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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:21 PM
bmwswag bmwswag is offline
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Headlight Washer Won't Retract

I have a 2011 BMW 328 iXdrive. My headlight washers won't retract.

It's been really cold here in NYC (below freezing). Could this have anything to do with it? The last time I pulled the lever to clean my windshield, I probably ran out of fluid.

Any help is appreciated?
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:23 PM
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-=Hot|Ice=- -=Hot|Ice=- is offline
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Not the cold. I had the same problem on my 2008 328xi coupe the first week I had it. The motor needs to be replaced because it has become weak. Time for a visit to the dealership.
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2013, 12:52 PM
bmwswag bmwswag is offline
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Temperatures picked up and the headlight washer retracted back. Now it works again. I didn't even do anything =)
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2013, 09:15 PM
TXFred TXFred is offline
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That's a clear sign that the mechanism needs to be lubricated.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2013, 09:34 PM
ptrcd003 ptrcd003 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
Not the cold. I had the same problem on my 2008 328xi coupe the first week I had it. The motor needs to be replaced because it has become weak. Time for a visit to the dealership.
This makes no sense. The motor pushes the washer out, a spring retracts it back in. His was stuck in the open position - what would the motor have to do with this?
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  #6  
Old 04-28-2013, 04:49 PM
Wyatt Earp Wyatt Earp is offline
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Mine are doing the same thing, going out but not retracting, did you solve this issue on your car?
Thanks.

Last edited by Wyatt Earp; 04-28-2013 at 05:12 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-28-2013, 04:51 PM
crose6994 crose6994 is offline
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same here, it did it alot worse in the winter compared to now. it goes in a little bit now
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  #8  
Old 04-28-2013, 08:04 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptrcd003 View Post
This makes no sense. The motor pushes the washer out, a spring retracts it back in. His was stuck in the open position - what would the motor have to do with this?

Checking Bentley, as far as I can tell, headlight washers deploy as a plunger forced out by washer fluid pressure. If the pump is weak, there you are - can be a motor but is more likely degraded pump operation - seals etc. Headlight washers are a diff system than windshield washers though they may share fluid in the reservior.

But if a retractable washer's sticky, poss a plunger seal condition, it can not deploy well or may not retract. Temperature will def have an effect, warmer temps allowing a more flexible seal.

Obviously, ice is an issue.

Note: Headlight washer jets are replaceable, not a diff job.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:41 AM
ptrcd003 ptrcd003 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Checking Bentley, as far as I can tell, headlight washers deploy as a plunger forced out by washer fluid pressure. If the pump is weak, there you are - can be a motor but is more likely degraded pump operation - seals etc. Headlight washers are a diff system than windshield washers though they may share fluid in the reservior.

But if a retractable washer's sticky, poss a plunger seal condition, it can not deploy well or may not retract. Temperature will def have an effect, warmer temps allowing a more flexible seal.

Obviously, ice is an issue.

Note: Headlight washer jets are replaceable, not a diff job.
Yes, but he had mentioned that his are getting stuck in the open position. Thus, the motor is doing its job of pushing them out with pressure - the retraction, as far as I can tell, has nothing to do with the motor.
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  #10  
Old 04-29-2013, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptrcd003 View Post
Yes, but he had mentioned that his are getting stuck in the open position. Thus, the motor is doing its job of pushing them out with pressure - the retraction, as far as I can tell, has nothing to do with the motor.

Go to paragraph #2 my post above.
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  #11  
Old 04-29-2013, 08:16 AM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptrcd003 View Post
Yes, but he had mentioned that his are getting stuck in the open position. Thus, the motor is doing its job of pushing them out with pressure - the retraction, as far as I can tell, has nothing to do with the motor.
There is no motor in the washer assemblies. The washers are extended by hydraulic pressure from the washer fluid pump and retracted by an internal spring. I replaced/serviced a few of these--they were prone to leaks on the E46--and it's a pretty simple and elegant little mechanism.

They can get hung up for the reasons Cal noted. Lubrication is not normally required but there are always exceptions. OP probably developed a bit of ice, or maybe salt buildup, in a critical spot that later resolved itself.
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  #12  
Old 04-29-2013, 08:54 AM
ptrcd003 ptrcd003 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
There is no motor in the washer assemblies. The washers are extended by hydraulic pressure from the washer fluid pump and retracted by an internal spring. I replaced/serviced a few of these--they were prone to leaks on the E46--and it's a pretty simple and elegant little mechanism.

They can get hung up for the reasons Cal noted. Lubrication is not normally required but there are always exceptions. OP probably developed a bit of ice, or maybe salt buildup, in a critical spot that later resolved itself.
Yes, I understand that the water pressure moves it out, if you actually bothered to read what I wrote. My post was directed at "-=Hot|Ice=-" earlier, who had mentioned that the reason its getting stuck in the open position is a failing motor. My reply was that the water pressure created by the motor only moves it OUT, and thus the motor is not the reason they are not retracting back.

And obviously by motor I mean the washer pump, since it is a motor.
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  #13  
Old 04-29-2013, 09:49 AM
mossman35 mossman35 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptrcd003 View Post
Yes, I understand that the water pressure moves it out, if you actually bothered to read what I wrote. My post was directed at "-=Hot|Ice=-" earlier, who had mentioned that the reason its getting stuck in the open position is a failing motor. My reply was that the water pressure created by the motor only moves it OUT, and thus the motor is not the reason they are not retracting back.

And obviously by motor I mean the washer pump, since it is a motor.
Well, the "motor" is not actually driving the washer nozzle out so I can see the confusion if you called it a motor.. I too was thinking that you didn't know how the system was working. As described in a post above, it's the washer fluid pressure actually driving the washer out. Actually if you watch it, you get the sense it's not a electric motor by the way it moves. I think there is a youtube clip for those of you that don't want to run out to your cars.

Anyway, I would say something is clearly wrong even if it only happens in the cold. I was driving through 4 hours of heavy wet ice and snow last winter. temperatures far below 0 degrees. I was forced to use my washers due to sloppy messy roads. I was very concerned the nozzles would be stuck up by the time I got back. Nope, they worked perfectly and I probably used them 15 times during that drive. In fact there was so much ice built up on my front bumper you couldn't even read my license plate. I think those crazy BMW engineers spent some major time using them during cold weather testing. No won the other hand, if I hadn't used them for 4 hours, ice built up then tried, I bet it would be a no go for sure.

Sounds to me like the springs are weak or fluid pump seals are leaking old but I am no expert.
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  #14  
Old 08-12-2013, 04:47 PM
tinbender tinbender is offline
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headlight washer

where is nozzle for headlight washer located do anybody have picture of it?
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  #15  
Old 08-12-2013, 08:11 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is online now
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It's right in front and below of the headlight. If you have a small "door" under your headlight, you have headlight washers.

If your car was equipped from the factory with xenons, you have headlight washers.
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