Windshield Wiper Fluid Symbol: Meaning and Quick Fixes

Tim Miller
Windshield Wiper Fluid Symbol


Your car’s windshield wiper fluid level is low.

Windshield Wiper Fluid Symbol


  • Low Wiper Fluid Level
  • Leaking Wiper Fluid Reservoir
  • Loose Connectors
  • Faulty Wiper Fluid Level Sensor



Easy to fix


What Is the Windshield Wiper Fluid?

windshield wiper fluid

The windshield fluid is a chemical solution manufactured to keep your windshield clean and clear during rainfall or snowy conditions. By melting ice and cleaning the windshield, the wiper fluid improves driver visibility. 

Not only does washer fluid aim to provide a clear vision, but it also lubricates the washer fluid pump. If the pump is not supplied with fluid, it may corrode, leak, or even stop working.

What Does the Windshield Wiper Fluid Symbol Mean?

windshield wiper fluid symbol
The windshield wiper fluid light is a yellow symbol with a windshield and dotted lines representing the car washer fluid.

When the windshield wiper fluid symbol lights up on your dash, it indicates your windshield wiper fluid level is low. You need to check its level and top it off.

If this fluid runs out, your windshield wipers won’t work effectively, and you may encounter visibility issues while driving in inclement weather conditions.

Can I Drive With the Windshield Wiper Fluid Light On?

Yes, you can still drive with the light on. This is not in any way threatening to the driver.

However, you must fill up your fluid reservoir as soon as possible. This way, you will have a clear windshield when you drive in bad weather conditions.

Why Does The Windshield Wiper Fluid Light Come On?

You must have known that the warning light comes on when the windshield wiper fluid level is low. However, there are several other causes. I will explain these and tell you what to do in each situation.

Low Windshield Wiper Fluid Level

This is the most common trigger for this warning light. The fluid level might drop for some reasons, such as evaporation, usage, and temperature changes. The system will cause the windshield wiper fluid light to turn on, alerting drivers of the problem.

In this case, you don’t need to panic. Just top the fluid off by following the steps below.

how to check the windshield wiper fluid level

Step 1: Locate your windshield wiper fluid reservoir. In most cars, the reservoir is placed behind the engine bay and is usually transparent. I usually locate mine by noting the bright yellow symbol on it.

Step 2: Check the level of the windshield wiper fluid. Most tanks come with marks to indicate the level. The fluid level should be between the minimum and maximum fill lines. If the fluid level is low, you need to add more.

Step 3: Uncap the tank and pour in your wiper fluid reservoir till it reaches the “Max” mark. Make sure to use a high-quality, compatible fluid recommended by the manufacturer.

Finally, restart your car and drive for 50-100 miles. The light should already be gone.

If it remains lit, proceed to examine the potential causes below.

Leaking Windshield Wiper Fluid Reservoir

windshield wiper fluid reservoir

The reservoir may leak due to age, exposure to extreme temperatures, or a collision. Once there is a leak, the fluid will gradually drain out, causing its level to decrease over time.

Perform a visual inspection of the fluid reservoir and conduct the replacement if you have enough knowledge and experience. Otherwise, have it repaired by a mechanic to stop further damage.

Loose Connectors

The other common cause is loose connectors between the fluid reservoir and the rest of the system. Most of the time, vibrations or bumps in the road dislodge the connection. This can cause electrical problems and trigger the windshield wiper fluid light to come on. 

Like the leaking cause, you can check and tighten the loose connectors yourself. For a deeper inspection of the wiring system, ask a mechanic for help.

Faulty Windshield Wiper Fluid Level Sensor

You checked all the causes above, but the light remains lit. The culprit might be a faulty windshield wiper fluid level sensor. 

The sensor is responsible for monitoring the fluid level. If the level is low, the sensor sends signals to the system and triggers the warning light. The faulty sensor might cause the light to come on even if the fluid level is satisfactory.

This video will guide you on replacing the windshield wiper fluid level sensor.

What’s Next?

Don’t let low fluid levels get in the way of a good drive. Once you notice the windshield wiper fluid light, make sure to fill up your reservoirs as soon as possible.

Don’t forget to contact a mechanic if it is a situation you cannot handle.

Enjoy your drive!

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Information sourced from the owner's manual.