although there appears to be disagreement, the reality is none of the alcohol/methanol solvents lose their effectiveness over time.
All alcohols have a affinity for water and the molecules attach to H2O.
Therefore, they evaporate together and the freeze protection is not lost.
Your addition of alcohol based fluid has lowered your freeze point, but since it is mixed with what was still in the jug, obviously, the full freeze protection hasn't been reached.
You may want to run the fluid down some and top off again, thereby further lowering the freeze point.
I doubt if you will experience temperatures below +10 during your trip and this will work out fine.
On a older post, someone said they thought the blue stuff was all the same.
Up here, in northern Il., during the summer, Wally World sells both types, the dyed blue supposed bug loosening stuff and the -20f stuff alongside one another.
Gotta read the label....it's real easy to get the wrong stuff and get freeze up when the temp falls for the first time.

Rob

bob123
08-13-2010, 09:34 PM
Sad to say it, but the problem returns. I know for a fact the washer fluid is not frozen since it is in the 90's here in Nashville, TN.

I am pretty sure I did not here the front washer fluid pump at all, however, I did here a loud high pitch noise. It reminds me of the tornado sirens we have here in the south.

This noise was still present after pulling the stalk.

I am not sure if that noise is normal, but maybe it relates to the washer fluid problem?

Possible causes...

Relay,fuse, switch, or washer fluid pump.

I also found out we only have 1 washer fluid motor and the motor's propeller spins in both directions causing the fluid to either go to the front windshield or rear windshield.

Any help?

Motorcity
08-14-2010, 08:24 AM
The noise is probably the washer pump. You can get to the pump from underneath the truck, its in the left front. If I remember, you have to remove a splash shield to get at it. Make sure you don't have a pinch in the washer hoses. Follow the routing of the hose, to inspect for a pinch. You could even have the nozzles on the hood pluged.

bob123
08-14-2010, 11:52 AM
Now I am thinking the noise is just normal when the key is turned to the "ON" position. I did place my ear right next to the motor and the high pitch noise was not present there.

How common do washer fluid motors go bad on a 4 year old car?

Motorcity
08-14-2010, 09:15 PM
Now I am thinking the noise is just normal when the key is turned to the "ON" position. I did place my ear right next to the motor and the high pitch noise was not present there.

How common do washer fluid motors go bad on a 4 year old car?


It happens. I would ck for voltage at the pump first, before changing the pump. Have someone push the spray button and ck for power at the pump.

Creek
08-15-2010, 02:32 PM
I would not think this is a common problem, I have never had a Windshield Washer pump motor go out on any car I have owned and with 50yrs of driving thats a bunch.

bob123
08-16-2010, 08:59 PM
I have cut two plastic rivets and removed one clip and cannot fit my fat hands near the motor connection. I really don't want to remove all 10 rivets just to test the motor. Even if the motor is bad it will be a pain to replace. I will call the dealership to get an estimate to see what the damage is :(.

robby
08-16-2010, 09:49 PM
Although I responded to your PM Bob, it appears it went into, uh, crap, I don't know where it goes.

Anyways, you can see the rear of the motor as well as the wire by looking straight down behind the drivers side headlamp.
The reservour is black plastic and its main area is down low.

You can't reach it from above, just see it for location.

It may be reachable from below once you have homed in on it.
Typically, the round motor is pushed into a grommet in the tank.....no bolts.
The motor will have a two wire connector and a hose on the back or side.
You should be able to grab and twist it out of the grommet but be prepared....all washer fluid above the grommet will come splashing down on you and your arm.
Won't hurt a thing....keep it out of your eyes.
With the motor wires still connected have someone trigger the switch.
Hopefully it won't run, meaning you got the correct motor.
With a test light, probe each connector from the rear......It appears this design uses the switch to ground the motor.
Therfore, both terminals should be hot, but if they aren't again have someone trigger the switch while probing each terminal.
If one of them is hot when triggering the switch, then attach the test light clip to the POSITIVE battery terminal. Then, probe the wire that was not hot.
If the test light comes on, you have proven power and ground circuits are functional....needs a motor.
If both terminals were hot, remove the connector fron the motor and probe both connectors....now, only one should be hot.
If so, insert a paper clip into one terminal and attach the alligator clip from the test light.
Then, insert the test light probe into the other terminal.
Have someone trigger the switch.....now the light should light with every switch trigger.
If it does, again you need a motor.....if it doesn't, there is a switch or feed problem.
You may be out of your league at that point....time to see the tech.

Regarding service life....it's a motor, some go years and years, some don't.
Really no ryme or reason.

Rob

bob123
08-16-2010, 10:37 PM
Thanks Robby for the info. I do have a volt meter which hopefully will be used.

I guess I can just pull the motor from the reservoir and if I am lucky will have enough room to hook up the two probes while someone pulls the stalk.

Also thinking about removing the drivers side wheel to create more room.

Who would have ever thought...

1) What a job just to remove a washer fluid motor.

2) Never knew a washer fluid motor could fail on a 4 year old car.

robby
08-17-2010, 06:05 AM
Bob, a washer pump can fail on a 1 day old car......it remains a man made machine.

Rob

bob123
08-17-2010, 02:55 PM
Does anyone know how to remove the harness from the motor? I have tried using a screwdriver and pry from the bottom, but still won't budge.

This is what I am looking at on my back and only enough room to use one hand.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/Everything%20else/P1010433.jpg

bob123
08-19-2010, 03:31 PM
Is there a reason why the tab is red? I have been pulling and pushing up on that tab too, but still the clip won't move.

I know this is a dumb question, but this is the only thing that is holding me back.

cico7
08-19-2010, 05:31 PM
that tab is a lock. you should pull it out then press on the clip.

bob123
08-19-2010, 06:09 PM
So pull the red tap up and then press the black tab behind it?

cico7
08-19-2010, 08:18 PM
So pull the red tap up and then press the black tab behind it? correct. the tab is a lock if you will to keep things from being unpluged when you pull on a wire.

bob123
08-19-2010, 09:41 PM
Thanks Cico7 I finally removed the harness. I have been pulling the tab on one side and not the center causing the tab to get wedge.

Now I just have to remove the 2 hoses.

bob123
08-20-2010, 11:12 PM
Took many attempts and hours figuring out how to remove the motor with the lock clip and only took one hour to install the new one :).

Thanks everyone who helped me with this simple, yet tedious project.

jeep5253
08-20-2010, 11:32 PM
It would have been nice if you would have posted a "How To" with pics.

bob123
08-22-2010, 11:32 AM
I knew this was coming. I really can't post a picture of each step due to the tight space, but I will post step by step instructions and tips that helped me out.

cico7
08-22-2010, 03:28 PM
Isnt that the way it goes? About the time you finish the job, you figure
out how to do it!

bob123
08-23-2010, 11:24 PM
Since the washer fluid motor rarely fails, I will just post a simple "How to" here.

The washer fluid motor is located behind the drivers side inner fender liner.

1). In order to get access to the motor, I just snipped off the two lowest plastic rivets which holds the liner to the fender flare.

2). You will also have to remove a push in style clip (located near the upper control arm) which can be removed using a screwdriver.

3). Now pull the liner away from the motor and tie off the liner to the sway bar. This will allow you to use one hand to remove the motor.

4). Disconnect the harness from the motor by pulling the red tab (from the middle) straight up. Once the red tab is released push the black tab behind the red tab and pull the connection up.

5). Disconnect the two hoses (make sure to label them) by using your old set of pliers to prevent damage to the hoses. I removed the hose on the right first so the washer fluid can drain into an empty container without making a mess.

6). The motor is held to the washer fluid reservoir by pressure only so just pry the motor from the bottom and pull straight out.

Option: If you want you can remove the old grommet and replace it with a new one. Cost around $5 at the dealer.

To install the new motor just do the reverse!

I finally found a Napa store that carried the plastic rivets.

http://www.napaonline.com/Search/Detail.aspx?R=BK_7702871_0282383240

Part# BK 7702871

I found a body shop who installed the two plastic rivets for free!

The total job cost around $67 compared to the dealer price of around $215.

jdrhammer
09-25-2010, 10:40 AM
I'll have to try this sometime. That's the only thing not working on my 06 XK. I like it too. I love the rain-x brand, myself. I need to get this going but it may need some work since mine has 120,000 miles.

On a side note, I've read where people say they miss the auto headlights on previous vehicles after switching to the Commander. I took the wife out and shopping last night and I got out of the vehicle every time before I realized I had to turn them off. No biggie, I just got spoiled.

Either way, without the washer working properly, and minus the auto-lights, it's good to be back in a Jeep!

jeep5253
09-25-2010, 11:19 AM
I'll have to try this sometime. That's the only thing not working on my 06 XK. I like it too. I love the rain-x brand, myself. I need to get this going but it may need some work since mine has 120,000 miles.

On a side note, I've read where people say they miss the auto headlights on previous vehicles after switching to the Commander. I took the wife out and shopping last night and I got out of the vehicle every time before I realized I had to turn them off. No biggie, I just got spoiled.

Either way, without the washer working properly, and minus the auto-lights, it's good to be back in a Jeep!
The Commander does have auto-headlights. If you have rain-sensing wipers you should not use Rain-X on the windshield (according to the Owner's Manual).

jdrhammer
09-25-2010, 09:28 PM
The Commander does have auto-headlights. If you have rain-sensing wipers you should not use Rain-X on the windshield (according to the Owner's Manual).

I don't believe I have the high-tech wipers. My XK is pretty much base model. I had no idea about the auto wipers. Thanks for the heads up.

Kodeman
09-26-2010, 02:52 AM
I took and extended the lines and clamped them to the radiator overflow so they heat up when the motor is warm and it works like a charm...