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Toyota Windshield Washer Reservoir

Common Toyota Windshield Washer Reservoir Problems

The Toyota windshield washer reservoir is responsible for storing the fluid that cleans your car's windshield. Without it, the entire windshield washing system will not be functional as it needs water to be able to clean. In case your windshield washer reservoir becomes a problem, learn how to fix it with these easy-to-follow tips.

The water in the windshield washer reservoir is frozen

Have you ever pressed the washer button on one cold day and you find that there is no water squirting out of the nozzle? You then checked if the nozzle is clogged or if the tubing is disconnected. However, when you opened the windshield washer reservoir, you discovered that the water inside is completely frozen. What must have happened?

First of all, remember that what you put in there was plain old H2O, which is susceptible to freezing especially during winter. While you will now have to go through the inconvenience of even replacing the reservoir, you should also learn why it's necessary to use the right washer fluid. This liquid that you can find in many auto parts stores has high alcohol content and therefore will not freeze. It's okay if you use water in other seasons, but you have to drain the reservoir before winter and refill it with washer fluid.

The windshield washer reservoir is cracked

If you have been filling the windshield washer reservoir with water and the liquid inside froze during the winter, then this could be the culprit. After learning your lesson of not using water as your windshield washer, you should also learn how to fix a cracked reservoir. One way is to have the component welded with conventional plastic-welding techniques. Do not use a silicone sealant as it does not have the adhesive properties or the strength to hold the windshield washer reservoir together. However, if you want to fix the component yourself, buy a strong plastic tank repair kit from local auto parts stores. Then, take out the damaged component and follow the instructions included in the package to seal the crack.

Other troubleshooting tips

While you have the windshield washer reservoir open, check it for dirt as well. If the grime has sunk to the bottom of the component, take out the reservoir from your car and clean it thoroughly.

Aside from the reservoir itself, it is also best to inspect the pump operation. Follow the washer tubing from the windshield washer reservoir until you reach the end. Then, disconnect the tube and have an assistant press the washer button. If there is a strong stream of washer fluid coming out of it, then this indicates that the pump is still good.

  • Tips to Keeping Your Toyota Windshield Washer Reservoir in Good Shape

    Just because your Toyota windshield washer reservoir is only there to store the washer fluid doesn't mean you don't have to pay much attention to it. When this component gets damaged, the washer fluid will leak. You will then have to face the inconvenience of pouring in more cleaner liquid and even replacing the reservoir. To avoid this, here are some tips to keeping the component functional.

    Basic maintenance tips

    Do not use water in the windshield washer reservoir.

    Unless you want your windshield washing system to break down because of frozen water, then keep filling the reservoir with the right washer fluid. While it is more costly than regular H2O, the windshield washer fluid contains high amounts of alcohol to keep it from freezing during the winter.

    If the windshield washer reservoir gets cracked, bag it.

    Because the windshield washer reservoir is generally made of plastic, it can easily get punctured, causing it to leak. This usually happens when you fill it with water during the winter. If the leak is coming from the reservoir, either replace the component or insert a plastic freezer bag inside it to hold the washer fluid.

    DIY Washer Fluid

    The main reason why many car owners use water in their windshield washer reservoir is due to the washer fluid being a bit costly. Considering that you may be using it several times a day whenever you drive, using water is quite justifiable. However, do you know that you can make your own washer fluid with the products you can find at home? Here are some recipes you could try:


    When your windshield washer reservoir needs filling and you run out of your usual washer fluid, simply raid your liquor cabinet to make your own. In a screw-top gallon jug, mix three cups of vodka with four cups of water and two teaspoons of liquid washing detergent. Feel free to use the cheapest vodka you can find. Be sure to shake the mixture well before pouring it into the reservoir.

    Window cleaner

    Because it's formulated to clean our windows at home, surely this commercially available product will also work on your windshield. It is best to look for ones that are of blue liquid-pour three cups of these into one gallon of water. There is no need to shake it; just pour the mixture into the windshield washer reservoir. However, because window cleaners are just as costly-or maybe even more-than the washer fluid itself, use this alternative sparingly.