Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Is It Important to Keep Liquid in the Windshield Washer Reservoir?

Windshield Washer Resevoir

Your car is equipped with a system to clean your windshield if it is dirty, called the windshield washer system. Your windshield washer system includes:

  • Windshield washer fluid reservoir
  • Washer fluid pump
  • Hoses to disperse the fluid
  • Windshield washer nozzles
  • Windshield wiper system

The purpose of washer fluid

While the washer fluid is in the reservoir to be used as it's needed, the fluid also performs another function in the reservoir. The washer fluid is a lubricant for the parts contained, including the washer fluid pump and the hoses. If there is no washer fluid in the fluid reservoir, internal parts of the pump can corrode and the plastic parts can degrade. If the washer fluid pump can’t pump with the same force or if the rubber lines dry and crack from the inside, the washer fluid system may leak, stop working effectively, or stop working completely.

Running the washer fluid pump when there is no fluid in the tank causes extra stress on the pump and will wear it out extremely quickly. If you know you are out of washer fluid, take care not to activate the windshield washers.

Most importantly, if there is no washer fluid in the windshield washer fluid reservoir, you will be unable to clean your windshield if it gets dirty. This can present a huge safety problem if you are driving in conditions where you could get mud or dirt on your windshield. The wiper blades will only smear the mud if you are unable to apply washer fluid to the glass.

Make sure to keep washer fluid in the fluid reservoir at all times.

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

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
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...
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...


Related questions

Q: How do I use the windshield wiper de-icer?

If your car is equipped with a windshield wiper de-icer (optional equipment), you have the means of removing ice accumulation and snow from your wiper blades. This is more than a mere convenience – it can greatly enhance safety by...

Q: How do I add washer fluid to a 2012 Honda Accord?

Washer fluid helps ensure that you’re able to keep your windshield clean and clear. It helps remove dirt, grime and even bug residue in a way that plain water cannot. If your washer fluid reservoir is low, topping it off...

Q: Instrument panel lights on and rear wiper not working. What do I do?

Volkswagen (later models at least) use a power distribution unit (PDU) that aggregates the usual fuse box items onto larger current supply wires, which then have much larger fuses (i.e. 25, 50 100 amps). It is possible that swapping the...