Your Dodge Ram is equipped with sensors that detect potential issues inside the truck.
If your Ram senses a problem, it will use warning lights (and sounds) to alert you.
The Low Wash light is a warning that your windshield washer fluid is low and you should refill it. It’s like a Low Fuel warning, meaning you have time before the fluid runs out, but you should address the issue ASAP.
What Does Low Wash Mean and Why Does It Matter?
The Low Wash light will appear on the dash whenever a Dodge Ram senses low levels of windshield wiper fluid.
Like a Change Oil or Low Fuel warning, the Low Wash light notifies you that your fluids are nearly empty, and you will need to take action soon to prevent issues.
A single chime may accompany the light – it goes off when the sensor attached to the washer fluid tank detects that it’s low for 60 consecutive seconds.
The light may remain on until the fluid is refilled or the vehicle is turned off.
If the light remains on after filling the fluid tank, you might have a malfunctioning sensor that needs replacing.
You can replace or remove the sensor on your own or locate the washer fluid reservoir and simply unplug the wire attached to the sensor.
Normally, it isn’t safe to unplug sensors in your truck, but there isn’t much risk in accidentally letting your washer fluid run out.
When your washer fluid levels are low or empty, the worst-case scenario is that your windshield is dirty.
That said, if the sensor works properly, it’s best to leave it alone.
While an empty washer fluid tank will not affect much of the internal workings of your vehicle, there are still important reasons to refill it.
Firstly, the washer fluid inside the tank is a lubricant for the entire windshield-cleaning system.
It lubricates the pump, hoses, and rubber parts, and if there isn’t any washer fluid in the reservoir, the components can begin to corrode or break down.
Additionally, windshield wipers often aren’t enough to clean the debris (like insects or dirt) stuck to your windshield.
Washer fluid helps break down that grime, so your wipers don’t just smear it and compound the problem or obscure your field of vision.
On top of helping clean off the windshield, washer fluid makes it safer to drive in the rain.
Rain can easily turn your windshield into a blurry mess if you don’t have the right wipers or fluid.
Washer fluid is formulated to repel water and snow, which greatly affects how well you can see out your windshield.
Instead of the wipers just pushing water around, washer fluid helps the water bead and roll off.
Driving in rough weather can be dangerous, and keeping your washer fluid topped up helps keep you safe on the road.
Can You Drive With Low Washer Fluid?
You can drive with low washer fluid.
It poses little to no risk to the engine or other parts besides eventual corrosion in the washer fluid pump system.
If your Low Wash light appeared recently, you likely still have some washer fluid in the reservoir.
If you don’t use your washer fluid often, you can usually fill it when you get an oil change.
In many cases, washer fluid refills are complimentary with an oil change, and typically the technician will at least check the fluid levels.
If your windshield gets dirty often, it’s best to keep your washer fluid full to ensure you can clean off the grime.
Does It Matter Which Washer Fluid You Use?
Many washer fluids claim to be designed for specific purposes or work better than others.
The good news is that different vehicles don’t require specific washer fluids.
You should just buy a climate-appropriate fluid or one best suited for the conditions you drive in.
Climate is the most important factor when considering which washer fluid to use, and you should use a fluid rated for the average outside temperatures for the time of year.
You may need to use different washer fluids in summer and winter.
Winter-specific fluids won’t freeze when it’s cold out.
You should also look at the ingredients of any potential washer fluid.
Each manufacturer adds different additives to their fluid so it works better for specific tasks.
Some washer fluids are more suited to removing dirt and dust, while others can melt and clear ice.
You should not put water in the washer fluid reservoir – it doesn’t work the same way and won’t do much to help clean your windshield.
In addition to not working well, using water in cold climates leads to other problems.
During the winter, spraying water on your windshield will just cause it to freeze and heavily obscure your vision.
The Low Wash light on your Dodge Ram indicates that the windshield washer fluid is low and needs to be refilled.
You can either add washer fluid at home or have it refilled during an oil change.
When adding washer fluid, use the best possible fluid for your climate and driving conditions to ensure your windshield is clear, and you can drive safely.