Frozen windshield wiper fluid

catherinetJanuary 21, 2008

Hi all,

When it gets to the single digits, and even teens, my windshield wiper fluid freezes up. I bought a new bottle of it and kept it on a covered porch, and its frozen solid too, with single digits for a couple days. That stuff shouldn't freeze though, right?

I've seen stuff out there that says "deicer windshield wiper fluid", but I think its alot more toxic than just the wiper fluid, and I have concerns over animals getting to it.

Is there a way to defrost the stuff that's in my car without having to drive it for 50 miles before it heats up?

Also....the new stuff that froze in the bottle, does that mean its defective (too diluted)?

Does windshield wiper fluid lose its ability to withstand freezing, the older it is? Thanks for your help.

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I think you got a bum deal on your W/W antifreeze. Most of that stuff is unfreezable to about -45 celcius. Sorry I'm Canadian and don't know the farenheit. haha.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 5:09PM
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I'm a Canuck living in the States!! What is the chance you purchased "summer" windshield fluid? I know its still on the shelves in some stores. 5F is -15C and most winter windshield fluid usually goes a lot colder than that.
Another problem may be that you just topped off u reservoir with the winter fluid, which already had summer stuff in it, thus diluting it!! I just keep winter stuff in mine all year round.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 7:55PM
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My Mercedes has a windshield washer fluid heater so at least I don't have to worry about that. I have never seen any W/W fluid that could resist freezing down below 0 F anywhere.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 1:10AM
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Guess you have never lived in Northern canada,lol, 0F is only -17C, thats t shirt weather (sleeves optional) lol

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 5:57AM
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Thanks everyone,
I'm pretty sure it was the winter stuff. I'm always careful to buy the winter stuff in late fall. Maybe someone at the factory was asleep on the job and mislabeled the stuff? Can you ever buy some sort of fluid warmer and could easily be connected to the car's electrical system? How about those coffee/mug warmers that you plug into the cigarette lighter? haha
I suppose I could sort of scoop out as much as I could reach and put new stuff in there, bought from a different store?
You don't realize how important windshield wiper fluid is until you need it and don't have it!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 11:02AM
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You do not have "winter stuff." the stuff you have is probably green. summer.You could probably top it off with
Isopropyl alcohol or methel hydrate. That will thaw out the
water in your reservoir, in time.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 11:49PM
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Thanks kalining,
No, its the winter stuff. Must be bad. I'll add some isopropyl. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 5:24PM
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I have had this happen once too. In my case it was summer grade washer fluid that I had kept in my trunk. The brand name was "All Weather" so I figured that meant all weather. Looking closer at the frozen solid bottle it showed it was only good down to 10 deg F. Went and bought the same brand again, but winter grade, rated for down to -20 deg F. I was glad I had not used any of the other stuff in the resevoir or it would probably have froze and split open. So now as a habit I always check the temp rating before buying.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 2:56PM
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Thanks John.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 10:30PM
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Hey, you guys, you betcha by golly, it was -26F this morning in lovely Minot, ND and I accidently hit my washers when I was driving to work and it worked as always. My father had the same problem, he used a brand from Walmart in Albuquerque NM, exactly the same stuff we use up here because he had the bottle with him (he carries all that type of stuff with him...oil, power steering fluid, etc) but he came up here in November last year, hit some sub-zero stuff here and his tank froze solid, but our still worked.
Don't know what to say,maybe they have a different formula for the stuff that comes north.
Howdy Canadian neighbors.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 8:01PM
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All that you need to do is go purchase a small, cheap aquarium heater from your grocery store & drop it into the tank. Let it sit in there for a little bit & presto. Your tank & LINES are now thawed. Process typically takes about 15 minutes.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 12:46PM
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i work in a convenience store and the outside fluid reservoirs always freeze up or at best are slushy. we add isopropyl alcohol but are never sure just how much to put in. the tanks hold a full bottle of wwfluid (yes, we use the good stuff during the winter that is supposed to be good to -45).anybody got any suggestions on how much of the alcohol to use? thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 6:44PM
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