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Old 12-27-2009, 11:31 AM   #1
Cuhulainn
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Default My wife just put windshield wiper fluid where the coolant goes.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:36 AM   #2
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New wife
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:36 AM   #3
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...flush that shit out and refill ( you do it this time )?
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:41 AM   #4
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Nick- very funny.

It's snowing and 26F here today. Does it need to be done right away? How much would a garage typically charge to do it?

This is not something I've done myself before. Where would I put the coolant/wiper fluid I drain out?
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:41 AM   #5
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Nick- very funny.

It's snowing and 26F here today. Does it need to be done right away? How much would a garage typically charge to do it?

This is not something I've done myself before. Where would I put the coolant/wiper fluid I drain out?
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:48 AM   #6
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Sorry i couldnt resist.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:54 AM   #7
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if you can shop-vac out the resevoir, you are probably going to be okay so long as the car hasn't been turned on and circulated the fluid.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:59 AM   #8
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No access to a shop vac. Any other ideas?

Nick- no worries, I know with a title like this people can't resist.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
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No access to a shop vac. Any other ideas?

Nick- no worries, I know with a title like this people can't resist.
Siphon
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:09 PM   #10
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If it was just a small amount, do not worry about it. Now if it was like a whole gallon or two, then you should flush the system. It should be flushed anyway, but it is not super critical if the amount is small. All antifreeze has some alcohol in it, which is also what is in window wash, except that also has some detergent. Not much to worry about.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:10 PM   #11
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It was a gallon of fluid.

Good call on the siphon. So does everyone agree that siphoning out the reservoir is sufficient to prevent damage to the cooling system? Or does it need to be flushed?
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:10 PM   #12
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How much did she pour in? If it is just a little bit, it might not matter much.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:18 PM   #13
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what kind of car?

if she just poured it in an overflow tank, just remove it and dump it out. if she poured it in the radiator, or if your car has an expansion tank in the cooling system loop, flush it.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:24 PM   #14
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Drive it to your nearest service station asap. I wouldn't take any chances. This has the possiblility to destroy your engine. Granted, I think the odds are slim, but I would rather spend a few bucks and be sure than to spend a couple grand on a new engine.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:47 PM   #15
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Turkey baster and suck it out of the resevoir. I'm assuming she put it into the resevoice tank and not the actually engine coolant lid.
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:46 PM   #16
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Has the engine been run since it was put in? If not, then just disconnect the line to the coolant resevoir and unbolt it, assuming you have access to it. It's quicker than turkey baster. Siphoning would work too, assuming yo uhave a long enough tube to use.
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Old 12-27-2009, 02:06 PM   #17
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??? Year, Make, Model, and engine size ???
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Old 12-27-2009, 02:37 PM   #18
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I would flush it, but that's me. Why did the car need a gallon of coolant? That's fairly concerning itself.
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:17 PM   #19
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Is a small amount of liquid soap mixed with alcohol and water really THAT bad for the coolant passages?
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:12 PM   #20
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Our mercedes has the coolant lines connected to the washer reservoir. Looks like if the car gets low on coolant, it will suck water from the washer tank
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:46 PM   #21
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Flush it now. Take it to a shop and have it done immediately. THere's no reason to risk your entire cooling system sludging up.
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Thoughts? Suggestions?
stick a rubber hose in it and suck to start the siphoning. Don't swallow it either.

That should get most of it out.
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:36 PM   #23
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Can't see how this would destroy the engine as many are saying. Only bad thing that I could foresee is that it corroding the cooling system if left in there too long. Washer fluid still has all the thermal properties of water, but it doesn't have the anti corroding properties of coolant.
As mentioned, just drain it out, flush it, and refill with coolant and you should be fine.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:06 PM   #24
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Since this hasn't already been asked.

Has the engine been run since the fluid was put in?
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:56 PM   #25
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The engine hadn't been run yet when I asked. It has now been run.

Before I started it, I ended up siphoning out as much of the liquid in the reservoir as I could, driving to a gas station, and topping it off with half coolant/half water.

Its a 2001 Mazda Protege.

The car didn't need a gallon of coolant, it needed wiper fluid. Had the right fluid, wrong hole. (That's what she said.)

Taking it to a shop wasn't really an option. We're a one car family and needed to get somewhere this afternoon.

As soon as I have the time/money I'll probably get it flushed and refilled. Until then, I don't think I'm too concerned. There can't be more than an oz or 2 of wiper fluid in the system.
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