PSA: Don't use water in your windshield wiper fluid reservoir

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by fbrdphreak, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. fbrdphreak

    fbrdphreak Lifer

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    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/06/15/report-water-as-windshield-wiper-fluid-causes-20-of-legionnair/

    I dunno about all the statistics around this causing 20% of Legionnaires' Disease cases in the UK, but still good to know!
     
  2. Gibson486

    Gibson486 Lifer

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    ummm...yeah...water under constant warm temps.....
     
  3. Vette73

    Vette73 Lifer

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    A cup of alcohol will fix that. Most washer fluid is just isopropyl or methyl alcohol and blue dye. So tap water plus a little alcohol is all you need.

    I mix my own to save time and money. Dump in alcohol and fill rest with water. J
     
    #3 Vette73, Jun 15, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  4. fbrdphreak

    fbrdphreak Lifer

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    What a waste Marlin - you should be drinkin' that alcohol :D
     
  5. waffleironhead

    waffleironhead Diamond Member

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    better than accidentally putting coolant in there. (My pop did and boy was that a mess to clean out)
     
  6. CraigRT

    CraigRT Lifer

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    Good to know I guess... for the cost of washer fluid and frequency required (only in winter) I don't have a problem spending the $5 per year on proper fluid :p
     
  7. Vette73

    Vette73 Lifer

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    My inlaws did this. I went to use the washer fluid and the windshielf got worse, really worse. Opened it up and knew what it was when I smelled it.

    Told them what to use and what NOT to use. Next time I came back and now it was making lots of foam. I guess dish washing soap was better then the coolant. :rolleyes:
     
  8. shortylickens

    shortylickens No Lifer

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    I just use non-ammonia glass cleaner. Cleans and smells SUPER!
     
  9. speedy2

    speedy2 Golden Member

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    Yeah would never do just plain water. It doesn't really do much for stuck on bugs anyway. When I get oil changes the places around here usually top them off. But, now that I'm starting to do my own changes, I will have to pick up a bottle now.
     
  10. JulesMaximus

    JulesMaximus No Lifer

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    lol :D
     
  11. InflatableBuddha

    InflatableBuddha Diamond Member

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  12. Zenmervolt

    Zenmervolt Supermoderator<br>The Garage<br>Elite member

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    I'm pretty sure that the bigger issue is that when the temps drop below freezing the washers stop working.

    ZV
     
  13. obamanation

    obamanation Banned

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    Well if it makes you guys feel any better, you can get 1 gallon of washer fluid for about $2 at autozone where I live. Also washerfluid = windex/other generic window washing fluid, at costco, 1.3 gallons of windex will cost you $11.50 opposed to the $2 for the washer fluid at autozone. Weird that windex would be more expensive than washer fluid considering how often people fill up their washer fluid.
     
    #13 obamanation, Jun 15, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  14. thescreensavers

    thescreensavers Diamond Member

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    wow op I never even though of that, good to know ill top up my washer fluid then, I wash my car too often to even use it though the fluid in there is over a year old lol.
     
  15. ayabe

    ayabe Diamond Member

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    That's what I thought this was going to be about or perhaps a busted reservoir.

    Interesting nonetheless.
     
  16. MJinZ

    MJinZ Diamond Member

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    You guys are too cheap for $3 Rain-X?
     
  17. kornphlake

    kornphlake Golden Member

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    I don't know about where you live, but my tap water is treated with chloramine, it should keep most of the scum and villainy under control, that's what it's for anyway, keeping scum and villainy out of the pipes...

    I use the correct fluids regardless, plain water doesn't really wash windows very well.
     
  18. hanoverphist

    hanoverphist Diamond Member

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    not a problem here in az :D
     
  19. PhoKingGuy

    PhoKingGuy Diamond Member

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    This.....its usually on sale for 2 bucks a bottle at walmart
     
  20. marvdmartian

    marvdmartian Diamond Member

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    My sister had a Dodge one time, that in the winter time, you didn't dare turn on the defroster until the engine was warmed up. They put the washer fluid lines going down the wiper arms (out in the open, instead of spraying from the nice warm hood), and if you jumped into the car in the wintertime, and attempted to defrost your windows by turning on the air, while the engine was warming up, it would freeze those lines solid.....and there wasn't a damn thing you could do to thaw them, unless you wanted to start hitting them with a hair dryer, or a bunch of warm water. If you waited, no problems.

    The dealer told her that Dodge knew of the problem, but didn't plan on doing anything about it, and she'd just have to live with it. :rolleyes:
     
  21. angry hampster

    angry hampster Diamond Member

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    Saving money? What, $1-2/year? That alcohol and water isn't free. I don't see how you'd be saving timeas you're dealing with 2 bottles instead of one.

    For $3/gallon, the Rain-X fluid is really incredible.
     
  22. scott916

    scott916 Platinum Member

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    Woah, I just topped off my res with water just the other day because it ran out and I didn't feel like going to the store. Looks like I'll be adding some alcohol to that, sheesh! :eek:
     
  23. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    Most tap water in the US probably won't support bacteria growth due to the sanitizing stuff that's in it from the treatment plant.
     
  24. Eli

    Eli Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
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    Interesting. Why is this, though? What exactly makes it a breeding ground for this specific bacteria? Could you hold a tub of water at ~100 degrees and get the same result?

    Nah. Chlorine evaporates out of water rather quickly. It would hinder things for a while, but the bacterium would have no problems gaining a foothold given enough time.
     
  25. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

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    Methanol is toxic low-cost bullshit. I use water and isopropyl alcohol, and that's what everybody should use. It boggles the mind that a substance that causes blindness and is toxic when inhaled is allowed to be used as windshield washer.