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maz

Windscreen washers

have any of you with posh cars have a facility ( or has it been invented) that you can defrost your washer bottle, pipes and sprayers so that they work in cold weather. ? Couldn't see a bloody thing within a mile of home this morning cause the windscreen was covered in salt smear and the washers were frozen. Had to stop and clean screen with some snow twice.
I,m sure an electric element and filament in the washer system would get water spraying.
scamper

lots of cars have heated water jet nozzles. not sure if this expands to the pipes, bottle etc.
Roadrunner

I find that heated washer jets and so-called no-freeze screen wash result in the much the same experience as you had this morning.  You would think that it was not beyond the wit of car designers to construct a frost resistant screen wash system.
Pkh72

When i put the heated front screen on in the Focus it heats the washer jets too, this doesn't have any effect on what's in the pipes or washer bottle though so is a bit of a waste of time. Having a high concentration of washer fluid to water helps a bit.
Strangely the headlamp washers still work when its very cold and they cover a bit of the windscreen even if the normal jets don't,  if your going quick enough.
Grampa

A few kits on ebay for various makes - I'm sure they could be adapted to fit other cars - search "heated windscreen washers"
Grampa

Pkh72 wrote:
When i put the heated front screen on in the Focus it heats the washer jets too, this doesn't have any effect on what's in the pipes or washer bottle though so is a bit of a waste of time. Having a high concentration of washer fluid to water helps a bit.
Strangely the headlamp washers still work when its very cold and they cover a bit of the windscreen even if the normal jets don't,  if your going quick enough.


I remember reading of a trick years ago, in the days when the average motorist was prepared to get his hands dirty of rerouting the washer pipes so they coiled round the radiator hose. Whether you could do this would depend on a large degree on the layout of your engine bay, and I have know idea whether it worked or not.
Big Blue

Put more washer fluid in. The bottle tells you the percentage mix based on the prevailing temperature.
Thomas Magman

It was -12 deg C at my house last night - when I left in the BM this morning it was still -10 deg C but my 328 has heated washer jet nozzles and I am running Halfords screenwash at 50% solution ( scented apple variety ). Both my screen and headlight washers have worked normally throughout the cold period
maz

Turbonutter wrote:
It was -12 deg C at my house last night - when I left in the BM this morning it was still -10 deg C but my 328 has heated washer jet nozzles and I am running Halfords screenwash at 50% solution ( scented apple variety ). Both my screen and headlight washers have worked normally throughout the cold period



   SCENTED APPLE !    i,m straight down there. Wonder if there are any different flavours ?
Thomas Magman

maz wrote:
Turbonutter wrote:
It was -12 deg C at my house last night - when I left in the BM this morning it was still -10 deg C but my 328 has heated washer jet nozzles and I am running Halfords screenwash at 50% solution ( scented apple variety ). Both my screen and headlight washers have worked normally throughout the cold period



SCENTED APPLE ! i,m straight down there. Wonder if there are any different flavours ?


I think they do CITRUS as well  
Blarno

My screenwash is home made: 50/50 IPA/water mixture. Doesn't freeze easily!
him

Blarno wrote:
My screenwash is home made: 50/50 IPA/water mixture. Doesn't freeze easily!

No apple fragrance though...  
Mike Amos

Sara is running the 'capstan full strength mix', mostly due to paranoia.  She had the things freeze up once and at her current rate of use she will have enough shares to vote on the board.
Blarno

I prefer the alcohol smell of IPA!
Tim

The M5 has heated washer nozzles which is great but the wipers freeze into a curve if it's cold enough and they sit quite far down so that even when the windscreen is having hot air blasted onto it they remain frozen.

If you then wash the screen you simply clear about an inch all the way round the outside.
him

Mike Amos wrote:
Sara is running the 'capstan full strength mix', mostly due to paranoia. She had the things freeze up once and at her current rate of use she will have enough shares to vote on the board.

My mates Mini had a leaking radiator and it was impossible to keep water in it for long, so he rarely had any anti-freeze in it.  One cold winter morning we were trying to start it so we could get to College only for it not to turn over at all...

...the engine had frozen solid.  Luckily it had pushed the core-plugs out so once it had thawed and they were pressed back in, it was fine!  
TreVoR

I am running neat Halfords screenwash at the moment. It is supposed to be good to -6. I had no problems this morning and the heated wiper blades stop it re-freezing.
Blarno

SpecB wrote:
I am running neat Halfords screenwash at the moment. It is supposed to be good to -6. I had no problems this morning and the heated wiper blades stop it re-freezing.


Ultimate FG!
PhilD

Pkh72 wrote:
Strangely the headlamp washers still work when its very cold and they cover a bit of the windscreen even if the normal jets don't, if your going quick enough.


Topgear level of consumer advice there from pkh72.

"if you can't see anything out of your windscreen and your wash jets are frozen, drive as fast as you can and use the headlamp washers instead"

 
Pkh72

My washer bottle is about the size of a hot tub so i need to stock up with a tanker full of washer fluid and top it up i think.
Blarno

My Mk2 Escort had no antifreeze in it. I had to thaw the engine out one day by attaching the hose to the hot water tap and blasting the block for half an hour!
maz

Blarno wrote:
My screenwash is home made: 50/50 IPA/water mixture. Doesn't freeze easily!



 home made -  water / IPA  Are you using the 'piss '
Blarno

I'm not talking Green King IPA, I'm talking Iso Propyl Alcohol.

Smells like cheap vodka...

Of which there is also a small amount in the Clio's washer bottle.
Woody

maz wrote:
SCENTED APPLE ! i,m straight down there. Wonder if there are any different flavours ?


The lemon one smells like fizzy lemonade - is fab!
PG

The jag washer bottle is in the engine bay so once it thawed from the engine heat I was able to get neat screen-wash into it. The Shogun bottle is in the front wing which might be space efficient but does mean that the engine heat did not thaw it out when the cold spell started and I needed to up the screen-wash %. Kettles were needed....

But I agree that it should not be beyond the wit of designers to design systems that keep the bottle, pipes, nozzles and wipers frost free.
Thomas Magman

Ages ago I rigged up a little heater element in my Manta washer bottle. That combined with a little device you could buy from cheapo motoring accessory shops that clipped on your top rad hose meant the washer pipes stayed nice and warm. In fact you could get steaming washer fluid onto your screen on a frosty morning - worked very well
maz

Turbonutter wrote:
Ages ago I rigged up a little heater element in my Manta washer bottle. That combined with a little device you could buy from cheapo motoring accessory shops that clipped on your top rad hose meant the washer pipes stayed nice and warm. In fact you could get steaming washer fluid onto your screen on a frosty morning - worked very well



 I bet you could have got it to make a cup of tea as well  

I always wanted to wake up to a gobbling teasmaid  
Chip Butty

Top tip for winter is to use the cheapy screen wash - apparently the cheaper it is the more ethanol it is likely to have in it.

Lidl do a bucketful for 3.99 which is allegedly very effective.
JohnC

Turbonutter wrote:
Ages ago I rigged up a little heater element in my Manta washer bottle. That combined with a little device you could buy from cheapo motoring accessory shops that clipped on your top rad hose meant the washer pipes stayed nice and warm. In fact you could get steaming washer fluid onto your screen on a frosty morning - worked very well


I had one of those on my XR2 and it was great once the engine was warm.
Alf McQueef

Washers that actually work in the winter are one of those things manufacturers ought to spend money on rather than FG like push-button starts.

The Audi's front washers work fine in the cold as long as the washer mix is seriously strong, but the Focus (heated screen or not) doesn't often want to play and I've had many cars like that whatever the strength of the fluid - I assume water freezes around the nozzles and that's that.

The rear on the Audi drives me mad - it constantly needs re-piercing even in good weather (must go and do it now, while I remember!) The Alfa's was a better design (not many areas where I can say that...), it sprayed from the top down not the bottom up, and always worked.

At least when it's a proper winter you can just make the washer fluid really strong and be done with it - normally we're having a girly winter down here then suddenly you get a cold night/day and no matter how much neat fluid you get in the washer bottle, the pipes are frozen solid until the weather improves!
Resident Spanner

Home rigged ceramic immersion heater, sorted ;)
Tim

About 20 years ago I had a variety of neat screenwashes in the washer bottle on my Montego.

It could cut through ice first thing in the morning but the fumes gave you a headache

I think most of the nasty chemicals have been removed - the same for de-icer, it's just not as good.
DaveGibson

I used to use meths. It did tend to leave me with a purple washer bottle but, these days, when it's burried behind the inner wing you can't see it.
Big Blue

ALF wrote:

The Alfa's was a better design (not many areas where I can say that...), it sprayed from the top down not the bottom up, and always worked.


That was just water trapped in the tailgate dripping through a poor shutline
Thomas Magman

JohnC wrote:
Turbonutter wrote:
Ages ago I rigged up a little heater element in my Manta washer bottle. That combined with a little device you could buy from cheapo motoring accessory shops that clipped on your top rad hose meant the washer pipes stayed nice and warm. In fact you could get steaming washer fluid onto your screen on a frosty morning - worked very well


I had one of those on my XR2 and it was great once the engine was warm.


Here is an old picture of the device I mentioned on my Manta



It's the red thing on the top hose - a small heat exchanger. I don't think you can see the wiring to the washer bottle in the top left very well. There was a whole how-to-do-it in the Manta Owners Club bulletin back years ago. Worked very well
maz

I can remember my fathers VX Viva HA he had many years ago - to operate the washers there was a rubber button you had to pump with your thumb to make it work - pure luxury
DetmoldDick

My dad always used to carry a washing up liquid bottle of windscreen wash in his Morris Oxford van.

Wind down window, spray from bottle, switch on wipers, wind up window.
Simples.
Blarno

maz wrote:
I can remember my fathers VX Viva HA he had many years ago - to operate the washers there was a rubber button you had to pump with your thumb to make it work - pure luxury


My Mk1 Fiesta Popular had exactly the same thing.
Tim

The Chrysler Avenger had a pump action thing too.
TreVoR

Our '69 Bedford TK had one.  It also had wipers that were either on or off and you had to park them yourself.
DaveGibson

You should try an old fifties Ford - the wipers were pneumatically powered off the engine vacuum so when you accelerated, they slowed and when you lifted off, they speeded up.
TreVoR

DaveGibson wrote:
You should try an old fifties Ford - the wipers were pneumatically powered off the engine vacuum so when you accelerated, they slowed and when you lifted off, they speeded up.


My grandfather had a Ford Thames van and used to go on about them.
Frank Bullitt

Re: Windscreen washers

maz wrote:
have any of you with posh cars have a facility ( or has it been invented) that you can defrost your washer bottle, pipes and sprayers so that they work in cold weather. ? Couldn't see a bloody thing within a mile of home this morning cause the windscreen was covered in salt smear and the washers were frozen. Had to stop and clean screen with some snow twice.
I,m sure an electric element and filament in the washer system would get water spraying.


Audi did a winter pack for the A2 - heated mirrors and washers; my cousin's A2 had it fitted and he never had an issue with freezing water!

Mine has half a winter pack - heated mirrors (all the wiring is there, only needs new glass)
Thomas Magman

Worth checking the screen wash you are buying  as well - Halfords readymix Standard only goes down to -4, Premium down to -8....but the aforementioned scented ones at 100% concentration go to about -23 deg C. Fairly wide variance
Blarno

I don't know the freezing point of IPA offhand, but it's survived -12 so far.
DaveGibson

Blarno wrote:
I don't know the freezing point of IPA offhand, but it's survived -12 so far.

If you're using it neat, you've a long way to go, yet, Blarno. Pure Isopropyl Alcohol freezes at about -89 degrees C.
Blarno

That's me sorted, then!



EDIT: I'm currently using neat, didn't realise how small my washer bottle was and just poured it right in!
PhilD

I'm guessing that half frozen nozzles can affect the pressure and direction of the spray. Sat in stationary traffic a few days ago and the chap in front (in a Focus) tried to clean his windscreen but instead managed to not only clear his own car but mine as well and washed the guy behind me  
DaveGibson

PhilD wrote:
I'm guessing that half frozen nozzles can affect the pressure and direction of the spray. Sat in stationary traffic a few days ago and the chap in front (in a Focus) tried to clean his windscreen but instead managed to not only clear his own car but mine as well and washed the guy behind me

That sounds like the Mini 1275GT I took delivery of on 1st January 1974 (businesses opened on NYD in those days). The first time I pressed the washer button, the RH nozzle jet (it was like a ball bearing in a plastic surround) shot off to who knows where and all I was left with was a vertical fountain which cleared the car by miles. The loss of resistance on the right also meant that nothing came out of the left nozzle. It was a complete pain because it was a damp but not wet day and I was making my way from Derby to Blackpool, having picked up the new car.
Blarno

Partially related to washer jets:

My Brother's old 309 SR had the rear washer jet on the nearside rear wing. It could be rotated very easily.

There were a lot of wet pedestrians and cyclists wherever we went...
Thomas Magman

PhilD wrote:
I'm guessing that half frozen nozzles can affect the pressure and direction of the spray. Sat in stationary traffic a few days ago and the chap in front (in a Focus) tried to clean his windscreen but instead managed to not only clear his own car but mine as well and washed the guy behind me


Also, if he'd adjusted the nozzles to hit the windscreen at motorway speeds they may well clear the top of the screen when he's sat in traffic as there's no wind force
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