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Windshield Washer Problems

Xanadu

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Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 XLT
I'm having a problem with the windshield washer fluid on my 97' explorer. It won't come out for the windshield. The wiper's work fine. I thought it might've been the pump, so I replaced that and it still doesnt work. The hoses are fine. I'm thinking it might be the switch itself... maybe dirty contacts or something.
Anybody have any ideas?
 


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Turdle

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Xanadu

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It's not that fuse, the power windows still work.
 




btexpress

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Switches are quite common. I had one Friday on which I found the washer pump ground wire chewed thru, mice or rat, this ground is on the right inner fender, behind the washer reservoir.

Have you tried someone else pushing the button and listening for the pump running?

Many times when the switch is bad other symptoms will turn up, like intermittent wiper settings inop or turn signal issues.
 




Xanadu

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^^
Actually yeah, the left turn signal sometimes gets stuck on. And when put on one of the delay wiper settings, the time between when the wiper goes differs. Like it'll go 3 times in a row, then wait 30 seconds, then go once.
 




bp1506

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Yeah its the switch my wipers sometimes don't spray unless i hit them switch like 8 times still didn't replace it oh well.
 




moreler

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Windshield Washer Pump Relays

Toward the front of the vehicle and next to the Air Cleaner box there is an electrical box with several relays inside. The two at the rear are for the front and rear washer circuits. In my case the rear washer worked but the front did not. I pulled the relays out and cleaned up the connections, and then I swapped the the two relays around and then the front worked and the rear did not. I just need to purchase a new relay and swap out the bad one. NOTE: there was a lot of corrosion inside the electrical box. I cleaned things up with electrical contact cleaner and used dielectric grease on the connectors to try and prevent future corrosion. I hope this helps.
 




TheJackal

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^^
Actually yeah, the left turn signal sometimes gets stuck on. And when put on one of the delay wiper settings, the time between when the wiper goes differs. Like it'll go 3 times in a row, then wait 30 seconds, then go once.

Yeah, sounds like an MFS issue.
 




gijoecam

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It could be an MFS issue, or it could be a relay or motor issue... 10 minutes with a test light would pin it down.

The MFS signals the GEM which then signals the relays for the apropriate spray. If the wipers wipe when you hit the wash button, you know the MFS is sending the proper signal to the GEM, so we can rule that out.

The pair of relays work together to provide the ground path. If you hit the MFS for a front wash, it triggers the front wash relay and grounds through the rear wash relay. So, troubleshooting that is easy: Swap relays. If the other one then works, you know the non-working relay is the one that doesn't squirt.

For further confirmation, pull the connector off the washer pump. It's a bi-directional pump... spins one way for the front, one way for the rear. Checking the two contacts for power and ground will pin it down in short-order.

-Joe
 




BAStumm

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Was this different in 96? I found what I think is the relay box in front of the air filter housing. The manual for the car describes this box different than it is. I pulled both the back two (nearest passenger side) out and back sprayer works but front still wont so I think I have wrong relays. I also pulled the other two larger relays out and rear still works but front still wont... My manual (came with car) doesn't mention a relay for rear spray in this location... But does say one of them is for front spray. Wish I had swapped the two smaller ones when I put them back. Those things are hard to get to with the wires on top of them... Part numbers were same on the smaller ones and the larger ones had a diff than small but also same part number as each other.
 




jared4885

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It's not that fuse, the power windows still work.

I tried everything else, the switch, the pump, and relays, I have a parts explorer, pump would not spray. But all those parts would make the pump spray on my parts explorer. My power windows still worked. The only thing left was fuse number 12 in the interior fuse box. Sure enough the fuse was blown. Switched the 7.5 amp fuse and worked like new.
 




Chrissy MacRae

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I replaced pump (which wasn't broke in the first place), relays and fuses are fine and no lines are clogged. I figured out there is no power going to the pump but can't figure out why.
 




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I just replaced the switch on my 97 explorer it was easy just make sure you dont break the plastic retaining clips and take your time
 












koda2000

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This is not your problem, but I figure this thread is a good place to mention it...

I've had 2 Explorers where the windshield washer ran, but won't spray at all or just dribbled. As it turned out the previous owners apparently NEVER used their windshield washers and eventually the fluid turned into a thick slime. I completely flushed out the reservoirs, motors and lines and refilled the reservoirs with fresh fluid and now they work like new again.
 




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