Even though windshield washer fluid is not essential for the mechanical health of your car nor affects how well your car performs on the road, it is nonetheless indispensable for maintaining safe driving conditions in unfavorable conditions, as well as protecting your cars windshield. Learning how to add windshield washer fluid is one of the easiest ways for keeping your car safe on and off the road!
If the windshield is obstructed, or if there is dirt, oil, grime, bugs or any other number of vision-impairing debris, then it is unsafe to operate your car. Therefore, a well-functioning windshield wiping system, including the wiper blades, fluid canister, water pump, and an adequate level of windshield washer fluid is crucial to the safe operation.
Any task involving opening up the bonnet of a vehicle often frightens many people, but there really is no need to fear basic routine maintenance; many tasks are surprisingly easy to carry out. Refilling windshield washer fluid is actually one of the easiest maintenance activities one can perform.
How to Add Windshield Washer Fluid to Your Car
Step 1: Buy Windshield Washer Fluid
First, windshield washer fluid is required. There are no tools necessary for this activity. There are many different types of windshield washer fluid available, even including de-icing and bug-removing kinds. A last resort is to use plain water, but be careful; the U.K. government has reported the connection of dozens of cases of Legionnaire’s Disease with the use of plain water in windshield washing containers. It’s better to be safe then sick!
Step 2: Release the Bonnet
The next step is simple; locate the bonnet release lever (which varies between makes and models, but is usually located below the driver’s A-pillar; see picture below) and pull to release the latch that holds the bonnet down.
Then find the latch at the front of the vehicle, between the bonnet and the grille, to fully release the bonnet. Then lift up the bonnet and secure it in place with the rod (if the vehicle is not equipped with hydraulic supports for the bonnet).
Step 3: Locate the Windshield Washer Tank
The next step is to simply locate the windshield washer tank. This can be a difficult step for those who have never looked under the bonnet of their car. Although the location varies between makes and models, it is usually located just behind the left or right headlight.
The windshield washer tank is almost always see through, with a colorful cap (often blue).
The symbol for the windshield washer tank is always a water spout over a windshield (see cap in picutre below).
Warning: Do not continue with the next step if you are unsure if the tank has been properly located. You don’t want to be putting windshield washer fluid into other engine compartments.
Step 4: Fill the Windshield Washer Tank
After the tank is located, next comes the important part; filling the tank with the washer fluid. A large funnel makes this much easier, but is not necessary.
Slowly pour the windshield washer fluid into the tank until it reaches the top.
Once the fluid reaches the top of the tank, you’re almost done.
Finally, secure the cap back on the tank, close the bonnet, and then dispose of any empty containers that the windshield washing fluid was in.
Congratulations, this simple yet important car maintenance is now complete. Enjoy the clear skies, and drive safely!
You can watch the full video on how to add winshield washer fluid below: