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

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...


Related questions

Q: How do I adjust the intervals of the windshield wipers on intermittent operation?

Sometimes you’ll want the windshield wipers to be working, but not at a steady pace. You may be driving through a light rain or just a few sprinkles. Intermittent operation can be adjusted to activate the wipers at the right...

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: Car drives and then dies

For the stalling problem, this could be a number of things, but I would start with the easiest and work your way up to the hardest. The first thing that comes to mind is the battery or alternator may be...