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How to Flush Your Window Washer Reservoir

Updated September 27, 2018

Vehicles have a window washer reservoir that holds washer fluid for cleaning the front windshield. Pressing the button in the vehicle for window washer fluid activates a pump that transfers the water from the bottom of the reservoir along a hose and out through nozzles that spray the windshield. The reservoir needs occasional flushing to clean it, so no small pieces of debris enter the system and stop up the hose or nozzles preventing flow onto the windshield.

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  1. Turn the vehicle off, open the bonnet and let it cool completely to avoid burns.

  2. Grasp the lid on the window washer reservoir and pull it straight up to open the reservoir. The window washer reservoir is generally on the passenger side of a car near the firewall at the back of the engine compartment. It is a translucent or transparent container with a lid and a hose on the bottom.

  3. Place pliers on the hose at the bottom of the reservoir and pull the hose straight down and off. Some models have a metal clip to squeeze with the pliers or a metal hose clamp to loosen with a flat screwdriver to pull the hose off. The contents of the reservoir will drain out the bottom.

  4. Place a nozzle on a garden hose and turn it clockwise. Turn the garden hose valve on in a counterclockwise direction.

  5. Spray water from the garden hose into the window washer reservoir to rinse out any calcium build-up or sediment. The water and sediment will run out the bottom of the reservoir onto the ground.

  6. Scrub the inside of the reservoir with a toothbrush to remove stubborn stains. Rinse thoroughly with the garden hose.

  7. Turn the garden hose valve clockwise to turn it off.

  8. Push the hose onto the bottom of the reservoir. Secure it with the metal hose clamp or metal clip if it was removed to remove the hose.

  9. Pour window washer fluid in the reservoir to the fill line on the outside of the container or entirely full if there is no fill line.

  10. Press the reservoir cap firmly on the top of the reservoir.

  11. Tip

    Window washer fluid contains a slight soapy additive to help the windshield wipers scrub bugs and other messes off the window. Use window washer fluid to avoid calcium deposits in the reservoir from adding water to the container.


    Draining the window washer reservoir on a vehicle that is hot can causes the liquid to splash on hot parts, create steam and cause burns.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Garden hose with nozzle
  • Toothbrush
  • Windshield washer fluid

About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.

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