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Frozen Washer pipes - or not?


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#1 dmozz

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 08:42 PM

A frustrated S-max owner and newbie to the forum wants to know if anyone else has had a similar issue with the windscreen washers:

In December my washers starting firing very weakly and after an initial burst, went to a dribble. I had the car serviced in the last bout of snow and they said that one of the pipes was just frozen. I took it back a week or two later, after a bit of a thaw and having driven 700 miles on a motorway as the washers packed up entirely. Again they said it was a frozen pipe that they thawed and the washers worked fine. Admittedly I had let the washer fluid concentration go on the dilute side. I topped up what was in the reservoir with about half a litre of neat fluid and then the worst of the snow hit.

However after over a week of weather above freezing, and using the car every day, the washers are giving no more than a short squirt followed by a dribble and then nothing.

I cannot believe the pipe that was frozen has not thawed out by now. The washer bottle and pump is buried at the bottom just behind the radiator grill, so I cannot get to it to do anything.

Anybody else experienced the same, and any suggestions?

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#2 Pacific

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 10:06 AM

The washers on my Smax have frozen up quite a bit during this Artic spell but have always freed up and back to nornal after a general thaw. However during the cold snap I noticed that after considerable drive when I would have expected the washers to thaw out due to engine heat - it hadn't - granted the external temp was minus all the time.

My washers have returned to normal now - so I would say if the ambient temp in your area is 5 and + and you are not getting a full spray, then something else is going on.

Are you still under warranty?

#3 dmozz

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 05:22 PM

The service was the last day of the two year warranty - that's why I brought it up then, and the garage didn't charge me when they supposedly thawed out the pipe. I'm getting so fed up I don't mind paying but its both annoying and embarrassing to go back to the dealer again

#4 Pacific

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 12:53 AM

I know how you feel. It's the time it takes too to get to the dealer during work hours, waiting, getting a replacement car etc, etc.
But your dealer said they checked it out and it still isn't working, then it's their problem too. We pay alot of money for our Smax's so we should get our money's worth.

#5 dmozz

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 04:14 PM

Still waiting for the thaw, but last couple of nights it has dropped below freezing. I'll wait until the temperature is above 10 degrees for a few days then go back to the dealer if it's still blocked.

#6 artscot79

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 10:12 PM

Still waiting for the thaw, but last couple of nights it has dropped below freezing. I'll wait until the temperature is above 10 degrees for a few days then go back to the dealer if it's still blocked.



if theres the noise of the pump when you try them then the pumps fine though if the pump freezes it wont make anynoise all fords have the same issue its down to the bottle location most cars have them in the engine bay ford chose to stick it in places where the elements get to it i have a focus and have tried a fix with mine the bottle is now wrapped in an old water tank jacket cut to fit and held on with velcro the pipes i removed and got larger bore rubber hose to fit over the originals im hoping withstronger screen wash the same wont happen i found taking the hose off one of the jets and blowing into it cleared the blockage

#7 stef123

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 12:29 AM

if theres the noise of the pump when you try them then the pumps fine though if the pump freezes it wont make anynoise all fords have the same issue its down to the bottle location most cars have them in the engine bay ford chose to stick it in places where the elements get to it i have a focus and have tried a fix with mine the bottle is now wrapped in an old water tank jacket cut to fit and held on with velcro the pipes i removed and got larger bore rubber hose to fit over the originals im hoping withstronger screen wash the same wont happen i found taking the hose off one of the jets and blowing into it cleared the blockage


i soon sorted the problem on my focus with the washer bottle freezing up. emptied it and filled it with a good quality screenwash that i got for 6 for 5L mixed at 3 water:1 screenwash. never had any problems since even in the -15 temps we were getting not so long ago.

#8 artscot79

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 12:08 PM

i soon sorted the problem on my focus with the washer bottle freezing up. emptied it and filled it with a good quality screenwash that i got for 6 for 5L mixed at 3 water:1 screenwash. never had any problems since even in the -15 temps we were getting not so long ago.



i think its more the pipes that run along under the bonnet that freeze up more thats why i put more pipe over it im in an open space so for some reason its always bloomin colder they guy down the roads honda has heated jets and his was frozen solid the pipes were just frozen with halpfords undiluted screen wash i heard lidls is the best but never have any

#9 stef123

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 07:49 PM

i think its more the pipes that run along under the bonnet that freeze up more thats why i put more pipe over it im in an open space so for some reason its always bloomin colder they guy down the roads honda has heated jets and his was frozen solid the pipes were just frozen with halpfords undiluted screen wash i heard lidls is the best but never have any


i cant remember what make i bought but it was from costco in endinburgh. i do agree though, the halfords stuff is really bad

#10 artscot79

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 07:30 PM

i cant remember what make i bought but it was from costco in endinburgh. i do agree though, the halfords stuff is really bad



its some european stuff down to minus 60 ive heard it never freezes best bet is near winter empty the thing out and just pour pure undiluted screenwash in

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