As a car owner, you feel frustrated when dirt and debris accumulate on your windshield. If all that dirt is on only one side of the windshield, visibility is affected. Therefore, it’s essential to diagnose any issues with wiper fluid for safety reasons.
When the windshield wiper fluid does not come out on one side, this may be due to clogged windshield washer nozzles, clogged or damaged fluid tubes, a malfunctioning pump motor, or a blown washer pump fuse. Solutions include compressed air to dislodge debris and replacing the tube lines, washer, or fuse.
This article will discuss in detail the various reasons windshield fluid may not come out on one side and provide helpful tips on how to resolve these issues. Let’s get started.
1. Clogged Nozzles
One of the main reasons wiper fluid may not be coming out from one or both sides is clogged nozzles. After refilling the reservoir, the washer pump should ideally be able to push out the fluid from both sides of the car.
However, if one of the nozzles is clogged, the wiper fluid will only come out from the unclogged nozzle. Many factors can cause clogging of the windshield washer nozzles, though the main causes are debris and dirt stuck inside.
How to Fix
There are different ways to fix this problem. The first is using air to remove the lodged debris from the nozzles. I recommend using a can of compressed air and spraying it into the nozzles to remove whatever is causing the clog. You can use something like the YMTengFei Compressed Air Duster to spot clean the problematic areas of your car.
Alternatively, you can use a sharp item that fits in the windshield water nozzles to dislodge the clog. A nozzle needle or sewing needle will come in handy in this situation. However, ensure that the needle or pin you use is small enough to fit into the nozzle hole to avoid further damage.
2. Clogged or Damaged Connectors or Fluid Feed Tubes
The windshield washer pump works by pushing the wiper fluid from the reservoirs to the washer nozzles. The fluid has to pass through the feed tubes before it reaches the nozzles.
Therefore, if there’s a defect in one of the feed tubes caused by either clogging or damage, the washer fluid will not reach the nozzle. This means that the liquid will only come out from the undamaged side.
As in the case of nozzles, clogging can be caused when dirt or debris gets stuck in the feed tubes.
How to Fix
If the issue is a damaged feed pipe, you can solve this problem by replacing the damaged feed tube. To do this, disconnect the feed tube from the reservoir, and replace it with a new one. If you’re not comfortable doing this on your own, getting professional help is a good idea.
If the issue results from clogging, you’ll need to also remove the feed tube and use a can of compressed air to force the air out. You should spray this air down the nozzles to the feed tube so the expelled dirt doesn’t get lodged in the nozzles.
It’s also a good idea to examine the windshield washer hose to make sure the connection to the car is sound. This is important because there’s a rubber material where the wiper fluid tubes or hose connects to the vehicle, and this material can get worn out over time.
You may experience uneven fluid spraying or low fluid pressure if the rubber material is worn out. The wearing out of this rubber material may cause fluid leaks, which limits the amount of wiper fluid that makes its way to the nozzles.
3. Malfunctioning Motor/Water Pump
The motor in the windshield fluid pump is responsible for generating enough pressure to push the fluid through the tubes and nozzles. Therefore, a failing motor may not be able to generate sufficient force, which sometimes manifests as uneven fluid expulsion, or fluid only coming out from one side.
The uneven fluid spray is usually the symptom of a malfunctioning washer pump, and it’s vital to take the necessary steps to address the problem once you notice it.
How to Fix
It’s recommended that you consult a mechanic to inspect your washer pump and determine the cause of the low pressure from it. The washer pump motor is relatively inexpensive to replace, and a replacement unit costs anywhere between $15 to $35.
Most auto shops will charge you between $50 and 150 worth of labor costs to replace the malfunctioning motor. Your costs may be a little higher when you factor in the diagnostic fee from your auto repairman.
4. A Blown Washer Pump Fuse
If you’ve checked the nozzles and hose for clogging, removed all debris, and replaced the motor, but the problem persists, the issue may be a blown fuse.
It’s crucial to understand that most motor vehicle systems are affected by the electrical aspects of the car. Specifically, the washer pump fuse performs an important function of regulating the windshield wiper pump’s operation.
Surges in electrical overloads may blow this washer pump fuse, which will affect how the fluid comes out from the nozzles. You may notice the fluid coming out from only one side or not coming out at all.
How to Fix
It’s pretty easy and inexpensive to replace a blown washer pump fuse. You can contact an auto repair mechanic to inspect your car and install the replacement pump fuse if you’re not how to do this yourself. Luckily, this is one thing you can DIY if you’re adventurous enough.
The first step is to first locate the washer pump fuse. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual to know where this fuse is located. Usually, your car will have two fuse boxes — one located under the passenger seat while the other is housed under your vehicle’s hood.
Use a circuit tester or test light to determine whether the fuse is working correctly. If it’s not, remove the blown fuse and install the new unit. Ensure that your replacement fuse has a similar amp rating as the fuse you have replaced.
5. Low Washer Fluid Volume
Sometimes, the problem can be as simple as the solution. If the fluid volume in the reservoir is low, the amount of windshield fluid that enters the nozzles will be very low. This issue is more common than most car owners realize.
Because a typical washer pump reservoir can hold up to 4 liters (1.05 gal) of wiper fluid, most people forget to refill the reservoir. Consequently, you may notice that the washer fluid doesn’t come out, comes out with low pressure, or only comes out from one side.
How to Fix
To resolve this problem, you need to check whether there is enough fluid in the washer pump reservoir as part of regular car maintenance. If the volume is low, refilling it will resolve this problem. You can buy something like the Prestone AS658 Deluxe 2-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid. It has (among other things) rain beading technology to protect your windshield from the effects of inclement weather.
See also: Do You Need to Dilute Windshield Washer Fluid?
If the windshield wiper fluid is only coming out from one side, the problem may be as simple as insufficient washer fluid in the reservoir or clogged hoses or nozzles. Alternatively, it may be due to relatively more complex issues such as a blown fuse or a malfunctioning motor.
I’ve explored the common causes of this problem and provided some valuable steps on how you can resolve these issues at home. As always, consult an auto repair mechanic if you’re not sure what to do.