How to Fix a BMW X3 Washer Fluid Leak
If you have a 2006 BMW X3 and you find your windshield washer fluid light keeps coming on, even shortly after you filled it up, you probably have a washer fluid leak. What's more, it might not be a crack in the washer tank itself. These cars tend to spring leaks in the washer pumps and/or the grommets that hold the pump in the tank. I had mine filled and less than a week later the low fluid light came on. Indeed, the fluid was leaking out slowly, so slowly in fact that it was never reaching the ground because it was evaporating under the hood.
- The first step is to determine the cause of the leak.
Look under the hood and inspect the washer tank. You'll find it on the passenger side (see first image below). If you determine that the tank is not leaking, then it's probably one of the pumps and/or rubber grommets that has sprung a leak. Look at the front of the tank between the tank and the headlight. You'll see the two black pumps. The pump on the right, closer to the engine, is for the windshield. In my case this is where the leak was. I could tell by the blue residue left on the sides of the pump by the leaking fluid. I also turned the key on and squirted the window a bit with the washers. I could tell there was newly leaked washer fluid under the basin.
- To replace the washer fluid pump and/or strainer grommet:
If you need to replace a leaking pump, I suggest also replacing the strainer grommet at the same time. It's cheap and will ensure the seal between the pump and grommet don't leak later. All told, you'll need less than $50 worth of parts, which if you've ever paid a mechanic or dealer for BMW repairs, you'll know is a relatively cheap repair.
I ordered my parts from Amazon and they arrived quickly. Make sure to enter you car year and model, just to ensure that Amazon proofs the right fit for your car. It will tell you whether you have the exact part or not. I find for many parts Amazon has great prices and fast shipping (and free for many orders over $25).
- Under the hood, loosen the one hex screw that holds the entire basin to the frame (see the first image).
- Once the basin is loose, pull it up carefully and tilt it backwards a bit so that the remaining washer fluid will not spill out of the hole when you remove the damaged pump (see second image).
- Following along with the third image, remove the electrical cap from the top of the pump. Then remove the fluid supply line that connects to the side of the pump. Lift the pump upwards to remove it from the rubber grommet. The pump should now be free.
- Remove the old rubber grommet by pulling and wiggling it out. Replace with the new rubber grommet and strainer combo by pushing it firmly back into the hole.
- Place the new pump into the plastic holder on the side of the basin and insert the tip into the grommet. Reattach the fluid supply line and reattach the electrical cap until it clicks snugly into place.
- Re-install the basin back into its place taking care to route the front fluid and electrical lines so that they do not snag anywhere. Line up the screw holes and reattach the hex screw and tighten to finish the re-installation.
- Refill your washer basin and try the washers to test the new motor. They should work and you should not have a leak.
Voila, you've repaired your leak and saved yourself a good bit of money.
This repair was done on a 2006 BMW X3 washer tank, but in order to make sure your X3 model year (or other BMW) has the same style of washer tank, check under the hood first and make sure you order the correct parts for your year.