Sometimes your windshield wipers alone are not enough to keep the windshield clean. If it’s dry outside, you’ll have a hard time wiping dirt off your windshield without the help of some liquid. Thankfully, modern cars are equipped with a small tank full of soapy water to help clean any dirty windshields. Additionally, a small amount of antifreeze may be used on the windshield so that ice won’t form and damage components. This fluid is also used on headlights, if the vehicle is equipped accordingly.
To help make sure you never run out of this fluid, some automakers have a fluid level sensor on the reservoir and a low washer fluid warning light on the dash.
What the washer fluid low warning light means
This light’s only function is to let the driver know the fluid is low and to remind them to go fill it up. Once you have filled up the reservoir with fluid, the light should go out immediately. A malfunctioning fluid level sensor can keep the light on, even if the reservoir is completely full. In that case, ensure that you have the sensor tested and replaced, if necessary.
Is it safe to drive with the washer fluid low warning light on?
Washer fluid is one of those things that you don’t need all the time, but when you do need it, you really need it! It’s important to always keep fluid in the reservoir and avoid letting it run dry. Some seals inside the system can start leaking if they dry out too much.
Don’t ignore this light if it comes on and always try to keep your washer fluid topped off. If your washer fluid light won’t turn off, our certified technicians are always available to help diagnose any issues with it.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What Does the Washer Fluid Low Warning Light Mean? and was authored by Spencer Cates.