Baby BMW Forum banner

Blocked Washer Jets

25681 Views 43 Replies 32 Participants Last post by  mgh
My car is approx 5 1/2 months old, basically just get a dribble from jets, but jets on lights work fine.

Spoken to BMW who say unless part is faullty they will charge for it, but ive only probably filled it up 3 - 4 times max, how can this be right!

Anybody have any views on this, and how much it will cost
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
With wipers down, but bonnet up, try the jets.

Someone else recently had a similar problem and discovered the bonnet hinges were pinching the hose when closed. If it works fine when open, you know to try and solve the pinching.
Put talc on the pipe around the bonnet hinge, close the bonnet and when you open the bonnet there should be a witness park showing where it is fouling something or pinching.
i had this with mine, apparently the cause can be using a different brand of washer fluid to the one bmw use can congeal when mixed and can block the pipe.
I fixed mine by uncliping the washer hoses from the nozels on the underside of the bonnet and blowing (really hard, use compressed air if you can) untill the blockage was free, when it becomes free you can tell and will be able to hear bubbles in the washer bottle.
All you need to do is re-attach the pipes to the nozels and squirt it a few times to fill the tubes back with fluid.
Mine has worked fine ever since(about 8 months now)
anthonyd said:
Someone else recently had a similar problem and discovered the bonnet hinges were pinching the hose when closed.
That someone was me. I'd be interested to know if it's the same problem, especially as you also have a coupe (although I'm not sure why the design would be different).
Had a look at and cant find why blocked.
But thanks for your advice.

Have rang local stealer, and say will be chargeable at approx £120, to unblock hoses unless of course is a defective part.

Not sure about taking it somewhere else,as a bit unsure about potential warranty claim.
So have booked in, so 120+15 =£135 for courtesy car... lets hope its a decent motor .

Have also rang BMW direct, they said same as garage, but said you shouldnt fill it with tap water
as could block and different detergents could block as well... as said before its 51/2 months old.. probably filled up about 3 or 4 times.
List price of car was 31500.... not cheap

Had 120d for 3 years prior this didnt happen and havent done anything different

Anyway will post how get on
See less See more
Have you done the talc tip?

I know that if you use inferior washer fluid and it mixes with the BMW stuff then it can conjeal! (Spelling?)
just pull the clips off and blow down them to clear the blockage, really, its not difficult?

If you want to spend 135 notes for someone else to do it then thats up to you.
You are supposed to use Ionised Water in the Windscreen washer. A Mixture of Tap water and windscreen wash will make the chemicals in the wash and water react over time creating a sludge at the bottom of the wash unit blocking the pipes. It will look like the bottom of an old kettle after a short time. I put some sink cleaner in my bottle once with water to dilute, pass that through the system and it will clean it. Cover your paint work tho to ensure you dont get splash's over your bonnet etc

Ionised water removes most of the chemicals that create this problem. Blooming expensive tho just to wash your screen!
Mine's now not working. At the worst possible time, too.

Looking down the pipe, I can see the liquid which appears to have air bubbles on the top. Is this it congealling? Noticed the cap wasn't clicked into position. Is it possible this has caused it to freeze?
mkc said:
You are supposed to use Ionised Water in the Windscreen washer. A Mixture of Tap water and windscreen wash will make the chemicals in the wash and water react over time creating a sludge at the bottom of the wash unit blocking the pipes.
Why on earth is this the case? I've used standard Halfords washer fluid in other cars with tap water and never had a problem. Is this a BMW only issue?
As i posted in a similar thread:

The first time i found my washers weren't working, (it was after a period of cold weather) i was about to book it in to have the bottle looked at, when i found that the water pipes had slightly detached from the bonnet nozzles. This probably happens either when water in the nozzles freezes and expands, or using the spray before the nozzles have defrosted.

This isnt obvious even when looking under the bonnet, but its worth checking as the pipe connector easily snaps back into place, problem solved.
Everybody seems to be getting this problem in the cold weather, so this could be the answer?!
The ones from directly under the nozzles under the bonnet? Done that. They're clear for me.
hi mine were blocked my garage took of front wheel, then iner wheel arch . then the water bottle took out the little filters in the pipe near the washer motor ..put it back together remember to take off side incator to see were the chip fixs on top of the washer botlle in side wing .. now works fine ...... :spotman: :spotman:

I am new to the board having recently bought a graphite grey 123D which I love.

I had fallen out of love with her a bit because of all the trouble I had during the snow and the fact that the front washers stopped working. But with your advice etc I have got them working again -

Got some 12mm/16mm clear hose which I fed into the washer bottle (hose was flexible enough to get round and down into the water bottle). I connected a hose pipe and pumped water in. I disconnected it just before it reached the top of the washer bottle neck and got it syphoning out the stirred up water. While it was syphoning out the water I used a can of compressed air attached to the pipe I disconnected from the near-side washer jet to force air through the filter into the stirred up water. Gave it several blasts each time (it was great to hear all the bubbling). Repeated half a dozen times. This got the majority of the gunk out.

I then left it with spirit vinegar in for 24 hours and repeated the above making sure that the vinegar got nowhere near the paintwork.

Total cost Tesco vinegar £4, clear hose £12, can of air £12 = £28 and now I understand a bit more about my car. Had to try this approach because £140 for the dealer to fix it was not on the cards.

Washers now work really well. I was annoyed because I had never had to fill up the washer bottle as I have only just got the car in Oct 2009, so the problem wasn't mine. The pushing/towing when I got stuck in the snow probably stirred everything up causing the filter to block - I originally thought that it just needed filling up!

So guys thanks for all the really brilliant info on the site.



Planet Torque is the twisted place!
See less See more
Front washer just a dribble. rear washer nothing! :x
Removed and cleaned washer bottle, filters and bottle motors.
Front washer now clear!
Rear washer still blocked couldn't even blow through tube from bottle motor with compressed air.
Removed washer nozzle which was clear.
Removed tailgate panel - water at non return valve but could hear it sucking air after bottle motor stopped.
Unable to blow through from non return valve through wiper motor to nozzle!
Removed cover on wiper motor and blew out rubbish in the cover tube.
Unable to blow out tube from wiper motor to nozzle!
Used wire to poke through and this then cleared enough to use compressed air to clean.
Took apart non return valve and cleaned.
Picture shows blocked motor cover tube and wire poking through from nozzle to inside of wiper motor.
Non return valve causing slight leak back requiring at least 2 squirts to get water so new valve fitted.
See less See more
thanks for all these tips guys/gals - i was going to take mine in next week but will defo be having a do at DIY!!! will report back
Greatstuff guys. My BMW warranty ranout last week. Front Washers blocked today! Cleared today thanks toyou all.

Having read allthe posts I did the following:
1. listen to the pump running - it sounded normal - top upfluid first!
2. open bonnet and run washers - -still only a dribble
3. Carefully pull off the N/S washer pipe - it is a thick walled pipe and takes some force it is best to rotate the pie between finger and thumb to break any seal between pipe and washer jet
4. With the pipe free I blew down it again it takes quite a bit of force soif you have an air supply that would do. Ialso found a large syringe and used that
5. Insert a plastic bottle below the pipe and run the washer pump to discharge dislodged material - the fiest discharge was milky with visible particles
6. Repeat until you are happy it is clear
7. Reconnect pipe and test washer action
8. When next the washer reservoir is empty flush with pleanty of clean mains water

Notes: The mater flushed out is in my opinion bacterial slime and not dirt or grit. The reservoir is tightly capped at all times and only filled with clean water and washer fluid. It may be that the BMW fluid has an antibacterial additive.

Prevention: Occasionally let the Low Level light comes on top up with tap water only after draing all the contents with the pump. A flush with a tiny amount of Milton fluid will kill any bacteria but do make sure you purge the tank.

Personally, now I know what the problem is I'll just remove the pipe an blow it clean giving it several purges into a bottle.

It this what vehicle maintenance has come to - in 36 years of motoring I've never across this before. Failed motors, disconnected pipes & pinched pipes yes.

See less See more
Blocked again! And it's at the pump end so syphoned out the tank flushed with CIF flushed again 5-6 times blocked again!! When I've found a reliable solution I'll let you know.
I now have the full solution. Take it to bits and clean very carefully.

Upon removal I found a thick bacterial slime completely covering the little filters (Cleaned with tooth brush and CIF liquid) and present inside the tank. There was no mechanical or electrical failure. I fitted a new pump £24.60 +vat form BMW) although it was not necessary I thought if I had gone to the trouble of removing it all I might as well.

Next time the sensible solution is to syphon the contents of the tanks as low as possible; pump out the reminder and leave a cleaning solution in place over night. I would leave the pressure line to the drivers side washer disconnected just in case I work the wash / wipe.

The cleaning solution you choose is up to you. The choices seem to be: vinegar, Cilit Bang or bleech - do not inter mix these. Just rember what ever you dissolve will have to be pumped out the syphon will at best get you 2/3 of the way down.

Now I've done it once It will be a much quicker job next time.

I have pictures but can't see how to attach them.

See less See more
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.