Windshield Washer Pump Replacement

How to Replace a Windshield Washer Pump

A windshield washer pump is an inexpensive part that is easy to replace and a must have during winter time to work with the wiper blades to clean the windshield of the car. The pump is located on the windshield washer fluid reservoir. However, before replacing the pump, make sure it is the problem. Listen if you hear the pump run when you turn it on. Often times the hoses can get plugged, or in the winter, the washer fluid can freeze in the hose. If you hear the pump run, disconnect the hose at the pump and blow compressed air through the hose to dislodge any blockage. Use a pin to clean the nozzles. Also, check the hoses for tears and kinks. If you don’t hear the pump actuate, use a test light to confirm there is power to it and a different problem doesn’t exist such as a bad fuse.

Park your car on level ground with the engine off and the emergency brake on. Always raise a car according to the manufacturers recommended instructions if needed and secure with jack stands. Also we will be dealing with washer fluid so be sure to wear protective clothing, eyewear and gloves.

Tools and Supplies Need to Complete this Job

1. Screwdriver Set

2. Wrenches or socket set

3. Replacement Washer Pump

4. Washer Fluid

5. Shop Towel


Step 1 - Locate the windshield washer reservoir.

Step 2 - Using a wrench or socket, unbolt the washer bottle reservoir.

Step 3 - There will be a rubber supply hose connected at the bottom of the reservoir to the windshield washer pump. With your fingers, slide the hose off the pump. NOTE: If you have windshield washer fluid in the reservoir, it will run out, so be prepared to catch it.

Step 4 - Also attached to the pump is the power supply (small wiring harness). It attaches with a plug. Remove the plug and wiring from the pump.

Step 5 - Remove the reservoir from the vehicle.

Step 6 - Once the reservoir is removed, turn it to expose the pump. Normally, the pump is held in the reservoir by a rubber grommet and is held firm by the design if the plastic reservoir. Check to confirm there are no mounting screws. If that is the case, simply pry the pump away from the reservoir and out of the rubber grommet.

Step 7 - Once the pump is off, use a screwdriver to pry the old rubber grommet from the plastic tank.

Step 8 - The new pump should come with a new grommet. Install it into the reservoir.

Step 9 - Once the new grommet is installed, lubricate the grommet with a thin coating of oil so the new pump will slip into place easier. It will still require some pressure to be applied so don’t be afraid to push it into place. Make sure it is fully installed.

Step 10 - Reinstall the supply hose, the wiring harness, and reverse the sequence to replace.

Best Practices

  • When replacing the washer fluid pump, be sure to clean the reservoir thoroughly to ensure proper pump operation.
If further assistance is needed, our certified car repair technicians are ready to answer your car questions. Also, gain manufacturer specific instructions and information by clicking - Auto Repair Manual

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Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2013-11-30)