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Washer Fluid Level Sensor Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a washer fluid level sensor replacement is between $116 and $150. Labor costs are estimated between $82 and $105 while parts are priced between $34 and $45. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.

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What is a Windshield Washer Fluid Level Sensor?

The windshield washer fluid reservoir is seldom thought of until it is completely empty and the driver needs to clean the windshield. To prevent this situation, many manufacturers instal what is known as a windshield washer fluid reservoir fluid level sensor. This sensor acts as a switch for the low windshield washer fluid warning lamp, and will activate when the washer fluid has run low, but before it is empty.

How does a Windshield Washer Fluid Level Sensor work?

Like other automotive switches, the windshield washer fluid level sensor will activate the warning lamp when the circuit is interrupted or closed, depending on the design. The windshield washer fluid level switch will have probes placed in the windshield washer fluid towards the bottom of the reservoir, and when fluid is too low to make contact with the proves, the switch causes illumination of the windshield washer fluid low warning lamp. It will turn off automatically when the reservoir has fluid added, even if the reservoir is not filled to capacity.

What are the symptoms of a bad Windshield Washer Fluid Level Sensor?

Vehicles equipped with this switch will have up to three symptoms when the switch or circuit fails. First, the windshield washer fluid reservoir may be full, but the warning lamp becomes active as if it were empty. Next, spraying windshield washer fluid onto the windshield can alert the driver that the reservoir is empty, yet the switch may not have activated the warning lamp. Lastly, the warning lamp may illuminate intermittently, with or without fluid in the reservoir.

Can I drive with a bad Windshield Washer Fluid Level Sensor?

This cannot be considered an urgent repair, even in the worst driving conditions. Many cars and trucks are not equipped with this sensor, so it is considered a luxury accessory feature. The vehicle can be driven indefinitely with the windshield washer fluid level sensor operating improperly.

How often do Windshield Washer Fluid Level Sensors need replacement?

This switch will not fail very often. In fact, the number one cause of replacing the windshield washer fluid level sensor is physical damage from collisions. This is due to the fact that most windshield washer fluid reservoirs are located in front of the front wheels of the vehicle, tucked into otherwise empty space behind the bumper cover. Here there is little protection for the reservoir, and nearly any amount of force to the front corner of the vehicle where the reservoir resides will lead to physical damage.

How are Windshield Washer Fluid Level Sensor issues diagnosed?

In some cases, the technician can diagnose the windshield washer reservoir fluid level sensor by simply unplugging the sensor, and checking that the warning lamp has turned off. In all other cases, the reference voltage from the control module will be checked at the electrical connection for the windshield washer fluid level sensor, and back probing the connector will allow the technician to check for a change in signal voltage when the windshield washer fluid level sensor probes are closed and open.

How are Windshield Washer Fluid Level Sensors replaced?

If the sensor has failed, the technician will need to removed the inner fender well in most cases. This will provide access to the damaged windshield washer fluid level sensor. THe sensor will be removed, and all fluid will be caught in a drip pan. The new sensor will be reinserted into the side or top of the reservoir, and fastened with the appropriate mounting hardware. The windshield washer fluid low warning lamp will be observed to ensure it indicates low fluid levels before the reservoir is filled with clean, new windshield washer fluid. Afterwards, the windshield washer fluid low warning lamp will be checked to ensure it has turned off, thus signaling completion of the repair.

RepairPal Recommendations for Windshield Washer Fluid Level Sensor issues

We recommend completely draining the windshield washer fluid reservoir any time service is conducted. This will allow the reservoir to be cleaned, and rid the reservoir of contaminants that may damage the windshield washer fluid pump or clog the windshield washer fluid lines and nozzles.

What to look out for when dealing with Windshield Washer Fluid Level Sensor issues

A gentle hand is needed when performing service on the windshield washer fluid reservoir. Over time, the reservoir may become brittle, which would become evident when the switch is removed and replaced. Any breakage of the port for the fluid level sensor will result in leaks, and the reservoir will need to be replaced.

Can I replace the Windshield Washer Fluid Level Sensor myself?

This is an excellent job for any DIY or at home mechanic. The sensor is simple to diagnose, easy to change, and few tools are required. As long as accessing the windshield washer fluid level sensor is not too challenging, changing this sensor should be an enjoyable repair.

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