Have you ever driven a car and tried to navigate the highways and byways while peering out a dirty windshield? No fun at all. At night, driving when the windshield is dirty can be dangerous. I once drove a car for a little while that had a broken washer motor.
Since the car wasn’t mine and the owners didn’t seem keen on having it repaired any time soon, it made me a nervous wreck, especially at night.
The best thing to do when you notice the washer isn’t working, is to check the fluid level and add more if needed. If after a day or two, it stops working again, chances are you’ve got a leak or the motor has stopped working and it will need further inspection.
You’ll need a funnel and wiper fluid, both which can be purchased at any auto supply store and probably where you pump your gas. You can also purchase concentrated wiper fluid just add water.
You can also purchase de-icer wiper fluid, which is specially formulated to melt ice on the windshield in winter months and prevents re-freeze. A product like Prestone De-Icer washer fluid claims to protect to – 30°F.
Checking and adding windshield wiper fluid is easy and takes less than 5 minutes. Here’s how to do it:
1. Pop open the hood and locate the windshield washer reservoir (don’t get this confused with the radiator fluid reservoir). The windshield washer reservoir bottle is much smaller and generally has the markings of a water spout and windshield right on the top of the cap, or it will read, Washer Fluid Only.
2. Look at the fluid level and if it’s low, use the funnel to fill the reservoir bottle with washer fluid (you can fill this to the top).
3. Replace the cap and you’re done.
A word of caution: Don’t ever pour dishwashing liquid or any other kind of soap in the washer reservoir. Doing so can damage the pump.