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Windshield Washer Antifreeze
11-16-2008, 06:38 PM
I read somewhere where you can add something to your summer antifreeze to prevent freezing in winter. I think it is an alcohol based additive. Any suggestions?
11-16-2008, 10:04 PM
You could just run all the summer wiper fluid out by using the sprayer til it's gone, then refill with winter fluid...it's only 4 bucks a gallon...
11-16-2008, 10:07 PM
I thougt the blue stuff didn't freeze. I'm still using it, and our temps have been below freezing.
11-16-2008, 10:31 PM
It all depends on how cold it is, the blue fluid will.
11-17-2008, 12:04 AM
The blue stuff is alcohol based and should give freeze protection to at least -20 degrees below 0, however, it doesn't mean it wont freeze after being sprayed on the windshield depending on how cold it is and the windchill factor.
For you folks that live in the cold freezing North Prestone makes De-Icer which is methanol based and some ethylene glycol but not enough to cause paint damage.
11-17-2008, 12:17 AM
With the blue stuff, you really have to read the label on the bottle to see what the freeze protection is. I've seen some rated at -20 while other, cheaper brands that some places carry are only rated for +5 to +10 degrees and up.
Another product i use to go along with BNaylor's suggestion is the one that RainX puts out. It contains a bit of RainX in the solution and it makes it quite easy to remove ice buildup when it occurs on your windshield. It also contains an additive to help prevent the solution from freezing on contact when it is sprayed on your windshield in the middle of winter. The winter stuff is pink in color ( I've also seen orange,) and green for the summer formula which is helpful in keeping the bug guts from sticking to your windshield when they crash into it. I've seen the product at WalMart for $2 to $3.00 a gallon.
11-17-2008, 12:59 AM
The blue washer fluid I got at Autozone says up to -20 protection on the bottle which is plenty for my area.
The Prestone De-Icer is yellow. Good up to -34 degrees and has the similar cleaner polymer additive just like RainX. The RainX is advertised for -25 degrees.
11-17-2008, 12:40 PM
Prestone does make a windshield de-icer additive, but it's almost as expensive as winter rated washer solvent, so I don't see the point to it unless you live in the arctic tundra.
11-17-2008, 02:07 PM
Yeah I've seen the smaller bottles of Prestone De-Icer additive for under $4.00 but it could come in handy if you live in Alaska or in the Northern part of the Canadian Provinces. I sure could have used the stuff back in the 80s when I had to pickup my Z28 at Bremerhaven, Germany off the North Sea. That place was a real deep freeze.
The stuff at Autozone which is blue is the Valuecraft brand. The summer is part number SUMMERWW for +32 degrees and the winter is WW20 for -20. I got the WW20 on sale for 99 cents per gallon. It gets pretty cold in the desert but not that cold.
11-17-2008, 02:40 PM
Going off topic for a sec. Do you know if they make a hydrometer or refractometer to test the protection level of ww antifreeze? I don't think I've ever seen one probably because it isn't as an important tool as one for your cooling system. And we tend to believe the packaging claim of a specific freeze protection point. A situation came to mind while reading this thread where we had hired a guy in the shop about 10 years ago. He previously worked in Texas at a quick lube place. One day during a cold snap his ww solution became slushy. He said that in Texas they don't need the protection that we do in NY, and that his boss instructed the employees to "water down" the ww fluid they put in cars to save the company some money (cheapskate).That made me think if other quick change oil places may do the same thing as nobody really checks to see the protection of that solution.
11-25-2008, 06:29 AM
I mix my own for year round use. It is simple all you have to do is get yourself a empty gallon jug add 2 or 3 squirts of some kind of cheap dishwashing soap and then a large bottle of rubbing alcohol shake it up then pour it in. The soap cleans and the alcohol keeps it from freezing.
11-27-2008, 07:32 PM
For a time GM ran summer and winter mix washer bottle fill in the assembly plant (save money on methanol) but I think this practice has been abandoned to the winter mix only.
I've had my southern state-filled washer bottle freeze on a trip to Chicago. This was not good although no damage occurred.
Relative to a refractometer, they exist and will do what you ask, but you could fill the washer bottle tank ~50 times for the cost of one.
11-28-2008, 02:03 AM
I had some 303 Protectant tablets to mix with water to make washer fluid and the directions stated to add rubbing alcohol to keep from freezing. I think alcohol will deteriorate rubber though.
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