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Repairing my windshield wiper hose

Author: Marius Timmer

The winter keeps my busy

As we all know, winter is the cold season. Thats why I often have to think about my Audi 80. After the door lock froze up the other day, I couldn’t see through my freezing windshield now.

A few nights ago I drove to Münster in the dark. Because of the low temperatures my windshield was frozen with a light frozen veil. At every red traffic light, I wiped the windshield clear again to keep the view free. You can imagine that this is very unpleasant not only because it looks absolutely stupid, but also because you always risk being seen and stopped by the police.

Antifreeze alone is not always enough

The next day I bought five liters of windshield wiper water with added antifreeze. Some people might say that it would be much better to buy distilled water and antifreeze separately and add them in the required ratio. But even if it sounds unbelievable, I was simply interested in finding a quick solution. And in the store where I was, they only had ready to use mixtures. That should be completely sufficient for me. When I started to use the wiper on the wind shield I realized that nothing came out which was really sad.

I heared the pump loud and clearly. Thus, it could not be the reason for the dryness and I knew that it would not be an expensive matter. After a few attempts I could smell the antifreeze quite clearly. The windshield wipers moved up and down like crazy and moved over the windshield. So the windshield wiper water was pumping and also leaving the reservoir. After two minutes, I noticed that all the wiper water was being pumped, but not through the hood. From the driver’s seat, you could clearly see the wiper water flowing under the hood. I noticed a small puddle under my car.

A look under the hood revealed: the hose was leaking. The hose is held directly to the hood from below with two large suction cups. However, the hose not only had a small hole, but was simply no longer in one of the suction cups. As a result, the water was simply pumped halfway out of the hose directly under the hood. Fortunately, the wiping water did not reach the battery. But not much would have been missing. That would have been very bad.

Cheap but effective repair

I saw that the hose was easy to put back into the suction cup. However, it would only be a matter of time before it would come out again. So I headed to the hardware store and picked up some small cable ties and some heat shrink tubing. To my surprise, the hose was also “only” tied in place with a cable tie in the other places, so there wasn’t much movement anymore. So I also tied the cable tie at that point. But before I did that, I put the shrink tubing over the spot, put everything back together and then heated the tubing. Within seconds it pulled together and connected the parts perfectly.

Even if the cable tie alone would probably have done its job well (as it held in the other places as well), I find the solution with the heat shrink tubing still better. Now I have the certainty that the hose only does not remain in place, but is also sealed. Especially with the car battery in mind, I now feel even better than before. I intentionally use the word “better” and not “safer” because I did not feel unsafe before really.

Finally, I operated the lever for the wipers, heard how the pump pumped the wiping water again, nothing splashed out of the hose under the hood and the wipers finally got the windshield de-iced and clean again. Even if these are always only small things, I am happy every time I can repair my car myself. Still, I wouldn’t mess around with the engine, brakes or other critical parts of the Audi 80. The fact that I regularly remove my steering wheel to avoid standing in the dark is enough for me. But I’ll write about that story another time.