how to change wiper fluid

Have you ever tried to spray your windshield washer fluid only to realize you’re out of fluid and stuck with a dirty windshield? Whether you just hadn’t gotten around to addressing the light on your dash that says it’s time for a refill or something else is going on, it’s a pretty easy fix.


How do I add fluid to the windshield washer reservoir?

Find your car’s windshield washer fluid reservoir.

  • While washer fluid reservoirs may be situated slightly differently between various makes and models, they’re universally marked with an icon that resembles a windshield and windshield wipers.
  • If you’re having trouble finding the reservoir, double check your owner’s manual.

Check the fluid level.

  • The container that holds the washer fluid will have two different fill lines: one to indicate that the level is too low, one to indicated it’s full.
  • Sometimes a car’s sensor will indicate that the fluid level is low even when the reservoir is full, which could be an issue with the sensor rather than the reservoir or fluid pump.
  • If you’re not getting windshield wiper fluid when you activate the pump, there may be a clogged line or issue with the jets. Trace the hoses from the reservoir to the jets to find the culprit. Use mild dish soap to dissolve any blockages or use a stick pin to clean out blocked jets.

Add fluid.

  • Remove the cap and place it safely away from the edge of the car and be careful not to let it collect debris.
  • Use a funnel to add fluid to the reservoir, but be careful not to overfill the canister, which could cause cracks and leaks.

Replace the cap.

  • Be sure to clean the cap before you replace it. If any debris is in the reservoir, it could cause the line or pump to clog.


What type of fluid should I use? Can I use water?

If you’re short on washer fluid or are just looking to save some cash, you may be wondering if you can use water.  Well, it depends on what type of climate you live in. Generally, we wouldn’t recommend using plain water, as it’s simply not as effective at cleaning your windshield. However, using fluid specifically formulated for windshield washer reservoirs is particularly important if you live where the temperatures dip below freezing. Windshield washer fluid contains cleaning solution and anti-freezing agents to ensure your windshield washer can operate year-round without any hiccups.

Investing in quality windshield wiper fluid and keeping your windshield clean can even make your windshield last longer. To get more miles out of your windshield, check out:

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