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Front Windscreen Washer Not Working, But Rear Is


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#1 damian79

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 02:08 PM

Hi all,

Since the weekend I've been having an issue with my front windscreen washers on my 2003 Mondeo.

The rear one works fine every time, however the front one does nothing most of the time - if I keep tapping the button on the end of the stalk it will (very) occasionally work, until I let go and press it again when I have the same issue. The wipers don't move either, and there is no noise from the pump, making me think its a problem with the button on the stalk.

Is this a common issue and is it an easy thing to fix? Is it likely I'll need the whole stalk replacing?

Thanks in advance.

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#2 jeebowhite

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 02:23 PM

Certainly sounds like a stalk issue, if one was working and not the other, it could be circuit / fuse related. because the pump is now working, at the same time, then I suspect again that its stalk related.

You could pick one up from the scrappy for a good 15 or less I expect! I would replace the whole stalk, and also the button receptors underneath if possible, you could probably get them both dirt cheap from a scrappy, plus the disassembly part will be good practice!

#3 damian79

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 02:36 PM

Thanks, will have to look into getting one then.

Knowing me I'll take it all apart and forget how to put it back together :) It needs a service anyway so might just get the garage to do it at the same time, probably safer.

#4 jeebowhite

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 04:23 PM

Thanks, will have to look into getting one then.

Knowing me I'll take it all apart and forget how to put it back together :) It needs a service anyway so might just get the garage to do it at the same time, probably safer.


Sounds like a plan! definately have a look around, I would say just call the dealer, see what their prices are. The only problem is you will end up paying dealer prices to fit a new stalk!

#5 dave h

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 05:57 PM

Hi mate before you go buying a switch check the pump as this is quite a common problem with the mondeo and is alot cheaper than a switch. It is located on the washer bottle and is quite easy to do. Hope that helps Dave

#6 jeebowhite

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 10:23 AM

Hi mate before you go buying a switch check the pump as this is quite a common problem with the mondeo and is alot cheaper than a switch. It is located on the washer bottle and is quite easy to do. Hope that helps Dave


Hi Dave,

Out of curiosity, why do you say it may be the pump, as the pump pushes the fluid to the rear windscreen, but not the front?

Is it common with the pump to half fail?

#7 damian79

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:39 PM

I did actually find a way of getting them working temporarily, though its stopped again now. That was to wiggle the lever around quite a lot whilst holding in the button (I may have found this out accidentally whilst getting quite angry with it :) ).

However, now this doesn't work either. If I pull and push it over and over again (i.e. putting the back washer on and off a few times) the front wipers will do their 3 wipes + 1 thing, however no water comes out. Back still works fine though.

Can't afford to do anything with it before Christmas unfortunately, so I might have to get a squirty bottle and stick my arm out of the window for a couple of weeks. Either that or drive everywhere in reverse, I can see out the back window fine.

#8 mintalkin

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:49 PM

the washer pump spins one way for the front and the other way for the back,so before you buy a stalk check if you have power at the pump when the front washers are activated.

#9 damian79

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:52 PM

Hi mate before you go buying a switch check the pump as this is quite a common problem with the mondeo and is alot cheaper than a switch. It is located on the washer bottle and is quite easy to do. Hope that helps Dave



the washer pump spins one way for the front and the other way for the back,so before you buy a stalk check if you have power at the pump when the front washers are activated.


Thanks, I'm planning on hopefully taking a look this evening when I get back from work so if I do I'll let you know how I get on.

#10 damian79

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 04:59 PM

Just spent a couple of hours trying to fix this.

First I jacked the car up, took the driver-side wheel off and removed the panelling around the wheel to get to the bottle, however I couldn't get to the pump or the pipes very easily still so I decided to put it all back together and try the switch/lever.

I removed the lever and, after several minutes of trying to take it apart (stabbing myself several times in the hand in the process with screwdrivers) it finally came apart, with bits falling everywhere. Not really what I wanted as I hadn't a clue how it all fitted together :)

Fiddled around a bit, not really doing anything in particular and put it back together. Switched on the ignition and the front washer came on - and stayed on. DOH! Turns out although it works fine by pressing the button as its supposed to now, it also squirts when I switch the rear wiper on. Not sure that's correct :)

At least its working though, and confirms it is the switch at fault. I'm going to leave it now as its dark, but after Christmas I might take it apart again and see what I've done wrong.

Thanks again for the advice. Have a great Christmas and New Year.

#11 jeebowhite

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 01:12 PM

Just spent a couple of hours trying to fix this.

First I jacked the car up, took the driver-side wheel off and removed the panelling around the wheel to get to the bottle, however I couldn't get to the pump or the pipes very easily still so I decided to put it all back together and try the switch/lever.

I removed the lever and, after several minutes of trying to take it apart (stabbing myself several times in the hand in the process with screwdrivers) it finally came apart, with bits falling everywhere. Not really what I wanted as I hadn't a clue how it all fitted together :)

Fiddled around a bit, not really doing anything in particular and put it back together. Switched on the ignition and the front washer came on - and stayed on. DOH! Turns out although it works fine by pressing the button as its supposed to now, it also squirts when I switch the rear wiper on. Not sure that's correct :)

At least its working though, and confirms it is the switch at fault. I'm going to leave it now as its dark, but after Christmas I might take it apart again and see what I've done wrong.

Thanks again for the advice. Have a great Christmas and New Year.


Congrats damian, glad you got it sorted out! hopefully a new stalk will make life a bit easier in the new year!

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