The washer pump was working but only a small trickle of water from the washer jets. The washer pump was making a higher pitch noise and slightly louder than normal, a similar noise to when the washer bottle has run out of water.
The washer bottle was full as I has filled it thinking that it was empty!
After reading various post about this problem, my Focus washer problem was giving the symptoms of a blocked filter that was stopping the flow of water to the windscreen washer pump
This filter is part of the rubber grommet that provides the fitting for the washer pump to the washer bottle.
I took a look at the Haynes manual which gives a procedure for removal of the washer bottle something like this (remember to take the usual safety precautions when jacking up the car & removing road wheels):
- Remove the nearside (left) front wheel
- Remove the inner wheel arch liner (black plastic cover)
- Remove 3 bolts that are securing the washer bottle
- Remove the washer pump from the washer bottle
As soon as I had the front of the car jacked up in preparation for removal of the front wheel, it became apparent that there may be enough room to remove the inner arch liner without removing the wheel. There are 6 bolts (torx head) securing the inner arch cover, I used an allen key to remove these.
I found it quite easy to remove the inner wheel arch liner with the wheel in place.
I removed the 2 bolts that hold the washer bottle in place, which allowed it to pivot down to a position where the washer pump was accessible.
It was easy to pull the washer pump out of its rubber grommet fixing that attaches it to the washer bottle.
With the pump removed NO water came out, this was a good indication that it was definitely a blockage of the filter that had stopped both the front & rear my washers working.
At this point I could have just pulled out the black rubber grommet and clean away the black gunge that was blocking the filter, but the washer bottle looked very dirty on the inside and I didn't want the blockage to happen again if I had just cleaned the filter and refitted it.
I decided to remove the washer bottle and give it a clean.
At this point I removed the wheel to allow access and room to remove the washer bottle.
The remaining bolt that held the washer bottle in place is fixed to the washer filler tube, inside the engine bay.
When all 3 bolts are removed from the washer bottle, the only thing holding the washer bottle in place is the filler tube part, this is a separate short tube that is held, quite firmly, by a rubber grommet at the top of the washer bottle.
A couple of twists and pulls will separate the filler tube and washer bottle.
With these removed, I was able to clean the black gunge from inside the washer bottle.
All items cleaned and then refitted.
Washer bottle filled and washers now working.