Your windshield wipers do more than clean rain off the glass; they also remove pollen, dead bugs, and bird droppings so you can see more clearly. Maintaining the windshield fluid reservoir ensures that you always have cleaner ready should you need it. Here’s what you need to know.
Why You Should Check Your Washer Fluid Reservoir
Regular maintenance is important to keeping your car running at its best. That is the main reason that you want to stay on top of fluid levels. After all, even little things (like your windshield washer fluid) contribute to the overall driving experience.
If your washer fluid gets too low, it won’t be available if you need to clean dirt, pollen, or bugs off the glass. That can negatively affect your ability to see the road, and possibly contribute to an accident. That’s an awfully big risk when checking and filling the reservoir is such a quick fix.
Signs You Need To Refill Your Washer Fluid
Most cars will let you know one way or another if your washer fluid is getting low. A couple of signs it might be time to top off the tank include:
- A warning light illuminates on the dash
- Only a trickle comes out when you activate the spray feature
- Your wipers leave heavy streaks after cleaning the windshield
A Guide to Checking Fluid Levels
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to check your washer fluid if you happen to notice any of those early warning signs. The first step is to pop your hood and locate the washer fluid reservoir. It is often marked with a small image of a windshield being sprayed with fluid. If it is clear, look for a fluid level on the side; if it is not, you’ll need to remove the cap and peek inside.
In some cases, you could be filled with the best windshield washer fluid and still not get a clean windshield. This may be the result of a clog somewhere in the system. Flushing the tank may help solve the issue.
Cleaning the Reservoir & Preventing Clogs
Unfortunately, unwanted things can sometimes get into your washer fluid reservoir. It could be dirt, a rotted washer, or the wrong type of fluid. If that happens, you happen to notice a large amount of sediment in the tank, or the outlet appears clogged, then you’ll need to take steps to clean the reservoir before adding the correct products.
To get started, you’ll want to turn your car off, open the hood, and let the engine cool completely. Once you can safely maneuver around the engine compartment, take the following steps to drain and flush your washer fluid tank:
- Remove the cap from the reservoir.
- Using pliers, pull the hose off the bottom of the tank to drain it.
- Flush the inside of the tank with a regular garden hose.
- Secure the hose back onto the tank bottom.
- Use the recommended washer fluid to refill the reservoir.
- Replace the cap.
If you are having trouble finding information about your washer fluid (maybe it’s not in GSC?), you can always stop in a local auto parts store for help. An associate can help you find the right type of fluid based on your car’s make, model, and year.