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WAM 10-09-2005 05:59 PM

E46 Windshield Washer Pump DIY
3 Attachment(s)
Procedure to change the windshield washer tank or pump on an E46.

Tools needed: 10mm spanner (in toolkit), small-medium flat blade screwdriver

Undo the 10mm nut, highlighted in the red circle. This is the only fastener holding down the washer tank. Lift the tank up about 4", allowing you to unclip the black plastic heatshield around the washer pump. This is where you need the screwdriver, to lift the securing tab from the washer tank (yellow circle). You can actually pull out the complete washer pump from the tank. Just gently pull up, it is a friction fit.

Now unclip the washer level sensor plug (green circle). This clip is a little difficult to figure out. I pulled it hard and it came off. Taking a closer look at it once it was off, I couldn't quite see how to unclip it from its securing catch.

At this point you have removed the washer tank. The two tabs at the bottom of the tank fit into recesses in the body work, in order to secure the tank. There is a filter screen in the tank, where the washer pump plugs into the tank (blue circle). Just pry this up with a screwdriver to remove it. I had bought a new one, just in case. You can see the fluid level sensor socket on the left side of the tank in this pic.

Now unclip the pump connector from the pump. Pinch the tab at the top of the connector. This will unclip the connector from the securing tab. Pull out the water hose from the nozzle on the pump

Replace the pump filter screen into the tank, if necessary. Plug in the new washer pump into the filter screen. Connect the water hose back onto the pump.

Position the washer tank into its approximate location and clip the sensor for the fluid level back into its socket on the tank.

Secure the heatshield back onto the tank.

Now position the washer tank into its secured position and fill with a little water, in order to test the pump out. Fasten the 10mm screw back into the plug.

alpinewhite325i 10-09-2005 06:38 PM

What happened that you needed to do this?

Another great DIY post BTW!

WAM 10-11-2005 04:27 PM


Originally Posted by alpinewhite325i
What happened that you needed to do this?

Another great DIY post BTW!

It just stopped working. It may be just a coincidence but it wasn't working after it came back from the dealer, following a brake fluid flush.

I checked the fuses and eyeballed the connections and wiriing, so I thought maybe its the pump. The pump cost about $25.

amet 11-08-2006 07:25 PM

Hi Tanks for DIY, i owned 323i and has similar washer pump leaking issue. I was able to replace the Washer pump with your posted DIY. This really helped me to save labour cost.
But the pump was expesive it cost me $48 for both OEM Washer pump and also Grommet with Stainer.

FalconGuy 11-12-2006 08:08 PM

Autozone sells the same pump for 12 bucks 2 year warranty.

Its a common failure, normally a leak at the weep hole. Considering the winter mix is quite flammable, Its worth fixing right away, I sleep over my garage, 12 bucks is a small price to pay for piece of mind.

Besides being 400% more money the OEM part is crap, like most, control arms, regulators, water pumps, the list goes on......

louman34 08-02-2007 07:32 AM

Is replacing this part as easy as it sounds? Can someone who has very little experience do this, without any problems?

seasnake79 11-15-2007 04:47 PM

FYI: just bought one on ebay for 16.99 shipped to my door. Thanks for the DIY.

seasnake79 11-15-2007 08:51 PM

Also, in reply to the poster before me, I don't think I have ever done anything easier on any car. Even that simple DIY makes it seem more complicated than it is. It's so easy that this would be a good project to introduce kids into turning the wrench. Good luck, but you won't need much of it.

323i-drive 11-23-2007 07:02 PM

SOO Easy
Thanks for the DIY! Got it for $13 at the local Auto Zone in Denver and didn't get through a Coors Original before it was working. If you get the TAAP Corp part from Auto Zone the blue/yellow stripe wire from the new motor connects to the black ground wire of the e46 harness. That level sensor does seem to have a small compression tab pointing up that I hit with a plier and it came right off. Also, if you don't feel like washing the garage floor try to siphon the washer reservoir first. When pulling that motor pull up and push towards the engine and it will come out faster. I lost a liter or more of "blood" before I get the offending organ out.

triggs 11-28-2007 06:00 PM


Originally Posted by WAM (Post 1365513)
It just stopped working. It may be just a coincidence but it wasn't working after it came back from the dealer, following a brake fluid flush.

I checked the fuses and eyeballed the connections and wiriing, so I thought maybe its the pump. The pump cost about $25.

Mine stopped working too after the fluid change. Then the dealer diagnosed the issue and told me that the motor needed to be changed and warranty doesn't cover it. The quote was about $180cdn each + tax.

teamfalcon 12-10-2007 02:55 PM

Autozone sells a pump, here it is:

Bavauto sells a pump, here it is:

Will the Autozone work? I mean, they wouldn't sell it if it didn't work, right?


daimos 07-16-2008 07:19 AM

Mine leaked out after changing brand to Prestone Bug Wash fluid. I don't know if it got something to do with their formula. I'll try to change the pump with the one at Autozone... has anybody got any input about using the one at Autozone?

retsam 07-21-2008 05:53 PM

Fuse Location?
Can anyone tell me where the fuse is for the washer pump, if there is one? I opened the E-box and thought the wiper relay was what i was looking for. Any help would be greatly appreciated it.

(never mind, I found it... Glove box... Just didnt get the wording the first time I read it)

FredyCafe 07-31-2008 08:23 PM


Originally Posted by daimos (Post 3400310)
Mine leaked out after changing brand to Prestone Bug Wash fluid. I don't know if it got something to do with their formula. I'll try to change the pump with the one at Autozone... has anybody got any input about using the one at Autozone?

I have the same problem, too. After one month I added Prestone Bug Wash, I found leaking problem. I certainly will try the DIY sometime tomorrow and see if it works for my problem.

I just bought this bimmer for six months, and it brought me a nightmire. Oh, what a dream car!

retsam 07-31-2008 08:26 PM

JUST FYI, I got my pump from Autozone for $13. I installed it and had it running in 15 minutes. The Autozone part works like a champ! Save yourself a few bucks!

clee11 08-06-2008 02:58 PM

For those of who have leaking issues, not the pump, you can simply replace the gasket (grommet) and you are good to go!
I just got mine replaced and it took less than 5 min; part number 61667006063, $2.02 @ Tischer BMW

LouCipherr 09-09-2008 07:09 AM

WAM - thanks so much for your initial post/tutorial as it came in very hand for me today.

A few weeks ago, I added new fluid to my reservoir (I have a 2003 330ci) and when I checked it after filling, it wasn't pumping the fluid through the lines. I checked all the fuses, and sure enough, they were all ok.

After doing some searching on the 'net for this issue, I came across this thread. What a relief. I figured my pump was bad, so I went to autozone and picked up their replacement pump (same as the one posted above) for $12.99. Once I replaced the pump following your instructions, it worked like a charm. :)

On thing to note: the autozone part had two leads coming off the pump - both were blue wires with stripes (red & white if I remember correctly). The BMW, however, had a black lead and a brown lead leading to the pump. The instructions that came with the pump to said to just line up the appropriate colored wires and you're done (blue with white stripe to blue with white stripe, etc). Since I couldn't tell which wire was which on the BMW, I decided to follow the usual rule of black wire=ground. The new pump from autozone DID mark which wires were positive and negative, so that was somewhat of a relief.

After connecting the brown wire to the positive lead on the new pump and the black wire to the ground on the pump, I'm pleased to say it worked like a charm!

Thanks again for your post, it was most helpful!


drgeeforce 10-16-2008 10:57 AM

Prestone bug wash
My pump failed shortly after using the Prestone bug wash. 3 days after I filled the reservoir because it was on sale, I tried using the wipers to clean off some bird droppings, there was no hum. When I stopped at a light, it started leaking, apparently someone in the next lane honked and said I was dripping fluid from under my car. I pulled into a station and popped the hood, the fluid was all gone. I went online bought a replacement pump and installed it in a matter of minutes. Prestone Bug Wash Nevermore!!!

eddieo 11-28-2008 04:10 PM

E46 Windshield Water Pump DIY
Thanks for the post. I went to Auto Zone and bought the water pump for $13.99 + tax and then $1.99 for the washer fluid. I followed the instructions and was so straight forward that I replaced it in less than 15 min.

Thanks for a great post and thanks to everyone on this site. You guys are the best. Saved me a lot of money if I had taken it to the BMW dealer in my area.


donaldphd 12-11-2008 06:36 AM

Washer Pump 1998 740il
Any information like this on how to replace the washer pump for a 1998 740il?


jerico 12-16-2008 05:36 AM

Thanks so much for this thread it help me bigtime.

almoula 12-24-2008 11:12 PM

Thanks for the great post. It really helped

I wanted to add my experience so that others can benefit just as I did. (Proceed at your own risk, no responsibilities are taken here)

Problem: Car is leaking the windshield fluid overnight when the Prestone Windshield De-Icer Washer Fluid gallon is used. I didn't even know where to start. But one at a time. I read on other threads that the water pump might leak at the weep hole (a small opening on the pump for atmospheric pressure regulation) or it might be the tank itself has a hole so I cleaned up the area and left it over night with new gallon of Prestone De-Icer and the next day I found the fluid on the garage floor sitting there mocking me. I knew it was not leaking from there because the fluid I used is yellow and no yellow line came from mentioned areas. I said it has to be the washer that the water pumps plugs into is either leaking from the water pump insert or the from the washers contact with the tank, so I put some Teflon tape(a lot of Teflon tape--Teflon tape is a white tape that is used to seal up water leakage in a pipe used by plumbers) around the water pump insert and on the washer insert as well and forcefully inserted the washer into the tank and super glued it just to make sure no leaker and then I inserted the water pump with the Teflon on it into the washer. ( please make sure not to put Teflon tape on the opening of the water pump because it will block and kill the pump very quickly not to mention you will not get any water on your windshield).

anyway, after doing that and leaving the car all night with a new Prestone De-Icer and the next day I found it on the garage floor sitting there mocking me again (I had to leave it over night because its a slow process of water leakage). afterwards I was just frustrated then while working I noticed that a previously clean area was somewhat wet so I followed the barely wet line and found the problem it was a stincken hose that connected the windshield line from the car to the pump, and over time of seven years it seems to have been enlarged, so every time I hooked and unhooked the pump I was making it worse so I just cut a piece of the hose( not too much or you will run out) and inserted it into the pump and left it overnight and viola the problem was solved.

New Problem: next day the tank was full and no leaks whatsoever. But when every I told my girlfriend to press the lever to get the pump going I hear the pump working but no water is coming out. So after chewing on the problem for little while I remembered (being an engineer and all) that air must have gotten into the pump and cavitation is occurring. What happens is water is sucked in but cannot leave or it leaves very slowly due to the existing of air bubbles that the pump is spinning instead of water so need to clear this problem.

Solution: while the pump is attached to a full tank and all electrical wiring is attached unhook the hose from the pump line (you know the hose that connects the cars windshield washer to the pump) insert a hose of similar dimension and have it pointing away from the engine tell a friend or preferably a girlfriend to pull the lever to get the pump going. At first pressure will be little and little water will come out but after a second the waster bubbles will come out along with a strong jet of water, now you have no water bubble that can cause cavation. Carefully unplug the hose from the pump. Place your hands on the pump hole then put the cars windshield washer line quickly into the pump. And you are done. Everything should work.

Now you might ask now wait why not just connect the cars line in the first place and just press the lever to get the pump going, you would think that I the pump will take water from the tank and expel the bubbles through the washer jets, but actually the pressure restriction inside the hose of the car is much greater than the pump can overcome ( this only true when water bubbles are present ) so that's why you had to do the separate hose to allow for true atmospheric pressure to help the pump expel the bubbles and operate at pristine order.

Finally after 3 days without any problems, i left my car over night and the problem came back with all of the fluid on the ground. So i went and bought a autozone pump and conected the red and blue wire to the brown BMW wire and the other wire of the pump to the black BMW wire. the pump worked but it was not as powerful as the BMW one made by Siemens VDO so i returned it and will bought the original one from BAVAUTO for 37.95.

poizenm 12-29-2008 05:25 PM

I got the autozone washer pump, so do i cut the connection that connects to the original bmw pump and connect the wires directly? I want to know before i start cutting and wiring stuff. The diagram for the pump (autozone one) seems kinda confusing.

almoula 12-30-2008 10:27 AM

connect the red and blue to the brown and the black to the white and blue. It should work fine. But i found it to be a weak stream and I would pay more for the strong Siemens VDO one. Your Choice.:thumbup:

Mongoos150 01-08-2009 10:37 AM

Awesome writeup, thank you! Dealer wanted $120 for this.

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