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Best Windshield Wiper Fluid? Store or DIY?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Ajax, Dec 8, 2009.

    Ajax Loaded Pockets

    It can pretty dang cold up here in MI.....0....-10......-17.
    So a few times a winter I find myself trying to clean my still cold windshield with wiper fluid only to have it haze over in a nice frosty slush.

    I'm wondering if any other Northerners have a preferred brand or concoction to resist the coldest of cold days and provide a clear view?

    I've read a few online reviews about Prestone or Rain-x brands and the homemade cocktails from alcohol, dish soap, and regular wiper fluid.

    Anyone have experience or reviews of a solid solution?

    Flight-ER-Doc Loaded Pockets

    I get the -40 rated Rain-X fluid for the winter. Works OK.

    tsacain Loaded Pockets

    I use rain-x winter with defroster or something like that. If i spray it at the ice on my windshield with the wipers i usually dont have to get out and scrape off the ice.

    Towanda Loaded Pockets

    I get the purple -40* washer fluid and keep some in a spray bottle in the car. I spray the windshield and wiper blades with it and it seems to help them defrost faster.

    jzmtl Loaded Pockets

    Generic brand -40 works fine for me.

    Flight-ER-Doc Loaded Pockets

    I like the way the Rain-X fluid helps keep water beading up...a bit. I also wipe the windows inside and out with Rain-X wipes when I clean the cars out, puting it on the inside helps keep the fogging down.

    JP Loaded Pockets

    What ever is on sale at the time. I have bought the expensive stuff with the Nascar logo on it and a -40'C rating only to have it glaze over as mentioned before. I haven't noticed a difference between price and performance. In the winter I always scrape my windshield and let the car warm up for a minute or two. I feel a clean and warmed windshield is the key to keeping it clear of ice.

    b.s. Loaded Pockets

    Why didn't I think of that? :brickwall:

    Sure does help when you've got a busted washer fluid pump.

    Small Shiny Objects Loaded Pockets

    I am totally fed up with all the fluid I purchase. This year I thought I would try something different. I started witht the good Rain-X washer fluid, added about 4 ounces of isopropyl rubbing alcohol, and then also added the Rain-X additive (about 2 ounces if I recall - whatever the bottle recommended).

    I drove through freezing rain today twice, both on the way to work, and on the way home. Both times the washer fluid worked great. On the way home tonight the area where my wipers wiped was totally clear, the area outside the reach of the wipers had 3/16" of an inch of ice.

    I don't know if the isopropyl alcohol will have any negative effects on my washer fluid system (hoses, pumps, etc.), but I am pleased with the results.

    houdini28 Loaded Pockets

    I do the same thing. I fill up my vehicle with the -40 degree washer fluid and keep some in a spray bottle. Nothing to write home about, but it works.

    uxu Loaded Pockets

    Just another idea from a fellow Michigander (-ganian?). Have you ever looked into a windshield washer fluid heater? I have a couple of acquaintances that have either bought or rigged up their own system.

    The DIY guy bought a length of rubber house and wrapped about 25 loops it around one of the radiator hoses - one end is at the resivoir and the other connects to the nozzle Y-junction. The other guy bought a heater. I know that some will chime in and say that hot liquid on a windshield will shatter them. I supoose that could occur under the right circumstances, however, neither of these gentlemen have had anything bad happen (yet...)

    Linky: Hotshot and Here

    yam350 Loaded Pockets

    Icy screens are not a problem where I live now but the thread got my interest so I asked my wife what she used to use when she lived outside of Moscow. Temperatures there can hit -40, she said she used to scrape the ice off then use a leather with her home made Vodka on it with a little Vinegar added. Apparently her Vodka normally came out around 60% alcohol by volume.
    I don't see many people outside Russia using vodka but it does suggest that an ethanol or methanol mix might do a reasonable job.

    cmatcher Empty Pockets


    On a related note, a friend of mine brought his parents Mercedes SL down from Toledo a few weeks ago. While repairing the washer nozzles on it, we noticed the fluid reservoir had a small metal pipe running into and out of it. It was attached to the engines coolant system. Thought it was a simple and easy enough system.

    deusexaethera Loaded Pockets

    I use whatever washer fluid they have at the auto parts store/grocery store/dealership/Iffy Lube. What I do differently than most people is I buy silicone-rubber wiper blades, which leave a thin coating of silicone on the glass whenever they wipe (imagine Rain-X that never wears off), and I clean the blades with alcohol wipes once a month. Two years later I'm still on the first set of silicone wipers I bought. Now everyone in my family uses them.

    Re-routing the washer fluid hose around the radiator hose is a brilliant idea. I must try this on my old Passat. It seems to me the hot liquid wouldn't pose a problem, though, because only the little bit in the part of the hose near the radiator would actually be hot -- the rest would be the same temperature as the rest of the engine bay.

    Flight-ER-Doc Loaded Pockets

    It's not the hose, pump or tank that usually freezes up: It's the nozzle so I'm not sure that heating anything distant from it will help

    quadrille Loaded Pockets

    When I had a VW the dealer put the stuff that smelled real strong, they sell it is at the dealership it really cleaned the windshield