Clogged windshield washer nozzles are quite common. Usually, car wax or polish creates a barrier on top of the nozzle that prevents liquid from splashing on the windshield. Even if it's bothersome, it can be solved pretty easily. If you can't remove the barrier, replacing the nozzle can be just as easy.
Method 1 of 3: clear clogged windshield washer nozzles
Step 1. Listen for the windshield wiper fluid pump
Before you try to clear the windscreen washer nozzles, turn them on and listen for the faint hum of the pump. If the nozzles are clogged, you can hear the pump even if no liquid comes out.
- If you are not sure if the pump is on, ask a friend to listen outside near the hood.
- If you can't hear the pump, it will need to be replaced.
Step 2. Inspect the nozzles for outside blockages
Find the nozzles on the top of the hood near the windshield and look for signs that something has clogged them. Often times they are clogged with car wax or polish, which prevents the liquid from coming out properly.
Wipe away any wax or polish that clogged the nozzle
Step 3. Remove any deeper blockages with a needle
If wiping doesn't work to make the windscreen washer nozzles clean enough to return fluid, try using a needle to clear the hole. Push it into each hole in the nozzle, pull it out, and wipe away any clogs that came out with it.
- Push the needle in just enough to get it out.
- Don't push the needle in too hard, as you can break it or break the nozzle.
Step 4. Slide a wire through the nozzle
If a needle does not go far enough to clear the clog, disconnect the hose from the bottom of the nozzle (you will need to open the hood to do this). Then slide a thin wire through the bottom of the nozzle up to the top. If the nozzle has multiple openings, you may want to push the wire in several times until all of the holes are clean.
- Guitar strings work well here too because they have the strength needed to get through the nozzle.
- You can also use an electric wire without a sheath.
Method 2 of 3: Soak or replace the washer nozzles
Step 1. Pull the hose off the bottom of the nozzle
The rubber hose is only held in place by the pressure of the hose on the nozzle, so you should be able to pull it off with relative ease.
- Simply squeeze the hose together on the nozzle with your thumb and forefinger and pull it backwards.
- If the hose is stuck, use a pair of pliers to loosen it by twisting it back and forth.
Step 2. Use pliers to remove the nozzle from the hood
Windshield washer nozzles are held in place by plastic stoppers. Use pliers to press the stoppers into the nozzle, then push them up.
- The nozzle is pressed directly out of the hole in the bonnet with the stoppers pressed in.
- If you're replacing the nozzles, it's okay if the stoppers break, otherwise be careful not to damage them.
Step 3. Pull the nozzles out of the hood
Lower the hood again and pull the nozzle straight up and out of the hole in the hood. If the clamps are already through, the nozzles should slide through the hole with very little resistance.
- If the nozzle is stuck, open the hood again and use the pliers to press down on the clips again to loosen them.
- Be careful not to damage the paint when pulling out the nozzles.
Step 4. Soak the nozzles in a bowl of vinegar
You may be able to clear any clogs by soaking them in a bowl of vinegar for a while. Swirl the nozzles a little in the vinegar to make sure it gets into the clog. After a few minutes, remove the nozzles from the vinegar and rinse them off.
- When the windscreen washer nozzle is rinsed, you can blow through to see if it is clear.
- If it is not clogged, reinstall it on the vehicle.
Step 5. Install new washer nozzles
Whether you bought new windscreen washer nozzles or reinstalled the old ones, the process is the same. Slide the nozzle through the hole in the top of the hood so that the outlets point towards the windshield. When you've pushed it all the way, the plastic clips will expand and hold the nozzles in place.
- Connect the hose to the nozzle when it's in place.
- Start the engine and test the jets to make sure they are working properly.
Method 3 of 3: Check and repair the hose
Step 1. Do a visual inspection of the tubing line
If your windscreen washer nozzles are not splashing washer fluid on the windshield, it could be due to a damaged or kinked hose that goes from the reservoir to the nozzles. Examine the tubing for any sign of blockage or damage.
- Start at the container and follow the hoses up to the windshield washer nozzles on the hood.
- Look for signs of leaks, kinks, or other damage.
Step 2. Clean clogged cans with a compressor
If the hose appears to be intact, the problem may be with a blockage in the hose. Disconnect the hose from the nozzle and container, and use a compressor or can of compressed air to blow through the hose.
- If air can't pass through the tube and remove the blockage, you'll need to replace it.
- When the air goes straight through the hose, reinstall it.
Step 3. Replace a damaged hose
If you can't clear a blockage in the hose, you may need to add a replacement. Maybe you can buy a direct replacement at the auto parts store, otherwise take the clogged hose with you and find a rubber hose with the same inner diameter. Buy the hose a suitable length that matches the old one.
- Simply attach the new hose to the nozzle from which you removed the old one.
- Test your nozzles after replacing the hose.