How to refill your windscreen wiper fluid

Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee

Driving with a clean, streak-free windscreen is essential for visibility on the road. Not being able to see what’s around you can be dangerous, especially at night when visibility is lower. That’s why having windscreen washer wipers with washer fluid topped up and readily available to clean your windscreen whenever you’re driving is so important.

Refilling windscreen washer fluid is a quick and simple task that you can do in two minutes. Here’s a step-by-step guide by Carma Lead Technician James Weaver on how to ensure clear visibility by keeping your windscreen wiper fluid topped up.

How often do I need to refill my windscreen washer fluid?

Windscreen washer fluid does need to be refilled as it gets used regularly on the road. ‘We recommend refilling windscreen washer fluid once a month to keep it topped up as using wipers on dry glass can damage the windscreen,’ says James, ‘I also recommend using your washers at least once a week to prevent the washer jets from clogging up’.

Depending on your driving conditions, you may need to refill more often if you’re using your wipers in the rain or in dusty areas. On many cars, you’ll also find an indicator on the dashboard that alerts you to fill up your washer fluid soon.

Do I need to use windscreen washer fluid or is water enough?

Water can come in handy when you’re running low on washer fluid, but water alone might not be enough to keep your windscreen gunk and streak-free. ‘Typically I’d use a concentrated or pre-mixed washer fluid that you can pick up at your local auto store or petrol station,’ recommends James, ‘these solvents can effectively clean off bugs, bird droppings and grime that collects on windshields.’

What you’ll need:

  • Windscreen washer fluid
  • Water (if you’re using concentrated fluid)
  • Funnel (optional, but recommended to prevent spills)
  • Clean cloth or paper towels (optional, for spills)

How to refill your windscreen washer fluid in 4 simple steps

1. Open the bonnet

Park your vehicle on a level surface and turn off the engine. Use the bonnet release hatch and open the bonnet and prop it up with the provided support rod.

2. Look for the washer fluid reservoir

Look for a plastic container with a cap that has a windshield washer symbol. On most cars like SUVs, hatchbacks and utes, it's usually near the front of the engine bay and is translucent so you can see the fluid level. ‘Make you’ve properly located the washer fluid reservoir as pouring the wrong fluid where your coolant or engine oil should be will damage your car,’ adds James, ‘you can always check the owner’s manual if you’re not sure’.

3. Open the cap and pour in washer fluid

Slowly pour the washer fluid into the reservoir through a funnel or measuring jug. If you’re using a concentrate, follow the product instructions on how much fluid you’ll need and how much water to top up.

4. Pop the cap on and close the bonnet

Once you've added enough fluid and water to dilute, flip the cap back on the reservoir. Close the bonnet, then you’re done!

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