Some of you are probably smiling after reading the article’s title. It’s possible that you have already made the blinker-fluid joke, or that you have even been the victim of it. This joke has become a classic in dealerships among employees to pounce on new coworkers — even the police use it to sensitize drivers who do not use their blinkers when necessary.
Thanks to my years of experience in the automotive industry, I can give you all the information you need to know about whether or not blinker fluid is real! In this article, we’ll look closely at blinker fluid and discuss all the fluids your car actually needs.
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Is Blinker Fluid a Real Thing?
If we use common sense, we shouldn’t ask the question if blinker fluid is a real thing. It should be clear that blinkers don’t need a special liquid to work because they are electrically powered, and liquids and electricity do not mix.
For your blinkers to work, your battery must be charged and the bulb must be operational. It doesn’t matter if your blinker uses a traditional bulb, a LED, or a diode; the basic principle is the same for all of them.
The Origin of the Blinker Fluid Prank
It’s no secret that mechanics are big jokers who love to tease newcomers when they’re starting out in the workplace. There are several running jokes, like sending newbies out to buy left-handed screwdrivers, and in more recent times, the blinker fluid joke.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the blinker joke first began circulating, but a Google search shows that it has been around at least as early as 2004. It has undoubtedly been done before, but it is unknown where it originated or who came up with it. This joker is worthy of recognition, as it has brought fun to countless people all over the world – I even learned during my research that the French police use this joke!
Places to Buy Blinker Fluid
If you want to make a joke to a coworker, family member, or friend, you won’t have any trouble finding “blinker fluid.” Of course, since blinker liquid doesn’t exist, you won’t be buying a liquid that helps improve your car’s blinkers. Still, it’s worth noting that several manufacturers sell fake blinker fluid bottles online.
The bottles they sell are usually empty; this is because it wouldn’t be a good idea for the fooled person to make a mistake and damage an element of their vehicle by adding liquid where it shouldn’t be.
If you want to find out where to get this joke accessory, all it takes is a quick search online to find several fake bottles. I’d highly recommend looking on Amazon, Walmart, ot even Etsy.
Fluids That a Car Actually Needs
Blinker fluid jokes aside, your car does need different fluids to run properly. Here is a list of the fluids that your car truly requires to run well:
1. Motor Oil
Motor oil, also known as engine oil, is used to maintain engine lubrication. There are various types of motor oil, including mineral, semi-synthetic, and synthetic. It has petroleum at its base, which is later fortified with various chemicals. In addition to helping you car’s engine run smoothly, motor oil also:
- Keeps the engine components from wearing out
- Improves the motor’s sealing
- Reduces the engine’s temperature to prevent overheating
The function of motor oil in your car is crucial, which is why you must ensure that it works well with the type of car that you have. You must also ensure that you replace your motor oil with fresh oil regularly to extend the life of your car’s engine, improve its performance, and extend the engine’s life.
In contrast to other liquids, coolant has unique properties. It boils only at extremely high temperatures but it can withstand extremely low ones as well. Because of its properties, it is sometimes called “antifreeze liquid.” It absorbs engine heat and ensures that your car’s motor runs at the correct temperature.
In other words, coolant controls the engine’s temperature and prevents it from overheating. After pouring it in the radiator reservoir, the coolant is circulated through the engine as it runs.
This liquid is crucial, so it’s best to keep an eye on its level and replace it every two to four years, depending on the coolant. In addition to preventing your engine from overheating, coolant also prevents the car engine from freezing.
It’s extremely important to remember that you must never put water into the radiator reservoir. This is because the water can freeze when the weather changes, and water does not have the same viscosity as coolant. Therefore, whenever it’s time to change or replace the coolant, we’d recommend consulting a professional for help.
3. Transmission Fluid
Transmission fluid is used to lubricate the moving parts and keep the transmission working smoothly. In addition to lubricating the moving parts, this fluid provides friction and hydraulic pressure that keep the internal mechanism of a car working properly and smoothly.
This fluid gets its name from being the fluid that flows through the transmission. The transmission is the mechanical component that is responsible for transferring rotational energy from the engine to the wheels.
When a car is in operation, the transmission fluid is pumped through the transmission and all its moving parts like bearings, pinions, shafts, and gears that form the transmission are lubricated. It helps you shift gears more smoothly, decreases frictional heat that the transmission produces, and keep various parts of your car from wearing out quickly.
Most importantly, the transmission fluid makes your car’s transmission last longer.
4. Brake Fluid
The fluid in your brake system is vital to its proper operation. You can’t apply the brakes if you don’t have brake fluid, because that’s what transfers the braking force to all wheels. Brake fluid is just as important to the maintenance of your car as engine oil or coolant, and it actively helps your brakes work safely.
Brake fluid is hydraulic, so it cannot be compressed. When you press the brake pedal, a force is released that makes the brake fluid move through the hydraulic braking system and act directly on the brake pads and discs; this stops all wheels and slows the vehicle. For the braking system to work, the brake fluid in the reservoir must be clean and in the necessary quantity.
5. Steering Fluid
Steering fluid is used to power your steering system. It aids in the proper operation of the power steering system, enabling you to maneuver your vehicle more easily. Your steering system is lubricated with power steering fluid to prevent corrosion and wear. It guarantees ideal lubrication and shields your steering.
Your steering fluid will perform less effectively as time passes and mileage increases. Therefore, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, the steering fluid should be changed frequently. Depending on your vehicle and how you use it, you should usually replace your steering fluid every 60,000 miles, or every two to four years.
6. Windshield Washer Fluid
Windshield washer fluid is used to clean your windshield. Ethylene glycol, water, and alcohol (ethanol) are its three main components. It is important to choose the right windshield washer fluid so that it works the way it should for the proper season. This fluid comes in three different varieties: one for summer, one for winter, and one for all seasons.
How To Prevent Fluid Build-up in Your Lights
Problems with liquid, condensation, or fogging in vehicle lights are very frequent. These humidity-related phenomena typically happen in the colder months. When they happen, it could impair your vision and judgement when driving at night.
Most of the time, liquid gets into the headlights or taillights because they aren’t watertight. However, there are other reasons why liquids might appear there:
- There is no vacuum inside the housing for a headlight or taillight. When it gets heated inside, the air expands and escapes through valves, and the pressure difference allows cold air to enter. The presence of at least two such valves, one for cold air and the other for hot air, is required by the laws of physics. According to all of nature’s laws, the valve that lets out the hot air is at the top, and the one that lets out the cold air is at the bottom.
- Liquid can enter a headlight or taillight by handling your vehicle’s optical block incorrectly. On the other hand, liquid may enter a vehicle’s lights as a result of an accident or another kind of shock.
- Condensation takes place as the temperature drops. The lights’ openings in their housings allow air to enter once your car’s engine has stopped. Moisture is the primary cause of light fogging. When the temperature rises, the fog dissipates, and the cycle repeats. If your car’s lights are fogging up, you should probably investigate the source of the moisture before trying to fix the problem.
- Only a thorough inspection of your lights will reveal the cause of the liquid buildup in your lights. If it’s dripping, it’s clear that:
- The glass housing is damaged
- A sealant applied to the glass is not applied correctly
- Your lights’ rear mounts are loose
To clean the liquids out of your lights, you must remove the light from the vehicle and clean the liquid from it.
- Liquid absorbent cloths or paper towels
- Toolbox with screwdrivers
The steps to remove liquids from your lights are:
- Remove the lens’s bulb holder
- With a dry cloth, remove any moisture present in the block
- Allow it to dry in a dry area for a few hours
- Once it’s dry, put the light back on your car and drive safely
If you’ve already tried cleaning the light assembly but the liquid keeps returning, you probably need a new light. If the liquid persists after you’ve cleaned it away, it’s likely because the light assembly is no longer watertight due to cracks that allow liquid to seep in.
Here below you find the most common frequently asked questions about blinkers.
What is the use of blinkers?
Vehicles use blinkers to indicate a change in direction. The driver must turn their blinker on as soon as they are about to make a change in the direction of his vehicle. It’s important to note that the Highway Code mandates its use.
How do you signal without a blinker?
You can use hand signals to signal a change in direction without a blinker. Still, please note that if any of your blinkers ever malfunction even slightly, you must fix the issue right away. In addition to the possibility of an accident, you may be fined if you are checked by the police.
How do you check the blinker fluid?
You can’t check the level of the fluid in your blinkers. Your blinkers function correctly without the use of any fluid; instead, they run on electricity from your battery.
Apart from the common joke about blinker fluid, if you see fluid in your lights, it is important to fix this problem quickly. Electricity and liquids don’t mix well, so issues are almost always going to arise. Furthermore, inspect the six liquids we’ve listed that are critical for your car to operate safely and regularly to avoid problems or wear and tear of your vehicle’s components.
As a professional in the automotive industry, my best and last piece of advice is to always follow the maintenance instructions that come with your car. You’ll avoid unnecessary expenses and have a car that lasts longer with fewer issues.