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How to Fix a Windshield Washer Heater

So there's something wrong with your windshield washer heater reservoir. Maybe it's completely frozen even though it's supposed to be resistant to freezing because it makes use of windshield wiper fluid or antifreeze. Maybe it's leaky and it now needs replacement. Whichever the case, this guide should assist you in getting everything fixed by taking a look at the symptoms of your faulty heater and doing the right things to get it going again.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

What You'll Need

  • Windshield antifreeze fluid
  • New windshield washer reservoir
  • Wrench
  • Tire iron (optional)
  • Car jack (optional)

Step 1: In order to unfreeze your windshield washer heater reservoir, you should first start your car's engine and allow it to warm up to an operating temperature. Make sure that the water gauge's needle ends up at the middle of it.

Step 2: As an alternative, you can park your car overnight inside your garage or driveway that's heated to really thaw down that reservoir and keep it at least above freezing temperatures to avoid it from going further south in terms of compromising your heater.

Step 3: After thawing your reservoir altogether, drain the windshield wiper fluid from it. Just park your car outside once then run the fluid through your system. It also tests whether your heater still works after the thawing was done.

Step 4: From there, open your hood, unscrew the cap on the windshield washer reservoir tank with heater, and pour down your antifreeze fluid to see if that can reinvigorate your heater and allow usage of the reservoir. It can also help check for potential leaks.

Step 5: Antifreeze resists freezing better than your usual washer fluid. However, if this isn't enough and your reservoir heater is altogether busted from being frozen, thenit's time for you to move to the next step of heater replacement.

Step 6: Open up your hood. Find where your windshield washer reservoir and heater is located. While cars do vary in their heater placement, you can usually expect the device to be placed at the edge of the compartment.

Step 7:When you poured the washer fluid earlier, did you locate any leaks from your heater?Visually identify any cracks on the reservoir heater. Perhaps the freezing and liquid expansion led to it breaking at some point, leading to leaks or compromised function.

Step 8:Take of the reservoir if you can't see the crack while it's installed. Use your user manual to learn the best way to remove this car component. There are cars that allow you to unscrew the tank from above, while others require access from underneath.

Step 9:Buy a new reservoir from quality aftermarket websites to save money. Just take note of the part number and get a brand new heater from their stocks in a jiffy. To be safe, get an OE-standard duplicate to ensure fitment.

Step 10:Reinstall your new reservoir by screwing the tank to your assembly, attaching its hose between the motor and the tank, and reattaching any other leads (like those from your car electrical system). Seal replacement might be called for as well.

The symptoms of a faulty heater reservoir include frozen or slushy washer fluid during the winter time and when unfrozen, washer fluid leaks resulting in immediate loss of your stock due to a cracked heater. You could also have a malfunctioning windshield washer motor, so check with your mechanic for more details to confirm what's wrong with your tank assembly.

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