So, as I was driving around on Friday, my truck repeatedly warned me that my windshield washer fluid was low, so I decided I would top up the fluid as soon as I got home.
Now, the windshield washer fluid reservoir in this thing is huge. In the six years of driving this truck, I think we’ve had to add fluid about six times. So, cue me looking in the manual for how to open the flipping hood (the release is hidden on the bottom of the steering column), opening the hood, digging out the jug of washer fluid, and getting ready to add it—just as the garage opener light times out, making the garage a lot darker.
Undaunted, I spot something that looks like a windshield washer reservoir, take off the cap, and pour the fluid in…. only to have it splash over my hands. It was already full! Cue WTF moment, turning on garage light switch, and looking at truck manual once more.
I have just added windshield washer fluid to the brake fluid reservoir! Yikes!
Long story short, the auto club towed the truck to the garage, where the mechanic flushed the brake fluid completely. Fortunately, everyone had time in their schedules, so I was back on the road by the end of the day (at a price, of course).
Lessons learned: Don’t do a task like this when 1) you haven’t done it in over a year; 2) you’re tired; 3) you’re hurrying (when there is no good reason to hurry); 4) you can’t actually see properly.
I was glad that I had a regular mechanic that I could trust, who I could call and check to see just how bad my mistake was. Otherwise, I might have risked driving the 20km (at highway speeds) to the garage, which would have pumped the washer fluid through the brake lines. The tow truck driver used the emergency brake to load my truck on his flatbed.