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Windshield Washer Fluid Reservoir Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Windshield Washer Fluid Reservoir Replacement

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$60

Talent:

***

Tools:

Sockets, screwdrivers, silicone spray

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W210 (1996-03)

Parts Required:

Reservoir, grommets, cap

Hot Tip:

Use dish soap to help guide the grommets into the new cap

Performance Gain:

Hot wiper fluid

Complementary Modification:

New wiper blades

The windshield washer fluid reservoir on the W210 Mercedes is a unique design. It uses heated windshield washer fluid to improve the cleaning ability of the system. The fluid is heated by the radiant heat of the car's cooling system. Basically, two lines are run off the cars cooling system to a metal heating coil which sits inside the washer fluid reservoir. As the engine runs, hot coolant is circulated through the coil inside the reservoir. The radiant heat warms the washer fluid, making it easier for you to clean off your windows.

Over time, the reservoir can crack due to age and the repeated heating and cooling cycles. Eventually, all the coolant drains and renders your windshield washers useless. Thankfully, the whole system can be repaired for around $50 using all new parts. You'll need a new tank, adapter plate, lid and the various grommets to repair the system. Begin by opening the hood and locating the reservoir at the very front of the right (looking towards rear of car) fender. More than likely, it will be already empty if the tank is cracked. If not, use a syringe or turkey baster to suck the remaining fluid out of the tank.

The first step in removing the old tank from the car is to unplug the electrical connector going to the fluid level sensor. Squeeze the two tabs on the outside of the black connector and pull it off the sensor. Now, pop the adapter plate off the top of the reservoir. Inside the tank, you'll see this coil of metal tubing that fits inside. The tubing carries coolant from the engine into the reservoir and back out, acting as a heater coil for the washer fluid. Use a pair of hose clamp pliers or channel-locks to loosen and remove the hose clamps holding the coolant lines to the heater coil. You may need to use a small screwdriver to "walk" the hoses off the line. Now carefully maneuver the heating coil out of the reservoir and set it aside.

Near the rear of the coolant tank, you'll see a 10mm nut that holds the whole assembly to the driver's side fender. Remove this nut and lift the tank up and out of the car. As you remove the tank, disconnect the electrical connection to the pump on the front side of the tank. Then pull the pump up and out of the rubber grommet securing it in place.

Now go back to the heating coil and pull the ends of the lines out of the adapter plate. As you pull them out of the plate, you'll see how badly the rubber grommets have deteriorated over the years. Slide the adapter plate off the lines and remove what's left of the old rubber grommets. It's also a good idea to clean the ends of the lines really well at this point. Now, take the new grommets (Part number 010-997-13-81), and place them so that the larger end faces towards the inside of the reservoir once fitted. The groove in the grommet fits into a lip on the inside of the adapter plate. It's a good idea to spray just a little bit of a dish soap solution on the grommets. This helps the grommet to slide into the lip on the plate. Now place the plate over the ends of the heating coil, and press it down until both grommets lock into place. Now take the new cap for the adapter plate and fit the plastic ring over the plate on the outside sealing lip. Be sure to orient the strap for the cap in between the two lines of the coil.

On the new tank, you'll need to remove a braided hose already fitted by the factory. This tank fits in a few different cars so the hose is used in another application. In our case, it isn't, so loosen the hose clamp on the end of the hose and pull it off. You'll need to cap off this port with a rubber block off grommet (Part number 000-998-07-23). Simply slide the grommet over the nipple to cap off the port. Now look at the two open holes on the front of the tank. We won't be using the port on the left side, so slide a block off plug into the hole (Part number 210-987-00-45). You'll also need to transfer the washer fluid level sensor from the old tank to the new one. Pry up on the sensor to pop it out of the old tank. You'll also need to transfer the old sealing grommet to the new tank. Fit the grommet to the new tank first then slide the level sensor in and down until it seats in the new reservoir.

Now slide the heating coil assembly into the new reservoir tank. At the very bottom of the heating coil is a plastic piece with a tab on one side. This tab fits into a notch on the inside of the reservoir. Carefully maneuver the tab into the notch and use a long screwdriver against the edge of the coil to pop it in. Now take the whole tank assembly back to the car and slide the fluid pump into the remaining hole on the right of the new tank. Also reconnect the electrical fitting to the pump. Place the reservoir back in place in the engine bay. Re-fit the securing nut and reconnect the coolant lines to the ends of the heating coil. Reconnect the electrical connection going to the level sensor. Lastly, fill up the reservoir with new washer fluid.

Shown here is a new washer fluid reservoir, adapter plate, lid and grommets needed to replace a cracked or damaged tank in your W210 Mercedes.
Figure 1

Shown here is a new washer fluid reservoir, adapter plate, lid and grommets needed to replace a cracked or damaged tank in your W210 Mercedes-Benz.

This is the old reservoir located at the front of the driver's side of the engine compartment.
Figure 2

This is the old reservoir located at the front of the driver's side of the engine compartment. In our case, both the adapter plate and also the bottom of the plate were cracked, causing the washer fluid to leak out.

In this photo, you can see the cracked adapter plate (green arrow).
Figure 3

In this photo, you can see the cracked adapter plate (green arrow). This crack prevented the adapter plate from snapping on to the reservoir. In this case, it appears that someone tried to repair this by screwing the plate down onto the reservoir with screws (purple arrows).

The first step in removing the old tank from the car is to unplug the electrical connector going to the fluid level sensor.
Figure 4

The first step in removing the old tank from the car is to unplug the electrical connector going to the fluid level sensor. Squeeze the two tabs on the outside of the black connector and pull it off the sensor.

Now, pop the adapter plate off the top of the reservoir (ours just fell apart) Inside the tank, you'll see this mess of tubing that fits inside.
Figure 5

Now, pop the adapter plate off the top of the reservoir (ours just fell apart). Inside the tank, you'll see this mess of tubing that fits inside. The tubing carries coolant from the engine into the reservoir and back out, acting as a heater coil for the washer fluid.

Use a pair of hose clamp pliers or channel-locks to loosen and remove the hose clamps holding the coolant lines to the heater coil.
Figure 6

Use a pair of hose clamp pliers or channel-locks to loosen and remove the hose clamps holding the coolant lines to the heater coil. You may need to use a small screwdriver to "walk" the hoses off the line.

Here is what the ends of the heating coil look like with the hoses removed.
Figure 7

Here is what the ends of the heating coil look like with the hoses removed. Now carefully maneuver the heating coil out of the reservoir.

As you remove the tank, disconnect the electrical connection to the pump as shown here.
Figure 9

As you remove the tank, disconnect the electrical connection to the pump as shown here. Then pull the pump up and out of the rubber grommet securing it in place.

Now pull the coil lines out of the adapter plate.
Figure 10

Now pull the coil lines out of the adapter plate. In our case, you can see how badly they have deteriorated. Once free, slide the adapter plate off the ends, remove the old grommets and clean the lines of the coil.

Here are the two new grommets for the top of the tank (Part number 010-997-13-81).
Figure 11

Here are the two new grommets for the top of the tank (Part number 010-997-13-81). Note the channels in the grommets that hold them in place.

Fit the new grommets onto the coil lines as shown.
Figure 12

Fit the new grommets onto the coil lines as shown.

13
Figure 13

Now place the ends of the coil lines into the adapter plate, making note of the orientation.

Now carefully fit the adapter plate over the grommets until they seat in the grooves of the plate.
Figure 14

Now carefully fit the adapter plate over the grommets until they seat in the grooves of the plate. It helps to spray a little dish soap mixed with water over the grommets. This helps them pop into place a bit easier.

Now fit the new cap of the washer reservoir on.
Figure 15

Now fit the new cap of the washer reservoir on. The plastic ring fits over the lip of the adapter plate as shown here. Make sure to orient the cap part so that the strap fits between the two coil lines.

Now on the side of the new reservoir, remove the clamp holding the braided line to the port on the side.
Figure 16

Now on the side of the new reservoir, remove the clamp holding the braided line to the port on the side. We wont be using this hose with our car. Pull the hose off and throw it away.

Use a rubber block off (Part number 000-998-07-23) to cap the end as shown here.
Figure 17

Use a rubber block off (Part number 000-998-07-23) to cap the end as shown here.

Use a new rubber plug (Part number 210-987-00-45) to block off the empty port on the left side of the washer reservoir.
Figure 18

Use a new rubber plug (Part number 210-987-00-45) to block off the empty port on the left side of the washer reservoir.

Pry the reservoir fluid level sensor out of the old tank with a small screwdriver as shown here.
Figure 19

Pry the reservoir fluid level sensor out of the old tank with a small screwdriver as shown here.

Push the lever sensor all the way in until it seats in the new reservoir.
Figure 21

Push the lever sensor all the way in until it seats in the new reservoir.

Fit the heating coil inside the new reservoir.
Figure 22

Fit the heating coil inside the new reservoir. At the end of the coil, you'll see a small tab that fits into a slot on the inside of the reservoir. Push this tab into the slot on the inside of the new reservoir.

Now fit the pump back into the hole on the right side of the reservoir and reconnect the electrical connection for the pump as shown here.
Figure 23

Now fit the pump back into the hole on the right side of the reservoir and reconnect the electrical connection for the pump as shown here.

Place the reservoir back in place in the engine bay.
Figure 24

Place the reservoir back in place in the engine bay. Re-fit the securing nut and reconnect the coolant lines to the ends of the heating coil. Reconnect the electrical connection going to the level sensor. Lastly, fill up the reservoir with new washer fluid.

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Comments and Suggestions:
al Comments: my 99 e430 radiator fluid is going into the reservoir also!! dont know why??
March 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is a coolant loop in the reservoir, it may be faulty. It is used to warm the washer fluid. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Andrew Comments: TO ANYONE READING THIS ARTICLE-

Save yourself a week and order a washer pump grommet as well as the others mentioned above. Don't know why the article neglected to mention it, but if you want good seals in your new resubmit this part is a must.
September 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Greg Comments: yanni,

Check the valve and o-rings! on the valve on the coil in the reservoir. This is most likely the cause.
June 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
yanni Comments: I have a 1990 300 sl... the engine coolant is going to the washer fluid resavoir.. Any idea what would cause this?
April 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Do you have a leaking coolant coil in the washer reservoir? I would start there. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Pete Comments: I have a 1995 MBZ E420 model and I want to replace the heated windshield reservoir and cap. I've been searching for replacement but my mechanic told me they stop producing the parts. Is there anyway that I can find the parts or if the parts numbers? I desperately need a replacement. Thanks very much. My name is Pete
February 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jimdollar Comments: Wonder if I can fit this system to my 1991 300 Sl-24?
October 20, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm pretty sure your vehicle came with headlight washers as an option. You may be able to add that system to your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Fred Comments: I have a 99 S320 L6 window washer tank on left side facing car how do you repair and replace??I dont know wether it comes out the top or out the bottom.do you take the air intake system or remove it from the bottom by taking off a pan?? Thank you in advance Fred
July 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry, at this time we do not have a diy that covers this vehicle.
-whunter-
 
Fred Comments: I have a 99 s320 benz window washer tank on left side facing car how do you remove repair and replace?? Thank you in advance Fred
July 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry, at this time we do not have a diy that covers this vehicle.
-whunter-
 

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