I3 windshield washer dead / troubleshooting

BMW i3 Forum

Help Support BMW i3 Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


New member
Oct 17, 2021
Hi board,

My wife has a 2016 model BMW i3 Rex, that short time ago got a problem that gives me a headache.

The wipers work front a rear, but no water comes to the windows when activated.

Firstly i tried to clean the windscreen water tank for gel, as i heard that could be an issue. No gel detected.

Then i realised the pump wasnt activated when activated on the wiper, so ordered a new pump - it made no difference.

The i realised i had bimmerlink, so ran some diagnose and i got errors:

Error 804288 - Washer water pump at the rear: line interuption or short circut to positve.

Error 80428A - Front washing water pump: line interuption or short circut to postive.

I have checked all fuses in the fusebox in front of the passenger seat, and no where defective.

Anybody have a good advice, before i hand the car over to BMW ?
I've never had this issue before. So I"m not sure what to recommend...can anyone chime in?
Check the wiring near and around the pump, as far as you can, for rodent chewing.
Never heard of this failure either!

On my ICE BMW, the pump runs in two directions (relay-controlled). FWD directs water to the windshield, REV directs water to the rear window.

With the hood open, have someone sit in the driver's seat and call for water at the windshield and then the rear hatch. Regardless of whether you get spray or not, can you hear the pump run? If yes, then the water lines may be blocked or cracked (and leaking).

If you can't hear the pump run, locate the pump, disconnect it electrically, and check the harness pins with a multimeter while someone again sits in the driver's seat and calls for water.

If you have voltage changes then that indicates a pump motor failure. In my ICE BMW it's an easy replacement: drain the reservoir, remove it from the car, and pull the pump (it's friction-fitted into an opening in the reservoir).

If you don't see any voltage change at the harness (and are sure you're checking the right pins) then it could be the stalk switch, control module, or a wiring break somewhere.

Let us know what happens!
I'm also having a problem with my washer fluid pump. There's no noise when I activate it. I think it might be the fuse, but when I look at the fuse diagram, the symbol that looks as if it might be the fluid pump just has dash instead of a fuse number. Does anyone have any idea which fuse controls the washer fluid pump?

Many thanks,

I'm having a similar issue. My front wiper washer works okay but the rear doesn't spray any water. I can't tell where the nozzle is, and have searched manuals etc. (Concerned someone may have tampered with vehicle or alternatively can't see where to clean out nozzle if it's clogged).

I'm pretty sure the pump works when trying to use rear washer (I recall being able to hear it from inside the vehicle), so if it's not been removed or clogged perhaps there is a leak in the line.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
My issue is I can hear the motor pumping but no fluid coming out.

I used a can of air to check the line and all was good. But no fluid to the front or back.

GameDesignDude said:
My issue is I can hear the motor pumping but no fluid coming out.
I've read of algae growth in a windshield washer fluid reservoir that has blocked the pump. Maybe something like that could be happening in your fluid reservoir.
Another possibility is the plastic water line may have split because of old age.

Have a friend, etc. to come over and hold the washer stalk in the position where the car dispenses washer fluid. Look in the interior and under the car for leaks.

In one BMW, the line to its rear wiper / washer broke apart near the tank in the engine bay. Took a bit of time before I correlated an unexpected puddle under the car to a recent request for a rear-window wash cycle.
Another thought regarding no fluid being dispensed...

If you live in an area with very hard tap water then the dispensing jets may be clogged with hard water deposits (mineral buildup).

Removing the jets and giving them a brief soak in white vinegar could help dissolve those deposits. If you want to leave them in place then a scrub with a stiff brush and running water may work as well.

When I first got my i3 ages ago I thought that I could bypass mineral buildup by using distilled water in the wash tank. What ended up happening is the distilled water caused the windshield wash level sensor to constantly throw "reservoir empty" errors even though it was nearly full.

That lead me to believe that the wash-level sensor does not use a float, but instead a sensor that measures the electrical conductivity of the wash solution. Distilled water has low conductivity so that's probably why the i3 didn't like it.

I switched back to tap water and no longer get those error messages.