How to Replace the Windshield Washer Pump in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

In either case, the windshield-washer pump is the same. The windshield-washer pump forces the windshield-washer solvent through the windshield-washer system. The solvent sprays onto the windshield, and cleans the glass in conjunction with the windshield-washer blades. The windshield-washer pump is attached to the windshield-washer reservoir, which sits in front of the fender of the passenger-side tire. If the pump is damaged, perhaps in an auto accident, it should be replaced. Fortunately, replacing the pump is a straightforward process and can be finished within an hour.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Windshield Washer Pump in a Mazda 626

Pull the hood release lever and raise the hood on your 626.

Loosen and remove the negative battery cable from its post on the battery with a socket wrench. To identify which of the two cables connected to the battery is the negative, look for a small minus sign on top of the battery case next to the cable. The cable should be black. Once you have removed the cable, use a roll of electrical tape to wrap the metal terminal at the end of the cable, then position it away from the battery.

Slide a drain pan under the car directly in line with the washer fluid reservoir. Open the filler cap on the washer fluid reservoir. Reach down beneath the reservoir and feel for a rubber hose connected to the its bottom. Pull the hose off the reservoir and allow any remaining washer fluid to drain into the pan.

Disconnect the small push-on power wire from the reservoir by pulling it straight off its connection.

Remove the two mounting bolts on the left side of the reservoir and lift the reservoir out of the car. Place the two bolts in your pocket for safekeeping and set the reservoir to the side of the work area.

Disconnect the wiring harness plug connected to the washer pump by hand, and then wiggle the pump away from the firewall to free it. The pump doesn’t have any bolts holding it to the firewall. It’s held in place by a large rubber grommet that mounts on a nipple on the side of the pump. Your new washer pump will come with a new grommet and fluid hose, so you don’t have to save either from the old pump.

Attach the fluid hose and grommet to your new washer pump if it wasn’t already pre-assembled. Mount the new pump into position on the firewall and wiggle it while pushing inward until you see it fully seated against the firewall. Plug the wiring harness back up to it.

Insert the fluid reservoir down into position ready for mounting. Before you return its mounting bolts, reconnect the rubber hose from the pump back to the nipple on the bottom of the reservoir. The hose simply pushes back on--no tools required.

Reconnect the push-on power wire to the fluid reservoir and thread both of the reservoir’s mounting bolts by hand. Set your 1/4-inch drive torque wrench to 60 in-lbs. and completely tighten both of the bolts.

Remove the tape on the negative battery terminal. Connect the cable back to the battery and tighten its bolt by hand until snug. Set your 3/8-inch drive torque wrench to 12 ft-lbs. and secure the cable to the battery. Refill the washer fluid reservoir and check the windshield washer pump's operation.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set

  • Electrical tape

  • Drain pan

  • 1/4-inch drive torque wrench

  • 3/8-inch drive torque wrench

 How to Replace the Windshield Washer Pump on a 1998 GMC 1500

Remove part of the front passenger-side fender by taking off two of the bolts attaching the fender to the vehicle. Use your socket wrench to remove these bolts, which sit horizontally in the wheel well.

Pull the fender in toward the wheel and tuck it out of the way when the bolts are removed. This reveals the windshield-washer reservoir and the washer pump attached to it.

Pull off the windshield-washer pump connector by gripping it and pulling firmly upward. The connector brings electrical power to the pump; a small black cylinder crouched against the white body of the reservoir. Pull firmly, but do not jerk the connector off or you may break it.

Pull the washer hose off the nipple of the washer pump. The hose and nipple are located opposite the connector on the washer pump.

Pull the pump off of the washer reservoir. The shape of the washer reservoir itself holds the pump in place. Use some force to pull the pump straight out of the reservoir.

Use your pick to pry off the plastic washer-pump grommet mounted where the pump was attached to the washer reservoir. Stick the head of the pick under the flange, or lip, of the grommet, and pry the grommet off in one swift motion.

Compare the old windshield washer pump to the new one, checking that the height and girth, the number of pins in the socket for the connector, and the location of the nipple are all the same.

Insert the grommet from the new pump into the washer reservoir. Spray some WD40 onto the grommet and insert the washer pump over the grommet, snapping the pump underneath the tabs of the washer reservoir.

Reattach the hose to the nipple of the pump and the connector to the socket of the pump. Unfold the fender and replace the two bolts you removed earlier.

Items you will need

  • Pump replacement

  • Socket wrench set

  • WD40

  • Pick

 How to Replace the Windshield Washer Pump on a Honda Civic

Shut down the engine, and place the Civic's transmission in "Park" (automatic transmission) or first gear (manual transmission). Engage the parking brake, and open the hood. Raise the front of the vehicle with the automotive jack, and support it with jack stands. Chock the rear wheels.

Crawl underneath the front of the vehicle, and locate the washer fluid pump. It is on the lower-left side of the washer fluid reservoir. Disconnect the supply tube from the pump. Disconnect the pump's electrical connector. Remove the pump from the washer fluid reservoir with a twisting/pulling motion.

Install the new pump into the reservoir, using a twisting/pushing motion. Reconnect the rubber supply tube and the sensor's electrical connector. Reconnect the negative battery terminal with the battery terminal wrench. Use the automotive jack to lower the vehicle.

Turn on the ignition, and test the windshield washer system. Verify that the system operates properly and does not leak.

Items you will need

  • Automotive jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wheel chocks

  • Replacement washer fluid pump

About the Author

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