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[Solved] Dirty/ foul smelling windshield washer fluid. Audi a3 2010


Topic starter

Hello, thus problem is related to the same audi a3 i ask previously and received wonderful advice.

The problem is this, every time i use the washer (although it works perfectly), it has an awful like rotten odor, when i use it on the front windows. Also smelling in the tank it has a sort of a stilled water smell.

I suspected the water was bad after sitting for a long time, and hoped to fix it by adding more but its been a couple of months and several Litres of washing fluid and the smell remains.

Should i empty it by keep using the washers?, use a small hose to drain it, keep adding fluid.

im hesitant to only use the washers because it has like a 5L fluid tank (between 1/2 and 3/4 full) and im scared of damaging the pump.

The car itself works perfectly.. for a 12 year old audi treated like crap, by his last old driver. (46k kms 1.8T and the 7 DCT)

Any advice is apreciated

2 Answers

Siphon the dirty fluid out, fill it with a bottle of Lysol to kill any bacteria, let it sit for a day,  siphon out the Lysol and refill with windshield washing fluid.  This should kill off any decomposing organic matter that got into the reservoir, somehow.

Il try to do that, currently i got all the dirty smelling fluid out and filled it to the brim with poper fluid. Next time im running low il try to do what you suggest.

Also it was always clear which i found odd it was just foul smelling. Now it smells like soap.


of course get the stinky water out. Use any method you like. The pump will be fine. or just unbolt the reservoir and dump it out.