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Windshield Washer Nozzle Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a windshield washer nozzle replacement is between $175 and $213. Labor costs are estimated between $140 and $178 while parts are priced at $35. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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What is a Windshield Washer Nozzle?

A windshield washer nozzle is the part of the windshield wiper and washer system that squirts the washer solvent on the windshield. There are usually two washer nozzles on a vehicle, one for the driver's side of the windshield, and one for the passenger's side. The windshield washer nozzles are usually mounted on top of the hood close to the windshield. On some vehicles they may be positioned underneath the rear edge of the hood, on the cowl/vent panel below the windshield, or even on the wiper arms.

How do Windshield Washer Nozzles work?

When the driver engages the windshield washer, usually with a lever on the steering column, a small pump, called the washer motor, forces solvent through narrow rubber hoses to the washer nozzles. The nozzles diffuse, or spray, the solvent as it comes out of their tiny holes. Most washer nozzles can be adjusted for proper aim at the windshield. The washer nozzles on some vehicles are heated to prevent ice buildup during winter months.

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What are the symptoms of a bad Windshield Washer Nozzle?

Washer nozzles are fairly simple. If the washers do not work, the problem is often with the washer motor or some other component. If the nozzles are faulty, it is usually due to debris that is clogging the tiny orifices or, more likely, to a broken connection where the hose attaches. In some cases, the heating element on a heated washer nozzle may go bad. If the nozzles are spraying in the wrong spots on the windshield, they could be clogged. They may also be misaligned. In this case, a simple adjustment of the jets on the nozzle might correct the problem.

Can I drive with a bad Windshield Washer Nozzle?

A car, truck, or SUV will drive just fine without a working windshield washer nozzle. How urgent a repair it might be depends entirely on driving conditions. A vehicle driven on warm, sunny days will not likely need assistance from the washer nozzles. But one driven in rainy, foggy, snowy, or muddy conditions will not travel far without working windshield wipers and washer nozzles. Even when the road is only slightly damp, the washers are needed to clean dirt and debris slung onto the windshield by other vehicles. And travelling in the cold might require the washers to rid the windshield of frost that builds up. Driving without operating washer nozzles can be hazardous in any of these conditions.

How often do Windshield Washer Nozzles need replacement?

The windshield washer nozzles are supposed to last the lifetime of a vehicle. Unfortunately, many do not. If the washer solvent is not kept clean, the washer nozzles can clog. But the real reason many nozzles fail is that they become brittle over time. The nozzles are often made from black plastic. These plastic parts mounted on top of the hood are exposed to the sun year round. They heat up, dry out, become brittle, and often break. How long they last really depends on the particular manufacturer.

How are Windshield Washer Nozzle issues diagnosed?

To determine if a washer nozzle is at fault when the washers do not work, a technician will first rule out other probable causes, such as the washer motor. If the motor can be heard operating when the switch is activated, the technician will check for leaks in the hoses. This can be done by disconnecting the hoses from the washer nozzles and testing the washers. If solvent comes out of the hoses (but did not come out of the nozzle(s), the washer nozzle(s) are clogged. Diagnosis of the heating element on a washer nozzle involves disconnecting the wiring harness plug to the nozzle and testing the element with a multimeter.

How are Windshield Washer Nozzles replaced?

To replace a windshield washer nozzle on most vehicles, a technician will open the hood and remove or set back the hood insulation by removing the clips that hold it in place. With the insulation out of the way, the technician will pull the rubber hose off of the nozzle and unplug the wire harness connector (if so equipped). The retaining tabs are gently squeezed to release the nozzle from its mounting hole and the nozzle is pulled out through the top of the hood. A new nozzle is set in the hole and snapped into place. The rubber hose is attached and any wiring is plugged back in before the hood is closed and the nozzle is tested. It may be necessary for the technician to aim the nozzle(s) before the vehicle is put back into service.

RepairPal Recommendations for Windshield Washer Nozzle issues

Care should be exercised when removing a washer nozzle from the hood. It is possible to damage the sheet metal and the protective paint coatings when attempting to squeeze the release tabs. The nozzle should not be twisted or forced out of the hood. On the contrary, it should release gently.

What to look out for when dealing with Windshield Washer Nozzle issues

Because the washer nozzles can become very brittle and break easily, extreme care should be taken any time work is done near the back of the nozzles or solvent hoses.

Can I replace the Windshield Washer Nozzle myself?

Depending on the placement of and access to the windshield washer nozzles on a given vehicle, replacement can usually be done by someone with an intermediate level of DIY experience. The nozzles are often tricky to release from the hood and damage to the sheet metal or paint coatings is possible.

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