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Blinker fluid is a long-standing joke in the automotive world. It is usually aimed at the less-informed car owner, posed as a question; “hey, have you checked your car’s blinker fluid? That could be the problem.” Of course, the joke is that cars don’t have blinker fluid. Well, the joke is on us. It turns out that the first-gen Dodge Viper actually had blinker fluid. It’s real. This is like, if all of a sudden, Snipes were real (IYKYK). 

Dodge Viper headline with "blinker fluid."
Blinker Fluid | YouTube via Four Eyes

Is blinker fluid real? 

According to The Drive, blinker fluid isn’t just the butt of a tired old joke. In an interview with Roy Sjoberg, the chief engineer who worked on designing the Dodge Viper, blinker fluid is real, and the first-gen Dodge Viper had it. However, its purpose is strange and interesting.

Why does the Dodge Viper have blinker fluid? 

In the interview conducted by the YouTuber Four Eyes, Sjoberg says that the Viper’s headlights began at BMW with the bizarre Z1. The headlights for this strange car were built and paid for by GE. For unknown reasons, BMW decided not to use these lights on the Z1, leaving a bunch of headline assemblies that were already paid for with no car to put them in. 

Naturally, when Chrysler went headlight shopping for the upcoming Viper, GE had the goods. Keep in mind these lights were all paid for, so Chrysler essentially got them for free. Now, all they had to do was get the headlights to fit the Viper, and they were home free. 

What does blinker fluid do? 

The free headlights came with a small vial with liquid in it attached to the front of the headlight. This was a level to make sure the headlights were installed correctly at the factory. These unsightly little levels were ugly enough for Sjoberg to ask if they could be removed. However, the cost of removing the little level of blinker fluid was $1.50 per unit. In the world of mass production, that is quite an expense. Never mind that Chrysler got these headlights for free; savings are savings, and the team wanted to keep as much cash as possible, so the blinker fluid level was left on. 

The Dodge Viper is weird 

The Viper is an icon. It has colored the sports car world for decades. It is extreme, paradoxical, elusive, powerful, and one of the most posterable cars ever made. If the BMW influence on the blinker fluid seems confusing, it shouldn’t be. Bob Lutz, the Dodge Viper’s creator, is also credited with creating BMW’s M division

The blinker fluid is particularly strange to have on the Viper because Chystler stripped it of anything; the firm felt was unnecessary weight, like air conditioning, power locks, door handles, a roof, and windows. So, choosing to leave the leveling vial is funny, to say the least.

From now on, anytime someone makes the silly little tired joke, mostly told in father-in-law’s garages or the oil change spot, you can inform the jokester that blinker fluid is real.