Let us spray!

A great example of efficient packaging, a place for everything...

...except a brake servo!

fiat panda engine bay

Time is approaching to MOT our Panda, everything seems to be working ok except the windscreen washers, back and front.

The washer set up will be familiar to an Integrale owner, the pumps are the same, and the back and front screen jets share the same washer bottle. The Panda's bottle is at the front, with the rear jet getting the long pipe.

The little Panda is a marvel of packaging, not least the spare wheel, jack and washer bottle installation, however marvel or not, something was stopping the washers from working. I bought a good length of new clear plastic tubing, so let's find out what's the problem.

The washer bottle was half full of fluid, and the pumps were turning, but no water came out of the single front jet, or the rear. I assumed jet blockage, so I poked the jets with a thin wire and tried again, there was no action.

 

I removed the spare wheel and jack and unhooked the washer bottle, after labelling the pipes and terminals I pulled the tubes off the pumps. I ran the pumps one more time, but nothing came out, not even a dribble.

 

This obviously meant the tank outlets were blocked, so I emptied out the fluid, and took the bottle to the bench to have a proper look. I saw inside that the pump outlets were blocked, and the tank had green slime at the bottom.

 

I pulled the pumps out and the plastic pump grille mesh was blocked solid with a crusty green lump, this went through the mesh into the pump. I scraped this all off and cleaned the outlets in hot water, giving them a good scrubbing. I also cleaned the inside of the tank and swilled it out with hot water.

 

I scrubbed the outside of the tank too with soap, and gave it a thorough rinsing. 

panda washer pump
fiat panda washer bottle
cleaned washer pump
washer pump clean

Washer bottle outlet blocked up

with old washing up liquid

One cleaned. The crud was really crusty, and needed care 

to clean and not damage the mesh.

With all the items cleaned I reassembled the unit.

I found inserting the rubber seal into the tank first, then pushing the pump into the seals with a squirt of WD worked best.

I cleaned the tank exterior too.

 

I installed the tank and tested the pumps, all worked well, so I secured the tank properly and fitted the old pipes back on, making sure to get them on the right pumps for front and rear. 

Both pumps cleaned out, with

plenty of clean hot water.

fiat washer bottle

Everything now clean, ready for reassembly

panda washer pumps

I got the washer container in a sink of

hot water and gave it a really

good rinse out.

I cleaned the outside too, it's in a

dirty and exposed position, the clean up made it look much better.

The Panda's washer bottle is easy to access in its original designed position. Unlike our Delta's bottle, which has been squeezed in out back to make room for more important items.

 

Speaking later to proper mechanic Dave, he told me this is a common problem, caused by owners using washing up liquid in the washer water.

The washing up soap mixes with the original fluid, or even on its own, becomes jelly, then a solid. Fairy Liquid or similar will become a solid lump if left for a time, so if your car has been laid up over the winter, and come Springtime the washers don't work, this will be your problem.

Now let's get that MOT.

windscreen washer spray

Preparing my Evo1 for it's MOT test the following springtime, the front washer wouldn't work. 

Remembering my Panda experience I went straight to the pump on the rear washer tank. I removed the 

washer bottle from behind the trim, and pulled the pump out.

I found more goo, it was bunged up with some kind of substance, but black this time.

I cleaned it out, refilled the bottle, and it worked perfectly!

Gunk has no favourites,

it'll attack an Integrale as easily

as a humble Panda.

If you've no squirt, look there first!