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Washer Reservoir

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How to Install a Washer Reservoir in Four Steps

The washer reservoir is the component that stores the windshield washer fluid. However, if it gets cracked and starts leaking, you might have to take a look at the damaged part. After performing a leak test and trying to repair the old component to no avail, it might be time to get a new washer reservoir.

Required skill level: Intermediate

Needed tools and materials

  • Wrench

  • Owner's manual

  • Protective eyewear

  • Factory jack

  • Two jack stands
  • Making safety preparations

    Be sure that you will be working in a well ventilated area with your vehicle on a level flat surface and your car's engine in "Park." It is also best to refer to your owner's manual in order to find the washer reservoir and see how you can access the reservoir. Lastly, put on protective eyewear while you work.

    Removing the wheel

    If you have to get under your vehicle, you will have to remove one of your car's front wheels in order to access the washer reservoir. Lift your vehicle with a jack and steady it on a pair of jack stands before removing the wheel. Keep your car that way while you remove the old washer reservoir and install a new one.

    Removing the old washer reservoir

    Locate the washer reservoir either by opening the hood or going under your car. It is usually located along the edge of the compartment. Then, disconnect the electrical connection plug at the washer reservoir pump. Follow the black rubber hose from the pump to its first connection on the underside of the hood. You can find it at the spray jets. Disconnect the hose from here and remove it from any clips it is attached to so that it is only attached at the pump itself. Keep the end of the hose above the fluid level in the washer reservoir to prevent it from leaking on you if you're working from under your car.

    Installing the new reservoir

    Screw the new component into the washer assembly, attaching the hose between the tank and the motor and then reattaching any other connections such as those leading to the electrical system. You will also have to replace the seals, clips, and other hardware.

    Washer Reservoir Articles

    • Dorman versus Replacement: The Battle for Washer Reservoir Supremacy

      Keeping your windshield clean is an important-if often overlooked-part of your driving experience. After all, with the windshield dirty and dusty, you wouldn't be able to see anything at all. The washer reservoir holds that cleaning solution that you use to keep your ride's windshield spot-free while you're on the go. Naturally, if you're buying a new one, you would want to get a reservoir of the best quality so it won't break down all too easily. We've taken two best-selling brands, and we pit them head-on against each other to determine which one gives you a better value for your dollar.

      Build quality

      To a discerning car owner, the quality of the build of a Dorman washer reservoir is readily apparent-the plastic that forms the receptacle is very sturdy and less prone to collapse even when you press down on it. Reservoirs from Replacement don't necessarily feel inferior-just that the difference is noticeable. All in all, however, it's unlikely that the difference will be detrimental to you and your vehicle. Still, if it's quality that you truly find comfort in, there is a clear winner.

      WINNER: Dorman

      Affordable pricing

      Replacement-brand washer reservoirs are a third of a price of the reservoirs carried by Dorman-that's three Replacements for the price of one Dorman. That's the one advantage of Replacement skimping off on high-quality materials: the price is very affordable. Additionally, considering that the washer reservoir is not a heavily taxed part, it isn't likely that you'd notice that Dorman lasts longer. So, if you're one that prefers to save on costs, you know what to get.

      WINNER: Replacement

      Warranty offer

      Replacement comes with an unlimited-mileage, one year warranty. Dorman gives you a limited lifetime on majority of its washers. This distinction is important. An unlimited mileage warranty sounds good on paper, but realistically, it's the time factor that is more crucial-how many of you are likely to overtax your ride on an incredibly long drive? Additionally, "lifetime" warranty declarations are a confidence booster: the company will back its claims on quality.

      WINNER: Dorman


      All in all, Replacement washer reservoir is good for exactly what the brand says: a quick fix replacement that is affordable but not too durable. Ultimately, however, Dorman washer reservoir is still the better long-term, high-quality choice.