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"Low Washer Fluid" alert on console

rmccullough

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Year, Model & Trim Level
'96 Ltd
About 6 or 7 years ago I replaced the spark plugs on my '96 Explorer Limited, V8, 4 door.

When I did this, I took the washer fluid reservoir off for easier access to the passenger side plugs. I then put the reservoir back on.

Ever since doing this I get a random "Low Washer Fluid" alert on the display of my center console. The reservoir can be nearly full and I will still get this warning. Is it the sensor in the reservoir? Is this easy to replace? Are they cheap?
 


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rwenzing

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The sensor just snaps into the back of the reservoir. It's easy to replace. As far as cost, you'd need to check with a dealer. Before ordering a sensor, I would check the condition of its plug connector. Could just be a loose/dirty/corroded connection.
 




jimbo74

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sounds liek you just smacked.partially disconnected the sensor....
 




bluesman2333

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I just looked at my '97 and my guess is that you didn't plug it in all the way.
 




MONMIX

I fix dents
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also the sensor MUST be sitting in correctly.
A tiny twist either direction will result in a false reading.
 








rmccullough

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Ok, so there seem to be 2 sensors on the washer fluid reservoir. One that plugs into the back of the reservoir facing towards the back of the car. The connector for that sensor comes out at a 90 degree angle. Should the connector be facing straight up and down? It was kind of 45'd over towards the drivers side.

The 2nd sensor sits in a little cubby that is cut into the back of the reservoir.

So if the below image is a diagram of my reservoir as if you were looking straight down at it, the red sensor is what I describe as sensor 1. The blue sensor is what I describe as sensor 2.

This is a pain to get to the red sensor because its under the cruise control module and right in front of the blower.

washer_fluid.jpg
 




rmccullough

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I don't know why now, but I remember I disconnected the cruise control when I did all this. After I had removed all this stuff I realized that it was easier to get to the plugs by going through the wheel well.
 




rwenzing

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Ok, so there seem to be 2 sensors on the washer fluid reservoir. One that plugs into the back of the reservoir facing towards the back of the car.
The "sensor" in the notch toward the driver side rear corner is actually the washer pump. It has a hose coming out of it that leads to the washer nozzles.

The washer fluid level sensor is the one that fits into the back of the reservoir closer to the passenger side. Using your diagram, I would say it's the red one.
 




rmccullough

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Ok, so the red one is the low washer fluid level. What direction should it be pointing? MonMix said that if it is not aligned properly it will give a false reading. Last night it was sitting at about a 45 towards the drivers side. I twisted it so that it now points straight up. Is that correct?
 




MONMIX

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I cant say for sure.
They work off a very simple design. ( most of them )

A styrophome float. It is full the float raises. As the bottle empties the float lowers and makes a connection completing a circuit and lighting the " washer level low " light.

Just make sure the float has free movement up and down.
 




rmccullough

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Just following up on this, the problem was that the sensor was not aligned properly. The point where the wiring connector plugs into the sensor must be pointing straight up.

This fixed my problem.

I still need to adjust it every couple of months when it twists to the side, but at least it is working and I could probly throw some tape on it to keep it from twisting.
 




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