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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 11-29-2012, 12:02 PM   #1
vicariously13
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Washer fluid tank question

So I've owned about... 5 cars in my life. In the years of driving, thousands of miles in Southern California, I've maybe used the windshield washer fluid maybe 3 times. I keep my windshield clean. I simply don't need the fluid. Now my question...

Is there any way to remove the washer fluid tank, pump, lines and sprayers from the car without throwing a "washer fluid level" light in the dash? Can the sensor be left there and somehow tricked? Every time I open my hood and look at it, I just think about the clutter, the weight and the fact that I really don't need it there.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
Grande D
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It is a safety thing. Do you have to get the car inspected? I'm sure you can install a resistor of a certain sort to keep the light off if you so desire.
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i spend it while i can, if i run out i'll swallow all my meds
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:31 PM   #3
vicariously13
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What do you mean by "safety thing"? As in... the tank serves an absorption of shock during an impact? Or the light being on is a safety feature in case of sudden visibility issues?
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:32 PM   #4
FenderGuy05
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I'm sure a resistor would work. CA does smog inspections, but doesn't look into the washer fluid being present. At least I've never had an issue and I've been smogged with no washer fluid before.

California only cares about pollution, not car safety
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:33 PM   #5
Grande D
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No- the washer tank being there at all is a safety item. You could consider downsizing it and moving it into the drug bin. You'd still have fluid- albeit a very small amount- and it'd save close to 10lbs. I'm doing that next summer.

But I don't know if your car would pass inspection without a fully functioning windshield washer assembly. You never know what's going to fly onto your windshield.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:38 PM   #6
vicariously13
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But I like having an empty drug bin! haha kidding. I'm interested... Is there a DIY for that? I wouldn't know the first thing about starting a little project like that.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:43 PM   #7
fire730
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Just jump out the wire that is connected to the level sensor and tape it up. I've just taken mine out until it get a new pump.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:53 PM   #8
vicariously13
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So I can tape the sensor with some silicon engine tape and put it in the drug bin and everything will be kosher?
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:29 PM   #9
wildirish317
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I've maybe used the windshield washer fluid maybe 3 times.
Just curious, what do you do when a bird drops a big chunk on your windshield, or the mother of all cicadas splats on it?
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:05 PM   #10
vicariously13
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It has never obstructed my view enough to impair my driving visibility. The act of spraying cleaning fluid on the windshield and using wipers when driving simply smears the droppings across the side of your vehicle. During a sunny day (keep in mind, I'm in Southern California) that smearing can quickly lead to spots and oxidization. When the appropriate moment comes, I pull over to a gas station and clean the windows usually by scrubbing off said droppings and be on my way. Whisking bird droppings away with a wiper just spreads it all over your car. I don't consider myself lazy so scrubbing my windshield by hand isn't very taxing.

Furthermore, if there is too much dust on your windshield and you can't see through it, you either

1. Live in Arizona.
2. Don't do your part to keep your car clean enough for normal operation. And that... That's just sad.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:42 PM   #11
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Wow.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:08 PM   #12
fire730
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So I can tape the sensor with some silicon engine tape and put it in the drug bin and everything will be kosher?
Just put a jumper wire between the 2 terminals on the level sensor and tape it up with electrical tape. And just tape up the plug for the washer pump just to keep it from accidentally touching anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicariously13 View Post
It has never obstructed my view enough to impair my driving visibility. The act of spraying cleaning fluid on the windshield and using wipers when driving simply smears the droppings across the side of your vehicle.
I have to agree with this. I really only use my squirters if it's just starting to rain and I need to clear the dust. I do wash my vehicles pretty regularly but here in South Louisiana the weather can be pretty crappy at times and rain every afternoon. So I admit I don't wash my cars much during that time of the year.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:22 PM   #13
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Yes, it may not sound believable to most, but I know what you mean.
When I bought my car it came with a full windshield washer tank. It is still full, despite the fact I've never added any liquid in there. During the first few years of ownership the car was worked on a few times at BMW dealers and indys, so at some point somebody may have topped off the tank, I don't know for sure.

I won't bother to remove the tank, although replacing it with a smaller one that fits into the empty battery bay under the hood sounds like a good idea.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:55 PM   #14
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Don't remove that 10lbs washer tank!!! it's there to counter balance the battery!!

Ooops, the E46 has the rear battery, and I'm still thinking about the '70 BMW's. Regardless, keep it there to counter balance the right-rear battery, or your right front tire will loose traction.

My washer level light just ON even there is full tank. I guess I need to short out to bypass a failed level sensor.

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Old 07-18-2013, 01:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapote View Post
My washer level light just ON even there is full tank. I guess I need to short out to bypass a failed level sensor.

Sapote
Or just fix it. The OE sensor is less than 20 bucks shipped USPS priority.

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