3 ways to unclog your windshield wiper blades

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3 ways to unclog your windshield wiper blades
3 ways to unclog your windshield wiper blades
Anonim

Windshield wiper jets tend to clog very frequently. Generally, wax or car polishes create a clog at the top of the sprinkler, preventing the fluid from spraying onto the windshield. Contamination from reservoir water, dust entering through a missing cap, and windshield washer fluid that freezes in extremely cold weather can also clog the nozzles. This issue can be solved quite easily. If you can't clear the clog, replacing the sprinkler can be just as easy.

Steps

Method 1 of 3: Unclog the Windshield Washer Fluid Sprinklers

Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 1
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 1

Step 1. Listen around the windshield washer fluid pump

Before attempting to unclog the windshield washer fluid sprinklers, you should turn them on and detect if there is a hum in the pump. If the sprinklers are clogged, you will be able to hear the pump even though the liquid is not being sprayed. In extremely cold weather, you should check the windshield washer fluid tank and pump for ice. You can use a hair dryer on a hot setting to defrost the pump and tank or spray them with windshield antifreeze.

  • If you are not sure if the pump is on, you can ask a friend to listen from outside the vehicle near the hood.
  • If you don't hear any sound, you can try unplugging the connector from the windshield washer fluid pump and checking the voltage at the connector. If the voltage is working when you try to activate the pump, you may need to replace it.
  • If you suspect that contamination in the reservoir is causing the clog, it is best to use a hose to circulate fresh water into the reservoir to clean it. You can add a dish soap to the reservoir to help remove dirt and particles. Then you should rinse until the water comes out of the fill opening and the detergent is gone. Next, it's a good idea to disconnect the pump supply hoses and nozzles and blow through them. After this, you should reconnect the hoses to the pump and run the water through the lines for better rinsing.
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 2
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 2

Step 2. Check the sprinklers for external obstructions

Position the sprinklers on the top of the hood near the windshield for signs of something obstructing them. Often times, wax or car polishes can build up on the sprinkler outlet, preventing the liquid from being sprayed properly.

You should remove any wax or polish residue that clogs the end of the sprinkler

Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 3
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 3

Step 3. Use a pin to clear deeper blockages

If cleaning doesn't clear the sprinklers enough to let the windshield washer fluid spray, try using a pin or needle to clear the holes. Push a pin into each hole, then pull it out and clean any clog that comes out with it.

  • All you have to do is press down on the pin until you can safely remove it.
  • Don't push the needle too hard on the back of the sprinkler, as you could break both the sprinkler and the needle.
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 4
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 4

Step 4. Run a wire through the sprinkler

If the pin does not penetrate far enough to clear the clog inside the sprinkler, you should disconnect the hose at the bottom of the sprinkler under the hood. Then run a thin wire through the bottom of the sprinkler and the top nozzle. If the nozzle has multiple openings, you may want to thread the wire several times until you clear both holes.

  • Guitar strings work well for this procedure, as they have the necessary stiffness to go through the sprinkler.
  • You can also use a bare electrical wire.

Method 2 of 3: Soak or Replace Sprinkler Water

Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 5
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 5

Step 1. Disconnect the hose from the bottom of the sprinkler

The rubber hose on the bottom of the sprinkler is held only by the pressure that the hose exerts on the nozzle, so you should be able to remove it relatively easily.

  • Simply squeeze the hose with your index finger and thumb near the nozzle and pull back to remove.
  • If the hose is stuck, you can use pliers to twist it back and forth and free it. Try to pull in line with the accessory, which is plastic and will not bend too much.
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 6
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 6

Step 2. Use pliers to remove the sprinkler from the hood

The windshield wiper blades are held in place by plastic plugs. Use pliers to tighten the caps on the sprinkler, then push it up.

  • The sprinkler will push straight out of the hood hole with the caps depressed.
  • If you're replacing the sprinklers, it's okay to break the plugs. Otherwise, you must be very careful not to damage them.
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 7
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 7

Step 3. Remove the sprinklers from the hood

Lower the hood again and pull the sprinkler straight up and out of the hole. With the clips traversed, each sprinkler should slide out of the hole with very little resistance.

  • If the sprinkler sticks, you need to open the hood again and squeeze the clips with the pliers to free them once more.
  • You must be careful not to damage the paint on the hood when removing the sprinklers.
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 8
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 8

Step 4. Soak the sprinklers in a bowl of vinegar

You will likely be able to remove any clogs in the sprinklers by letting them soak in a container of vinegar for a few minutes. You should stir the sprinklers a bit to make sure the vinegar soaks into the clog. After a few minutes, you should remove the sprinklers and rinse them.

  • Once you rinse the sprinkler, you can blow through the sprinkler to see if it is clear.
  • If the sprinkler is not clogged, you can reinstall it in the vehicle.
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 9
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 9

Step 5. Install new windshield washer fluid sprinklers

The process is the same, regardless of whether you have purchased new sprinklers or are reinstalling the old ones you cleaned. Insert the sprinkler through the hole in the top of the hood with the outlets pointing toward the windshield. Once pushed all the way in, the plastic clips will expand and hold each sprinkler in place. If you are using nozzles from an aftermarket (for example, an auto parts store), these may have threads and a plastic nut to secure them to the hood or other sheet metal. If this is the case, you should be careful when tightening the nut, as these nozzles can be made of quite brittle plastic (which tends to break just below the nozzle frame if over-tightened). You can also prevent breakage by using the supplied rubber gasket between the nozzle and the foil.

  • You should connect the windshield washer fluid line to the sprinkler once it is in place.
  • Start the vehicle and test the new sprinklers to make sure they are working properly.

Method 3 of 3: Check and Repair the Windshield Wiper Lines

Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 10
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 10

Step 1. Examine the lines from the reservoir

If the sprinklers are not spraying fluid onto the windshield, it is likely due to a cut or kinked hose that runs from the fluid reservoir to the sprinklers. Check the lines for signs of obstructions or damage.

  • Start at the reservoir and follow the lines until you reach the sprinklers attached to the hood.
  • Then look for signs of leaks, kinks, or other forms of damage.
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 11
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 11

Step 2. Clear clogged hoses with an air compressor

If the hoses appear to be intact, the problem may be a clog within one of the lines. Remove the hose from the nozzle on the sprinkler and the nozzle on the reservoir. Then use the compressor or a can of compressed air to force air through the line and clear any obstructions.

  • If air can't get through the line to clear it, you need to replace it.
  • If air passes through the line, you can reinstall it.
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 12
Clear Clogged Windshield Washers Step 12

Step 3. Replace damaged hoses

If you can't clear a clog in the hose, you should install a replacement. You may be able to buy replacement parts direct from a local auto parts store. If not, you can take the clogged hose and find a rubber hose with the same inside diameter. Buy a hose that matches the one you need to replace.

  • Simply connect the new hose to the same nozzles that you removed the old one from.
  • Test the sprinklers one more time after replacing the hose.

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