Almost all car owners at some point in their history have looked down at their dash and seen their windshield wiper fluid light on. 

Windshield Wiper Fluid Light Sensor
Windshield Wiper

How Does the Washer Fluid Sensor Work

A lot of times we often wonder exactly how the sensors for the fluids on our car work. One of the most common ways to monitor the fluid levels in cars is by using what’s called reed sensors. What a reed sensor is is a general style float with an appropriately sized magnet placed inside of it.

The float is placed inside the fluid container whereas the reed switch itself is mounted either inside or under the container to detect the level of the float.


The more popular way vehicle manufacturers use the read sensor is to use it in the application of checking and maintaining brake fluid levels.

Does the Windshield Wiper Pump Have a Fuse?

The answer to this question is really that it depends. Some manufacturers will put a specific fuse on the pump and some manufacturers won’t. In the case that the manufacturer doesn’t they usually run the power from the same fuse that goes to the wiper motor.

If this is the case and your wipers are in working order and your washer does not work, it’s probably not the fuse that’s bad.

What Does the Windshield Wiper Light Mean?

What does it mean when your windshield wiper light turns on? This generally means that the level of fluid inside of the reservoir that holds the windshield wiper fluid is low. The good news about this is that it’s generally easy to correct by just adding more fluid to the tank.

Why is There Noise Coming from my Windshield Washer Fluid Pump

The reasons can be far and few in between for why your car is washer fluid pump would be making a noise. One of the main reasons why this happens is because there could be a blockage inside the lines that the washer fluid travels through.

Another possible reason could be that the washer pump is not fully functional and something may be broken on the pump itself. If you notice that your Windshield washer pump is working only on reduced capacity, it’s important to bring your car to a mechanic or your trusted dealer to have them look over it and make necessary repairs.

Overall though, I wouldn’t really worry about that because it’s typically something that usually either works or doesn’t work.

Whenever you go to activate the washer on your car, it will make a very distinctive noise. If you activate the washer and hear nothing there’s generally indicates that the pump is broken or is not receiving any power to the unit.

How to Refill Windshield Washer Fluid

  1. The first step is to check your vehicle’s owners manual to see if your car requires any specific washer fluid or has any criteria that must be followed before adding to your vehicle’s reservoir.
  2. Go to your local auto parts store and pick up a container of washer fluid. These generally cost around five dollars so won’t exactly break the bank.
  3. Open and secure your vehicle’s hood properly.
  4. Once the hood is open either check with your owners manual if you don’t know or locate your vehicles washer fluid reservoir. 
  5. Locate the reservoir and unscrew the lid. Place the lid in a safe place where it won’t get lost.
  6. Open the container of washer fluid and using a funnel, carefully pour the washer fluid up to the fill line if it is completely empty. There should generally be some space at the top of the reservoir with no liquid.
  7. Replace your cars reservoir cap and close the hood of your vehicle.
  8. Go inside your vehicle’s cabin and make sure to turn on the windshield wiper fluid lever to make sure it is working properly.

Why Doesn’t my Windshield Washer Fluid Light Turn on

Whenever your windshield washer fluid is low, a light will typically turn on in your car’s center consul or in the dash area located in front of your steering wheel.

If you are pressing the windshield washer lever and no fluids coming out and the light is not turning on do not continue using it.

Generally, the problem here could be that the switch has simply broken but if you were continuously pressing the pipe the switch and the motor is running you could eventually break your motor which can inevitably lead to a costly repair.

Why Use Washer Fluid Instead of Water

A lot of times people ask why they have to use specific windshield wiper fluid in their car instead of just using plain water.

A lot of times they just don’t stack up the same. The benefits of windshield wiper fluid is that it usually has a specific solution that’s designed to break down the particles on your windshield for better cleaning.

The solutions are tailored so that your windshield wiper blades can have the maximum effect once going to remove the dirt and residue off of your windshield.

One of the things that people don’t really realize when they go to swap out and incorrectly use water instead of windshield wiper fluid is that water freezes at right around 0°C or 32°F, windshield wiper fluid has a drastically lower freezing point.

This is important if you live in cold climates that freeze consistently, this can have the effect of freezing the water inside your washer tank and cracking it.



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