It’s in the 20’s and we’re still out performing used car inspections. One of the most common things we see when the cold weather strikes is frozen windshield washers. Many people are not aware that there is a special blend of winter grade washer fluid that is supposed to prevent your washer fluid from freezing. Most might see this as more as a nuisance, not being able to clear/clean your windshield but this often leads to very expensive repairs down the road.
Your engine coolant when factory filled has a freeze point of -35 degrees. The risk of coolant freezing in an engine can be catastrophic as it can crack the engine block when the ice expands inside. The same applies and is very common when it comes to the washer system. There are many small expensive plastic components than very easily and commonly crack in the washer system after only 1 good freeze:
- The washer tank
- Washer pump(s) 2 in vehicles with rear wipers (wagons and SUV’s)
- Low level switch assembly
- Lines and jets.
In every inspection we not only test and report the engine coolant condition and freeze point, but we also check the integrity of the entire washer system from operation to freeze point of the fluid. 98% of the time we see freeze points of only +32 degrees. A simple fix for the winter involves running the old fluid through the system and refilling with the proper winter grade fluid found at most home improvement and auto parts stores. Most of these winter blend formulas also have the added benefit of being deicers as well!
Just another thing to think about when looking at your next vehicle or on your existing vehicles. Stay warm!