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Washer Pump Testing and Replacing
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Washer Pump Testing and Replacing

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$50

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Flathead screwdriver, DVOM

Applicable Models:

Z4 M54 (2003-05)
Z4M S54 (2006-06)
Z4 N52 (2006-06)
M3 (N/A-A)

Parts Required:

Washer pump, sealing grommet, electrical connector pigtail

Hot Tip:

Be careful not to short wires together

Performance Gain:

Diagnose washer pump

Complementary Modification:

Replace washer hoses

The washer pump is responsible for pressurizing and pumping washer fluid to the windshield and headlight washer nozzles. It is a small electric 12 volt d/c electric pump and is mounted in the windshield washer fluid reservoir. It is controlled via driver input from the windshield washer stalk and a control module. Z4M models have can have a total of two [umps, one for the headlights and one for the windshield. Testing and replacing these pumps is similar.

The washer pump and pump sealing grommet can leak. When left unrepaired for some time, the washer fluid ruins the electrical connector leaving your windshield washer pump inoperative. It is important to deal with the fluid leak immediately. Replace the washer pump and grommet together.

When testing, it is a good idea to first drain the washer fluid. This will avoid spilling and spraying yourself with fluid. You will need a good quality DVOM and a test light with an incandescent bulb. High quality fused test leads and backprobes. When testing, be careful not to short the wires or damage the terminals.

Below the pump in the sealing grommet is small filter. If flow is poor and the washer hoses are clear, inspect the filter screen for a restriction.

Remember your car may have been serviced before and parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

In this tech article I will go over how to test and replace the windshield and headlight washer pumps.

The windshield washer fluid reservoir is located on the right side of the engine compartment (red arrow).
Figure 1

The windshield washer fluid reservoir is located on the right side of the engine compartment (red arrow). The pumps are mounted to the side of the tank (blue arrow). The forward most pump is for the headlights, the rear most is for the windshield. Testing is the same for both pumps.

To access the windshield pump, unclip the plastic cover (red arrow).
Figure 2

To access the windshield pump, unclip the plastic cover (red arrow).

Then remove the plastic cover (red arrow) and place it aside.
Figure 3

Then remove the plastic cover (red arrow) and place it aside.

Locate the electrical connector for the pump you want to test.
Figure 4

Locate the electrical connector for the pump you want to test. Disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling it off (yellow arrow). The black wire (red arrow) (sometimes with a tracer color) is the battery volt feed. It is supplied battery volts when the washers are activated. The brown wire (blue arrow) is the ground wire. Always check and confirm the wiring on your vehicle using an up to date wiring diagram. Both washer pumps are powered by fuses in the front fuse holder (check your owner's manual for details). The headlight washer pump is activated via a relay by the body module. The windshield washer pump is activated by the body module, both of which can be activated using a BMW scan tool, for testing.

Connect a test light or DVOM across the washer pump electrical connector terminals.
Figure 5

Connect a test light or DVOM across the washer pump electrical connector terminals. Press the washer button. The test light will light. The DVOM will read Battery volts (voltage the battery is at, 12 volts for example). Keep in mind, a test light may light with a low supply voltage. I suggest load testing using a test light and a DVOM. Connect the DVOM across the washer pump electrical connector terminals and take a reading. It should read battery volts when the washer button is pressed. Then connect an incandescent bulb style test light to the battery ground and touch the test light probe tip to the positive wire you are backprobing with the DVOM. Your reading should hold steady. A maximum drop in voltage of 0.5 volts is OK. Anything more, like shown here in this photo is a problem. The connector was faulty. The initial reading was 12.1 volts (blue arrow), when loaded it dropped to 9.35 volts (red arrow). If you find a problem with the connector, replace the pigtail with a new one. Cut the harness back enough to find good, clean wire, then butt connect and seal the harness. If you need to replace the washer pump, just pull it straight out of the reservoir. Be prepared to catch the leaking fluid in a drain pan. Always replace the washer pump and grommet if you find an issue with the connector, as a washer fluid leak likely damaged the connector.

You can test the ground of the pump the same way.
Figure 6

You can test the ground of the pump the same way. Connect your DVOM to the brown wire at the connector and then battery negative. You should have a reading close to 0.0 volts. Then connect an incandescent bulb style test light to battery positive (you can use the jump start stud under hood) and touch the test light probe tip to the positive wire you are backprobing with your DVOM at the brown wire. The voltage reading should change more than a 0.2 volts.

Place a drain pan under the reservoir.
Figure 7

Place a drain pan under the reservoir. To replace a washer pump, locate the electrical connector for the pump you want to test. Disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling it off. Then remove the washer hose (red arrow). One some style pumps the hose pulls straight off, some you have to press a release tab on the connector, then pull it off.

Once the hose is detached, remove the pump by tilting it away from the reservoir and pulling it straight up in the direction of the red arrow.
Figure 8

Once the hose is detached, remove the pump by tilting it away from the reservoir and pulling it straight up in the direction of the red arrow. Next pull the grommet out of the reservoir and install a new one. Then install the pump in the reverse order of removal. Check the operation of the washer pump. Then reassemble the vehicle.

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 03:07:00 AM