CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2008 Sienna windshield pumps died

About six months ago, the pump that delivers fluid to the rear window just stopped pumping. I wasn’t too worried about it at first, but was planning to look into it this fall. Now the pump for the front windshield just died as well.

I’ve checked the fuses, but all the ones i can find seem to be fine. And frankly, i normally shy away from anything electrical, as i’ve wasted days tracking down faulty wires in old cars. So, what should I do try to investigate this? Any thoughts? Is there a hidden fuse somewhere, or another likely culprit? My wife added vinegar to the reservoir once; can i blame everything on that? :wink:

Thanks!!
-Spaz

I would start looking at a broken/clogged hose. Vinegar should not hurt a thing

To confirm the problem is with the pump you could apply 12 volts to the motor connection and see if the pump works.

Lots of thoughts.
To start with, has it been getting down to freezing at night where you live? Are you using “winter mix” windshield washer fluid? If so, your lines are freezing. you need to let the lines thaw and then purge the system and use “winter mix” fluid.

The pumps themselves are normally on the bottom of or connected to the washer fluid tanks. As the dealer’s parts departmennt to print an “exploded view” drawing of their locations. You can buy generic replacements for less that $20 at any parts store. The electrical parts require no electrical expertise to work on. The installation drawing for the replacement pump is easy DIY.

You can bench test the pump if you desire, as well as any fan or electric pump on your car, by connecting two 6V lantern cells in sequence. It’s verye, very easy and very, very safe.