Washer Fluid is also called windshield wiper fluid or just wiper fluid. It is a liquid put in a special tank in a car to assist the wiper in cleaning the windshield. The cleaning is done by the wiper along with the emission of the fluid from the tank. The fluid is made of alcohol, ethylene glycol, methanol, antifreeze from methylated spirits, as well as other ingredients that are meant to clean up those stubborn messes that your wiper can’t handle on its own.
Wiper fluids come in very bright attractive colors. The washer fluid is important because it helps protect the driver from experiencing obscure vision which can lead to avoidable accidents. It also serves as a lubricant for the components of the washer system such as the wiper, wiper motor, gears, electronic sensors, and others for proper operation.
Where Is the Washer Fluid Located in My Car?
The washer fluid is stored in a jar/reservoir in the car. The jar is usually found at the back of the engine bay near the bottom of the windshield and has a pump in or on the tank. It is the pump that releases the fluid when triggered. The job of the pump in the washer system is to transport fluid from the jar to the outlet. This outlet or nozzles then spray the fluid on the windshield.
“Washer Fluid Low;” What Does It Mean?
There are times while driving, the “washer fluid low” warning signal pops up on the dashboard of your car. This happens to alert the driver that the fluid is low and there is a need to top it off. Refilling the washer fluid tank can be done quickly and easily.
Get a washer fluid from any auto parts shop, locate the reservoir as described earlier, open up the cap and fill up the tank. That’s it. Thereafter, replace the cap and check for the warning signal on your dashboard. If the “Washer Fluid Low” light stays on after filling up the tank, the following are most likely the problem.
Bad or Failing Pump
The pump is the part of the washer system that sucks the fluid from the reservoir, through the nozzles, and to the windshield. When the pump is working appropriately, it often makes a whirring, humming sound or vibrates when turned on. Whenever it is turned on and it isn’t making these sounds, it is an indication that something is wrong.
Hose or Tank Leakage
The tank/reservoir is a plastic container that holds the fluid. Its placement makes it prone to crack or damage. And when there is a crack on the tank or the hose, they would not work appropriately as the fluid leaks out, hence, the warning light on your dashboard. The signal might also come on when the cap of the reservoir is not wound properly. Tightening the cap and getting the tank replaced is a good precautionary measure.
Faulty Washer Fluid Level Sensor
If the washer fluid level sensor is faulty, it produces a strange noise whenever the pump is activated, and this can also trigger the washer fluid warning signal.
In summary, your car’s windshield wiper is an important safety apparatus in your car. However, the wiper needs the assistance of a foamy substance known in the automobile world as “washer fluid” to do its job thoroughly. The washer fluid has its own system, complete with fluid level monitoring sensors, which need to be working correctly. You should get a washer fluid warning light on the dashboard of your car if there’s a fault or failure anywhere in the washer fluid system.
The problem is usually a low fluid level or improperly placed fluid tank cap. However, if topping off the tank and securing the cap fails to resolve the warning light, I recommend you make a date with your mechanic to have your car checked out and fixed.