Ford Windshield Washer Not Working - What's the Deal?

The windshield wipers clean the windshield and make it easier to see while driving, and washer fluid aids in cleaning. The washer fluid is kept in a reservoir and accessed by depressing the knob on your wipers, which activates the motor that runs the pump. If the wiper fluid is not flowing on your Ford, you are going to get some smeared windows, so it's best to find out why it's not working.

Identifying the Problem

Here are some ways to troubleshoot and repair the problem.

  • Remove the washer reservoir and inspect it for dirt. You need to take it out by disconnecting any wires or hoses in order to clean it out. There can be dirt in the bottom that needs to be removed. Clean it out and reinstall it.
  • While you have it apart, look at all the hoses and the plastic container. If you see any cracks in the plastic or a bad hose, replace the unit or the hose. Reinstall the container.
  • Check the fluid level and add more fluid to fill the container. If it is cold out, use a fluid that does not freeze.
  • Clean out the nozzles on the hood of the car. Use a pin or a wire to clean out any clogged dirt or debris. Rinse the part out. Have a helper turn the car on and use the washers in order to expel any leftover dirt.
  • Take the hoses off the nozzles and clean them out. Do the same thing with the screens. If there is no fluid coming through the hoses, you may have an electrical problem.
  • If you do not want to remove the reservoir, then siphon the reservoir out to get everything from the bottom. Refill it with clean water and repeat the procedure until you get clean water back.
  • Nozzle aim can get skewed, so you need to make sure that the nozzles are pointing to the center of your windshield. Adjust them until they are in the right place. Any nozzle that is mounted on the windshield wipers do not need adjusting because they are already centered. The hood mounted nozzles can be adjusted by moving the attached tab or by using a pair of pliers to gently move them. You can adjust fixed nozzles by loosening up the retaining nut under the hood. If you can adjust your nozzle in the nozzle body, then use a screwdriver or tool to move it. If you cannot grab it, place a wire in the nozzle and use that to gently move the nozzle; too much force and you can break the wire and clog the nozzle.

Replacing the Pump

Ford windshield wash

The problem may lie in the pump that sends the power to the washer, so you may need to check its ability to operate:

  1. Turn off the car.
  2. Locate the pump by the reservoir or the wiper motor.
  3. Unplug it.
  4. Turn the car on and have a helper turn the wiper on and keep it on.
  5. See if the pump is getting power by using a test light. You may also hear the pump make a humming sound or feel it give off a vibration.
  6. If there is no power, then check the fuses and replace any blown fuse.
  7. Should there be a wiring problem, you may need to seek the help of a dealership or a professional technician.
  8. If your pump is getting power to it, but it is not spraying, you may need a new pump. Remove it and replace it.

These troubleshooting tips should have your windshield wipers working in no time, but if you run into problems or still cannot get them to work, you may need to take your vehicle to your nearest Ford certified mechanic.