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Volkswagen Vanagon: 1980-1991 (T3) 1989 Westfalia windshield washer pump mystery


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Last Post: Mar 28, 2014 7:08 PM Last Post By: tcovenant2000
harte

Posts: 23
Registered: 03/18/09
1989 Westfalia windshield washer pump mystery
Posted: Jul 30, 2013 11:49 PM
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Wondering if any of you vanagon gurus might be able to give me a clue as to why my washer pump fails to operate when the wiper switch is in the wash position.Only the wiper blades operate (for a short time before stopping ). I've tested the pump and it works when directly connected to 12 V. I have 12 V at the pump connection when the wiper switch is operated , but when I disconnect the pump and operate the switch , the wiper blades fail to operate. I'm at a loss as to where to look next. Thanks for your expertise !
Willl

Posts: 33
Registered: 05/05/06
Re: 1989 Westfalia windshield washer pump mystery
Posted: Jul 31, 2013 8:05 AM   in response to: harte in response to: harte
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Page 97.135 of your Bentley manual shows Ground 30 as being the common return for the pump and the motor. That ground point is located NEAR RELAY PANEL, as indicated in page 97.121 A failure of that ground could explain your problem. I had described the relationship with every one of your descriptions, but I took too long, and by the time I hit "Post Message", it timed me out, erasing all I had written. So, this is much shorter. Find that ground, and trust me, highly likely it will fix it. If you want me so, I will detail the relationship of each one of your symptoms with such a failure, but is already 4:55 am and I stopped being coherent some time ago. Just in case you may have misplaced your page 97.135 I attached a copy of it for reference.

Good Luck, and let us know how it goes

Geporto (Willl)
harte

Posts: 23
Registered: 03/18/09
Re: 1989 Westfalia windshield washer pump mystery
Posted: Sep 23, 2013 11:57 PM   in response to: Willl in response to: Willl
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Thanks for your trouble shooting attempt , Will ! What I discovered was dirty contacts at the switch for the windshield washer pump on the steering column. A little shine up with 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper did the trick! " I can see clearly now , the dirt is gone "
Willl

Posts: 33
Registered: 05/05/06
Re: 1989 Westfalia windshield washer pump mystery
Posted: Sep 24, 2013 4:53 AM   in response to: harte in response to: harte
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Great!

Kudos to the inventor of the sandpaper, and to the smart people that uses it!

Now you are ready for Autumn. :)

Thank you for sharing the results. Now we (at least I) know a new trick!

Geporto (Willl)
tcovenant2000

Posts: 1,761
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: 1989 Westfalia windshield washer pump mystery
Posted: Sep 24, 2013 7:28 PM   in response to: Willl in response to: Willl
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Just FYI...this is a common problem in many VW's. The ground wire is as often at fault as is the switch. How to tell?

1. Get a meter. Set to DC volts on 20V (or similar) range. Connect - to negative term of battery.
2. Put + of meter onto hot lead AT the pump (push it into the connector with the pump still connected so you have a load). Have a friend operate the switch (hold it in "ON" position until meter reading is stable). If you don't see at least 11V, then the switch is dirty.
3. If you see 11V+, move the meter lead to the - terminal of the washer connector. Have friend operate switch. If you see more than .5V or so, the ground wire is the problem.

Before trying sandpaper, get some contact cleaner and try that first. It only takes a tiny bit of dirt to mess up the switch. After cleaning or sandpapering, use contact protector (I can't think of the brand name, they make the cleaner and protector, but I'm not at home where I can look) on the contacts to help keep them clean.

One of the best things you can do to rid yourself of this problem forever is to get a relay and wire it into the circuit so the switch only operates the relay, and the relay operates the pump.

Thomas
Willl

Posts: 33
Registered: 05/05/06
Re: 1989 Westfalia windshield washer pump mystery
Posted: Dec 10, 2013 5:02 PM   in response to: tcovenant2000 in response to: tcovenant2000
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Thomas,
That is an excellent troubleshooting procedure. May become part of a future "Bentley Troubleshooting Techniques"?
And you are also right at using first a chemical cleaning agent, before a mechanical one. And even then, when mechanical action is needed, an ink eraser is probably kinder to the contacts.
Thanks for the sensible correction!

Geporto
tcovenant2000

Posts: 1,761
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: 1989 Westfalia windshield washer pump mystery
Posted: Dec 10, 2013 5:12 PM   in response to: Willl in response to: Willl
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Thanks! These kinds of problems can be a bugger to find. It is imperative that you have the load connected. If you test the connector for the pump it will always show 12V with no load because the dirt acts as a resistor which will only drop voltage with current actually flowing through it. Same for the ground lead.
You are free to use anything I post anytime. Most of these ideas didn't originate with me. I work in electronics and this kind of sound troubleshooting is common knowledge in the industry.
On the other hand, my wife bought me a T-shirt that says "NOT MECHANICALLY INCLINED". The words are upside down so when I'm frustrated with a car and look down I'll remember why I'm frustrated! :)

Thomas
b00t

Posts: 1
Registered: 03/28/14
Re: 1989 Westfalia windshield washer pump mystery
Posted: Mar 28, 2014 12:44 PM   in response to: harte in response to: harte
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Having the same issue. I have narrowed it down to a bad ground by bypassing the ground and hitting the switch.

Wondering where this ground "Near Relay" is? Is this one of the stars grounds up under the dash? Hate to run a new wire and following up through the firewall is near impossible.

Any help is appreciated!
"b00t"
tcovenant2000

Posts: 1,761
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: 1989 Westfalia windshield washer pump mystery
Posted: Mar 28, 2014 7:08 PM   in response to: b00t in response to: b00t
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Just run a new one to the frame somewhere. That's what I did. Also ensure your frame to engine and engine to battery is good.

Thomas

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