Skip to content

Windshield Washer Fluid Symbol: Make Sure You Fill the Right Tank

An arc shape paired with a centered vertical dotted line representing water spouting up is a typical windshield washer fluid symbol.

Your windshield washer fluid symbol will light up on your instrument cluster whenever the fluid is low. This doesn’t require you to immediately pull over or risk damaging your car, but the fluid needs to be topped off. Here’s how to replace your windshield washer fluid and be sure you’re filling the right fluid reservoir.

What Does the Light Mean?

While some lights on your instrument cluster indicate a problem that requires immediate attention, this light isn’t one that should instill panic. It’s simply a warning that your washer fluid is low, and you should get it topped off at your earliest convenience.

Finding the Right Reservoir

Windshield Washer Reservoir

Take a good look at the windshield washer fluid symbol that lit up on your instrument cluster. You want to look for the same symbol when you pop the hood to fill the reservoir. It’s not located in the same place on every car, but it’s always accessible without needing any tools or having to dig down into the engine bay.

Most cars, especially newer models, have the same symbol you see on the instrument cluster embossed on the cap of the reservoir. It may be outlined in yellow to grab your attention. Start by looking toward the back of the engine bay as that’s usually where it’s located.

What Does It Look Like?

The windshield washer fluid reservoir is usually a translucent plastic container that lets you see if it contains fluid. This makes it easy for you to check, which you should do periodically to avoid running out. The fluid inside can be blue, but there are also pink and green washer fluids. Don’t let color be your guide. Look for the windshield washer fluid symbol that lit up on your instrument cluster.

What If You Can’t Find It?

If you have trouble finding the reservoir or you’re not sure you’ve found the right one, then ask for help. A mechanic can quickly tell you which one is for washer fluid. Don’t just guess! Putting washer fluid in the wrong place could cause damage to your car.

At some point, everyone needs to add windshield washer fluid to keep their windshield clear. Look under your hood to be sure you know where the reservoir is before it’s empty. This way you can periodically check to see if it’s full and know when it’s time to add more fluid.

Check out all the windshield washer products available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information about adding washer fluid, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Nicole Wakelin View All

Nicole Wakelin covers the automotive industry as a freelance journalist for a variety of outlets. Her work includes news pieces, podcasts, radio, written reviews, and video reviews. She can be found in The Boston Globe, CarGurus, BestRide, US News and World Report, and AAA along with lifestyle blogs like Be Car Chic, The Other PTA, and She Buys Cars. She is active on social media with a large following on both Twitter and Instagram and currently serves as Vice President of the New England Motor Press Association.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *