Windscreen Washer Fluid Leak

A windscreen washer fluid leak is when the windscreen washer reservoir gets a crack in it or is damaged, and the fluid from inside starts leaking out. On most cars, the washer fluid reservoir is located at the back of the engine bay, near the base of the windscreen. The tank is translucent to allow you to see whether there is fluid inside or not.


Often older vehicles have the windscreen washer reservoir located near the exhaust systems, due to the intensive heat, over time the reservoir will start to crack and leak. This will cause fluid to leak from the washer reservoir until it is empty.


Windscreen Washer Fluid

The washer fluid reservoir holds the windscreen washer fluid, which is used to spray up and clean the windscreen. Windscreen washer fluid is a brightly coloured blue or green liquid. It is often made up of methanol and a few toxic alcohols (ethylene glycol), which is poisonous. 


Symptoms for a windscreen washer fluid leak

  • Fluid is leaking from below your car

You will be able to tell if your windscreen washer fluid is leaking if you notice a light blue or light green fluid coming from under your car, commonly next to one of the front tyres. Or more often if you have recently had your windscreen washer fluid topped up, but they have stopped squirting onto the windscreen shortly afterwards. 

The leak can be caused by the exhaust system heat on older cars. However, the most common cause of a cracked reservoir is due to owners putting water inside the system, instead of straight washer fluid. This is usually because the washer fluid can be expensive. When the temperatures get very cold, the water inside the unit will freeze. This causes the plastic to harden and crack once it thaws! 


  • Washer fluid is not spraying onto the windscreen  

When the system is engaged and you can hear the pump running, but no washer fluid is spraying, this can be due to a broken reservoir. If the reservoir is damaged all the fluid will drain out. 

This is common when water only is used in the windscreen washer unit. The reservoir can develop mold, especially near the exit port where the pump attaches or draws fluid out of. 

Unfortunately, if the issue is mold it can not be removed. This will require a mechanic replacing the whole windscreen washer reservoir and often replacing the fluid lines too.


  • Washer fluid is often low or empty

If your windscreen washer fluid is leaking you will get the puddle of water or blue or green fluids underneath your car. The leak or damage to the reservoir will cause your washer fluid to often be low or empty. So if you are regularly filling up your washer reservoir but find it becomes low or empty very quickly, you likely have a damaged reservoir that is leaking.

If your washer reservoir is empty and you turn on the washer pump it can lead to the pump being burnt out. If you burn out the pump it will need to be replaced.



Keeping your windscreen washer fluid topped up is a lot more important then people think. Keeping your fluids topped up can prevent your washer reservoir from becoming cracked or damaged. A great way to prevent a windscreen washer fluid leak is by getting a service. 


Windscreen Washer Fluid Leaking in Hamilton 

At Grimmer Motors we provide 3 different services, Basic, Standard, and Premium. All 3 of those services will top up your windscreen wiper fluid and test the spray pattern. During the service, they will be able to prevent a fluid leak but also be able to identify if there is a washer fluid leak. 

If you are having any trouble with your windscreen washer reservoir or your washer fluid is leaking, come to Grimmer Motors. Grimmer Motors are qualified, experienced, and honest mechanics that you can trust to fix any washer fluid leaks that you are having.

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