Washer fluids are products that are primarily designed to ensure good visibility while driving. They ensure our safety, so we should not take it lightly.
Why is washer fluid important?
A clean and transparent glass is the key to a safe journey. If we see exactly what is happening on the road, we are able to react quickly in an emergency. Especially in unfavorable weather conditions, good windshield washer fluid is needed, visibility is usually limited in such conditions. Cheap or pseudo-substitutes may fail in such conditions and threaten our safety.
Does the washer fluid stink?
Winter washer fluid usually stinks for two reasons: poor quality alcohol (e.g. regenerated, poorly distilled, unknown origin – so-called moonshine fusel). It is cheap, so many manufacturers use it based on the price, not the customer’s comfort. The second reason is the lack of an alcohol-based liquid fragrance, without which the liquid cannot smell. Sometimes there are liquids on “moonshine” with an admixture of some fragrance, but its small content makes you completely not smell it.
When it comes to summer windshield washer fluid, many customers ask us “Does summer windshield washer smell? – How does it smell? – Summer always smells …”. Yes, summer windshield washer fluid can also stink a lot. Usually this is due to the lack of biocidal components in the liquid, which can cause cloudiness and algae formation. Cheap washer fluids are also often produced on the basis of poor quality water (e.g. tap water), which intensifies this effect. Often, the same detergents used in the liquid have a very unpleasant smell, and the lack of the fragrance or its modest admixture, makes you not even smell it.
Difference between summer and winter washer fluid
Winter washer fluid differs from summer washer fluid in that it contains a high concentration of alcohol, which protects it from freezing. This is the main difference, but it has a huge impact on the smell of the liquid. Higher alcohol content causes (not always) irritation of the respiratory tract and, in extreme cases, gagging. The lower alcohol content in the lukewarm liquid makes it smell better. The biggest challenge facing the windshield washer fluid manufacturer is to produce a winter windshield washer fluid that smells good.
The composition of the summer liquid contains much more detergents that are responsible for removing heavier dirt and insects. It is not necessary to use such a high concentration of detergents in the winter liquid, because the liquid has a high alcohol content, which is also the most effective means of getting rid of dirt and deposits.
Can the washer fluid be mixed?
Yes of course. However, there are a few rules to keep in mind.
- Winter fluid can be mixed with summer fluid when the outside temperature is above zero.
- Do not add winter fluid to summer fluid when winter is approaching. This operation usually ends with the fluid freezing, which in many cases results in damage to the washer system.
- Making a mixture of summer and winter liquid on your own is also not a good idea, because when you dilute a liquid that does not freeze to -22 degrees, half and half with summer liquid, the ready mixture will not freeze not to -11 degrees only to -7 degrees or less. This may surprise in the event of lower temperatures and damage the system.
Windshield washer fluids containing fragrance
The purpose of the aromatic windshield washer fluid is to mask the unpleasant aroma of alcohol in winter windshield washer fluid and to impart a pleasant smell to summer windshield washer fluid. In summer, it is not a problem, because the product is based on water, so it does not have an unpleasant smell, of course, if the appropriate components were used in the production. In the case of winter liquid, the fragrance composition has the least influence on the fragrance. It is often not able to eliminate bad odors if the liquid is made of alcohol that smells good.
Washer fluids based on good quality alcohol are of course more expensive, but in return we guarantee a comfortable journey without the headaches and complaints of passengers.
How to defrost the frozen liquid in the tank?
The worst happened. The washer fluid is frozen, your hands are going to freeze too, and the boss’s phone is still ringing … To deal with such a situation quickly, it is best to use a washer fluid concentrate, which will help dissolve the frozen fluid in the tank. Of course, we can combine it with denatured alcohol, a heat gun or a fire underneath … but that’s not the best idea. All you need is a fluid concentrate, which you pour into the tank.
In order to avoid freezing of the windshield washer fluid, remember to sprinkle lukewarm liquid during the first frost. Thanks to this, we will avoid stressful situations and costs resulting from damage to the sprinkler system.
When to replace the summer windshield washer fluid with the winter one?
It is best to pour winter washer fluid when there are frosts at night, even if the days are still warm. This way we will avoid unpleasant surprises.
Can winter windshield washer fluid be used in summer?
Yes of course. Since we use it in winter, it will be a good solution in summer as well, especially since the winter liquid, thanks to the high alcohol content, copes much better with dirt.
Does nanotechnology windscreen washer work?
If there is nanotechnology in the windshield washer fluid, there is usually a small admixture of it. A fluid with a high content of nanotechnology, which would be 100% effective, will not cost 5 or 6 PLN, and definitely more – 50, 100 or even 200 PLN.
Does the invisible windshield wiper work?
As above, this is another specificity that is usually only added to the windshield washer fluid. In order to have a glass with a hydrophobic coating, we need to apply an agent on it, the price of which is at least 10 PLN per 100 ml – for single use. In order for the washer fluid to provide us with a hydrophobic coating, it would have to cost at least 250 PLN for 5L – and even then its effectiveness will not be 100%. What’s more, to apply a hydrophobic coating, first degrease the surface, then apply the agent and additionally polish with a dry cloth. This is hardly possible when using washer and wiper fluid.
Does the washer fluid remove insects?
A washer fluid that will effectively remove all insects on the glass would have to cost as much as a typical insect remover, i.e. about 15 PLN per liter. So 5 liters of summer insecticide washer fluid would have to cost 75 PLN. Of course, washer fluids contain detergents, but they deal best with dirt such as mud, road salt, dust and dust. For insects, everyone who has dealt with them knows that you always need a concentrated agent, a good brush and a lot of force to clean the glass and the car body. Washer fluids do not remove insects, and if so, only partially. In order to clean the glass of insects in 100%, we always have to use special agents that are definitely more expensive than the washer fluid.
4L or 5L packaging?
It depends on the car we have and the capacity of the washer fluid tank. The only difference in this case is the price. If we buy a 5L package, we will always pay less per liter of liquid, and if we have something left, just close the package tightly and keep it in a cool and dark place.
Winter fluid will not deteriorate because it has a high alcohol content, which makes it well preserved. In the case of summer windshield washer fluid, it all depends on whether the manufacturer has used biocidal additives or not. If so, the fluid may and will not break down.
What should you know before choosing a fluid?
In summary, when it is summer, we can use both summer and winter windshield washer fluid – whatever you like. When the first frosts come, pour winter fluid to avoid visiting a mechanic.
Which fluid to choose? The answer is very simple – one that does not stink, cleans the glass well and does not break down over time.
The price of the washer fluid is a question of quality. You cannot expect the winter fluid for 10 PLN / 5L to smell. Also, a summer liquid costing 4 PLN / 5L will not remove heavier dirt and will not be suitable for longer storage after opening.