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Can I replace my car’s windshield wiper fluid myself?

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips and Tricks on Thursday, December 13th, 2018 at 10:51 pm
water drops on a car windshield

While there are many vehicle maintenance items you should leave to the pros, a few are easy enough to tackle yourself like changing your own windshield washer fluid. Find a step-by-step guide for how to add more washer fluid to your vehicle below.

[Read More: How do I know when my brake pads need changing?]

a car engineHow To Change Your Own Windshield Washer Fluid

Before starting, make sure your vehicle is off and parked on flat ground. Then, open the hood and locate the windshield washer fluid reservoir. Most are clear containers with white caps. The cap should have a windshield wiper icon on the top. If you aren’t sure if you have the correct reservoir, ask someone who has experience with cars for help. Putting washer fluid in the wrong place can have serious and lasting consequences on your engine.

Once you find the right reservoir, check to see how much wiper fluid is currently there. If it’s not full, slowly pour additional windshield wiper fluid in as needed. Leave some room at the top of the reservoir, especially in winter.

Can I use water instead of windshield washer fluid?

The only thing you should ever put in your windshield washer reservoir is windshield washer fluid. No exceptions. Unlike windshield washer fluid, water will freeze at cold temperatures and damage your system. Replacing your washer nozzles and hoses is a lot more expensive than purchasing washer fluid.

[Read More: What paperwork do I need to bring to a test drive appointment?]

While knowing how to replace your windshield wiper fluid in a pinch is great, having regular vehicle maintenance performed by the pros is even better. We recommend bundling smaller tasks like a fluid check and replacement in with other larger service tasks like an oil change so you can save time and money. It’s also a great way to ensure that your fluid levels are being regularly inspected, as oil changes should be happening pretty regularly.

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