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Old 12-16-2012, 03:52 PM
c3uo c3uo is offline
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Location: Canada
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Mein Auto: Audi
Problem - Headlight Washer Leaking

This is the first winter with my X3, but the headlight washers have now leaked a couple times whenever it goes down below ~25 F (-8 C).

I now keep a bucket under the car in the garage....

Any idea how hard the washer is to replace? Do I have to remove the bumper? I have no local dealer. I might just disconnect and plug line if I can turn off the headlight washers once I try to recode it (will order cable and set up e-sys).

It seems BMW has had headlight washer problems for years.
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:07 PM
scubapup scubapup is offline
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Wish I could help. Had headlight washers on my old 328 but they didn't leak. The worse my mechanic friend told me was they could fly off when operates while traveling at high speed.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:47 PM
x3r x3r is offline
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Location: Germany
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did you purge/flush the system thoroughly when winterizing and adding winter washer solution to the washer reservoir & system? had that problem a few years back - added the winter washer fluid but didn't run it through the headlamp washers and rear window washer. got really cold and the remaining summer solution in the hoses for the rear window and headlamp washers froze, pushing the hose off the rear washer nipple and splitting one hose to a headlamp washer, leaking fluid everywhere. lesson learned.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:44 PM
c3uo c3uo is offline
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Location: Canada
Join Date: Jul 2006
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It definitely has winter fluid in it. It's dripping continuously since we were -5 F (-20 C) this morning.

However, I did just disconnect the headlight washer hose between the reservoir and the headlight washers as follows:
1. Remove the washer fill nozzle (item 12 in below RealOEM link) from it's holder on the engine bay frame to give access behind the passenger side headlight.
2. Disconnect the passenger side headlight electrical connection.
3. Reach down beneath the passenger headlight and pull up on the headlight washer hose (item 89 in below link) disconnect coupling (item 8) and disconnect it. There is a coupling in the washer hose at this point. Washer fluid will pour out once disconnected.
4. Lift up the washer fluid hose and remove the 90 degree end coupling to expose the bare rubber hose (I stuck two small screwdrivers on either side of hose to allow me to slide off quick connect coupling).
5. Plug hose end (I had a small plug in my plumbing toolbox that worked).
6. I then stuck the loose hose up by the fill nozzle and put the fill nozzle and headlight electrical plug back on.

This disconnects the headlight washers and leaves the system open below the passenger headlight. My garage floor will no longer have a washer fluid puddle every morning! I hate headlight washers. They always eventually leak... (this was a bit soon and I have no local dealer even though I am under warranty).

I hope to recode the ECU to stop the headlight washer pump from activating when you wash the windshield with the headlights on. I'll try to figure this out once I get my cable. Right now if actuated I would be dead-heading the headlight washer pump.

A few more tidbits:
- I originally removed the lower fairing and tried to fix the headlight washer from below the bumper. Access was a PITA. I ended up removing the lower side grill and going through the front bumper instead. It was terrible access. I now think it may have actually been accessible through the foglight (much easier). I can't tell how they are attached to the bumper because I would just replace the washer myself if easy to do.
- You can not access the washer reservoir and pumps from topside.
- I eventually figured out the only access to the reservoir was removing the fender liner. Unfortunately, I could only pull the liner back since I was afraid to break the fender liner pins. From this position I could not disconnect the washer motor electrical. I could see the reservoir and hoses though. In warmer weather this is fairly easy access once you remove the felt fender liner.

I think pnce you know the trick these cars aren't bad to work on, however if you don't know it's a PITA....
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