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Gabelratchet

Windscreen reservoir removal

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My washer jets have a low flow rate and suspect there may be some gunk blocking the system.  Motor sounds fine, rear washer works.  Reading about other models it seems that the best remedy is to remove and clean the washer reservoir.  I have removed the wheel arch liner but could do with some pointers on next steps from anyone who has done this before.   

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6 hours ago, Gabelratchet said:

My washer jets have a low flow rate and suspect there may be some gunk blocking the system.  Motor sounds fine, rear washer works.  Reading about other models it seems that the best remedy is to remove and clean the washer reservoir.  I have removed the wheel arch liner but could do with some pointers on next steps from anyone who has done this before.   


You need to remove the trim panels under the bonnet that cover the washer fluid filler neck and then remove the neck first. 
 

Then at the reservoir there is one screw/bolt about a 3rd way down that needs to be removed, disconnect the pipes and feed the reservoir out towards the front of the car. The filters that the pumps plug into will be gunked up. 

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13 hours ago, ally said:

Apparently using only BMW washer fluid keeps it clear, there was a little debate about that before IIRC. 

That debate revolved around BMW refusing to do warranty work on the washer system if a non-BMW fluid was found to have been used ................

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4 hours ago, Mr H said:

That debate revolved around BMW refusing to do warranty work on the washer system if a non-BMW fluid was found to have been used ................

 

However, there has also been a lot of debate about using BMW windscreen fluid - I am one of those converts after having to remove the reservoir on my F11 for exactly this reason. Switched to BMW fluid and have never had a recurrence over the past few years.

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1 hour ago, Matthew Ashton said:

 

However, there has also been a lot of debate about using BMW windscreen fluid - I am one of those converts after having to remove the reservoir on my F11 for exactly this reason. Switched to BMW fluid and have never had a recurrence over the past few years.

 

Seconded, had this too. BMW stuff is more expensive, but it works well.

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16 hours ago, Matthew Ashton said:

Switched to BMW fluid and have never had a recurrence over the past few years.

Good to know that BMW's claim that only their product prevented this has some veracity! As Liam says, it does work well as well!

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Can't remember it's this forum or other BMW forum but someone mentioned that you can try to detach the hose that connected to the nozzle then blow air or water back to the reservior to unblock the system. However, as the blocking material is still in the reservior, the system will be block again in the future unless you manage to extract the water with (most of) the material from the reservior.

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On 12/09/2021 at 15:14, Matthew Ashton said:

 

However, there has also been a lot of debate about using BMW windscreen fluid - I am one of those converts after having to remove the reservoir on my F11 for exactly this reason. Switched to BMW fluid and have never had a recurrence over the past few years.


Sorry Matthew but completely the opposite - never used BMW washer fluid and never had a problem…over 9 years.

 

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5 hours ago, Carrman2018 said:


Sorry Matthew but completely the opposite - never used BMW washer fluid and never had a problem…over 9 years.

 


Not sure why you’re apologising? This is is my experience and has worked perfectly for me. If others are having a good experience with other brands, fantastic, I’ll stick with BMW fluid though. 

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8 hours ago, Matthew Ashton said:


Not sure why you’re apologising? This is is my experience and has worked perfectly for me. If others are having a good experience with other brands, fantastic, I’ll stick with BMW fluid though. 


What causes the blockages in your experience - it to seems to have been going on for years?

Edited by Carrman2018

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24 minutes ago, Carrman2018 said:


What causes the blockages in your experience - it to seems to have been going on for years?

 

A sludge on the filters that I've assumed to be some form of organic substance (mould maybe) mixed with whatever remnants of screen wash was there. BMW screen wash (I've not looked at the ingredients in others, has a % of ethanol that I assume prevents this growth.

Edited by Matthew Ashton

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My experience is that cheap screenwash is fine as long as it is used pretty concentrated and never mixed with another brand

 

I think the issues start when a weak mix is used which allows bacteria to flourish

 

Also I only top up well after the warning comes up on the dash so the tank is pretty empty before refilling - hopefully minimising the possibility of old fluid sludging at the bottom

 

 

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8 minutes ago, pt530i said:

cheap screenwash is fine as long as it is used pretty concentrated and never mixed with another brand

Maybe never mixed with other brands is more important. I have a very cheap fluid (bought by my wife) in my garage. It's been opened but I never used it. It's been several years now and there is no non-liquid stuff in the fluid. 

On the other hand, I previously experienced something like peeled off skin floating in the bottle after I mixed several leftover concentrated screenwashes into big bottle and dilute with water. 

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Thanks all for the helpful advice. I managed to extract the washer bottle by removing the top neck which is under the trim panels under the bonnet (thanks Matthew - it had me stumped for a bit) The spout simply pulls out.  Next was to remove the wheel arch liner (lots of bolts) which then allows access to the bolt holding the tank in place.  I also removed the air duct at the back of the wheel arch thinking this was an obstruction but don’t think this was necessary.  The tank tilts forward and then up to release the dog leg at the bottom of the tank.  The pump is pulled out of the tank and you can clean the end filter.  Mine was completely gunked (see picture) so a good clean with the wife’s toothbrush (kidding) sorted it out.  Tank can be disconnected to wash it to remove the rest of the gunk. Refitted and filled with BMW screen wash.  All working as it should now.  
 

Thanks to all for the advice, hope this helps others if they have a similar issue.

1B1B10F4-A148-406B-80B2-5E13671631B2.jpeg

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