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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 04-21-2008, 09:27 AM   #1
Joe Trojan
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Exclamation What the heck? e46 eats window washer fluid with the quickness!

I've done and read searches on the e46. Being a relatively new owner of an '02 ci with the cold weather package I have to know the following:

I've used my wipers twice and both times it has drained my tank completely. A whole gallons worth of fluid!!! Mind you, I only held the lever down for about 2-3 seconds max. Am I missing something here?

1. Is this normal?
2. Could there be a clogged filter of sorts that's pumping my liquid elsewhere?

Now I was reading on OEM window washer thread on bimmerfest:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4084

1. Do the e46s come with 2 fluid reservoirs?
2. Are these tank(s) generally heated?
3. Is it all out of the same tank that when you spray your windshield, does it spray your headlights or is this something that a sensor does for you?


The reason I ask all this is because I bought some cheap washer stuff from a local Autozone and last night going home, I was getting off the freeway offramp and a broken sprinkler sprayed my car with water. I used my wipers/fluid to clear my windshield only (since the rest of my front end was wet). This morning, my low fluid light came on!

Help me understand!


PS. Do people really recommend buying BMW fluids, etc?
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:33 AM   #2
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Do you have headlamp washers?
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:34 AM   #3
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Yeah, if you have headlamp washers, it will go in a quickness lol.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:35 AM   #4
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^ not that quick though.. I think you have a leak, possibly around headlight washers.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:37 AM   #5
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Then it's quite normal the washer fluid is gone very quick. The window washers spray once when you pull the handle, but the headlamp washers spray twice with a lot more pressure (so more fluid comes out) when you pull the handle.

Try to turn off your headlamps when you spray, because when your headlights are off, they won't get sprayed either!
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:50 AM   #6
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Unless I overlooked something, I saw no nozzle sitting in front of my headlights.

So the best way to know is to buy more fluid, pour some in, test the wipers and check for leaks?
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:57 AM   #7
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they pop out. you have a leak somewhere
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:11 AM   #8
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:12 AM   #9
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I thought I heard it was common for the pump or seals or something to go? I have the same problem with mine, but haven't gotten around to figuring out what it was ...
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:27 AM   #10
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My guess would be you've got a leak, the most common place for which is the internal seals of the washer pump.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:28 AM   #11
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wait a min, doesn't the CWP have ass heaters, ski bag and headlight washers?

i'm missing the last piece!
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:31 AM   #12
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Without a doubt you have a leak. I have ran out of fluid once in the last 3 years and I use it a lot in the winter.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Trojan View Post
wait a min, doesn't the CWP have ass heaters, ski bag and headlight washers?

i'm missing the last piece!
if that is your car in your sig, I can see your headlight washers. They are the little cutout between your headlights on the little trim strip.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Joe Trojan View Post
wait a min, doesn't the CWP have ass heaters, ski bag and headlight washers?

i'm missing the last piece!
Meaning headlight washers? If thats your car in your sig, you have them...

David beat me too it...
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:44 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by davidwarren View Post
if that is your car in your sig, I can see your headlight washers. They are the little cutout between your headlights on the little trim strip.
I must be going blind because that's pretty damn small. Here's a bigger picture till I get around to taking better ones.



Where is it exactly? Also, do they spray when you spray the windshield or is it auto? and i'm wondering how do i determine if i have the rain sensors on my windshield?
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:09 AM   #16
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you have a leak somewhere. It has nothing to do with eadlight wash etc. I had the same issue. I would fill up the tank and not use it. In about 2 days it was all gone.
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:19 AM   #17
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you have a leak somewhere. It has nothing to do with eadlight wash etc. I had the same issue. I would fill up the tank and not use it. In about 2 days it was all gone.
he may very well have a leak if his headlight washers are out of their places.. don't you know you have to drain the windshield washer fluid before you install angel eyes on cars with headlight washers??

OP, pull your headlight washers with the help of a screw driver or something and check the nozzles to see if they are tight in their places.. When I was installing angle eyes, one of the headlight washers got loose and it leaked completely within an hour...
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:56 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by cngzsn View Post
he may very well have a leak if his headlight washers are out of their places.. don't you know you have to drain the windshield washer fluid before you install angel eyes on cars with headlight washers??

OP, pull your headlight washers with the help of a screw driver or something and check the nozzles to see if they are tight in their places.. When I was installing angle eyes, one of the headlight washers got loose and it leaked completely within an hour...
I haven't installed any angel eyes [yet]. So does that mean I have to pry open the thing and check for looseness?
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:57 AM   #19
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they are here:



they come out when the headlights are on and you activate the washer fluid.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:01 PM   #20
Joe Trojan
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Thanks David for the visual aid. I'm presuming then that if the nozzles aren't loose, there's no leak whatsoever, then it's probably the pump?
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