Window Washer Fluid and Air Conditioner Refrigerant: Monthly Automotive Maintenance Part 6


Guess what?? These are the last two fluids left to check every month, to keep your vehicle sufficiently hydrated and all of its thirsts quenched. These two fluids, while not crucial to the life of your vehicle, make driving that vehicle more pleasant and comfortable. Also, these are the only two fluids that do get used up. If the levels get low, adding the proper fluids is something that needs to be done for the mechanical equipment to work. No washer fluid, no clean windshield. No air conditioning refrigerant, no air conditioning.

Air Conditioning Refrigerant

Checking the level of your air conditioning refrigerant is a procedure that your technician will have to complete for you. Because it is not actually a fluid, but a gas. In most of the newer model cars, there is a light in the instrument panel that goes on when your refrigerant is low, or there is some other problem with the air conditioning.

Windshield Washer Fluid

Almost every newer model vehicle on the roads today has a light in the instrument panel that will tell you when you are low on washer fluid. And most vehicles that are equipped with rear windshield wipers will have a receptacle located in the rear of the vehicle that contains the fluid for the rear windshield. Your owner’s manual will tell you how to access that container.

Although it seems as if it would be logical, and certainly less expensive to simply use a household window cleaner to refill your vehicles washer fluid, it is not a good idea. Household cleaners are just not designed for windshield use. These fluids would freeze in the winter and crack the reservoir, and they would not be able to adequately remove the road salt, bugs, or any other nameless disgusting thing that hits your windshield at speeds of 50 miles per hour, or more.

Checking the level and refilling your windshield washer fluid reservoir is a very simple process.

1.    Park your car on level ground, in your driveway, or parking space.
2.    Allow the engine to completely cool down. Never perform this check on a warm engine, the windshield washer fluid gets hot, and if the hose should slip or come loose, you could be splashed with scalding fluid.
3.    In order to effectively clean your windshield, without smearing it, and to keep the fluid from freezing in the reservoir during winter, windshield washer fluid consists of detergent, water, and a type of antifreeze.
4.    The washer fluid container is going to be either a jug or a box shaped reservoir, made of clear plastic, and it will be located pretty close to the windshield, with a hose leading from inside the container, and clamped to aim at the windshield.
5.    If the fluid level is below the marked fill line, then add the recommended washer fluid type for your make and model of vehicle.
6.    Make sure that the cap is replaced tightly.

That concludes all of our lessons dealing with the fluids in your vehicle.


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