How to Put Windshield Wiper Fluid in Car in 6 Easy Steps

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How to Put Windshield Wiper Fluid in Car in 6 Easy Steps

It’s not always easy to know when you need windshield wiper fluid and how to put windshield wiper fluid in car. For instance, if your wipers are still running smoothly and you haven’t been driving in the rain then it is unlikely that you will need to add more fluid.

Signs to Put Windshield Wiper Fluid in Car

There are some signs that indicate it might be time for a refill wiper fluid:

-You notice a delay between wiping and seeing the area cleared of water.

-The blades seem wet or oily after using them for a while.

-Your car has an intermittent squeaking sound coming from the wipers as they move across the windshield or back and forth during use (this may also be caused by ice buildup).

If any of those things seem true about your vehicle, then it is time to refill your wiper fluid.

Some cars have an indicator that will tell you when the windshield wiper fluid needs to be refilled. This is typically light on the dashboard or a lighted line next to your gas gauge. Other indicators are more subtle, like wipers not clearing off as much of the rain and snow from your windshields because they are out of water.

Before you can put windshield wiper fluid in a car, it’s important that you know where the reservoir for adding new liquid sits on your vehicle. For most cars, this will be either beneath or behind the hood.


  • Funnel
  • Windshield wiper fluid

Note: Wiper fluid for warmer weather is different from that of colder conditions. Winter fluid has methyl alcohol in it, which protects the liquid from freezing up to a certain temperature range.

How to Fill Windshield Wiper Fluid: Step by Step

Luckily, the steps to fill windshield wiper fluid are super simple and you can do it yourself by following the instructions.

Step 1: Find/Open the Filler Cap

How to Put Windshield Wiper Fluid in Car in 6 Easy Steps - Open the Cap

This will be located near your gas tank and varies from car to car, but it’s usually easy to spot on newer models. Simply remove any panels that might cover this location – like a plastic shield or other protective plates – until you find what looks like an opening with a cap on.

On most vehicles, the windshield wiper fluid tank will be transparent and have an image of water spraying onto a window. It may also say “Washer Fluid Only” on the cap.

Step 2: Check Fluid Level

To see if your windshield wiper fluid is in good condition, look at the tank. If the level is half or lower than halfway, you should fill it all the way to the top with windshield wiper fluid for safety.

Step 3: Fill the Tank

Fill the windshield wiper fluid tank up to the marked fill line. Do not fill it past this line. Depending on how the tank is set in your car you may need to use a funnel, or pour it directly into your windshield wiper fluid reservoir.

Step 4: Put the Cap Back

Put the cap back onto the tank. If you have a snap-close type, push it down until it snaps into place tight.

Step 5: Close the Hood

To prevent hurting your hands when closing the hood, keep it 6 inches below the latch to safely close your car’s hood and protect your hands.

Step 6: Testing

Turn on the car and press the lever to see if it works.

How to Put Windshield Wiper Fluid in Car in 6 Easy Steps - Step 6 testing


1. Can You Just Put Water in Windshield Wiper Fluid?

As opposed to using water in place of windshield wiper fluid, it is safer and cheaper to use washer fluid. However, if the car is filled with only water during freezing temperatures then there may be mechanical damage.

2. What if I Put Windshield Wiper Fluid in the Coolant Overflow Tank?

For a newbie, this could happen as these 2 tanks can look alike.

In order to avoid this, make sure to check which is which before you add the wiper fluid. A coolant overflow reservoir will have a hose leading out to the radiator.

If you mistakenly add wiper fluid to the coolant overflow reservoir, turn off your engine and do not attempt to drive until the radiator is flushed.


Now you know how to fill windshield wiper fluid in car! Remember, make sure that it’s winter or summer time appropriate fluid for your climate conditions before pouring into your car. As always, be safe!

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