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Thread: Disappearing Windshield Washer Fluid CRV '03

  1. #1
    Banned HondaSUV Newbie
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    Default Disappearing Windshield Washer Fluid CRV '03

    My daughter and son-in-law have a 2003 CRV with disappearing windshield washer fluid. They say that they do not see any signs of fluid leakage in the garage but if they fill the tank up, the fluid is gone a day or two later. They have taken it into the local Honda service center where they pulled the front quarter panel to see if the tank was cracked. No signs of cracking, no signs of leakage. They accused my (relatively bright) daughter of "leaning on the washer arm a little too much" (the dumb blonde treatment - hitting the trigger over and over again until the tank was dry) but she assured them that that wasn't the case. They told her that they couldn't find anything and sent her on her way. She took it back a week or two later when the drainage occured again and they are giving her those funny looks again and talking to her husband instead of her now (with the same responses). She assured me that the cap is on tight (even said it was hard to get it off) and she said that if you fill the tank up and let the car sit, the fluid does not drain out but if you drive it and check it later, you'll find the fluid has slipped away. I've offered to take the car for a week to do my own control testing (fill it, let it sit over a dry white board and see if any fluids appear on the board, use the sprayer while sitting and see if fluid leaks without driving it, drive it without using the sprayer etc etc etc) and she's agreed to allow me to do that if she gets the car back without a fix but I thought I'd try this forum and see if anyone has experienced anything like this. I've seen a couple entries where leaks were evident but nothing like this (although its possible that my daughter is missing the leak but given the volume of fluid missing, seems unlikely). Any have any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks much! Art

  2. #2

    Default

    If it goes back to the dealer again, make sure they also check the pump. They may just be looking at the tank and saying no leak but if the car is being driven and the pump is leaking, it may evaporate once it drips which would explain why there's no evidence of it. Also, if you have 2 people present, have one sit in the rear (behind the back seat) while the washer is running. Make sure the rear washer hose/connection isn't leaking into the vehicle. The interior materials would hide the fact that it's leaking. Keep us posted.
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  3. #3
    Banned HondaSUV Newbie
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    Default The case of the disappearing washer fluid solved!

    Just got home and found a message from my daughter letting me know that the dealership acknowledged that she wasn't nuts and did find the source of her missing windshield washer fluid. She wasn't leaning on the washer trigger as they accused her both times she brought in her car but there was a problem with an o-ring that by her description sat between the pump and a pipe that led back to the back wiper that was causing the fluid to be dispersed to the trunk instead of the rear window. I'll have to see the write-up on her work order because the "explanation" doesn't make complete sense to me but given the fact that they are currently drying her trunk out, its clear where the fluid was going and they have apparently solved the case on the 2nd attempt (perhaps someone at the dealership is looking in on this forum!).

    Many thanks for your help - much appreciated!
    Art

  4. #4
    Senior Member HondaSUV Mentor
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    If you look closely at this pic, you can see where the line runs - it makes sense that the leak could have accumulated back there.
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  5. #5
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    Default Clarification on the Problem

    I took my daughter down to the dealership (in our 2000 CRV) to pick up her 2003 CRV and was lucky enough to meet the Mechanic turn Service Manager that was called in to solve the problem. He explained that he found a crack in the section of the washer fluid pipe that ran underneath the Driver's side passenger door sill. He replaced the tubing and wrapped it with some foam padding to avoid the problem in the future. First time they've seen this type of problem but I'm glad they didn't give up and I'm glad they have guys with experience and troubleshooting skills like this one around. Of course if they didn't, I'm sure we could have always shown them the responses in this forum which certainly would have helped them (or me) solve the problem. Again - many thanks! Art

  6. #6
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    Default Thanks - great diagram!!

    Yep - right there at part 7 and 16 - man, this diagram should have highlighted the opportunity items the first time the car was dropped off. Thanks for sharing - have a great point of reference next time I have a problem in this area. Cheers! Art


    Quote Originally Posted by mdugan7000 View Post
    If you look closely at this pic, you can see where the line runs - it makes sense that the leak could have accumulated back there.

  7. #7

    Red face You could have been describing me

    Quote Originally Posted by finkaa View Post
    My daughter and son-in-law have a 2003 CRV with disappearing windshield washer fluid. They say that they do not see any signs of fluid leakage in the garage but if they fill the tank up, the fluid is gone a day or two later. They have taken it into the local Honda service center where they pulled the front quarter panel to see if the tank was cracked. No signs of cracking, no signs of leakage. They accused my (relatively bright) daughter of "leaning on the washer arm a little too much" (the dumb blonde treatment - hitting the trigger over and over again until the tank was dry) but she assured them that that wasn't the case. They told her that they couldn't find anything and sent her on her way. She took it back a week or two later when the drainage occured again and they are giving her those funny looks again and talking to her husband instead of her now (with the same responses). She assured me that the cap is on tight (even said it was hard to get it off) and she said that if you fill the tank up and let the car sit, the fluid does not drain out but if you drive it and check it later, you'll find the fluid has slipped away. I've offered to take the car for a week to do my own control testing (fill it, let it sit over a dry white board and see if any fluids appear on the board, use the sprayer while sitting and see if fluid leaks without driving it, drive it without using the sprayer etc etc etc) and she's agreed to allow me to do that if she gets the car back without a fix but I thought I'd try this forum and see if anyone has experienced anything like this. I've seen a couple entries where leaks were evident but nothing like this (although its possible that my daughter is missing the leak but given the volume of fluid missing, seems unlikely). Any have any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks much! Art
    Thank you so much for this question, reply and diagram - just forwarded it to the 2nd Honda dealership - after 5 visits total - both dealerships have told me there is nothing wrong or that it is "fixed". The first dealership in Morton Grove, IL made comments such as, "are you sure you haven't been using it?" etc..... and dismissed me as a LIAR. Thanks for the validation. It's nice knowing I'm not the first person that has experienced this issue. Don't they have a database with issues they are seeing? You would think. Once again, appreciate it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member HondaSUV Mentor
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    Default

    so then the carpets are all wet?

  9. #9

    Default Carpets and mats wet

    Yes behind the driver's seat, the mat too and it is slowly getting the carpet wet behind the passenger seat as well. Forwarded this information on to the dealership and went over in person today as well. He told me hadn't gotten a chance to open his e-mail and would call me back. ....didn't get a call yet, but am hopeful I will tomorrow.
    Tina Hileman

  10. #10
    Senior Member HondaSUV Senior
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    Quote Originally Posted by thileman View Post
    Yes behind the driver's seat, the mat too and it is slowly getting the carpet wet behind the passenger seat as well. Forwarded this information on to the dealership and went over in person today as well. He told me hadn't gotten a chance to open his e-mail and would call me back. ....didn't get a call yet, but am hopeful I will tomorrow.
    Tina Hileman
    and will you get the privilege of paying $100/hr shop rate for them to fix a problem that you sent them the solution for?

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