Why Don't All Cars Have This Simple Reminder?

By David Thomas  on March 18, 2014

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There are a few things about our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Impala I already like even after just a couple of commutes.

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One of these endearing features was even more welcome on the snowy, frigid morning I first experienced it. On start-up, the small digital screen between the gauge clusters had this warning: "Windshield Washer Fluid Low."

You might want to know this before heading off on a long commute with falling snow and dirty slush kicked up by other cars streaking your windshield. The bright sunlight some mornings can also create serious glare issues if the windshield is covered in frozen streaks of ice. Hitting the washers and wiping it away is easy enough — unless you've used so much wiper fluid that you're out.

Other cars also have a little icon in the gauge cluster when the fluid is low, but the Impala's warning seems to be ahead of schedule with the friendly heads-up. How do I know? Because even with the great reminder, with temperatures below zero and the car parked outside, I did not want to be filling up the reservoir. The fluid held out for two more commutes.

Now if only there was a reminder that helped with procrastination.


Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David


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