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coffeenut's avatar

Easy way to thaw washer fluid?

Asked by coffeenut (6156 points ) December 29th, 2010

Lol…ok so I was stupid, I waited too long to change my washer fluid and now it’s frozen (stupid garage put cheap shit in last oil change)...lol

So what could I do to help the washer fluid thaw so I can change it to the winter fluid…..

I don’t have access to a warm area to park my car…..

If I put a shit load of the “lock de-icer” stuff would that work?

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9 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

Do you have a lengthy drive you could take? It would seem that the heat from the engine would thaw out the lines. It’s the lines from the reservoir tank to the pump to the spray head that freezes.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Don’t use anything but washer fluid, if there any room in top of container put in warmed washer fluid ( let bottle sit in sink with hot water for ten or fifteen minutes ). Drive it but don’t run the washer it may break or burn out motor.
Remember washer fluid will catch fire, it has alcohol.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@Tropical_Willie, do you think adding de-icer washer fluid would thaw out the regular washer fluid?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Yes, it will. The fluid will melt the frozen fluid but adding heated fluid will move through the slush in the container. You will need to drive the car to warm up engine compartment for hoses. I use a 50–50 mixture in North Carolina year round.

coffeenut's avatar

It’s not just the lines that are frozen…the shit fluid in the reservoir is a block…

With the normal fluid I use this would never have happened—I still have a jug in the trunk of my car and it is still mostly liquid… In the winter I need the “special” winter kind…that’s good until -50….

The de-icer I have is mostly isopropyl alcohol and some lube…..So could I add the to the warm winter fluid to make it work better….

how warm is warm? Room temp..warmer…Too warm and I may crack the cold plastic…
And I drove for a hour this morning and when I arrived and checked the fluid it was still a block it is really cold here.. -25 this morning

Tropical_Willie's avatar

You may have a problem with 25 BELOW.
If it is a block of ice, there maybe damage to washer system.
Warm is 105 to 115 F, let it sit in sink of hot water. I use Rain-X which is for 45 below ( I think ). At 50–50 mix it should only slush-up in container at 25 below.

jerv's avatar

There is no chemical solution that I can think of as those require your system to still be full of liquid. Thermite works, but would like cause other problems. Napalm is also quite effective, but a little too effective.

Thawing or melting anything with heat relies on a few factors, including (but not limited to) the thermal coefficient of the material, “Delta-T” or temperature differential, simple geometry (or the thickness of the material). You really don’t need all that much heat if you are patient. Any temperature above freezing will work if you give it enough time.

I have used a hair dryer and a bit of patience to solve cold-related car issues before, but it took all night.

@Tropical_Willie I also use the Rain-X stuff sometimes, but I find that it clouds up the windshield pretty badly for a few moments in the wintertime, especially if your defroster hasn’t warmed up yet. I am not a fan of driving completely blind for even a few seconds seconds at 60MPH.

coffeenut's avatar

lol…ya Napalm would work…

I went out and bought 2 heated car seat covers, stuffed them both around the reservoir and turned them on high…so tomorrow morning I’ll see if they did the trick…

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@coffeenut Good luck and Happy New Year.

@jerv Break out a pair of Oakleys thermonuclear should clear it – - – permanent . . . . . .

don’t ya think.

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