Windshield wiper fluid plays an important role in how effective your vehicle’s windscreen wipers function. Its primary function is to help clean your car’s windscreen, keeping it free of grime and dirt. Apart from that, wiper fluid also acts as a lubricant, allowing your wipers to run smoothly when cleaning your windshield.
After going through a couple of social media platforms and forums, I found out that many drivers often ask this question – does windshield wiper fluid expire?
Some manufacturers often add an expiry date on their wiper fluid products. Going by that, one can safely say that windshield wiper fluids expire. However, you need to understand that this will mostly happen if the product has been opened and not properly stored. That said, an unopened wiper fluid can last for many years.
How often do you need to have your windshield wiper fluid replaced? Does windscreen wiper fluid expire? What do you do with old windshield washer fluid? As you read through the rest of this post, you’ll find answers to the frequently asked questions above.
How Often Do You Need To Replace Your Windscreen Wiper Fluid?
Here’s What You Need To Know About The Windshield Washer System
Four key groups of parts are considered to be the safety-critical components of a vehicle. These are the brake system, tires, suspension system, and visibility systems, such as windscreen and wipers. In case you don’t know, your vehicle’s windshield is a safety-critical component because it protects you from dirt and debris while driving.
Windscreens are designed to protect drivers from dust, debris, ice, and many more. This explains why they often get dirty, dusty, frosty, and icy very quickly.
It’s a must for you, as a driver, to clean your vehicle’s windshield as soon as it becomes dirty. This way, you’ll be able to see clearly while driving your car. To clean the windshield, what you need is an effective windshield wiper fluid product.
Furthermore, every vehicle is designed with a windshield washer system to help wash the windscreen when it’s dirty or icy. The system comes with a couple of components, including a fluid pump, fluid lines & hoses, washer nozzles, wiping devices, switch, and a reservoir to store the wiper fluid.
Here’s how the windshield washer system works; as soon as you discover that your windscreen is dirty or frosty, all you need to do is to press the switch. After that, the pump will spray the fluid on your windscreen, while the wiping devices will finish the job.
Change The Windshield Wiper Fluid Regularly
Because of how it’s designed to function, a vehicle’s windshield often gets dirty almost every time. To ensure your safety and those of other people in the car, it’s only normal for you to clean the windscreen as soon as it becomes dirty. As such, it’s safe to say that you need windshield fluid inside the reservoir every time.
Since you need the windshield wiper fluid almost every time, you need to replace it whenever it runs out. Alternatively, you can consider changing the windscreen wiper fluid at every service interval.
If you’re the type that utilizes bug wash, a soapy mixture, it’s advisable to consider changing the fluid seasonally. For instance, if you added the bug wash to your reservoir during the summer season, ensure to change it as soon as summer ends to avoid damaging the components of your windshield washer system.
That said, the bottom line is that it’s best to replace the windshield washer fluid at every service interval or as soon as your washer fluid reservoir runs out of it. As for big wash, the best time to change it is seasonally (before entering another season.
Does Windshield Wiper Fluid Expire?
Some manufacturers often add an expiration date to their Windshield wiper fluid products. All you need to do is to check the product you’re using to see when it’s going to expire. As such, it’s safe to say that wiper fluid products often expire.
While windscreen washer fluid expires, you need to understand that most of the products are usually still very effective even after going past their expiry date. Well, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you because of the substances used to produce wiper fluids.
Windshield wiper fluid products are usually designed with water and methanol. Methanol is responsible for keeping your windscreen from freezing during the winter periods. Furthermore, methanol and water are not substances that expire quickly.
That said, if you have an unopened windshield wiper fluid at home, the good news is that you can keep it for as long as you can without worrying about the expiration date. As for an already opened wiper fluid product, consider storing it properly and you won’t have to worry about it expiring.
The bottom line is that wiper fluid often expires, as indicated by most manufacturers on their products. However, unopened products can always last for a long time. Even opened products, if properly kept, can remain very effective even after exceeding their expiration date.
What Do You Do With Your Old Windshield Washer Fluid?
Once you’re done using your windshield water fluid, the next thing is to dispose of the product. While doing that, you need to avoid putting the windshield washer fluid in the trash. In addition to this, you need to also avoid pouring the remaining fluid down your drain.
That said, the best way to dispose of your old windshield washer fluid container is by dropping it inside your curbside recycling bin or taking it to any hazardous local waste disposal facility close to you.
Alternatively, you can get in touch with your local waste disposal facility on call and ask for guidelines regarding windshield washer fluid. Most likely, you’ll be provided with guidelines that will help you dispose of the product the right way.