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Windscreen Washer

itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Windscreen Washer

Watching the Breakfast Show and they are running a news item on car maintanence and supposedly running a windscreen washer when empty will burn the pump motor out. Does anyone think this is true?
16 REPLIES
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 17,246
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Windscreen Washer

well I suppose if you were running it for a few hours it might Roll eyes
When I have tried to use it in the past when the wash has run out the motor hasn't burnt out...
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Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: Windscreen Washer

Every car manual/handbook I've read have recommended that it only be run for short periods, even when it has liquid to pump - so perhaps running for a prolonged period with no washer fluid could cause damage.
Reality is that when your washer bottle is empty, you don't keep trying 'just to see what happens' do you...
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Posts: 17,246
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Windscreen Washer

Dunno - could be like the magic porridge pot Grin
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Community Veteran
Posts: 38,241
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Windscreen Washer

Only time I ran mine for a long period was when someone, who shall be nameless, topped it up from the container in the garage which happened to be antifreeze  Sad and I had to empty it and refill then empty again to make sure it was all cleaned out. Nothing broke fortunately
Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: Windscreen Washer

Quote from: adiewoo
Dunno - could be like the magic porridge pot Grin

I've never tasted magic porridge - is it good?  Huh
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Windscreen Washer

If the bottle is empty the motor will be under less load, because it has nothing to push but air. It will run faster as a result, but will draw less current and is probably less likely to burn out. Like James_G said, they are only designed for a short duty cycle anyway.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Windscreen Washer

Whether there is water in the bottle or not is irrelevant. The pump motor is not cooled or lubricated by the water. Common sense tells me that prolonged use of the washer pump may cause it it overheat causing damage.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Windscreen Washer

Pumping water puts some load on the motor, as the water resists being pushed around more than air does. The load will slow the motor down, causing it to draw more current. More current = more heat. I'm sure the difference is fairly small, anyway. Agreed, it is more likely to burn out if used for a long period, whether full or empty.
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Posts: 17,246
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Windscreen Washer

Quote from: James_G
I've never tasted magic porridge - is it good?  Huh

It's the best there is.
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Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: Windscreen Washer

A thread showing how dangerous these motors can be when they burn out.
You have been warned.
http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,77577.msg625690.html#msg625690

Cheesy
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Windscreen Washer

Some posh cars have auto sensors that turn the wipers on, my neighbour  has one of those french things, could be that it also activate the waher
Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: 11-10-2007

Re: Windscreen Washer

Im interested to find out what these french things are, croissant and gravy perhaps?
My fathers windscreen washer broke recently, this might be the cause of it so I will question him. Having said that the motor still goes but the pressure seems to be gone because it doesn't squirt, more just a dribble.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Windscreen Washer

If you use the washer while the car is stationary you will probable see a pool of  water under the car.
Happened to me recently, a joint in the plastic tube had come adrift and the water was just dripping onto the floor.
Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: Windscreen Washer

Yeah an ex-gf of many years ago had a french car with a similar issue - the tube running to the rear washer jet had sprung a leak (inside the door sill naturally!).
Quote from: pierre_pierre
Some posh cars have auto sensors that turn the wipers on, my neighbour  has one of those french things, could be that it also activate the waher

Its not post cars PP - my el-cheapo plastic rubbish Megane has them (so long as you keep the screen clean they work pretty well most of the time) - they don't activate the washers though, just the wipers, and thats on a per-journey basis (the auto-wipers effectively are a replacement for the intermittent setting. Renault don't fit full auto-wipers as the motor could be burnt out if they activated at a time when they couldn't move (ie, heavy snow on your window early morning, or perhaps if they were frozen to the window.)