Get Your Windshield Washer Fluid Ready for the Rainy Season

Male hands hold bottle of blue antifreeze in their hands. Liquid is poured into the throat at miovy temperatures self replacement at home

Rainy weather will be upon us soon, so it’s the perfect time to talk about your windshield washer fluid. Windshield washer fluid is essential for keeping your windshield clear of grime that can be kicked up from wet winter roads—and it’s one of the easiest automotive fluids to maintain on your own. Here’s a look at how to check its level and select the right fluid for your driving conditions.

How to Check Your Windshield Washer Fluid

Many newer vehicles have a dashboard warning light that will come on when the washer fluid is low. You can also check the reservoir itself. Lift the hood and look for a black cap that has a symbol that looks like the shape of a windshield with dotted lines that look like a water spout. Some cars will have a translucent reservoir that makes it easy to see how much fluid you have left. Others have an opaque reservoir with a dipstick to check the level, like oil and transmission fluid.

If you have trouble finding the reservoir, let us know! We’d be happy to point it out to you at your next appointment.

Signs Your Windshield Washer Fluid is Low

If you have a dashboard warning light, it will come on once the washer fluid level gets low. Another sign that the fluid is getting low is a delay between when you try to get the fluid to spray and the fluid spraying on your windshield. If your washer fluid has been low for a while, air can get into the hoses. While this isn’t an issue, it does mean you’ll run out of fluid soon.

If the fluid has completely run out, nothing will come out when you try to clean your windshield. You may hear the sound of the pump as it tries to pump from an empty reservoir. If you keep making the pump come on without filling the reservoir, it can cause the pump to fail—so it’s a good idea to keep the fluid topped off whenever possible.

Open your bottle of washer fluid and pour it into the reservoir until it reaches the full line. Many cars have reservoirs that hold a gallon of fluid, while others have smaller reservoirs, so be careful not to overfill it. When you use your windshield washer fluid next, it will generally take a few seconds for the fluid to make its way through the pump before it will spray.

What Type of Windshield Washer Fluid Should You Use?

You’re probably already familiar with the standard blue washer fluid, but it may surprise you to learn that there are different types of fluid available for different driving conditions:

  • Standard blue washer fluid: this is the least expensive and all-purpose washer fluid you’ll find in auto parts stores.
  • Winter washer fluid: winter washer fluid is typically orange. While it’s more expensive than the standard blue fluid, the formulation includes antifreeze—which helps prevent the fluid from freezing in the reservoir and on the windshield.
  • Summer washer fluid: Summer fluid is typically green and contains special additives that help clean insects off your windshield better than the other types of washer fluid.
  • Water beading washer fluid: Water beading fluid includes an additive that helps the water bead off your windshield as you drive—especially at high speed. One nice benefit of this type of fluid during the rainy season is that you don’t have to use your wiper blades as much.

For All Your Auto Care Questions, Turn to EuroCar Service

At EuroCar Service, we’re committed to your driving safety. If you need replacement wiper blades or recommendations on windshield wiper fluid, we’re always here to help. We can also make sure your washer mechanism is working properly. We don’t want you to be caught out in the elements with poor visibility! As your European vehicle experts, we offer comprehensive maintenance and repairs for all European makes, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, Mini-Cooper, Smart Car, Saab, Jaguar, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Fiat.

Contact us today at 206-527-8828 or request an appointment online!