Suby Outback / Windshield Wiper fluid issue

My 2001 Suby Outback has been having problems dispensing wiper fluid (front windshield) when I push the wiper fluid button on the steering column. Yes, there is wiper fluid in the resivoir. Does it need to be at a certain level? The motor that controls this is working; when I push the button, I can hear it running.

Any thoughts and how costly is the repair if needed.


Likely the problem is merely clogged nozzles, a result of getting car wax or polish in the openings. Clear the nozzles with a needle and see if this does the trick.

+1 to Steve’s comment. However, if the pump turns out to be bad you can replace it with a generic pump for a very low price. It’s been some years since I’ve changed one, but it was about $10 back then as i recall. It’s probably $20-$30 now.

If it’s not the alkali crusties, or wax in the nozzles it could be the impeller has come free from the motor shaft. Hard to see on this one as the impeller is housed within a pump body…but they’re just little plastic impellers so the motor could be just spinning away and producing no fluid push at all.
A new pump is $16.00 at my Auto Zone.

One way to test is to pull off a tube from inside the engine compartment before the nozzles. Then run the pump to see if it’s flowing.

I just tried SteveF’s recommendation, that didn’t work. There’s nothing on the openings. Maybe I should try a longer needle? Thanks for all the advice.

Try ken green’s test. I had a Nissan with one-way valves in line that would plug up.

I agree its either plugged hoses, nozzels, or a weak pump. Pull the hose off the nozzels and see if you get a stream or not. If not prolly the pump needs replacing. Just because it runs doesn’t mean it pumps anything.

Stop by the Subie dealer’s parts department (NOT the service department) and ask them if they can print an “exploded view” drawing of your window wash pump installation. It’ll probably be attached to the reservoir. With this drawing, you should be on your way to being able to remove and replace the pump.