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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I could use some help and guidance here. Last winter my '13 Altima started having an intermittent issue with the washer pump when it got real cold out. I didn't think it was the fluid freezing because I was using the orange stuff rated for -40 or so and I have had this car for two winters prior, one of them extremely brutal and never had such a thing happen as a fluid freeze up.
It was fine all spring and summer until recently when it got below 20 outside and it started acting up again, so I dropped it off at the dealer overnight and they looked at it, saw it not working and then told me that it was because of frozen fluid, water in reservoir so they drained it and refilled it with their stuff. (not possible that it had water in it I had just refilled it with an entire jug of washer fluid, never once have put water in there)

Only other reason it can't be frozen fluid because every time it has failed the pump isn't coming on whatsoever! So today it was 10 as a high and It didn't work all day of driving around and sitting in the sun, so I got home and siphoned the reservoir, sure enough I got a gallon of unfrozen washer fluid out. Checked the lines and nothing was frozen at all!

The dealer has already given me the runaround once, the issue is intermittent and I'm certain there's an electrical contact issue that seems to be exacerbated by extreme cold (loosening contacts).

So it looks like I'm on my own with this and need to learn how to access the pump/reservoir and wiring and check everything out. I think it's as easy as a bad pump or poor connection but just need to know how to access everything.

Any insight or tips would be greatly appreciated.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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You could just have a defective washer motor. That said, the problem is a safety hazard, and it should be covered under warranty, so make sure it's on your file at the dealer and keep complaining about it every chance you get.

Do you have the rear-cam wash system or not? Have a look at WW-6. As far as I can tell, the stalk switch is the direct ground for the washer motor...no BCM involved, and the IPDM is only supplying battery power. I would find it very hard to believe the stalk switch or wiring is at fault in such a new car...ergo...the motor probably just has issues at cold temps.

I have changed out washer pumps in the driveway, with snow, wind and sub zero temps and it's not fun. These days you typically have to remove a wheel and either the fender liner or bumper skin (going with bumper skin in this case...based on what I learned putting HID assemblies in) and that's a whole lot of plastic to fool with when it's hard and brittle.

Now, if you wanted a temporary/stop gap solution, you can put an aftermarket/generic washer fluid pump anywhere in-line with the washer hose (thinking near the passenger front strut) with a switch in the cabin somewhere...at least that way you'd have a backup way to spray the window...without having to mess with all the front plastic... Maybe I'm being dramatic, but it's -15'C (-5'F) here today with blowing snow and i sure wouldn't want to be messing with all the front plastic, electrical connector snaps etc.

Personally, I think the dealer should step up, it's a $40 part after all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It was cold enough yesterday that I managed to get it all the way to the dealer while it continued to not work and told them about how I pumped a gallon out of the reservoir the day before and how it's not a freezing issue. So the tech went and actually checked the wiring this time, and determined that it's the stalk switch. I'm personally skeptical because the wipers do come on when I try to activate the washer pump so I assumed the switch was fine but they said that there was power going to the switch but not coming out to the pump... So they're ordering a new stalk switch and supposed to have that put in next week sometime.
I mentioned the last time I brought the car in "didn't you get it to act up last time?" and the service advisor said no, basically admitting he lied because when he called to say it was ready that last time he said they did get it to act up...
...Oh the joys of dealer service departments.
 

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2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 Base & 2001 Nissan R50 Pathfinder SE 3.5 4X4 MT
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It was cold enough yesterday that I managed to get it all the way to the dealer while it continued to not work and told them about how I pumped a gallon out of the reservoir the day before and how it's not a freezing issue. So the tech went and actually checked the wiring this time, and determined that it's the stalk switch. I'm personally skeptical because the wipers do come on when I try to activate the washer pump so I assumed the switch was fine but they said that there was power going to the switch but not coming out to the pump... So they're ordering a new stalk switch and supposed to have that put in next week sometime.
I mentioned the last time I brought the car in "didn't you get it to act up last time?" and the service advisor said no, basically admitting he lied because when he called to say it was ready that last time he said they did get it to act up...
...Oh the joys of dealer service departments.
Yeah there a bunch of crooks, hopefully replacing the stalk will put an end to this issue. Thats why i wont let them touch my ride unless its a real issue. The fact of the matter is they cant be trusted as you can see. Good luck and god speed.:nerd
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Yeah there a bunch of crooks, hopefully replacing the stalk will put an end to this issue. Thats why i wont let them touch my ride unless its a real issue. The fact of the matter is they cant be trusted as you can see. Good luck and god speed.:nerd
The sad part is this dealer is the best I've ever dealt with. They've been great up until that incident with every other issue the car has had from the miswired seat heaters, brake light issue, squeaking seat belt, etc etc etc. Oh and not to mention all the rattles.
The wiper pump was definitely a real issue to me. But now that the bumper to bumper is up I won't be bringing it in anymore unless it's under the powertrain warranty (hope I don't have any issues with that)

I swear service advisors are trained mostly to lie/say what the customer wants to hear more than anything else.
 
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