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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Both front and rear washers are suspect on my car, I get some water from the front and none from the rear. Both motors run when activated but at the front it works for about half a second before turning into a dribble (you can get water on the screen by repeatedly using very short bursts) and as far as I can tell nothing at all comes from the rear.

Dealer suggested that there could be a blockage in a filter in the water bottle but how do you get to it??

Any help appreciated

Rob
 

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As I poured a seemingly endless torrent of screenwash into my 1er last night (most of which went on the screen on the M4 this morning :roll: ), there was a definite gurgling sound from the driver's side front wing. I'd assume access would be through the wheel arch by removal of the liner.
 

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I took my car to Nick Whale BMW with rear washer problems. They advised that removing the washer bottle involves removal of the wheel arch liner and headlight.

However they removed the trim panel inside the rear hatch and blew compressed air through the non return valve at the rear - hey presto the rear washer is now perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Des Garland said:
I think the washer bottle is under the drivers side wheel arch, at least it is in the e60.
You need to remove the liner to have access to the bottle.
I now know this to be true. Does anyone have any tips/experience on removing the liner? I can see that there are a number of plastic clips so it would be helpful to know how to get these out without breaking them...

Cheers

Rob

P.S. Dealer wants £141 to clean the bottle...why put a filter in there if you have the take the car apart to get to it :nono:
 

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Hi, did you sort this?
I have the same problem, tried flushing with loads of water but resigned to taking the pump out and cleaning the bottle properly. Any tips on the pump or liner appreciated...
 

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I'd tried that last week and got things moving but couldn't get the jets back to full strength.

This weekend I read about someone using cillit bang to flush the bottle so I chucked a bottle of something caled Kitchen Power into the emptied washer bottle and added a litre of water. After 5 mins I blew down it again and this time it cleared straight away - finally a decent jet coming out of the end of the hose (and into a bucket - not sure what 'Kitchen Power' would do to the paintwork...). I rinsed out about 6 times by filling with a hose and unclipping the filler tube and pointing downwards to drain and then filled up with screenwash/water.

So far so good, but then again it's only been 2 days. Not impressed with this really. It seems to be a common bmw problem, maybe because of strange BMW screenwash, or maybe the filter is too fine. Over 18 years of non-BMWs I've had penty of blocked jets (unblocked with a pin) but never clogged pump.

T.
 

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I have a similar problem, but it only affects the front washers, so I suspect the hose or jets at the front are blocked. I did also note that the pump is quite noisy but this may just be because I am usually driving when using the washers. My car is just over a year old so am not that impressed. Had VW's and Peugeots before and never had a problem. My local dealer has agreed to look at it under warranty so will report back what they find.
 

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AFAIK the front and rear jets are run off two different pumps, at different heights in the tank and each with its own filter so one can be blocked while the other still works. The pump for the front jets is right at the bottom of the tank so tends to block first.

You can flush the tank to some extent by unclipping the corrugated filller hose, filling with a hosepipe and then pointing the filler downwards to drain.
 

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Ok here goes, i also had this problem with my front washers .I had a feeble sprinkle over the last few months and it had gone downhill over the last few days until nothing but a dribble was running down the bonnet.I had spoke to be dealer about this and got the usual bumpf that the rest of you all got .However i did post on here that the service reception girl did say put a bottle of vinegar in the bottle overnight and that it would dissolve the blockage.I just didn't have the Balls to do it until last night.I drained the reservoir using my rear washer which was working perfectly and then poured in 2 bottles of sarsons distilled vinegar and left until this morning. I went out and tried them and there was a small improvement .The water was hitting the screen about 9" from the bottom. I then raised the bonnet and took the pipe off at the nozzles and stuck my £7 compressor (halfrauds u know the one that plugs into cigarette lighter) and blew air backwards down the pipe i gave it a 30 sec blast.Hey presto now back to normal operating pressure , i am chuffed to bits. Just saved myself 1 hr labour @ £90. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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I took my car in to my local dealer on Saturday morning and the sorted it while I waited. Apparently there are two filters and two pumps, one for the back and one for the front. They said something in the front was blocked and cleaned it our under warranty (not sure if it was the filter or the tubes/jets). There was no mention of using the non-BMW screen cleaner, so all I can say is thanks to the dealer for sorting it. I still believe though that is should not happen. Just a thought I have had, could it be that the screen wash is crystallising due to the heated water jets? I have been using the heated mirrors a lot recently but not the screen wash much so thought the fluid near the jets is heated and crystallises. Not knowing the exact configuration at the bottom of the washer bottom I wonder if heat from the engine could cause a similar problem with the fluid as it leads into the thin tubes. :lol:
 

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Having had the same problem as the above since I used Sonax. I have today cleared the system. I removed the offside wheel liner and water bottle. You only need to remove the rear half of the liner.

The filters were covered in a yellow "ish" sludge. The sludge had a lemon smell just like the Sonax I used when the problem started. I have already taken the vinegar route plus pumped water in all directions but obviously nothing had move it.

Here you can see the water bottle.


Here you can see the front pump just lifted from the bottle with the sludge strung out!


Here you can see the rear filter on the black pump coverd in the sludge. The rear jet was working but not too well. The front jets were useless.


Both pumps are the same level and work from the same reservoir. It will just depend which one is blocked. I imagine the fronts block as they are used more.

So now I have perfect washers all round having cleaned this mess out :D . I did not have this problem until I used Sonax so in my case I blame that. It happend pretty quickly but I believe it could be a gradual problem in some cases. The water bottle was drained when I put Sonax in so I do not believe it mixed with the BMW wash to create the blockage. I am now using BMW wash again, not because I believe it is the best around but at least I know it works.

I reckon you could put something in the bottle to disolve the sludge as the pumps sit right at the bottom. For me vinegar did not work but perhaps Cillit may have done. You will just have to be careful and flush it all out.

At least you can see what you are dealing with now.

If anyone has a go, you do need to remove the indicator on the wing as it's wire is fastened to the water bottle and needs to be free. You push the indicator forward to compress a small spring and pull it out at the rear. It may be a stuck in place at first.

Edit

Just to add, if you carry out this procedure, some thread lock liquid is required for the one bolt that secures the water bottle in place when refitting. Regular strength liquid is fine for this.
 

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Dave1 said:
The filters were covered in a yellow "ish" sludge. The sludge had a lemon smell just like the Sonax I used when the problem started.
Your comment about the Yellow sludge is interesting:

  • Did you dilute the Sonax before you added it to the washer bottle, or did you put the Sonax in the bottle before adding the water to the bottle?
    How much Sonax did you use? It should be diluted 100:1. If you truly diluted it 100:1 the yellow colour would be barely perceptible in any remaining liquid in the reservoir.

I know I have a vested interest in protecting the "reputation" of Sonax, but I simply cannot believe that the Sonax stuff is responsible for this problem. I have been using it in my washer bottle for over a year now with no problems whatsoever. I have a number of customers who have written to say its the best screenwash product they have ever used, and it is certainly the largest selling product of anything that we stock.

I'm going to do 2 things:
  • I'm going to refer your experience to Sonax for their direct feedback
    I'm also going to go out and buy some BMW screenwash and test mixing it with Sonax to see what happens

Watch this space.
 

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autobestbuy said:
Dave1 said:
The filters were covered in a yellow "ish" sludge. The sludge had a lemon smell just like the Sonax I used when the problem started.
Your comment about the Yellow sludge is interesting:

  • Did you dilute the Sonax before you added it to the washer bottle, or did you put the Sonax in the bottle before adding the water to the bottle?
    How much Sonax did you use? It should be diluted 100:1. If you truly diluted it 100:1 the yellow colour would be barely perceptible in any remaining liquid in the reservoir.
Premixed 2 litres as per the instructions in a clear bottle. Even then there was little colour to be seen. Poured into the revervior and within a few days the result above. I might add that before using Sonax I had used water a few days until I received my Sonax so that would have weakened any mixture left in the reservoir. However, you can see from the photo that would be very little due to the design. Some products I recommend, others I stay quiet about but with this experience I can only warn others. Not everyone can or wants to carry out this cleaning procedure so why take the chance. Perhaps BMW systems have a weakness and maybe Sonax does not perform well in them. Maybe a set of circumstances such as warm weather or being shaken in the car causes a problem. I know others say it works but time will tell with theirs. For me the issue is sorted thankfully.
 

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Our rear pump as i think given up the ghost will remove this weekend and see whats going on,as the front is working fine but the rear is not doing anything not happy if the motor as gone on a 3 year old car.
 

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Byron - any news? My rear washer gave up a couple of weeks ago. I'm equally unimpressed as my car's 3 yrs old too.
 

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The pump as gone i stripped the wheelarch down today and pulled out the bottle to get access to the pump,found that the pump was not blocked just gone so a duff pump fitted at factory i would think,whilst the bottle was off checked for any build up of old washer fluid in the bottom of the bottle all clear which would cause a blockage,will have to strip again to fit new pump next weekend which takes about an hour in total to strip and rebuild.
 

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For me I can still hear the pump whirring - which makes me suspect a blockage rather than a duff pump. I'm likely to head to my loacel stealer this week and see what they make of it. If it wasn't so salty and muddy on the roads I wouldn't care... but it's a pain.
 

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It sound's to me that you have got a blockage and it will burn out the motor if not cleared,and then you will pay about 1 1/2 hours labour plus parts and vat so it won't be cheap.
 
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