What is blinker fluid? – Is it real?

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Just like your engine oil, blinker fluid is important for the long lifespan of your vehicle’s blinkers. Blinker fluid provides the proper lubrication and electrical insulation that they need to function correctly. 

If you forget to check your blinker fluid you may find that your blinkers start to blink fast when they are turned on. Or even worse, the blinkers stop working at all. If this happens just topping up your blinker fluid isn’t going to work. You are going to need to get a blinker unit transplant at your local blinker specialist. 

Blinker specialist……sorry, I better stop here because I am having too much fun. 

Is blinker fluid real? No, I have to tell you that blinker fluid is not real. Your blinkers are simple light bulbs that turn on and off with electricity. No fluid required, heck, there are no moving parts even involved.  

Even though blinker fluid is not real, it does have a history that can trace its roots back in  automotive history. Also, you can buy it on amazon now, so maybe it is real?

So what is blinker fluid?

The term “blinker fluid” began as a joke. People that work in the automotive industry would spread the rumor to someone and see if they believed the joke. If they did, they generally wouldn’t correct them.

The other common method of this automotive joke being used is at an auto parts store. There are countless children that have been asked by their parents to go in and buy some blinker fluid. The kids, assuming their parents are trying to improve their self sufficiency will go in and be promptly embarrassed. 

If the person at the auto parts store has been in the industry for a long time they may understand that a joke is being played on the person asking. They may tell the person that they are out of stock and they should check a store across town.

a container of blinker fluid

Is blinker fluid needed for a car?

Blinker fluid is not real, so therefore it is not needed. 

Sometimes people can get the idea that blinker fluid is real when the blinker lights of their vehicle starts to fill up with water. Some people assume that is what the blinker fluid is. 


However, if a seal becomes damaged in your lights it will allow moisture to accumulate and build up inside of your light. This is simply water and not blinker fluid. A small drill bit can create a drain hole to ensure this water drains correctly. 

Blinker fluid is used as an ongoing joke

Blinker fluid is not the only joke used in the automotive industry. For someone that is new in the automotive industry be ready for some practical jokes. Blinker fluid, a box of spot welds, and even bluetooth welders have fooled many apprentices over the years. 

I have personally been caught with one of these jokes. Mine was the keys to the basement. 

Being young and naive I was not aware that there wasn’t a basement in all buildings. As I was looking for a tool, a fellow mechanic told me to look in the basement. He told me I would need to go ask the service manager for the key as it is normally locked. 

I strutted into the service managers office and asked for the key to the basement. He asked what I meant, I explained it a second time, still not catching on. He calmly and without even a grin told me that the key is kept in the owner of the dealerships office. The door was in his office and that was why the key was kept there. 

Again I went to the owner’s door, nervous as I generally never ventured into the front office of the dealership. I repeated my question, “Do you have the keys for the basement?”. He was generally confused as I explained myself and what I was looking for. This is when he realized they were playing an elaborate joke on me. 

It was at that point I realized what happened. My walk of shame back to the service department found many across the dealership laughing at my experience. It was funny after all. 

Please do not feel bad. Over the next 20 years of my career I played many similar jokes on other unsuspecting apprentices like myself. It is a right of passage to have one of these jokes played on you. 

Hopefully now you can answer the simple question, what is blinker fluid. So the next time someone asks you to go into the store and buy some blinker fluid. I would tell them that you will order some on amazon, there is blinker fluid for sale as a joke. Wouldn’t that be awesome if you were actually able to show them blinker fluid exists.

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