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Thread: Windshield Washer Reservoir Leak Fix

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    West Michigan
    My Cars
    98 540iA (Prd 11/97)

    Windshield Washer Reservoir Leak Fix

    The following are two DIYs by cnn and jamaican71 on fixing a leaky windshield washer reservoir. If you would like to respond regarding this fix, please do so in one or both of the DIY threads (Links to the threads are above each quote).
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________________
    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    My Windshield Washer RESERVOIR Leaks a bit at the Filler Neck (where the Tubing joins the Reservoir), so I decided to freshen things a bit! If your Windshield Washer has been leaking, the good news is all this can be fixed for approx. $10.

    Expanding Rivets x 3: PN: 51478166992 ---> $0.66/each
    Grommet w/ Strainer: PN: 61667006063 ---> $4.24/each
    Grommet: PN: 61311369343 ---> $3.13/each

    It can leak at the:
    - Filler Neck (where it enters the Reservoir)
    - Windshield Motor
    - Level Sensor

    Time: 1 hour.


    1. Passenger's Front Wheel removed, car on Jackstand.

    2. Remove the Plastic Wheel Liner. I did it the "lazy" way and lift it up just enough to do the job.
    - 8-mm screws hold the Plastic Liner.
    - The three (3) "Expanding Rivets", don't even try to save the old rivets, they break when coming out, using a flat screwdriver and gently lift it out, and cut with a pair of snippers.

    3. Using a Flat Screwdriver, gently lift the Windshield Fluid Motor UPWARD (Yellow arrow).

    4. The Level Sensor comes STRAIGHT out (Yellow arrow):

    5. Remove the two (2) 10-mm Nuts holding the Reservoir and remove it for cleaning. My fine mesh screen broke from the rubber grommet and was inside the Reservoir. Easy to remove it. Then rinse the inside the Reservoir and empty all water.

    6. Tips when re-installing new parts:
    - Tiny amount of grease on the Filler Neck for a good seal. Factory has no zip ties. Mine leaks right here, so after a bit of grease (very thin smear) and 2 zip ties, it is nice and tight, no leak!
    - Tiny amount of grease (very thin smear) on both grommets.
    - Tiny amount of grease for the Expanding Rivets makes it easy as well.

    Congrats on a job well-done and now you have a leak-free Reservoir!!!..........
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamaican71 View Post
    Well after several annoying months of hearing the dreaded "Ding" only to discover yet again that my windshield wash reservoir is low, I decided to do something about it. There has been a leak somewhere in the system which caused the low fluid indicator to go off after just one to two days of filling.

    After an exhausting search on this forum, I found very little information about the location of the reservoir in an e39, so I've decided to post up some pics and this little DIY of the project.

    First off, you've got to jack the front passenger side and remove the wheel. (Please use a jack stand to support the vehicle) Then remove the inside fender panel using an 8mm socket on all the fasteners. There are also three "push locks" at the rear edge of the fender well. After breaking the first one, I pulled back the liner, reache in and pushed them out from the inside with a small screwdriver.

    This photo shows the location of the reservoir with panel removed:

    Pull off the fill hose and carefully disconnect the washer line from the pump(located at the bottom left of the next photo). Disconnect both electrical connections and clip the zip tie (if there is one) holding the wires to the reservoir. Remove the two bolts holding it with a 10mm socket, then simply pull forward to remove.

    Photo 2:

    Drain any remaining fluid into a clean container or discard if it is dirty. To remove the pump and level sensor from the reservoir, simply slide them out slowly. The pump should have a blue plastic screen on the end which may come off. Just shake it out of the tank to retrieve.

    Clean the entire tank, inside and out, with a soapy water solution or mild degreaser. Perform a leak test on the tank. Simply plug all the holes with your fingers and blow hard!! Do the same leak test on the pump by plugging the outlet and blowing on the inlet. I discovered that my pump was leaking slightly at the housing connection. Rather than purchase a new pump, I simply covered the joint with plumber's teflon tape, then covered that with black electrical tape. The final photo, although blurry, shows the finished product re-installed.

    Washer pump:

    While you've got everything out, take the time to clean all the fittings and check for tears, etc. I used a little silicone spray to clean all the rubber grommets and used a dab of KY jelly to create a better seal. I also used a zip tie to fasten the fill tube to the tank as there was nothing before and it was a bit loose. Go ahead and clean the fender liner while you're at it with a good degreaser.

    Installation is reverse of removal. I suggest a leak test before putting the liner back in. It's been 5 days and no leaks yet!!! BTW all photos were taken post fix.

    Total time: 30-45 min.
    Cost - $0-$2
    Have Fun!

    Edit: Still leaked from my "patch" but not nearly as bad. Did not realize how cheap the pump was, so I bought one and replaced it. No more leaky!
    (Thanks to cnn and jamaican71.)
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 09-26-2009 at 03:44 PM.


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