Windshield Washer Fluid for Tesla Model 3: User’s Ultimate Guide

By Zac Ludicrous •  Updated: 04/15/22 •  10 min read
windshield washer fluid for tesla model 3
Paving for a cleaner windshield all year long. Credit to DÆrik / YouTube.

Do you often deal with windshield dirt when driving and while you’re parked? 

Whether your windshield has bird droppings or any kind of dirt or debris, your wiper and windshield washer fluid can easily solve that problem.

However, there are countless brands out there, and if you’re wondering which one’s the best for your Model 3, we can’t give you one answer because what works for others might not work for you.


But after doing some research, I was able to narrow it down to three windshield washer fluids that many Tesla owners love.

We’ll talk about them in this article and also discuss why it’s better to use a windshield washer fluid than regular water and how to pick the right one for your Tesla. I even included steps on how to add or refill the fluid and how to turn on the windshield washer.

Let’s dive right into it.

What Windshield Washer Fluid Does Tesla Recommend?

Instead of naming a specific brand to top up your wiper fluid, Tesla tells you what to steer clear of. According to them, the best windshield washer fluid shouldn’t contain bug wash or water repellent.

They claim that using wiper fluids with those qualities can cause noises like squeaking, as well as smearing and streaking.

And if you’re driving in a location that experiences temperatures below 40℉ (4℃), grab a wiper fluid with antifreeze. Without it, your windshield’s visibility can be impaired.

In case you’re wondering if it matters what window washer fluid you use, it does. These warnings can help you choose a Tesla-approved windshield washer fluid.

Is it Okay to Use Water?

There are a few EV owners who think it’s fine. Some would even mix it with a bit of detergent. This may be all right during summer, but what about during winter? 

The water will freeze! This can cause the washer fluid reservoir to harden and crack, and the fluid from the inside will leak out.

There’s no assurance that you’ll always remember to switch to an antifreeze windshield wiper fluid before it gets too cold, so it’s better to stick to a wiper fluid with antifreeze throughout the year.

Best Windshield Washer Fluid for Tesla Model 3

Here are some of the windshield washer fluids that are worth considering if you’re planning to stock up.

Best Overall: Biltema All-Season Concentrated Wiper Fluid

windshield washer fluid for tesla model 3

This may seem ironic, but I chose this windshield wiper fluid as the best out of the three products despite it not being common in the United States. It’s a pretty straightforward wiper fluid that even popular Tesla YouTuber Bjorn Nyland recommends.

This can effectively dissolve any contaminants that your Tesla windshield gets, such as oil, asphalt stain, residues from insects, traffic film, and road salt.

It’s a washer fluid that’s gentle on rubber strips, wiper blades, and varnish. Plus, it contains antifreeze that can handle cold temperatures down to -30℃.

Suitable for:

✅ All Tesla models

Pros

✅ Has three bottle sizes – 1 L, 4 L, and 10 L
✅ Can save you money by mixing part of this concentrate with water
✅ Can protect your windshield from freezing even if the temperature reaches -22℉ (-30℃)

Cons

❌ Not available in the United States or in popular online stores like Amazon
❌ Expensive

Runner-Up: Prestone All-Season 3-in-1 Year-Round Windshield Washer Fluid

The Prestone All-Season Washer Fluid is considered one of the best windshield wiper fluids because of its 3-in-1 function that you can rely on throughout the year.

Aside from being able to clean dirt and residue off your windshield, it can protect it from freezing, even if the temperature reaches -27°F (-32°C).

It also acts as a de-icer to easily melt off ice from your windshield.

Suitable for:

✅ All Tesla models

Pros

✅ Does the job
✅ Perfect to use throughout the year, regardless of the season
✅ Considered environment-friendly as it contains lower than 23.5% VOCs or volatile organic compounds

Cons

❌ Pricier compared with other concentrated solutions’ volume

Best Budget: Qwix Mix Windshield Washer Fluid Concentrate

Another windshield cleaning solution worth trying is the Qwix Mix Washer Fluid. You can use it for almost all seasons as it has freeze protection, even if the temperature goes down to -25℉ (-31℃).

Although you would have to mix in methanol to make it antifreeze.

The good thing is that the manufacturer provided an easy-to-follow chart to ensure that you’re mixing the right amount.

Here’s the guide that you’ll see on the bottle:

Freeze ProtectionOunces MethanolOunces Water
+32℉0128
+20℉9119
+10℉16112
0℉25103
-10℉3395
-20℉4484
-25℉4877

Other than that, it’s the cheapest out of the three products I found.

Suitable for:

✅ All Tesla models

Pros

✅ Usable for summer and winter
✅ Biodegradable washer fluid that does the job
✅ Convenient as you can keep a small bottle of the mixture in your car so you never run out

Cons

❌ Requires methanol if you want to take advantage of its antifreeze

Does Tesla Have a Windshield Wiper Fluid?

Teslas come from the factory with a windshield wiper fluid, but they don’t mention what specific fluid they use. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Elon Musk came up and manufactured their own washer fluid for their EVs.

But as we mentioned earlier, they don’t recommend a specific brand, but they warn you on what windshield fluid you should avoid. So you can use any brand you like, as long as you follow the dos and don’ts in the manual.

And the amount of windshield wiper fluid that comes with Teslas will vary. With that said, you can easily find out if you need to top up your car’s washer fluid. You’ll see a warning message displayed on the touch screen about it.

What’s convenient about this is that it lets you know before the fluid runs out, so you’ll have time to top up before running empty.

How to Refill the Windshield Washer Fluid on a Tesla

Your Tesla’s windshield washer fluid system is not that different from an ICE car. And if you’ve owned a car before, you probably already have an idea where to find your electric car’s reservoir.

To top up your Tesla’s windshield washer fluid, follow these steps:

  1. Open the front trunk, also known as the frunk.
  2. Lift the hood and ensure that it stays up.
  3. Use a clean cloth to clean around the filler cap. It will avoid any dirt from entering the reservoir for the wiper fluid.
  4. Lift the cap and add the windshield washer fluid. Avoid spills and fill it up to 2 inches from the top or until the fluid is visible just below the filler neck.
  5. If there are any spills, wipe and wash it away with water and then put the cap back firmly.

For a visual demo on how to add windshield washer fluid in your Tesla, check out this video:

At 0:46, you’ll see exactly where the reservoir is for your windshield washer fluid.

What is the Capacity of the Windshield Washer Fluid Reservoir?

Generally, the windshield washer fluid capacity of the Tesla models reservoir ranges between 3 to 5.3 liters (0.79 to 1.40 gallons). 

If you want specifics, the Model 3’s reservoir has a capacity of 3.2 liters (0.84 gallons), while the Model S and Model Y’s reservoir can hold 4.5 liters (1.18 gallons).

The Model X can hold more windshield wiper fluid, which is 5.3 liters (1.40 gallons).

To be safe, other Tesla owners fill their windshield washer reservoir with a gallon of fluid.

How to Use Windshield Washer Fluid in a Tesla

windshield washer fluid for tesla model 3
That’s a pretty hard-to-miss lever with buttons. Credit to Tesla.

For all Teslas, you can control the windshield washer fluid with a button found on the lever of the steering wheel’s left side. It even has wiper symbols on it. You can simply push the button to make the fluid and wiper working, but it’s a little different on each Tesla.

For Model Ys and 3s, you’ll have to press and hold the button at the end of the lever. This will make the washer fluid flow and activate the wipers. If you release the button, the wiper fluid’s flow will stop, and then the wipers will make last three swipes before stopping

Those who have a Model S or X, a partial depression of the wiper button found at the end of the left lever will make the wiper move or wipe once.

If you haven’t experienced it yet, at least you know what to expect.

But if you really want to use the washer fluid, you have to make sure that the wiper button is fully depressed. It will activate the fluid and the wipers. When you release the button, it will also make three last wipes before halting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Tesla have any wiper fluid?

As of the moment, Tesla isn’t selling any specific wiper fluid. That means you have to buy and use an after-market windshield washer fluid for your electric vehicle.

How much does a windshield washer fluid cost?

Depending on the size and brand name, a gallon of a wiper fluid has an average cost of $15 to $25. The price can also vary depending on the type of fluid and the chemicals and amount of additives used or mixed in it.

Can plain water be an ideal alternative to windshield washer fluid?

Sure, water is a cheap alternative to windshield wiper fluid, given that you live in a place that experiences sunny weather throughout the year. If you’re located somewhere that reaches freezing temperature, water will freeze, causing the reservoir to crack and your Tesla to leak water.

And if you’re planning to use water alone, it’s not capable of decontaminating and cleaning your windshield by itself.

Bottom Line: Check Your Tesla Manual Before Choosing a Windshield Washer Fluid

Angry William H Macy GIF by Fargo - Find & Share on GIPHY
Say goodbye to angry moments like this when you have the right wiper fluid.

The manufacturer of your electric vehicle will always know what’s best to ensure that you and your car are safe. If you haven’t fully scanned your manual, now’s the time to do it. 

And even if Tesla didn’t specify a windshield washer fluid that your EV came with or what you should refill it with, they’ve given plenty of warnings on what not to use.

Aside from going with a wiper fluid with antifreeze, Tesla suggested that you do not use a formulated fluid with bug wash or water repellent qualities.

You should also go for a fluid that has a proper VOC level that’s within your local or national regulations.

Qwix Mix and Prestone are loved by owners of both gas- and electric-powered vehicles. But if money is no issue, I suggest you go for the Biltema All-Season Concentrated Wiper Fluid.

Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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