Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Frozen wiper fluid

Unfreeze frozen wiper fluid

If you’re sure the cause of your wiper fluid problem is frozen wiper fluid, here are some steps you can take.

Unfreeze frozen wiper fluid by taking the reservoir indoors to thaw

If your washer fluid reservoirs sit in the open in the engine compartment you can remove it and take it indoors to thaw out. The reservoir is usually held in place with just a few bolts. Remove the bolts, disconnect the rubber washer line, unhook the electrical connector to the pump motor and take it indoors.

Once the ice has melted, add methanol or isopropyl alcohol to the tanks and reinstall in your car. Use a hairdryer to thaw the frozen hoses from the reservoir to the jets.

If you can’t remove the frozen wiper fluid reservoir

If your wiper fluid reservoir is mounted in the fender, it can be much more difficult to remove. In that case, you’ll have to thaw the frozen wiper fluid another way.

Unfreeze frozen wiper fluid using a hot water/alcohol mix and a hairdryer

Purchase a quart of 91% isopropyl alcohol from a drug store. Mix one-quart alcohol with a pint of very hot tap water. Pour the hot mixture into the washer fluid reservoir. They stir using a long bar spoon or turkey baster. The alcohol/water mix will immediately start thawing the frozen washer fluid at the top of the reservoir and the alcohol will prevent the fluid from re-freezing (the freezing point of 91% alcohol is -128°F). Keep the fluid warm by using a hairdryer around the reservoir and tubing.

©, 2021 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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