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03 Explorer Sport Washer Pump Issues

eli5ask

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2003 Explorer Sport XLT
Hey everyone. Hope this is the right place for this question. Wife has an '03 Explorer Sport and is having issues with her washer fluid. Both front and rear wipers work, and fluid pumps to the rear wipers, but there's nothing to the front, i.e., no fluid and I'm not hearing any pump sounds when I try to activate it. Fuses look good. I've also already swapped the relays and the same thing happens with them swapped, so it looks like the relays are fine. Does this sound like the kind of thing that could be fixed by swapping out the pump, or is it more likely some kind of wiring issue? Thanks in advance for any/all thoughts!
 



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lobo411

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Check to see if your wiper fluid tank is clogged. Mine developed some kind of nasty biological goo/gunk/scum that had the intake screen about 90% clogged. This stuff is really strong...it's almost like the skin that develops when pudding cools down (for lack of a better analogy!). My guess is that wiper fluid manufacturers are using a base that is more biodegradable, but that also serves as a good growing medium for bacteria.

You'll have to remove the tank to clean it out, so you'll also be able to test the pump motor and check for any damage to the lines.
 






Craigerz

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My lines are old and cracked and break on the reg. I can tell because when I hit the squirt button and nothing comes out get out I have a puddle of wiper fluid under the car.
 






koda2000

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I think there's only one washer fluid pump, so if the rear washer works and you don't hear the pump run for the front I suspect the relay for the front isn't working or your MFS isn't turning the relay on. I believe these relays are located in a small power box under the air filter. Try switching them around if they're the same. I think there may be 3 relays located there. One may be for the fog/driving lights.

If I'm wrong about there being only one pump, the front pump could broke, a fuse might be blown, a relay may be bad or the MFS may not be working.
 






eli5ask

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There's only one washer fluid pump, so if the rear washer works and you don't hear the pump run for the front I suspect the relay for the front isn't working or your MFS isn't turning the relay on. I believe these relays are located in a small power box under the air filter. Try switching them around if they're the same. I thing there may be 3 relays located there. one may be for the fog/driving lights.

I already tried swapping the relays... when I do, the same thing happens. Back is good, front stays bad. I figured if one of the relays was bad, the result should be the opposite. It makes me think I have a bad/loose wire somewhere, but I'm a novice when it comes to those kinds of things and was hoping there might be a reason why just replacing the whole pump would fix it...
 






danno2944

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Has anyone else had problems with their wiring after the relay to the pump or the connector itself?

I have tested everything, I am getting power to relays and I tested pump tonight and it works, so I am down to the wiring and connector between the relays and pump.
 






J_C

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Unplug the connector to the pump. Have a helper activate the pump from the steering column lever while you use a test light or multimeter to measure for voltage. Since the pump is insulted by the tank plastic, there should be two wires, both power and ground to it.

You can check for 12V between those two. You can check for 12V between the positive lead and chassis ground. You can check for continuity between chassis ground and the negative/ground on the connector. If you're getting 12V and the pump isn't spinning, obviously the pump is bad, or the connector or contacts on the pump are corroded.
 






danno2944

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I stated I tested everything? Relays are getting power. I directly connected the pump to a power source and it works as well.

I am not getting power at the connector or a ground, which is why I asked if it was common to have this issue, seems odd to me that the wire or connector have gone bad, but I guess they have.

Not sure how to go about fixing this, I thought it would be simpler than having to rewire from relay box and a new connector.

Has anyone done this job??

My wiper switch was done as well I replaced that,lol, if it aint one thing its another...
 






danno2944

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So after searching the forums again, I have read about every problem possible with washer pump, except the connector and/or wiring after relay going bad...hrmm.
 






J_C

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You can check continuity between the fuse or skip to the relay, between it and pump connector with a multimeter. Add an extension wire if the meter probe leads are too short. Maybe a rodent chewed through the wire.

As far as your concerns about the dark green wire between the relay box and the connector, you can check continuity at any point with a multimeter probe, insulation piercing needle tip.

You can diy make a crude needle tip literally, by just taking a needle and binding it to the multimeter probe with a few turns of small bare wire. Suppose you have continuity between the relay box and the wire as it goes through the firewall, then you don't need to run a new wire through the firewall... if the wire is broken under-hood you can just resolder or add new wire to replace the bad piece instead of the whole wire run.

You can check continuity between every leg of the circuit...

- Battery to fuse 12 (with key in accessory or run position)

- Fuse 12 to front washer relay pin 5 and pin 1

- Relay pin 5 to pin 3 (with key in accessory or run position and washer column switch held on)

- Relay pin 3 to washer motor

If you do not get continuity between relay pin 5 and 3, but the rest checks okay, when washer should be on, measure for voltage between relay pin 2 and ground. If it is 12V, the GEM module is not activating the relay coil which should pull it down close to ground.

You can also manually, ground relay pin 2 to see if that allows the washer to come on. If it does then check continuity from relay pin2 to GEM pin 24 (same tan/red wire).

I know you have already done some of this, but I'm putting it all down for completeness in that order.

washer.png


Edit: You posted this in the 2nd gen forum. If there are any differences in your '03, you might want to have the topic moved to 3rd gen.
 






danno2944

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Thanks so much for the comprehensive reply, it was the relay. The relay was clicking which made me think it worked, but it wasn't sending out voltage.
 






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