I accidentally put Windex in my windshield washer fluid reservoir and now nothing comes out of the lines to clean the windshield. I think it may have frozen. Is this really harmful for my car and how should I fix this problem?
By DAH! from Calgary
Just drive to a nice and warm manual car wash. Pour a bottle of gas line anti-freeze into the washer reservoir. Take your time getting the car really clean and shiny, and every now and then test the washer. Once it works again, let it squirt until it is empty. Fill with winter grade windshield washer fluid and let it squirt some more.
After that wash any areas, that may have gotten sprayed or dripped on, and spray wax it as a last step. The alcohol in the gas line anti-freeze cleans off the wax and leaves the paint unprotected.
The fluid not coming out of the reservoir will not hurt your car.
It's not difficult to remove the reservoir and if you don't have the tool to do it perhaps a friend or your mechanic will lend you the wrench. It's just a matter of a couple of bolts and disconnecting the fluid line. Just unhook it and take it inside until the Windex has melted, dump it out, place reservoir back where it belongs and put in the proper fluid. Might seem like a big hassle but better than not having proper fluid at all or trying to find a heated car wash in the winter and/or taking a chance of your car paint being ruined with gas line antifreeze if you don't wax the car right away.
One question: Have you looked to see if there is even anything in the reservoir? It's possible it's just a coincidence and that there is actually a crack in the reservoir (been there myself). In that case you can try to repair the reservoir or save yourself a hassle by replacing it.
Most like the fluid has dried at the hood sprayers and you will need to use a thin wire or needel to clean them with, after they are clean run some clear water through them and the don't use windex use washer fluid it don't normally clogg them up.
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