Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Windshield Washer Fluid

Windshield Washer Fluid — Freeze protection and decicers

Washer fluids aren’t all the same

Washer fluids are mostly distilled water, detergent, alcohol and food coloring. But the amount of alcohol in the mix determines the freeze level of the washer fluid. See these different freeze protection below.

windshield washer fluid freeze protection
They all list different freeze temperatures and to get better freeze protection, the manufacturers simply add more alcohol.

Washer fluid versus deicer

Washer fluids described as deicers contain a small amount of ethylene glycol, the same ingredient used in antifreeze.

By adding a small amount of ethylene glycol to the washer fluid, you not only reduce the freezing point of the solution, but the ethylene glycol also interferes with the water’s ability to form ice. So a deicer fluid can actually help remove ice from your windshield instead of just cleaning it.

Which washer fluid is right for you?

Summer washer fluid

Summer fluid still has some alcohol to help dissolve bug splatter. But it’ll freeze inside the fluid reservoir if you don’t change it out before cold weather arrives.

Winter washer fluid

Buy a winter washer fluid that that’s rated down to the lowest expected temperatures in your area.

Deicer washer fluid

Get the best of both worlds with a deicer fluid if you park outside or have ice storms in winter. Squirt the fluid onto the ice coating before you start scraping. If will make the job a lot easier.

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Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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