Electrical problem? Windshield washer pump issue - help!

Okay - i’ve got an '06 Kia Sedona that I bought used from CarMax. History: Drove the car off the lot, learned later the pump (washer fluid)didn’t work. Well, two years later (still under warrenty!) I brought it into the dealership. They replaced the pump in October and it worked… but sometime in November it stopped working. So, last week brought it in. I said I’m sure the pump is fine, but it might be something electrical. They said the fuse was blown, so they replaced the 10 with a 15 watt fuse and again I drove off with it working. Two days later, it stopped working again!

Now, I don’t want to replace fuses every other day, so i’m thinking - short in the wire somewhere? What else could it be?

If anyone knows or had a similar problem, please advise! Taking it in again this Thursday to the dealership. . . .

The dealer made a serious mistake in replacing a 10 ampere fuse with a 15 ampere fuse. There is a reason why the fuse blew and since you are under warranty, it is the dealer’s responsibility to find out why.

The wiring to the windshield washer pump is designed to carry 10 amperes. The windshield washer pump, I am certain, draws much less than 10 amperes. When the dealer overfused the circuit, he was risking overheating these wires. The problem could be an intermittent short circuit someplace in the wiring or a pump motor that is defective and draws too much current. One other possibility is that there is another accessory on this circuit that is defective and is pulling too much power. Don’t replace a fuse with one that has a higher amperage rating than is called for.

Explain that the fuse blew again. Since it takes motor (thats washer motor) activation to blow the fuse I am going with a motor puling too many amps. Why not have them see how many amps the motor pulls? If they don’t want to spend the time with diagnosis simply have them replace the motor. Wiring faults are possible but I would like to see how many amps this motor pulls.

Substituting a higher amperage fuse is a huge mistake, and can lead to a fire.

The reason the fuse blew must be determined and repaired. Then the correct fuse should be inserted.

There is an overload somewhere on the circuit alright and the shop needs to find the trouble and place the correct size fuse back in. The trouble could be with the pump or wiring to it but the fuse most likely supplies other circuits also so the trouble may be elsewhere. If the fuse just blows when turning on the washer then the trouble is with that circuit. I suspect though that the trouble may be with some other circuit tied to the fuse but I could be wrong about that.

wow - thanks to all who responded! never thought another accessory could be on the same circuit, but that makes since. I will ask them to check the motor to see how many amps are being pulled and to definitely put the 10 amp fuse back in! And, yes, they have to correctly diagnose the problem and not just slap a band-aid on it with a higher amp that can lead to the wire being overheated. thank you folks!

You’re welcome for the help. Let us know what you find out.


Ok, so this is what happened: Brought the car back to the dealership, gave the new guy the story, then the original “customer service” guy wandered over, along with a mechanic. I said they have to a) replace the fuse back to a 10amp, and b) tell me why the fuse blew - whether the pump is drawing too many amps or if there is a short in the wire. Only to have 3 wonderful (insert sarcasm there) guys all surround me saying its OK to replace fuses with higher amp fuses… ha ha. So, me trying to keep an eye on crazy-2yr old told them no, fix it, and walked away…

Result: They replaced it back to a 10amp (doubled checked, since now i know how!), and they said since the washer fluid was 2 years old, it broke down and there must have been ice in the line, it froze, then the fuse blew (would make since, but i never held down the sprayer for long when checking it). They did say they checked the pump’s draw and if there was a short in the line, and found nothing (I made the service guy put that all in writing).

I’m in Ohio, day time is lower 30’s, night time in the 10’s 20’s. However, last weekend I was driving 60 mph for 45 minutes, tried the washer, and nothing. Seems like any ice would have melted if there was anything frozen…

In the meantime, drove home and used up almost all the washer fluid. Going to fill 'er up with new fluid (rated for winter), then flush it through the front and back lines. Hopefully, it WAS just ice, and the fuse won’t blow again.

Anyway, still a little ticked that they pulled the “no, its ok to put a higher amp fuse in there!” line - when even the car’s booklet says not to! urgh. Too bad my daughter behaved well, I was secretly hoping she’d smear little finger prints all over the show room cars ; )

Thanks for all the input!

p.s. the ice theory: while the pump didn’t work this weekend, i tried it again on the way to the dealership, and it was working again. So, after flushing the system, if it were ice, then with the new fluid, it should prevent any freezing and it should always work. If it stops working again, then its not the washer fluid and back to square one…

Thanks for the update. Hopefully the trouble was just with the washer fluid freezing up and things will be fine now with the nonfreezing solution. The previous owner may have mixed water in with the original fluid and diluted it or just used water.