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Keeping your windshield clean can be done both manually or with the help of washer fluid. Washer fluid contains alcohol, water, solvents and detergents which help dissolve grime and get your windshield clean from dead bugs, dirt and dust. This fluid makes it easier to maintain a clean windshield and does a better job at it too. A clean windshield means that the chances of getting in an accident are lower as you have a clear view in front of you. Washer fluid is an environmentally friendly product which you can rest assured that it won’t freeze during winter and it doesn’t leave streaks too. The convenience of washer fluid is unmatchable but making use of this solution requires filling up the washer fluid reservoir from time to time – this depends on how often you engage the wipers on your windshield.
How to Add Washer Fluid
Locating The Reservoir
1. In order to fill up the reservoir with washer fluid you first need to find where it is in your vehicle since its location is different with different cars. The most common place for a windshield washer fluid reservoir is going to be alongside the engine bay. But sometimes you can find it along the firewall close to the windshield. To identify the reservoir more easily manufacturers put a symbol that looks like a windshield with moving wipers. If you still aren’t able to find the reservoir you can always check in the owner’s manual.
2. Once you’ve done the first step of this basic car maintenance it’s time to check whether or not you need to fill it up. The majority of washer fluid reservoirs are going to be made of translucent plastic and have lines on the side so you can tell more easily if the reservoir is full. If the reservoir is full but when you press the button to spray the windshield nothing comes out, it means that the lines have been clogged. If the light for low washer fluid is on and your reservoir is full then you have an issue with a sensor.
Adding Washer Fluid
1. To add windshield washer fluid open the cap on the reservoir by twisting it counter-clockwise and then place it aside. Avoid having it sit somewhere where there is a lot of debris and dirt. This way you won’t contaminate the fluid when you put the cap back on which can result in the lines getting clogged. Add the washer fluid using a funnel until you have it reach the full line on the reservoir. Clean off any fluid you may have spilled during this step.
2. Do not overfill the reservoir as the fluid can expand due to the heat coming off of the engine. When the washer fluid becomes warm the pressure from it expanding can cause cracks on the reservoir and leaking too. If you’ve accidentally overfilled the reservoir use a turkey baster to remove the extra fluid out. When you’re done, place the cap back on but make sure to wipe it with a clean cloth or rag to avoid debris and dirt falling into the reservoir. Twist the cap clockwise this time and re-secure it on the reservoir.
3. The last step of this car maintenance involves testing out if everything is working fine. Start your vehicle and activate the washer fluid as you normally would when driving. If everything is working well you’ve done a good job but again if something’s wrong, refer to your owner’s manual.
Types of Washer Fluid
This type of washer fluid is a concentrated liquid which you’ll have to mix with water in order to make it windshield-ready. The water to washer fluid ratio is going to depend on how strong the fluid is. Sometimes you’ll only need to mix a small bottle of washer fluid with gallons of water before pouring it in the reservoir. You’ll have to check on the backside of the product’s packaging for the instructions on how to mix the product.
Additive washer fluid is different than concentrate as it doesn’t need to be mixed with water before you pour it into the washer fluid reservoir. This product is added to a generic washer fluid in order to enhance its effectiveness. Additive washer fluid shouldn’t be used on its own. Additives can make a generic washer fluid capable of dissolving grime better and repel water too.
A stand-alone product is the easiest product you can use as it doesn’t require you to mix it with water or additives just pour it in the reservoir and you’re good to go. This type of washer fluid is pre-made.
Washer fluid in the form of tablets is a very convenient solution as they don’t take much space. All you need to is put them in the reservoir which you’ll need to fill up with water and they’ll dissolve. A single tablet can make for a gallon (3.7 L) of washer fluid.