Blue Mickey's Washer Fluid Demise

About 1700 miles ago, I took my truck in to have an oil change and general service at a reputable oil change outlet. I opted for the full-service program, where they change the oil, lube the suspension and steering linkages, top off the fluids and vacuum the interior. Nice setup for $20. About three days after the oil change, I needed to squirt my windshield to clean the bug stuff off of it, when I noticed an odd odor. “That’s odd,” said I to myself, “I wonder what that was.” I didn’t think much more of it, believing I had driven by something ripe on the roadside. Another week goes by, and I need to cleanse the windshield yet again. I push the little button in the truck and, squirt, wipe, stink. “Hmm,” says I, “I’ll need to check that out when I get home. This is more than merely coincidental.”

Upon arrival at home, I parked the truck and squirted the windshield, this time with my door open.
“Oh, geez,” I gagged, “that’s FOUL!” I popped the hood, and opened the lid on the washer fluid reservoir, but I couldn’t see anything, though the stench nearly bowled me over. At this point, I figured maybe they just had some kind of chemical mixup at the oil change place, so I decided to top off the reservoir with some fresh fluid and use up what I had. The odor wasn’t too bad, as long as I stayed in the truck. Determined to empty the reservoir quickly, I decided to use my washers frequently over the next week or so.

During that time, one of my spray nozzles became clogged. As I have a rather obnoxious tree in my front yard that overhangs my parking spot, I figured it had become plugged by something falling from the tree. I pulled the hose off the nozzle, ran the squirt pump, and fluid flowed freely from the hose, which proved that the pump and hoses were fine. I popped the nozzle off and sure enough, it was plugged, though I couldn’t see what was plugging it. Not having the appropriate air tools to clean it out at the time, I wiped it off and attempted to blow through it to clear the obstruction. At first, there was no success, but a small piece of wire and some more blowing cleared it out. I pieced it all back together and went my merry way for another week, when darned if both nozzles didn’t get plugged up. By now I figured there was something terribly wrong with my washer fluid, and I had started to hazzard a guess as to what it was, though I didn’t really want to contemplate the reality. Regardless, I realized that I would have to disassemble and empty the reservoir to at least find out what the problem really was, so Monday I parked the truck in the shade and commenced the reservoir project.

The project itself wasn’t overly difficult; I had to remove one radiator hose to actually get to the reservoir, but it simply snapped out of the radiator shroud on the truck and two wires and a hose later it was free. During this time, I noticed that the fluid was, indeed, quite noxious and from time to time I had to fight back the urge to gag. I realized now that something was, indeed, terribly amiss. I knew what it was, but was hoping and praying…surely not…surely it couldn’t be…

…I up-ended the reservoir in the street gutter and watched in horror and amazement as a rather large and quite dead blue mouse floated out of the plastic container in my hand. I’m not squeamish, I grew up out in the country for crying out loud, but this was absolutely revolting! ACK! I had pieces of my washer fluid system IN MY MOUTH a week ago…! :eek:

Anyway, long story short, I cleaned out the reservoir, cleaned out the nozzles, put some bleach water in the system, and everything’s fine now…but if this ever happens again, I can assure you I won’t be cleaning the nozzles by blowing through them!

Ha, Ha! dirk blew a blue mouse, dirk blew a blue mouse!