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Old 12-03-2010, 08:51 PM   #1
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Default Windshield Washer problem - It's NOT the fuse or pump

It's winter here in Utah and I hate it. This state is way to zealous with salting the roads which requires me to clean my windshield of the road spray that clouds the glass. My problem is that my windshield wiper system is rather anemic.
Here is what I DO know:
- It's not a blown fuse because some fluid sprays but it doesn't clear the wiper arms
- It's not a worn out pump because I can hear it working
- It's not an aiming problem because the fluid does not hit the hood
- It shouldn't be a clog because both jets (driver and passenger side) allow fluid to pass and I stuck a pin in there to be sure
- It's shouldn't be a leak in the reservoir or a hose because there is no smell when in use and there is no pooling of fluid anywhere.
- And yes, there is plenty of fluid in the system

I have STFA for someone with a similar problem but they all turned out to be either a blown pump, fuse, or a clog. My guess is that there is a pinched hose somewhere that is hindering the fluid pressure but I don't know where to begin to find it. Does anyone know what needs to be removed in order for me to trace the washer lines to locate the problem? Pictures and good detail are greatly needed as I tried to tackle it on Thanksgiving and I turned white after removing the plastic cover in the engine bay. Not a quick and easy job I'm guessing. I'd take it in to a shop to fix it but they would probably charge over $150 to do it.

Thanks.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:07 PM   #2
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Default Rather than clutter the forum with a new thread...

I decided I'd just post today's problem along with my washer problem. I was driving to my family's house today and my damn CEL came back on. Jeez this is getting old! I had the code diagnosed and wouldn't you know it, a malfunctioning cat (P0421). I just had this "fixed" by an independant mechanic about two weeks ago. They said they replaced the SAI and ran a readiness test and that solved the problem, the cats were fine. Since then I've ran three tanks of fuel through my car without issue. I had the coilpacks replaced by a local dealer because of an open recall. So based on this evidence it shouldn't be a bad cat right? New coilpacks, new SAI, car seems to run/drive fine so what's the deal? Are our cats just crap or are the O2 sensors usually the problem? I think I will have both my cats replaced under that federal emmissions warranty before I hit 80k. If the light returns it would have to be the O2 sensors.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:48 AM   #3
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the O2 sensors have their own codes to throw, so i am only thinking cat at this point, unless you have an exhaust leak before the second O2 sensor.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:12 AM   #4
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Thanks jordonb, I was hesitant to believe it was the O2 sensors because I knew they have they're own codes. Plus the mechanic who "fixed" the cause of my last CEL said they tested all of the O2 sensors without error. I just don't understand why, if it is bad cats, did the CEL take so long to illuminate again. It should have happened after the readiness test done by the mechanic. Is it common for a bad cat to not trip a CEL for almost a thousand miles?
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:23 AM   #5
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some codes take time to show a CEL... in fact usually the car needs to be running quite a while for the computer to register enough emissions info to throw the code. usually if a cat is bad and you clear the code, it will take a few days before the code reappears, even though the cat is still bad.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:14 AM   #6
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Yeh, that's what I understand the readiness cycle to be. I'm most cases the cats are the last codes to clear but 700 miles and two weeks still seems a bit long. I guess the next step is to STFA to see how I access that government warranty. Thanks Jordon for your input. Now if I can just fix my windshield washer problem.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:22 AM   #7
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My A4 throws this code when the car is stalled. It came on about once a month while my son was learning to drive standard becuase he stalled it quite often early in his learning. Recently, haven't seen the code. It always cleared after about 3 or 4 drives. Our driving is done in the city and would be at the most 100 miles. So, I agree that it requires some accumulation of miles to come on or clear. 700 seems long. It may simply mean the cat is on the edge and depending on gas quality, change in gas brand / blend, driving style, etc, you may see it more often. As long as it is not misfiring or otherwise running poorly, I would keep driving it and see if you can figure out a trend with it. That is of course unless you can get a warranty out of the deal.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:50 PM   #8
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check the intelligent fuse #37 maybe its blown or it could be a pinch somewhere just pay the money and get it fixed
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:15 AM   #9
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The sprayers were clogged. The mechanic fixed it by blowing pressurized air through the lines. Now they work great.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:04 AM   #10
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Default windshield washer spray A4 B6 3.0 sport quattro 6 spd

when everything else works except the spray/washer jets, check fuse 37 !!!!!

the manual doesn't lead you there, but internet searches will!

20A fuse, yellow, problem fixed for under a dollar! SPMMD
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:04 AM
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