Washer fluid pump noise but no spray on front or back window.

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Dec 15, 2019
I'm new to i3, I have a 330i and an X5 and do all my own mechanical work so am familiar with the normal parts of BMW. I am testing the electric waters for the first time with a second hand 2014 i3 Rex. The i3 washer pump location is so easy compared to a 3 series or X - it takes about 10 minutes to sort this out.

Document with Pictures: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QnFRrzaDwOFJ5a3dvYJR2IEIi53NHowpTvZi6H85AbU/edit?usp=sharing

The i3 uses the same pump style as all their other cars and the filter can clog over time. If you hear the pump buzzing but no washer fluid is coming out then the filter is clogged. If you no longer hear the pump buzzing then it is the pump. I would check the filter first before ordering a replacement pump. You will only need a T-25 bit to sort out this issue:

1. Open the Frunk
2. Using a T-25, remove the six screws holding down the storage box in the frunk:

3. remove the covers to each side of the storage box, they are held in place by velcro

4. remove the storage box

5. To the left of the storage box, you will see the washer pump, it is held in place by the slot in the side of the washer reservoir. Remove the top electrical connection, then the clip holding each side of the water tubes to the bottom of the pump:

6. Pull or pry the pump away from the reservoir and lift up, the pump has a tube in the bottom that connects to the rubber filter in the reservoir.

7. Remove the rubber filter that the pump was seated in and check that it does not have slime or debris in or on the filter. I could not take a picture of this as I had my finger in the filter hole. Mine was clogged with slime and debris.

8. Let some fluid drain out of the reservoir to clear any slime from the bottom of the washer reservoir and then use a rubber stopper or rubber glove to plug the hole.

8. Clean the filter and replace

9. Reseat the pump, put the hoses back on, push the clips down to lock them in place, and the electrical connection, and test the washers.
Very nice writeup, thank you for sharing! Hopefully those pics will stay available for a long time.

Elsewhere I've been referencing a forum post about an ICE BMW's washer motor. The post is only from 2017 but the photos have already gone offline. :evil:
frictioncircle said:
Hopefully those pics will stay available for a long time.

Elsewhere I've been referencing a forum post about an ICE BMW's washer motor. The post is only from 2017 but the photos have already gone offline. :evil:
Because of this, I downloaded the referenced report and have saved it with my other i3 articles.
Excellent writeup by Glim1000.Thank you. I followed the precise instructions to remove the unit and discovered a small crack in the plastic at the aft high pressure line feeding the windshield. The crack-leak was on the bottom and impossible to see unless the pump is removed. I purchased another unit at AUTO VALUE for CDN$50 in Canada. Pump unit is almost identical except the distribution (shuttle valve?) cylinder where the two high pressure lines attach on opposite sides is reversed. There is no difference in operation. Operational and leak checks performed and all OK.
Great advice followed it and fixed the washer jet problem by cleaning out the filter.

The pictures were very helpful.

Thank you.
I'm contributing this enhanced guide. For those that may run into a variety of issues with the windshield wiper fluid. Either the pump is not working, or you have a leak. In many cases, the remedy might be pretty easy - either something clogged, or the inexpensive (<$20) pump needs to be replaced. Having just performed the pump replacement, I would say even a novice could perform this fix - and you'll likely save $150-$250 that the dealer will want to take care of it. I started with the document above, and enhanced the guide and added more photos. Here's the link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qQtL6eTcRILZYo3vIzZwVHtvSSphye5Z/view?usp=sharing
railpass23 said:
I'm contributing this enhanced guide.
Thanks for this enhancement! I had an earlier version that you had posted.

Did you drain the windshield washer fluid from the reservoir before removing the pump? If so, how did you drain it? Maybe it would need to be syphoned out of the reservoir through the tube where the filler tube connects.

I recently removed the frunk box in our 2019 i3. I had always assumed that all 6 screws that attach the frunk box are identical as your guide suggests. Why wouldn't they be? However, a T-25 Torx bit is a loose fit in the bottom 2 screws. When I tried a T-30 Torx bit, it fit perfectly. When I examined the 4 screws on the sides, I discovered that they are not Torx head screws at all but are 4 mm Allen head screws. I believe that I used a T-25 Torx bit to remove all of the screws that attached the frunk box on our former 2014 i3. A T-25 Torx bit apparently fits in a 4 mm Allen head screw well enough to loosen or tighten it. A T-25 Torx bit can loosen or tighten the bottom screws, but maybe it would slip if the screws were too tight or an attempt would be made to tighten them too much.

For what it's worth, realoem.com lists different parts numbers, descriptions, and sizes for the 2 bottom screws, combi oval-head machine screw, ISA M6X22, and the 4 side screws, countersunk screw, M6X16, for both 2014 and 2019 i3's. This doesn't indicate the type and size of the screw heads.

Back to your regularly-scheduled programming…
Mine stopped working shortly after I filled it up with watering can (possibly not the best idea).
Great instructions. Was very funky. Worked perfectly and now fixed.

Many thanks