Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Often Do I Need to Refill the Windshield Washer Fluid?

Refill Washer Fluid Warning

Your windshield gets dirty. It also gets frosty, dusty, and icy. Since it is an immediate concern to clear any obstruction from your view, it is important to be able to wash your windshield right away.

Every vehicle is equipped with a system to clean the front glass called a windshield washer system. It's comprised of:

  • A reservoir to hold washer fluid
  • A washer fluid pump
  • Washer fluid lines and hoses
  • Windshield washer nozzles or sprayers
  • A switch or button to activate the washers
  • A wiping system

When the windshield is dirty, you press the windshield washer button typically located on the turn signal lever. Vehicles equipped with a rear windshield washer and wiper will have a separate switch that could be located on the dash or on a column lever as well. The washer fluid sprays and the wipers clear the fluid from the windshield.

Refilling the washer fluid reservoir

Washer fluid will run out eventually, though each spray uses only a minuscule amount of fluid. In messy winter weather and in environments where the road conditions are dusty and dirty, you will need more washer fluid to keep the windshield clean. The washer fluid should be filled at every service interval, whenever it runs out, or at a change of seasons.

Bug wash is a soapy mixture that is great for removing bugs and dirt from the windshield. If you use bug wash in your windshield washer reservoir during summer months, make sure it is emptied before winter. If washer fluid is not equipped with antifreeze, as is the case with bug wash, it can freeze in the reservoir which will damage both the reservoir and the pump. The reservoir can crack and leak all the fluid out so you won’t be able to spray washer fluid at all. If the pump freezes and gets damaged, it will not be able to pump washer fluid to the nozzles to spray.

Use windshield washer antifreeze in winter months to prevent damage to your washer system. It is also good for clearing ice and snow from your windshield when it is sprayed onto the glass.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...


Related questions

Q: Why Are My Wiper Blades Different Lengths?

Wiper blades come in different lengths so that one or more can be combined to provide the maximum clearing of your windshield with every pass or cycle. Some vehicles use a single blade mounted on an articulating arm that pivots...

Q: How Do I Make Homemade Washer Fluid?

There are numerous ways to make homemade washer fluid. The properties of each will vary based on the material used. Which method you choose is dependant on what you have available around the house and what you value. There are...

Q: Engine racing too high

The coolant reservoir will need to be checked to see if it is leaking or if the engine has an overheating problem. The high idle may be due to a vacuum leak at a hose or a faulty throttle body...