Windshield washer fluids and its advantages

It is important to keep your windshield clean while you are driving. It is highly essential but unfortunately there are many things that can gum up the works. Mud, bugs and other debris can accumulate on your car windshield and cause residue that is hard to see through the glass. Therefore, cleaning the windshield is an inevitable task.

While many people get away with dirty windshield by cleaning it with plain water rather than using a washer fluid on the windshield. In the places with low temperature, you might be able to get by with plain water but even then, water doesn’t have the cleaning power of wiper fluid for removing bird droppings, bugs, road grime and other dirt that collects on windshields.

Water vs Windshield Washer Fluids-

The main reason for preferring water is that it’s cheaper than wiper fluid and compatible with the environment. It also has its drawbacks like, its lack of cleaning solvents and detergents, and that it freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.  However, windshield washer fluid also has some disadvantages, it’s typically made of ethanol or methanol, which are poisonous for people as well as animals and can be damaging to the environment. Windshield wiper fluid also usually includes ethylene glycol, a toxic alcohol used in automotive antifreeze. Those substances can damage paint of the car as well as some plastic and rubber parts on vehicles.

Despite the toxicity of the windshield wiper fluids, it can be dangerous to drive without them, especially during the winter. Snow, ice, and road salt can make it impossible to see through the windshield, and frequent washing with high-potency wiper fluid is the only way to clear away the muck so you can see the road ahead of you.

Because of these health and environmental concerns, some car owners resort to making their own wiper fluid from the substances that are non-toxic. Follow these simple steps to make your own washer fluid:

  • Mix a gallon of waterwith 1 tablespoon of dish washing liquid and ½ cup of ammonia (or vinegar).
  • Add a few drops of food colouring to understand the importance of the liquid.
  • Just mix this up in a gallon sized jug and fill your reservoir whenever you want the windshield clean and sparkly.

There are other several recipes that do not contain vinegar at all. Also, you can mix rubbing alcohol with 1 tablespoon of dish soap and enough water to fill a gallon jug. Or, use a substitution of vodka for the rubbing alcohol and instead of dish soap, use liquid castile soap.

Usually, windshield washer fluid is one of those maintenance items that you might overlook. Until you are on a road trip and try to look through a dirty windshield while driving. You should check your windshield washer fluid tank if the washer fluid is low, after checking the refilling part is easy.

There are a few steps you should follow:

  • Park your vehicle on a level surface
  • Roll up and keep your arms away from the cooling fan(s) when checking the washer fluid fans can turn on automatically, even when the engine is off.
  • Put the windshield washer fluid in the fluid reservoir. Other car fluids can damage your wiper or the washer system.
  • Do not put water in the windshield washer fluid reservoir. If the water freezes, it can clog and damage the reservoir.
  • In extremely cold temperature, use low-temperature washer fluid and also don’t fill the reservoir all the way to the top.

As you make the washer fluid yourself, you should be aware of potential issues that may arise from introducing the fluids that were not typically designed for your car. If you notice that the washer fluid is not spraying properly, or is causing streaks, discontinue its use immediately as it may lead to a broken car glass.

People who stay in areas with extreme weather conditions may not be able to use the warm weather washer fluid all the time, throughout the year. As in winters, vinegar will freeze in extreme cold and may damage your vehicle’s nozzles.  Be careful of the changing weather conditions and keep different fluids for different seasons on hand. When transitioning from a warm weather windshield fluid to a cold weather one, in cities like Ahmedabad or Delhi, experts suggest be sure to drain all of the old fluid before introducing the new washer fluid.


Content Source: Windshield Experts


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