Q: Can I Let the Washer Fluid Reservoir Run Dry?

asked by on

Can I let the washer fluid reservoir run dry?

It is best to keep any fluid system in your car from running dry. The washer system often sits unused, so it can be easily forgotten. When the fierce winter weather is upon us, it is easy to think of needing your washers to combat the heavy salt spray that builds up and obscures your vision, but when the weather turns nicer, it can easily slip your mind.

Since the washer pump for the wiper cleaning system uses the washer fluid as a lubricant and to cool the pump when operating, allowing the system to go empty puts the health of the pump at risk of damage. The fluid also helps to keep the lines and hoses from drying out.

Checking the system is a fairly straightforward task: you just open the hood and locate the washer fill opening; it’s generally a clear opaque white plastic bottle with a color coded blue or yellow cap and a symbol that looks like a windshield with water being sprayed on it. Fill the bottle or reservoir up to the full line, or in some cases there is a small dipstick attached to the cap to indicate the level.

There are several different types of fluid available and since it can sit in the reservoir for months, be careful to always use a blend that will protect to a minus 15 degree or so de-ice number when in areas that have cold winter weather. This will help to keep the fluid from freezing in the lines which could lead to pump damage and the lack of the ability to clear your windshield in a dangerous situation. These washer fluids have cleaning agents as well to help remove bugs and dirt or bird droppings to keep your windshield sparkling clear.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Can I Let the Washer Fluid Reservoir Run Dry?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Intermittent and low speed wiper don't work fast speed wiper works 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Hi there - the lack of slow or intermittent motor speed can be caused by 2 issues: failure of the switches on the steering column stalk, or within the motor pulse control inside the motor housing. You're going to need...

Q: Delay between second and third gear in 2002 Lexus GS 430

Basically, change the filter and fluid and see what happens. Use should also use a Toyota fluid - it works better on those things than a Lexus Toyota fluid. Don't use the aftermarket fluid. As they get that old, they...

Q: How do I check and top off the windshield washer fluid?

Your windshield washer fluid serves a couple of purposes. Obviously, it helps keep your windshield clean and free of dirt and grime, but it also helps with deicing in the winter (as long as you’re using a winter formulation). Keeping...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.