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If your car’s washer fluid light is not disappearing, you have come to the right place. While the washer fluid light is not a critical warning light like an engine check light or low oil pressure light, it still needs to be fixed for a perfect driving experience. In this article, I have covered everything that you need to know, including the causes behind the issue and how to troubleshoot and prevent it.
Purpose of Low Washer Fluid Warning Light
As the name says, the low washer fluid warning light indicates when you are low on washer fluid that cleans your windshield and, in some cars, headlamps, too. Having enough washer fluid is essential to keep the windshield clean for better visibility.
The light illuminates on the dashboard when the fluid level goes down and turns off once the liquid level increases to the required level.
Causes of a Low Washer Fluid Warning Light Not Turning Off
After refilling the washer fluid reservoir, the low washer fluid warning indicator should disappear, but in some cases, it does not, and usually, the cause is a fluid leak, malfunctioning sensor, or an electrical issue. In the subsequent section, I have covered all the solutions to fix the problem.
How to Fix Low Washer Fluid Warning Light Not Turning Off
Solution 1) Fill Washer Fluid Reservoir
As mentioned before, refilling the washer fluid will make the indicator go away. So, the first step that you need to do is to fill the washer fluid. If the light goes away, there is nothing wrong, and you do not have to take any action; if it does not, then you can follow and apply the solutions explained in the next section.
Solution 2) Turn the Ignition on and off
Turning the car’s ignition on and off can sometimes fix the issue; if the problem still persists, you may have to try another solution.
Solution 3) Use The Gas Pedal
Turn the ignition and depress the gas pedal five times within three seconds. This will reset the low washer fluid light. Keep in mind this works for certain car models only.
Solution 4) Disconnect the Battery
Disconnecting the battery can fix the warning indicator issue in some cases. Open the hood and disconnect the battery terminals using a wrench. Make sure you disconnect the negative terminal first and then disconnect the positive terminal to avoid electrocuting yourself. The negative cable should have a black terminal cover, and the positive cable should have a red cover. The battery must have positive (+) and negative (–) symbols, too, so you can identify the right terminal.
Note: Before disconnecting the battery, turn the ignition off and close all four doors.
Solution 5) Use an OBD 2 Scanner
Perform a diagnostic scan on your car by using an OBD 2 scanner. You can do it by using a computer with scanning software or by using an Android or iOS device with a scanning app. If you cannot perform the scan on your own, take the help of an expert.
Solution 6) Replace Washer Fluid Sensor
The washer fluid sensor serves to detect when the fluid level falls below the required level; if the sensor is not working properly, the system can fail to turn off the washer fluid light even after having enough fluid in the reservoir. To resolve the problem, it is advisable to contact a professional who can replace the sensor. The washer fluid sensor typically costs around $20 to $70.
Solution 7) Reset the ECU
The engine control unit (ECU) or an engine management system controls the engine and important electronic components of a car. Disconnecting the backup power source supplied to the ECU connector terminal that helps the ECU keep the memory even after the ignition is off should reset the ECU. The backup is connected via a fuse; removing it will reset the ECU, and the washer fluid light will be gone, too.
The fuse can be found in the car’s fuse box; if it’s your first time doing this, check the owner’s manual to find out where it’s located. After locating the fuse, gently unplug it and then replug it after a few minutes.
Note: If you are a complete layman and have a hard time figuring out how to do it, it’s better to contact a mechanic and let him do it.
Can You Drive With the Low Washer Fluid Light On?
Yes, the washer fluid light is not a critical component-related light such as the engine oil light, check engine light, ABS light, etc. You can drive without having any issues, but take into consideration that if the washer fluid light is on because of low washer fluid, make sure you refill it to keep the windshield clean for good visibility.
How to Check For Leaks in the Washer Fluid System?
If your washer fluid system is leaking fluid, the warning light will come back as soon as all the fluid is drained.
Check the Reservoir
To check for leaks, first inspect the fluid reservoir, which is made of white plastic and should have a windshield/water symbol. Once you have identified it, check if it has cracks. A leaked reservoir typically costs $100 to $350, depending upon the make and model of the car. If you can’t afford a replacement, you can get it repaired as well.
Check the Fluid Hoses
Check the hoses that are connected to the reservoir and the rest of the washer fluid system. It’s pretty common for hoses to develop cracks with time; the fluid can easily leak from these cracks, resulting in the fluid light popping up on the dashboard.
Check the Fluid Pump
The washer fluid pump is located below the fluid reservoir and can have leaks, too, just like other fluid system components. If you cannot see any leak, try using the windshield washer and then check if it’s leaking.
Check the Spray Nozzles
The nozzles that spray fluid on the windshield can leak, too; even though it’s not a common issue, you should not ignore it. If you notice any fluid leaking out of the nozzles when you are not using the washer, you definitely have leaking nozzles. Make sure you also check if the tube line that supplies fluid to the spray nozzles is busted.
Look for a Pool of Fluid
The last thing to do is check for a pool of fluid under the car in case you miss any leak in the fluid system while inspecting it. A fluid pool is clear evidence of prominent leakage in the system, and you should take it to a mechanic and get it fixed.
In conclusion, the washer fluid warning light issue should not be ignored, but at the same time, it’s not a critical issue. I have covered causes and solutions to fix the issue to easily fix it. If none of the solutions work for you, take the car to a mechanic and get it fixed. I’ll end this article with one final piece of advice, which is to occasionally inspect the fluid system visually as a preventive measure.