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AC & SONS

GTI Headlight washers - how do I remove them?

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It looks like both the headlight washers are leaking on my 2005 Lupo GTI. If the washer tank is filled up to the top, it then empties itself through the washers.

Looking from underneath there is a steady stream of water that starts at the washer housing itself, so I think they may need to be renewed or hopefully repaired instead.

Anybody had to buy new headlamp washers?

If so, how much are they?

Just trying to suss out how the bumper comes off.

Anybody had to do this and be able to offer some tips?

Thanks

Edited by AC & SONS

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Never removed mine, but I think you just pull the cover out and use something to wedge them open whilst you unclip the head etc.

You could get somone to pull the lever so they pop out; then grab them, but you are likley to get wet.

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the pump is built into the bottom of the tank, I would imagine that there is a valve that opens under operation so water constantly doesnt run out under gravity so might be worth checking the tank and tubes coming from it first

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Ooohh. I know all about these bloody devices. Handle with care. When I did the work on mine the front end had suffered and had to put the N/S washer assembly back together. There is the main body of the washer jet which takes water from the pump and under pressure pushes the nozzle out of the bumper. Once at its full extent it then allows water to spray on the headlight. The washer pump works for a specific time and one it stops the spring inside the jet body pulls everything back into the bumper. The little cover is mounted to the nozzle assembly by a little plastic gimbal thingy. There is a screw (torx head on mine) which attaches the body of the washer to a bracket which forms part of the bumper. You can access this screw once the washer jet has been extended. You can lever the cover and nozzle out and pull it out of the bumper but you have a good chance of damaging the gimbal. Best way is to operate the washers and grab hold of the nozzle when it is extended. This is either a 2 man job or dextrous use of a string or strap wrapped round the washer lever, through the side window and into your hand so you can operate the washer while in front of the bumper. Get someone to film this as it will be an easy £250 on "You've Been Framed". Now you have grabbed the extended nozzle you need to keep it out. The return spring is bloody strong and there are ridges on the plastic which can slice skin very easily. I have found that a very small flat blade screwdriver can be carefully wedged in the body where the nozzle slides back in to keep it extended. You can then carefully prize the cover off its gimbal. With the cover off and the retaining screw undone the jet is loose. You can then wiggle it out under the bumper - you may have to take the arch liner off first.

Assuming the jet is now hanging under the car attached to the hose, you prize out the horseshoe shaped plastic clip which will allow the washer to be detached. You will notice a small "O" ring on the pipe joint. It this which is probably letting water escape. Change this or try Vaseline etc. Check for water leaks before reassembly!!

When putting it back together its clever to get some thin wire or string to pull the jet up towards its mounting bracket through the cover hole. You have to align the jet body with the mounting hole and get the screw in. If you know any gynaecologists, call them. Once attached, gently re attach the cover - get it the right way up..... you will swear if you don't.

As an additional note on these, the nozzle itself is a separate bit from the main jet body. It slides into the body and is retained by a ridged "ratchet" flap. (poor description but you'll see what I mean if you get this far) The gimbal for the cover eye is part of this nozzle assembly. The plastic flap on the body is easily broken. I bought new cover eye (£19) and nozzle (£18.50) from VW as mine were damaged or missing. I had the cover sprayed in when the car was done. However I suspect the spray shop damaged the aforementioned plastic flap when removing the bumper for spraying as, after a rainy run back from Guildford, I discovered that the expensive nozzle & cover had been launched onto the M25 at some point never to be seen again. I have just spent another £40 on new bits.......but have elected to disconnect the headlight washer pump for a while till I can check it all.

Its very satisfying getting these to all work again but they do empty the tank quickly. There is a clever bit of design involved as the headlight washer water supply from the tank runs out before the windscreen reservoir is drained. So don't assume you have a fault if the headlight washers don't work and the screen ones do - just fill the tank.

I have a spare washer body at home so I'll post a couple of photos later.

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The washer bodies are over £70 each from VW. I searched long and hard on eBay for s/h ones and not one showed up. I did eventually get hold of some by buying a wrecked front bumper which had the bits included. There does not appear to be any other VW that shares the parts with the Lupo.

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Chris

That's a top explanation, ill have all that info. to hand when I start the task of fixing them. You mentioned about some photos, any chance you can put them on?

 

Cheers again:)

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P1100366.thumb.JPG.c9c3a08110c8a97e88114

The nozzle part - you can see the "gimbal"

P1100370.thumb.JPG.00628e2e6944c735eeeaf

The main washer body (I have jammed a small screw driver into the sliding part to jam it open). You can see how the nozzle has slid into the body. Its a broken one as you see the gimbal part has broken away. also you can see the ridged part of the nozzle shaft. This should be retained by a plastic flap in the main body but on this example it has broken away - take heed!

P1100373.thumb.JPG.4347aa661965f02326111

Here is the bracket assembly that fits on the inside face of the bumper. The edge of the oval hole is actually bonded to the bumper and is part of the bumper i.e. it does not have its own VW part number. The plate that attaches to this bracket does have its own part number and can be purchased if necessary. You can see the hole for the screw just behind the nozzle shaft.

P1100371.thumb.JPG.5680f3cea1d80b83c19cd

More detailed shot of bracket.P1100370.thumb.JPG.00628e2e6944c735eeeaf

P1100374.thumb.JPG.312fe2bce6d4db39d61eb

Finger pointing to where the plastic flap has broken away.

P1100368.JPG

P1100369.JPG

P1100372.JPG

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Looks like a complicated bit of kit; I'll let you know when I have had chance to sort it out.

Thanks again for the detailed explanation 

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Spent a few hours today trying to sort out the leaking headlamp washers. Managed to remove the nearside one after removing the arch liner and the horn; what a nightmare!

Anyway, I dismantled it as described by Chris, checked the seals and they seemed to be OK.

But when I put it ll back together, it was still the same; 4 hours of my life I will never get back! Once the tank was refilled and the washers were tried, they squirt fine as they should do with plenty of power, but once they retract back into the bumper, water carries on running from the nozzles.

Am I right in thinking that there should be a non return valve to stop the water flowing once they are switched off? They just keep leaking until the head of water in the tank gets low enough to stem the flow. When I took the pump out of the tank to check it (the tank hidden inside the wing), I could blow air straight through it, so surely, the water will just keep flowing through the pump even when its switched off: is this as it should be or should the pump stop the flow when its off. 

I don't want to fork out £140.00 for two new washers if there is a simple explanation as to what is causing this.

Chris - any ideas?

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Two possibilities come to mind,

Firstly in operation the valve body is extended by the water pressue, it may not be retracting fully which is allowing it to leak.

Secondly the washer has been damaged by frost and is no longer able to seal itself.

Why not simply extend the pipe and test the washer off the car then you will be able to see what's happening

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Could also swap the pumps over from the screen wash - I think they are the same. As Carrera says, find out exactly where the water is coming out. It would be unusual for both the washer bodies to fail at once so more likely to be something common to both..... as you say - the pump. Not experienced this myself so don't have a specific answer. I'll watch with interest.

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That link has a lot of useful information; I'll have a good read at it. 

Chris - I have had a look at the windscreen washer pump and it looks different to the headlamp one, but I am in the fortunate position that my son has a Lupo GTI so I may "borrow" the pump from his car and check if this is what is causing the problem. If it doesn't cure it, I'll  take the washers apart again and double check the O rings.

Thanks again guys for your input, will keep you posted, but it may be in a few weeks as I have other more pressing things at the moment, at least it isn't something that stops me enjoying the car, its just that I like everything to be working :)

Cheers

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I have actually disabled mine at present as I need to refit a nozzle. I've glued a cover into the bumper & disconnected the pump power feed so I can use the screen washer. Good luck with it - and please post the solution when you find it. 

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Well, I finally managed to find the time to swap the headlight washer pump from my son's GTI onto mine and the results are the same :(

The washers work fine, but as soon as you switch them off, the water keeps dribbling out from the bottom of the washer bodies at both sides. Just seems really strange that they would both leak at the same time. I fitted the pump that was on mine back onto my sons car and that works fine, so it is definitely not the pump.

I am thinking  that there must be some sort of non-return valve in the system that, once the pump stops, this shuts the water off from the pump bodies.

I am starting to run out of ideas to be honest, so I think I might call in to the local VW dealer and see if they have some sort of schematic drawing showing the various parts to see if there is something else that may be faulty other than the washer bodies themselves because, as I said before, I don't really fancy spending £140.00 for two new washers if that isn't the problem.

Any more ideas?

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Ok so back to complete basics, the washer are kept closed by pressure from the spring, we have a cylinder with a piston in it that extends under water pressure from the pump, when it extends a hole or a slot is uncovered that allows water to reach the jet nozzel and spray the lights, when it retracts the piston will seat cutting off the water flow.

Three possible places for leaks, the supply into the waher, the piston seal or the nozzel

Do you know where it's leaking from, did you take it off the car and bench test it ?

You could try fitting a non return valve if you can find one, the only problem is the presure drop across the valve might stop the waher from operating

 

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Like you say, back to basics. I think I'll remove the complete system and start from scratch.

It looks as though its running from the actual body of the washer, but its hard to tell.

I'll keep you informed.

I hate being beaten by anything:)

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On 3/28/2016 at 6:55 PM, christophertr6 said:

I have actually disabled mine at present as I need to refit a nozzle. I've glued a cover into the bumper & disconnected the pump power feed so I can use the screen washer. Good luck with it - and please post the solution when you find it. 

Hi!  Very sorry to bump up an old thread!  Could you please share on how you disconnected the pump power feed?  I would love to do the same.  Is it possible to do without removing the wing?  I.e. possible to disconnect (OR CUT) the wiring elsewhere?

 

There's no way I'm paying to replace these broken, useless things! :)

 

With best regards

Edited by rVa

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if you simply want to disable the power feed to the pump then there is a connector within the engine bay on the chassis leg, just a two pin wire which is near to the normal one.

if I wasn't so lazy I would take a pic however it is very easy to find.

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I will take a look tonight.. although I have no idea how it is supposed to look!  Thank you.

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small wire which feeds into wing near the washer bottle.

plug based union just before the inner wing.

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Is it one of these 2 here?  I don't see one actually feeding into the wing really.. (Pic attached)

IMG_20161214_185128.jpg

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