Windshield Wiper Fluid Not Coming Out: How To Fix It

Wiper fluid is an essential component of any vehicle’s maintenance system, ensuring a clean and clear windshield for safe driving. However, it can be quite frustrating when you find yourself in need of a quick spray, only to discover that the wiper fluid isn’t spraying at all.

In this blog post, we will delve into the common causes and potential solutions to this problem, helping you to diagnose and fix the issue with your wiper fluid system. With proper knowledge and guidance, you can quickly restore your vehicle’s wiper fluid functionality, ensuring a safe and clear driving experience.

Why Would Windshield Washer Fluid Not Come Out?

1.     Clogged Nozzles

One of the most common reasons for windshield washer fluid not coming out is clogged nozzles. Over time, dirt, debris, and even mineral deposits from hard water can accumulate in the tiny holes of the washer fluid nozzles, obstructing the flow of fluid. In colder climates, ice formation can also block the nozzles.

To address this issue, you can use a fine needle or pin to carefully dislodge any visible debris. Additionally, soaking the nozzles in a vinegar solution can help dissolve mineral deposits. Make sure to rinse them with clean water before reinstalling them.

Windshield washer nozzles in the car.

2.     Broken or Disconnected Hoses

Another reason for wiper fluid not spraying could be broken or disconnected hoses. The washer fluid is transported from the reservoir to the nozzles through a series of hoses. If these hoses become damaged, disconnected, or pinched, the fluid will not reach the nozzles.

Inspect the hoses for any visible signs of damage or disconnection, and replace or reconnect them as necessary. Ensure that the hoses are routed properly to prevent pinching or kinking.

3.     Empty Washer Fluid Reservoir

An empty washer fluid reservoir is a straightforward cause for the fluid not coming out. Many drivers may not notice the reservoir running low or completely empty, especially if they do not use the washer fluid frequently.

To resolve this issue, simply refill the reservoir with the appropriate washer fluid, and check for any leaks to ensure that the fluid is not being lost unintentionally.

4.     Faulty Washer Fluid Pump

The washer fluid pump is responsible for pushing the fluid from the reservoir to the nozzles. If the pump is not functioning correctly or has failed completely, the fluid will not be sprayed onto the windshield.

You can usually identify a faulty pump by listening for any unusual sounds when you try to use the washer fluid. Replacing the pump can be a relatively simple DIY task, or you can consult a professional mechanic for assistance.

5.     Electrical Issues

Wiper fluid not spraying may also result from electrical issues, such as a blown fuse, damaged wiring, or a faulty switch. These issues can prevent the washer fluid pump from receiving power, rendering it inoperative.

Check the fuse box to ensure that the washer fluid pump fuse is intact, and inspect the wiring for any visible signs of damage. If the issue persists, it may be necessary to consult a professional mechanic to diagnose and repair the electrical problem.

6.     Frozen Washer Fluid

In extremely cold conditions, the washer fluid may freeze inside the reservoir or hoses, preventing it from being sprayed onto the windshield. This issue can be resolved by using a washer fluid specifically formulated for colder temperatures, which contains a lower freezing point.

Winter frozen back car window.

Additionally, parking your vehicle in a warmer environment or using a portable heater to warm the engine compartment can help thaw the frozen fluid. Make sure to avoid adding hot water to the reservoir, as the sudden temperature change may cause the reservoir to crack or become damaged.

How to Fix Windshield Washer Fluid Not Coming Out?

1.     Clean or Replace Clogged Nozzles

If you have identified clogged nozzles as the cause of your windshield washer fluid not coming out, you can either clean or replace them. To clean the nozzles, use a fine needle or pin to gently remove any visible debris. You can also soak them in a vinegar solution to dissolve mineral deposits before rinsing them with clean water.

If cleaning does not resolve the issue or the nozzles are severely damaged, you may need to replace them. Replacement nozzles can be purchased from your local auto parts store, and the installation process is typically straightforward.

2.     Repair or Replace Damaged Hoses

If damaged or disconnected hoses are causing your windshield washer fluid not to spray, you will need to repair or replace them as necessary. Reconnect any disconnected hoses and ensure they are routed correctly to prevent kinking or pinching.

Inspect the hoses for signs of wear or damage, such as cracks or splits. If you find any damaged hoses, replace them with new ones. Hoses can be purchased from auto parts stores, and with a little patience, you can replace them yourself or seek assistance from a professional mechanic.

3.     Refill Washer Fluid Reservoir

A simple fix for windshield washer fluid not coming out is to refill the reservoir. Make sure to use the appropriate washer fluid for your vehicle and the prevailing weather conditions. In colder climates, choose a washer fluid with a lower freezing point to prevent it from freezing in the reservoir or hoses.

Routinely check the fluid level and top it off as needed to ensure you always have an adequate supply.

Pouring antifreeze windshield washer in the reservoir.

4.     Replace Faulty Washer Fluid Pump

If you have determined that the washer fluid pump is faulty or has failed, you will need to replace it. First, locate the pump, which is typically found near the bottom of the washer fluid reservoir. Disconnect the electrical connector and hoses from the pump, and then remove the pump from the reservoir.

Install the new pump, reconnect the electrical connector and hoses, and test the system to ensure the fluid is now spraying as it should. If you are unsure about this process, consult a professional mechanic for assistance.

5.     Address Electrical Issues

Electrical problems, such as a blown fuse, damaged wiring, or a faulty switch, may require more in-depth troubleshooting to fix the issue with the windshield washer fluid not coming out. Start by checking the fuse box and replacing any blown fuses related to the washer fluid system. Inspect the wiring for signs of damage, and repair or replace it as needed.

If the problem persists, you may need to consult a professional mechanic to diagnose and repair the issue, as it could be related to a faulty switch or other electrical components.

How Do You Know If Your Washer Pump Is Bad?

There are several signs that may indicate a bad washer pump. Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

No fluid spraying

If you activate the windshield washer system and no fluid comes out despite having a full reservoir and clear nozzles, the washer pump might be faulty.

Unusual noises

A properly functioning washer pump should operate quietly. If you hear strange noises like buzzing, humming, or grinding when you activate the washer system, it could be a sign of a failing pump.

Fluid leaks

If you notice washer fluid leaking around the pump area or under the car near the reservoir, the pump may be damaged or not properly sealed. This can cause fluid loss and result in the washer system not working correctly.

Intermittent operation

If your washer fluid sprays inconsistently or stops working altogether and then starts again, the pump may be failing or experiencing an electrical issue.

No power at the pump

If you test the electrical connector of the washer pump and find that it’s not receiving any power, there might be a problem with the pump itself, the wiring, or the switch that controls it.

To diagnose a bad washer pump, you can also perform a simple test. Disconnect the hose from the pump outlet, activate the washer system, and observe if the pump is pushing any fluid out. If it isn’t, and the above symptoms are present, it’s likely that the washer pump is faulty and needs to be replaced.

How Do You Unclog A Wiper Fluid Sprayer?

Unclogging a wiper fluid sprayer can usually be done with a few simple steps. Here’s how you can clear the obstruction and restore the proper functioning of your wiper fluid sprayer:

1.     Locate the nozzle

Identify the washer fluid nozzles on your vehicle, usually found on the hood or at the base of the windshield.

2.     Inspect the nozzle

Look for any visible debris or dirt that might be obstructing the nozzle opening.

3.     Use a fine needle or pin

Carefully insert a fine needle or pin into the nozzle opening to dislodge any debris or dirt. Be gentle to avoid damaging the nozzle or enlarging the opening.

4.     Use compressed air

You can also use a can of compressed air to blow out any remaining debris from the nozzle. Hold the nozzle of the compressed air can a short distance away from the washer fluid nozzle and apply short bursts of air.

5.     Test the sprayer

After cleaning the nozzle, test the washer fluid system to ensure the fluid is spraying properly. If the nozzle is still clogged, repeat the cleaning process as needed.

6.     Soak in vinegar (optional)

If the nozzles are still clogged after attempting the above steps, you can remove them from the vehicle and soak them in a solution of white vinegar and water (approximately 50/50) for a few hours. This can help dissolve any mineral deposits that may be causing the obstruction. After soaking, rinse the nozzles thoroughly with clean water and reinstall them on your vehicle.

7.     Check for other issues

If cleaning the nozzles does not resolve the problem, there may be other issues within the washer fluid system, such as a clogged hose or a faulty washer pump, that require attention.


In conclusion, maintaining a properly functioning wiper fluid system is essential for safe driving and clear visibility. If you encounter issues with your wiper fluid not spraying, it’s important to diagnose and address the problem promptly.

Common causes for this issue include clogged nozzles, broken or disconnected hoses, an empty washer fluid reservoir, a faulty washer fluid pump, electrical issues, or frozen washer fluid.

By following the troubleshooting steps and solutions provided in this blog post, you can effectively restore your wiper fluid system’s functionality and ensure a safer driving experience. Remember that regular inspection and maintenance of your vehicle’s washer fluid system can help prevent such issues and keep your windshield clean and clear.

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About Matthew Webb

Hi, I am Matthew! I am a dedicated car nerd! During the day, I am a journalist, at night I enjoy working on my 2 project cars. I have been a car nerd all my life, and am excited to share my knowledge with you!