Windshield washer lines frozen.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by rynryn, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. rynryn

    rynryn Reluctant Optimist

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    So my car has been garaged (unheated) since a bit before travelling for about a week and it's been -10 to -15 degrees here the whole time. Car started like a champ. no hesitation whatsoever. BUT my washers no longer work. Neither my headlight washers nor my windshield washers will spray anything. Nozzels are heated iirc and i know they aren't clogged or frozen over, the stuff i just added to the reservoir is rated to -33. Not sure what was in it before. pump is pumping.

    Safe bet is the unknown-type fluid in the lines somewhere between is frozen, right? How long should i let my car sit and idle for that to sort itself out or start to look for another problem? a spirited 20 minute drive today did not do the trick.
     
  2. HansonBro

    HansonBro Registered User

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  3. Winger98

    Winger98 powers combined

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    I think you're just going to have to run it longer, probably closer to an hour. One idea I've heard but haven't tried is using Heet, the stuff that's supposed to de-ice fuel lines and what not. If you don't have the time to just let it run for an hour or so, this might be a desperation move. As I said, though, I've never actually tried it so take it for what it's worth.

    edit: Another idea, and this one would probably suck for you the most, is to go out to the garage with an extension chord and a hair dryer. Pop the hood and start running down lines. Honestly, I'd just let the thing run for awhile at that point. Just remember to open the door and waiting a bit before venturing in :)
     
  4. rynryn

    rynryn Reluctant Optimist

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    Haaa! Thanks guys. I've NEVER had fluid freeze on me before this. Definitely wasn't Minnesota winter fluid in the tank...whatever Audi put in it wasn't up to the task. I let it idle for an hour and a half before anything would come out--and when it did, it looked like those blue slushies. pumped it out until it was clear an no longer blue tinged. Whew...nothing cracked. I didn't even know you could buy anything but the extreme weather fluid here.
     
  5. Winger98

    Winger98 powers combined

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    This had sent me down a google rabbit hole and I came across something that said that the stuff that lowers the freezing point in washer fluid from 32 to -10, -20, whatever also loses its effectiveness when stored at relatively low temps during the summer. So, if it's in the garage all summer (or under the hood of a car) and sees temps 90+, it might lower its raise its freezing point from the -10/-20 area to something around zero or a few degrees above. It'll still have to be far colder than it needs to be to freeze water, but not the freakish low we expect.

    So, if you buy a new jug of washer fluid this winter, might be best to just use it until it's done rather than storing it in the garage all summer. Or maybe you could cut the old stuff with some new stuff you buy next fall. Or just keep it in an air conditioned space, but that's not usually a garage. At least not one of my garages. :)
     
  6. rynryn

    rynryn Reluctant Optimist

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    Wonderful. Okay that would explain why the purple stuff i replaced it with (from my garage, definitely been in there for a year) also froze. So irritating. Thanks for looking up that tidbit--i would have never guessed that in a million years that it would lose it's antifreeze properties.

    Ahhhh. i guess it makes sense that the alcohol in it evaporates over time. even if its under your hood.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  7. plong123

    plong123 Litebrite Stinger

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    This has been the biggest bummer of this recent cold snap... my window washer fluid lines freezing up. Just when i need them the most, too! Sucks.
     
  8. Baby Punisher

    Baby Punisher Registered User Sponsor

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    The same thing happened to me. I've seen it get slushy never frozen solid.
     
  9. Preds Partisan

    Preds Partisan Gunga galunga

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    You can poor a bottle of isopropyl alcohol, the 90% stuff, in the reservoir and it will keep it from freezing. When I lived in a house without a garage it keep the fluid from freezing down to -24 one winter when the regular washer fluid crapped out at about 0 degrees. We did it with all the company cars that sat outside as well and it kept them all from freezing when the regular stuff failed.
     
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