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AustinPowered

washer pump issues...

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hi,

 

I've had my battle tank (called so, as it's a similar size to a light battle tank) for 18 months or so, and just recently I've fallen foul to the filter in the bottom of the washer bottle being blocked...

 

I knew I had two real options. Cyphen(sp?) the washer bottle or remove it. for the cost of a meter of tubing, it was worth the effort! all be it wasted.. before cyphening I did disconnect the washer jets and blow back the fluid until I heard bubbles in the tank.

 

raise the front drivers side and whip the wheel off, arch out - completely (really easy to do.. about 10 8mm screws and 2 or 3 press festeners holding it in) and 1 10mm screw (holding be bottle in), you can manipulate the bottle out.

 

once it's free, disconnect the pumps.. fiddle it out a bit more and disconnect the low level sensor. it should wiggle free now.

 

you can then see the filters. remove them. clean the crap off. clean the bottle....

 

reassembly is the reverse of the removal (except you swear in different places).

 

I'm handy with a set of spanners, but not familiar with modern cars (helicopers/aircraft/real minis - yes!) and I managed all this in an hour. including a brew - meaning I saved me monies at BMW stealer .

 

easy!

 

pictures will hopefully attach..

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Nice one Austin.  Any idea what caused the blockage?  It was in the news a while back the the wrong washer fluid can cause the filters to block in these and BMW knew how to charge for fixing them.

 

Ever since been using BMW fluid, not too expensive at €4 a bottle.

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The old favourite of 2 or 3 crushed denture tablets in the washer tank and left overnight still holds good too. With the bend in the filler neck you can't just drop in whole tablets but broken up and flushed in with a small amount of water does the job nicely.

Never had a problem with Halfrauds screenwash in either the E61 or the current F11.... ok, one problem... no Halfrauds in Germany ! (don't get me started).

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The genuine BMW fluid is the way to go. £20 for 5 litres but needs to be diluted as straight out the bottle it's good for something like -60 degC! So it goes a long way.

 

Decent screen wash will stop mould growing in the tank. 

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17 hours ago, Dakota said:

Nice one Austin.  Any idea what caused the blockage?  It was in the news a while back the the wrong washer fluid can cause the filters to block in these and BMW knew how to charge for fixing them.

 

Ever since been using BMW fluid, not too expensive at €4 a bottle.

 

morning Dakota,

 

I think the filter mesh is too fine for some screen washes, so it filters out some of its content.  the blue slime smelt like screen wash, but not the halfords stuff I've been using for years.

 

the nearest BMW stealer is well out of my way and when I'm getting the halfords stuff at £2 or £3 trade price, I'll stick to that..  I have a feeling the blue wash is from the previous owner.

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12 hours ago, 535i Andrew said:

The genuine BMW fluid is the way to go. £20 for 5 litres but needs to be diluted as straight out the bottle it's good for something like -60 degC! So it goes a long way.

 

Decent screen wash will stop mould growing in the tank. 

 

indeed..  there was no mould in the tank - just slime. I think this has been building up long before I picked the car up.. 

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I tackled this job yesterday; did it with the wheel still on (turned full lock to the right) and not jacked up. To say it was fiddly is an understatement.

 

Once I could see the bottle & a bit of the pump behind the arch liner I tried to remove the pipe to the windscreen as recommended on a guide I found here but it woldn't budge so to avoid damaging it I left it on.

Using a long metal trim tool (although you could probably use a flat screwdriver) I prised the pump up and out of the rubber bung which also contains the filter so that it was out of the way - and confirming that this was the blockage, barely any screenwash came out. As soon as I then prized up the rubber bung out the screenwash came flooding out, thankfully into the container I'd put underneath the front of the sill.

The filter was full of black gunge, so cleaned it up with an old toothbrush and refitted followed by the pump and then made sure it was all working - which it wasn't...

Unclipped the pipe at the bonnet, blew down into the bottle and could hear bubbles so knew it wasn't kinked or pinched and gave it another test. Out came the screenwash this time so must be good now. Reconnected everything, tested again and all working so put the arch liner back on which I had only removed enough to see the bottle.

 

It all sounds easy when written above, but it wasn't. From a technical perspective it's very simple, but practically it's a nightmare as there is no access to the pump at all so while getting it out with a bit of leverage is easy, putting it back is not. At one point I was looking for ways to get the front wing off...

Edited by AndyM

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6 minutes ago, Dakota said:

Well done Andy, BMW would want a few hundred for that job it that eases the pain!

Probably! Even though I'm still covered by a comprehensive third party warranty from the seller I'd imagine they wouldn't pay out on a blocked filter not to mention the aggro of booking it in, dropping it off, getting a courtesy car, etc etc... So just went for it myself.

 

Interesting though that the problem only affected the windscreen, and it coincided exactly in running low on screenwash as it was perfectly fine before.

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