When the weather turns cold, it is important for drivers to keep an eye on the fluid levels in their vehicles to keep them running well all winter long. One of the things that drivers should remember is to keep their windshield washer fluid reservoir full during the winter months.
There are different types of windshield washer fluid that have different freezing points, so it is important for drivers to choose the correct type for cold weather to avoid frozen fluids. If the washer fluid freezes, it can damage the reservoir and render the washer system useless.
When snow begins to fall, most roads will be covered in sand, gravel or rock salt to make things safer and less slippery. However, this can also create a layer of filth on a windshield that will reduce visibility. Having enough washer fluid can help ensure that drivers will have the best advantage when winter makes the roads more dangerous.
Locating the reservoir for this liquid is relatively simple. Pop open the hood and look for a plastic tank that has a windshield wiper symbol. There is no exact amount necessary, just fill it to the indicator line or until it is mostly full if there is no marker. Sometimes, drivers may add water to the tank in a pinch, but avoid this behavior because it can freeze over in colder temperatures and you won't be able to properly clean your windshield. If you are unsure if there is water mixed in with the cleaning solution, or if it the wrong type for winter, the best best is to empty the tank and replace it with the proper windshield washer fluid.
If there is already enough fluid, but nothing happens when you try to use it, there are a few things that could be happening to disrupt the flow of the fluid from the tank to the windshield. For instance, the hose may not be properly attached or the fuse could be blown.
In order to troubleshoot the windshield washer pump, turn the key to the "On" position without starting the engine and listen carefully when you try to use the washer fluid. It helps to have an assistant so one of you can listen to the engine directly for a humming sound that indicates the motor is working. If you don't hear any sounds, check the fuses. The owner's manual will contain the information to help you figure out which fuse belongs to the windshield washer pump. If the fuses are fine, this is a sign that you may need to have the motor replaced.
When you attempt to use the washer fluid and hear a humming noise, the motor is fine, but there could still be a problem. Trace the hose for the reservoir tank, and inspect it for damage and any debris that may be clogging the lines. Remove and replace it if you find any signs of damage or wear. If the fluid still isn't coming out, check the spray nozzle. It may be blocked by leaves or other debris. You can clean the nozzle with a small needle or pin.
Another important consideration when getting the windshield washing system ready for winter is the wipers. These should be replaced regularly, and you'll want them to be effective during snow storms. Inspect the rubber blades for rips or other signs of wear and replace both of them if any damage is found. If you cannot remember the last time you replaced the wipers, now can be the perfect time to do so and ensure that you will have a clean windshield all winter long.
Making sure that the windshield washer system is functioning properly will help to make sure that you are able to see the road clearly and drive safer this winter.