Upgrade for weak windshield washer jet pattern

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Aug 30, 2021
I purchased my 2011 Leaf from a friend this past August 2021. One of the deficiencies in the vehicle I noticed was the front windshield washer jets would spray only on the bottom 1/3 of the windshield. I found this one other thread discussing the issue.


I found that the jets on my Leaf were not adjustable. One of the posts mentioned the spray pattern hitting the rear edge of the hood. I was able to confirm that was happening on my Leaf by standing next to it and reaching in to pull the wiper stalk. Standing beside the vehicle, I could see the top third of the spray cone hit the rear edge of the hood and be deflected downward. Thus adjusting the jets would not help. The design is such that the jets are installed too far toward the front of the vehicle.

Knowing that the existing jets were hopeless, I looked for an alternative washer jet arrangement and settled on washer jets on the wiper arms as the easiest to implement , did not require any real modification of the vehicle and was unobtrusive. I also measured the inside diameter of the hose running from the washer tank and pump up the right side of the "engine bay" into the cowl in front of the windshield. The following is the parts list

  • 1 - Washer nozzles, 2 pack https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OZSLNXQ
  • 2 - Washer/vacuum hose, 6 ft https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CRHKY0 https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/c/masterpro-hose-clamps/belts---hoses/hoses/bulk-hose/vacuum-hose/3d359da4300a/masterpro-hose-clamps-vacuum-tube/mhc1/wv0764/v/a/97042/automotive-car-2011-nissan-leaf?q=bulk+hose+-+vacuum+hose&pos=0
  • 1 - 1/8" X 1/8" X 3/16" In. Hard Vacuum Tubing Tee, 2 - pack https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/c/dorman-autograde/dorman-autograde-1-8-1-8-3-16-inch-hard-vacuum-tee-connector/dag0/493053
  • small cable ties https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-4-in-UV-Cable-Tie-Black-100-Pack-GT-100MCB/203531918

The following photos are from after I finished the installation process.

I started by installing each of the washer nozzles on one of the hoses. I then clipped the washer nozzles to the wiper arms, as close to the pivot as possible, at the bottom of the section with constant width. The washer nozzles are held in place with a small cable tie around the section where the hose plugs onto the washer nozzle. Cut the protruding part of the cable tie flush using flush-cutters or a knife. Cutting it off using normal ware cutters will leave a sharp end that can cut you. The pair on the right has a bevel on the back side along the cutting edges. The two flush cutters with the red handles do not have the bevels on the back side of the cutting edges.

I then added some more cable ties around the tube and the arm and around the tube and the spring under the arm.

The tubes are secured to the grill area of the cowl with more small cable ties. It was easier to thread them in and back out if they are first bent ash show below.

Disconnect the hose from the washer tank and pump joins from the coupler that joins to the hose going to the original washer jets installed in the cowl. Plug the 3/16" leg of the tee onto the hose from the washer tank and pump.. Plug the two new hoses onto the 1/8" legs of the tee. Fasten the old hose and the new hoses together with a cable tie.

Each of the washer nozzles has two jets consisting of small brass spheres with a hole in them. Adjust the jets by sticking a sewing pin in the holes and aiming them down toward the windshield. I aimed one jet in each nozzle as far down as possible and the other jet further out. There is also a third, non-adjustable jet that fires straight down from the nozzle.

Here is a video of the new washer nozzles in operation.
A bit of a thread resurrection for a question or two...:

As the Gen-1 nozzles seem to be poorly positioned, did that indicate even replacement (at their present site) with adjustable/aim-able units would also fail? Seemingly if they were shrouded by the overhang, then indeed, one would be relegated to relocating them...

For those with newer models, did this seem to be rectified in a later design? Perhaps someone that had a first generation then later upgraded might be able to compare/confirm?

I guess I was leaning toward a hybrid approach; one that only slightly extended the sprayers from their OEM mount-point (think a short tubing projection), then swapping for those with ball/socket nozzles.

This very issue has plagued our 2014 since we got it 2.5 years ago. Unfortunately, I don't drive the car much and it only occurs to me to investigate when I have no time or when the car is covered with snow or ice. When I ask my wife, who drives the car probably 85% of the time, if it bothered her she said "Huh?" So, maybe not a problem.

I will say that on our car the passenger spray pattern is perfect (very nice for the passenger) and it's only the driver's side that sprays on the bottom edge of the windshield.