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Thread: Problems filling screenwash

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    Problems filling screenwash

    The screenwash refill light came on this morning for the first time on my new A3, so I went out at lunch to do what I thought would be the simple task of topping it up.

    There's a filter just inside the refill cap (which I've not had on any previous car, I don't think), and after getting a small amount of fluid in, you then have to pretty much massage the filter with your finger to get anything to go through. It doesn't seem to be much better with pure water!

    Before I go to the hassle of taking it back to the dealer for something so simple, I just wanted to check I'm not missing anything here and just being an idiot; anyone else had this problem? Thanks!

    [Edit - since this thread seems to have deviated somewhat, for anyone searching with the same issue, solution is in post #7]
    Last edited by MatthewB; 8th January 2014 at 14:37. Reason: Add pointer to solution

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    NHN
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    There maybe a TSB for this, so give them a ring & ask to check for a recall for this specific issue, then they can order a replacement filter or bottle/neck for it, then saves you going in, some dealers are anal & need to see the issue 1st hand, some for simple things will deal with over the phone.

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    Its a small plastic strainer used to keep all the crap out.
    Are you sure its clean and nothing blocking it?

    You could always pull it out, unless Audi has stuck it in on the newer motors.

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    Thanks for the replies. I can't see anything blocking it, and this is the first time I've tried topping it up. I'll give them a ring in case it's a known issue, or failing that I'll drive by later in the week and see if I can grab someone to witness the issue.

    I'll report back once it's sorted in case anyone has the same in future....

    Cheers.

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    Filled mine up last week as the light was on, get in the car this morning.... empty washer light is back on! I know we use more washer fluid in winter but a week from full to empty is a tad ridiculous. Either I didn't fill it fully (although i'm sure it was spilling out the top when I finished), or there is a fault with the level sensor. Will have to keep an eye on it.
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    I topped mine up this morning. The filter was there but no issue with filling.
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    Okay... decided I wanted it resolved given the time of year and current weather, so rang service desk and they said no problem, pop it round and we'll take a look.

    So I drove straight over with a bottle of water, ready to demonstrate the problem .... and of course it just flowed straight in!! Back home I tried again with the screenwash and it worked to a point and then the same issue, but I think I now have it figured out.

    My solution was to remove the filter partway and then pour it in (the filter comes out as a single piece consisting of a cylinder and the filter itself). I think in-situ it's snug enough that there is no air-flow around the sides of the filter, and between the resistance of the filter itself, and the fact that it slows the flow and causes it to be less turbulent, it's easy to get an air block in there. Possibly over time, wear and tear will reduce the snugness and this won't be necessary, but once you know what to do it's no issue anyway!

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    Yep, i just pulled mine out at the weekend to resolve the same issue....

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    I have no issues with filling, but do find it uses the washer at a fair rate - my light is on at the moment, I seem to be filling it up every other week! There are 10 jets around the car though so not surprising it uses it at the rate it does, just thought it'd last a bit longer!
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    Is it washing headlights more often now its darker earlier, more prevalent with auto headlights, check the interval of headlight washers for every screen wash, as on some chassis there's a setting for this.

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    It seems to do my headlights every time I wash the screen (when they are on), but that will be some of it, yes. Even considering that it uses a lot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cemerson View Post
    It seems to do my headlights every time I wash the screen (when they are on), but that will be some of it, yes. Even considering that it uses a lot.
    Agreed. I'm not sure how big the reservoir is, but whatever it is it should be bigger!
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    Every 2 weeks in winter with headlight washing each time isn't really abnormal I'd say, adjust the intervals times to say 1 in 10 pulls & the period in sec's usually the stalk has to be held before it activates the headlight washers, this may help allot, 2 settings were available on some cars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjcourtney View Post
    Agreed. I'm not sure how big the reservoir is, but whatever it is it should be bigger!
    I think it's 5l, I buy 5l bottles and can't fit it all in, so accounting for what's left in the tank it seems about right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    Every 2 weeks in winter with headlight washing each time isn't really abnormal I'd say, adjust the intervals times to say 1 in 10 pulls & the period in sec's usually the stalk has to be held before it activates the headlight washers, this may help allot, 2 settings were available on some cars.
    Sadly there are no settings to adjust the headlight washing. Might be adjustable via some coding I guess?
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    Yeah that's a coding thing with vcds then, usually 09, could be in adaption channels rather than long coding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjcourtney View Post
    Agreed. I'm not sure how big the reservoir is, but whatever it is it should be bigger!
    I am filling mine up on average every 2 -3 weeks depending on number of miles I drive.

    Size of tank is about 3.5litres to brimful.

    Think a lot of screen wash is being used on the xenon headlamp wash which seems to be spraying an excessive amount each time to wash. One of the niggles I need to get sorted when I take in for something more significant, along with the slight clash of windscreen wiper with RHS pillar on the up stroke (see old thread for details)
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    The headlamp washers are now part of the MOT, if they are fitted they must work. There is also a reason why they need to clean the covers as often as they do as any dirt on them can sprinkle the light from the HID's and cause an oncoming driver to be dazzled. So I'd advise against going as far as turning them off completely.

    I'm not preaching anything just sharing the correct information.


    I have also been through two winters with my HID's and washers and I've never had to top up the fluid every two weeks, buts that's with my Focus which has a 4.5l capacity.
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    That's why there are 2 settings available on some chassis, one is how long to hold the stalk for before it activates & other is for frequency it activates, ideally you can just set the timer one to longer & leave as everytime you pull stalk, then just hold it for longer for headlight wash.

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    Agree,just want them turned down a bit as currently spray the bonnet and roof and spoils the look with water marks very quickly after a good clean
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    I think the option to clean or not clean the headlamps through the stalk is something that has now been removed to meet the current 'type approval' for HID's.

    However if you feel that there is too much water being used to clean them then have a chat with your dealership. But they have to be of a relatively high pressure though to work...
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuke2u View Post
    I think the option to clean or not clean the headlamps through the stalk is something that has now been removed to meet the current 'type approval' for HID's.

    However if you feel that there is too much water being used to clean them then have a chat with your dealership.
    I haven't & cant recall others stating about turning them of fully afaik, only way to achieve this is to tell the car the washers aren't fitted within long coding, this is a feature available as the same modules are used for hid cars & non hid cars without washers, so its codable option.

    Chatting to the dealership wont get you far imho as I know of no TSB for this & I doubt its a pump or jet nozzle fault either, they will probably look for these options I have mentioned.

    Afaik the test doesnt stipulate a time limit for them to activate, so they could work after 10 pulls & 20 second pulls if you really didn't like them, just as long as they work, unless the rules have been edited again since I last read.

    However, I cant see logic of having hid's without a sensible setting for headlight washing, pointless having at 10 pulls & 20 seconds lol.

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    Agreed that you will fail your MOT now without working washers, same for a self-levelling system, both of which are requirements for HID lights. The requirement was introduced in 2012 I believe.
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    What needs to be done for the headlight washers to work? Just lights on and pull wiper stalk?

    I'm 90% sure that mine have never washed, lights always look like they have a light dirty coat and I've never seen them wet. Even if I wash windscreen just before pulling into my drive

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveotto View Post
    along with the slight clash of windscreen wiper with RHS pillar on the up stroke (see old thread for details)
    Didn't notice your other post, but I had exactly the same problem which is interesting as we bought from the same dealer. I took my car back into them and they adjusted the wiper in a few minutes whilst I waited.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveotto View Post
    Agree,just want them turned down a bit as currently spray the bonnet and roof and spoils the look with water marks very quickly after a good clean
    ^^^ this! Get fed up of washing the car and then spraying water all over the front when I wash the windscreen. The lights seem to get washed every time you wash the windscreen when the lights are on dipped or full beam. It does seem excessive. I'd just like to turn it down to once every 5 or 6 washes.

    If it turns out you can definitely do this I might invest in VCDS!
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    3.5l tank is pathetic for a car with headlamp washers fitted. Our golf gti has xenons and it has a 4.5l and that's too small. My old v70 T5 had a 7l tank and the wipers on the headlights. That setup was THE BOSS. Never had a better headlamp washer system since and never will, because the pedestrian crash police made all of the wiper based systems go extinct unfortunately. (Not that headlamp wipers would look nice on a s3!)
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    My headlamp washers only wash my headlights the first time their switched on (dipped beam) and then every few stalk uses after that, I've not actually counted but mine don't wash the headlights everything I use the stalk, only thing I do is hold the stalk until it comes out for 1 second and then stop. Also I think I remember reading in my manual saying that the tank is 4.2l or 4.5l, it was definitely in the 4 litres though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjcourtney View Post
    ^^^ this! Get fed up of washing the car and then spraying water all over the front when I wash the windscreen. The lights seem to get washed every time you wash the windscreen when the lights are on dipped or full beam. It does seem excessive. I'd just like to turn it down to once every 5 or 6 washes.

    If it turns out you can definitely do this I might invest in VCDS!

    You can adjust it for sure with VCDS, just done it yesterday on my S3. Set it to wash only every 20 windscreen washes now. Also turned down the duration of the wash down a few milliseconds.
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    Heh, might get myself VCDS as well, might pay for itself in saved washer fluid! Does anyone know if there are legal minimum values for the washing cycles/duration? Is there a danger that at 20x it'll fail the MOT if they think it doesn't work after trying it 10 times?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dylock View Post
    What needs to be done for the headlight washers to work? Just lights on and pull wiper stalk?

    I'm 90% sure that mine have never washed, lights always look like they have a light dirty coat and I've never seen them wet. Even if I wash windscreen just before pulling into my drive
    Yep. Reading a comment just above about them doing it the first time you use the washers - maybe this is what I'm seeing and thinking that it's every time. You'll see it though, it does 2 squirts - you normally don't see the first because the windscreen is covered by then as well, but then it waits about a second and does another squirt, you see the spray come up over the edges of the bonnet.
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    As long as you show or advise the tester of the procedure to get it to work, then they cant fail you, as it would function.

    That's allot of screenwash lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cemerson View Post
    Agreed that you will fail your MOT now without working washers, same for a self-levelling system, both of which are requirements for HID lights. The requirement was introduced in 2012 I believe.
    And they won't stand there pulling on the stalk ten times until the headlamp washers work either. We are experiencing some unusual weather which might just be exaggerating things...
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuke2u View Post
    And they won't stand there pulling on the stalk ten times until the headlamp washers work either. We are experiencing some unusual weather which might just be exaggerating things...
    Yes they will if you clearly advise its set at 10 pulls, they cant fail the mot due to laziness, how long does it take to pull the stalk 10 times, max of a minute subject to settings.

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    Hi, in my experience they'll lose count after three...
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  37. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuke2u View Post
    Hi, in my experience they'll lose count after three...
    LMFAO that made me chuckle because I can see the point you're making & for some it would be true lol.
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    Filled mine up tonight, it took over 4 litres so it genuinely was empty. Also removed the filter cap by sliding it straight out and it was much easier and faster to fill up.
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    Still need to do mine, but will probably do it when I next put fuel in it, and I've got a fair amount of that left at the moment!
    Sport 2.0 TDI 150 Sportback in Scuba Blue, alcantara/leather, advanced key, audi sound system, comfort pack w/ ACC and park assist, deselect sports suspension, auto-dimming & folding door mirrors, electric lumbar support, heated seats, hold assist, non-smoking pack, side & lane assist, reversing camera, storage & luggage pack, tech pack with audi connect, tyre pressure warning, towbar, variable headlight range control, xenon light pack

 

 

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