Windshield washer reservoirs are the part of your car that stores the wiper fluid you use to clean your windshield on a regular basis. This plastic part can dry up, deteriorate, and collect holes that damage it to the point of no return if you don’t keep it regularly filled.
So, if you find that you need to get this part replaced, then you should explore the costs associated.
On average, the cost to replace a windshield washer fluid reservoir is about $196. That cost includes the prices of both auto labor and parts. Conversely, the average cost of parts alone is about $96, while the average cost of labor for this replacement job is about $100.
In this article, we’ll break down the costs associated with this parts replacement project, including the cost of parts alone, as well as the cost of parts plus labor.
Costs will vary based on factors such as the make and model of your car, average costs of labor throughout the US, and more, which we’ll break down in full. Further, we’ll discuss the long-term costs of replacing a windshield washer reservoir, as well as ways to save money on this project.
- Cost Breakdown for Windshield Washer Reservoir Replacement
- Cost of Windshield Washer Reservoir Replacement – Parts Alone ($96)
- Cost of Windshield Washer Reservoir Replacement – Parts + Labor ($196)
- Factors That May Affect the Cost of a Windshield Washer Reservoir Replacement
- The Make and Model of Your Car
- Whether or Not You Buy Online or In-Store
- Which Retailer Is Offering the Best Deal
- Whether or Not You Go to the Dealership vs. Private Auto Shops
- Which Geographical Location You’re In
- Whether or Not You DIY Replace or Pay for Labor
- Whether or Not You Choose to Buy a Warranty or Add-Ons
- Lifetime Cost of Windshield Washer Reservoir Replacement
- Will Insurance Cover a Windshield Washer Reservoir Replacement?
- Should I Replace My Windshield Washer Reservoir Myself?
- How to Save Money When Replacing a Windshield Washer Reservoir
- Related Guides
Cost Breakdown for Windshield Washer Reservoir Replacement
Breaking down the costs of a windshield washer fluid reservoir replacement job entails a cost breakdown for both parts and labor.
As some individuals won’t be paying the cost of labor if they do the project on their own, it’s important to look at each cost separately and compare.
While a new reservoir can cost up to $200 for certain vehicles, the average cost is much lower. The table below will highlight the average price for an OEM replacement reservoir.
|Vehicle Make||Average Cost of New Reservoir|
If you want to save even more money, you could purchase an aftermarket replacement reservoir. Because these are not genuine parts from the dealership, the cost is typically even lower.
|Cost Range||Average Price|
To replace the reservoir yourself, you’ll also need a couple of tools. These include the items listed below.
|Tool Needed||Average Price|
|Universal wrench set||$25-$30|
|Tire iron (for certain vehicles only)||$10-$20|
|Car jack (for certain vehicles only)||$100|
Cost of Windshield Washer Reservoir Replacement – Parts Alone ($96)
To understand the costs of replacing a windshield washer fluid reservoir, we of course first need to look at the cost of buying the parts.
On average, a new plastic windshield washer reservoir will cost around $96, and there of course is variation in cost among types of reservoirs for different types of cars.
Certain windshield washer reservoir parts will vary based on the make and model of the vehicle you’re buying them for.
Below, take a look at some of the cost discrepancies among reservoirs made for different types of car models from different release years. Note that market retailers may be selling these parts for less or more than the average cost.
|Vehicle Make||Vehicle Model||Average Cost of Windshield Washer Reservoir||Reservoir Cost Based on a Market Quote|
|Kia||2016 Sorento||$105||$97 (eBay)|
|Chevrolet||2002 Silverado||$67||$59 (Parts Geek)|
|Toyota||2002 Corolla||$123.50||$34 (Car Parts)|
|Chevroleto||2002 Silverad||$67||$59 (Parts Geek)|
|Toyota||2002 Corolla||$123.50||$34 (Car Parts)|
|Toyota||2004 Tacoma||$115||$112 (Amazon)|
|Toyota||2001 Tacoma||$115||$76 (Amazon)|
|Chevrolet||2005 Silverado||$67||$37 (Amazon)|
|Toyota||2000 Tacoma||$115||$54 (Amazon)|
|Toyota||2000 Corolla||$123.50||$60 (1A Auto)|
|Toyota||1997 Tacoma||$115||$35 (Amazon)|
Note, also, that the cost of buying parts alone will only be relevant for individuals who plan to replace the windshield washer reservoir on their own.
A DIY project like this shouldn’t be too difficult, although it can be complicated if you don’t know how to set up the hoses or connections to the car’s electrical system.
If you can’t complete this replacement on your own, you may also be able to get the assistance of a friend or someone else who has the know-how to get the job done.
This can help you to cut costs by at least a little bit by cutting out costs of installation. However, if you are unable to take this replacement route, then let’s explore the cost of parts and labor combined.
Cost of Windshield Washer Reservoir Replacement – Parts + Labor ($196)
As we established already, the average cost of a windshield washer reservoir (across different car makes and models) is about $96. But we must also consider the average cost of auto labor should you end up paying for a mechanic or auto body shop to replace the reservoir for you.
Later in this article, we’ll look at the discrepancies in auto labor costs from state to state. But for now, note that the average overall cost of auto repair labor for this replacement job is about $100.
You’ll notice that the cost of labor is quite low and not much more than most average hourly rates for auto labor. This is because this replacement job is a simple one that only takes about one hour, on average, to complete.
And when we look at the overall average cost of this replacement job (including the costs of parts and labor combined), we find an average cost of about $196.
Factors That May Affect the Cost of a Windshield Washer Reservoir Replacement
While the above-average estimates for the cost to replace a windshield washer reservoir are comprehensive of the wide range of prices on the market, note that costs will vary based on several individual factors at play.
No two cars or auto body shops are alike, and because of that fact, prices won’t necessarily be the same for everyone who is replacing this part.
The Make and Model of Your Car
As evidenced in the previous sections, the make and model of your car can make a huge difference in how much you pay for a new windshield washer reservoir.
On average, the cost of this part for Toyota and Kia vehicles is far more than the cost of this part for Chevrolets.
Further, the cost of this part based on the year your model was released will also differ. In our table, we found that the cost of windshield washer reservoirs for older-year models was sometimes less than that of newer-year models.
Whether or Not You Buy Online or In-Store
You may not think there is a big difference in whether or not you order a part yourself or buy what is supplied at an auto shop, but there is. Auto body shops or dealerships are likely going to only offer parts from a select few retailers.
And if they do offer to order you something specific, you may have to pay exorbitant rates for shipping.
What you might not know, however, is that you can easily order a part like a windshield washer reservoir online. And if you do, you may just get a price much cheaper than what your brick-and-mortar AutoZone is offering.
Further, if you shop via platforms like Amazon, you may be privy to free, 2-day shipping or other offers that make the deal more worthwhile.
Which Retailer Is Offering the Best Deal
As you can see from our previous cost comparison table, the cost of a windshield washer reservoir from market retailers can differ greatly from the average cost. Further, these costs can vary greatly among retailers themselves.
While certain manufacturers are offering super low prices for a windshield washer reservoir, pay attention to what they charge for shipping.
Sometimes, your best bet is to shop through a platform like Amazon, where you can automatically compare the best prices with free shipping for the exact part you need for your car’s make and model.
Whether or Not You Go to the Dealership vs. Private Auto Shops
It’s a well-known fact that if you take your car to a dealership to get a repair or job done, you are likely going to get charged more.
Dealerships tend to charge more than private auto body shops and mechanics in general. For a simple job like a windshield washer fluid reservoir replacement, it’s best to stick to a mechanic for a better price.
Which Geographical Location You’re In
Just as the cost of parts can differ based on where you get it, so can the cost of labor based on where you live.
Auto labor costs vary throughout the United States, and you might be surprised by where it costs the most vs. where it costs the least.
According to CarMD, the past few years have seen the highest auto labor costs in the state of California (around $414 for a job), whereas the lowest auto labor costs were found in the state of Vermont (around $342 for a job).
Note that these costs are based on combined parts and labor costs. Below, take a look at the variations in the cost of labor in different US states, based on more of CarMD’s findings.
|State||Average Cost of Auto Labor (parts not included)|
Whether or Not You DIY Replace or Pay for Labor
Another factor that affects the cost of auto replacement jobs is whether or not you do the project yourself. Self-installation, in the case of a windshield washer reservoir, can save you close to $100 on average.
Whether or Not You Choose to Buy a Warranty or Add-Ons
Finally, one thing to consider with the cost is whether or not you’re going to buy a product warranty. Warranties secure a free new replacement or repair of your parts within a certain number of years, should they get damaged.
It’s a cost-effective way to ensure you don’t have to pay more in the long run, but it will add to your current costs.
Lifetime Cost of Windshield Washer Reservoir Replacement
Some individuals also want to know the long-term costs of replacing a windshield washer fluid reservoir, and rightly so. In the lifespan of car ownership, it’s important to know how often certain parts will need to be replaced so that you can get an idea of how much it will cost you over time.
It’s also important because it gives you an idea of whether or not it’s important to buy product warranties for this very reason.
These days, most cars last up to 200,000 miles if they’re bought new and receive decent maintenance. This is an average lifespan of over 10 years. So, just how often does a part like a windshield washer reservoir need to be replaced in that timespan?
The answer varies among manufacturers and how well you care for the part, so it can be difficult to give an accurate estimate that applies to everyone. But if you take good care of your reservoir and refill it as needed, you can extend its lifespan.
Most reservoirs, however, are designed to last several years. This means that, in the timespan of owning your car, you’re likely to only need to replace this part a few times at most.
So, if we multiply the average cost by three, then we’ll find the lifetime cost of this replacement project to be about $288 for parts alone or $588 for parts plus labor.
Will Insurance Cover a Windshield Washer Reservoir Replacement?
Most insurers will not cover a windshield washer reservoir replacement under a general liability policy. However, it may be covered if the tank is damaged in an accident that you are not at fault.
If you have a full coverage insurance policy, the replacement may be covered if it was damaged due to frozen fluid. Call your insurance company to see what is and isn’t covered under your specific policy.
Should I Replace My Windshield Washer Reservoir Myself?
The location of the windshield washer reservoir varies by vehicle. It’s very easy to access in some vehicles, while others require you to remove a lot of parts first. Sometimes, you even have to remove a wheel before you can get to the reservoir!
Before you decide whether or not to replace the reservoir yourself, check your owner’s manual. Find the exact process for accessing and removing the windshield washer reservoir. If the process seems too complicated to attempt on your own, it may be best to have a mechanic replace it.
How to Save Money When Replacing a Windshield Washer Reservoir
Finally, we want to share with you a few ways that you can save money on this parts replacement job.
- Avoid the dealership for a lower overall labor price
- DIY the installation if you’re capable
- Keep an eye out for online coupons, free shipping, or other discounts when purchasing parts online
- Take advantage of good product warranties to save money long-term
- Take optimal care of your current windshield washer reservoir (refill it regularly so it doesn’t dry out) so that you don’t have to pay for a replacement as often
It’s not uncommon to have to make replacements of small parts on your car throughout its lifespan. Parts that are considered minor or made of less durable materials like plastic are no less essential than components such as the engine.
Regular maintenance is key to a well-running car and less money is spent on repairs overall.
In the lifespan of your car, you’ll likely have to replace the windshield washer fluid reservoir at least once. This part of your car can go easily neglected, given that some people don’t live in regions where it rains very often.
If you neglect to refill this reservoir with fluid, it can dry out, leaving holes and deterioration in the tank, which becomes a cause for replacement over time.
Overall, it will cost you about $196 to pay for the replacement of a windshield washer reservoir (including the cost of parts and labor).
In most cases, the average cost of labor for this replacement is $100, while the average cost of the part alone is about $96. You may be interested in our guide.