Winter Windshield Wash

Can’t complain about our first snow falling in December, but when buying windshield wash once again wondered about differences. You can buy cheap blue wash advertising how it works above -35 degrees (Celsius is about the same as Farenheit here), or more expensive yellow or pink washes advertising how they reduce ice buildup, contain detergent to clean grime, and will give you a gentle back massage if asked nicely. The more expensive ones work to -45 or -49 degrees, which for practical purposes is the same as the cheap stuff since the last time it was that cold I was a student in Montreal.

Is it worth paying more for a nicer colour, or is this a ripoff? Do the cheap ones lack detergent? Are the pricier ones more concentrated and thus marginally better in the cold? Would both work well on the summer when bugs are more burdensome than blizzards?

Perhaps someone can comment if there is a problem with the windshield washer fluid being diluted from the water from the ice and snow and thus only effective to a warmer temperature than advertised?

I have had summer ones freeze in the pump and had to park inside a parkade to thaw it. The winter stuff does make a difference. Please note, I live in the Canadian prairies.

And another question: If you are half-filled with the cheap stuff, can you top it off with the more expensive stuff? Can the two be mixed?

I always have and nothing has ever exploded. It takes a few uses before the anti-ice components take over, but that’s no big whoop. I get the pricier Home Depot stuff for winter and dilute it a little w/ water.

You can combine them just fine. There isn’t anything exotic about most windshield wiper fluids. It is just pre-packaged, common ingredients mixed together.

Here is how to make your own. It sounds like too much work for a cheap product to actually do it yourself but it will give you an idea of what is in it. The ratios aren’t that important unless they are really out of whack and cause streaks or foaming.

You can also put rubbing alcohol mixed in with a little water in a spray bottle to make an instant deicing agent. It will melt mild to moderate ice on contact. I personally never bother with any of that stuff though. I am that asshole that clears a 6x6 inch peephole and then lets the heaters and the wind take care of the rest of it. Lots of hot air + 90mph can get rid of any snow and ice very quickly.

I can’t say for sure that’s the reason but I’ve lived it and suspected it was. That’s without as much serious deep freeze time in the lower peninsula of Michigan (the lakes tend to mitigate some of the worst cold till the ice coverage goes up in late winter.)

I usually went with the cheaper winter stuff with lower freezing point instead of the “super duper deicing” expensive stuff. If I didn’t make the switch the odds of doing the open window grab the wiper blade while driving “fun” went up.

Back when I lived in (minor league) snow country I watched one such asshole center-punch an oak tree after he lost control swerving to avoid something he apparently hadn’t seen out his porthole.

I have to say I laughed. The car was trashed and I hoped he was hurt enough to remember it, but not so badly as to ruin his life.

Some stuff is just too reckless to be acceptable in a city. Shooting firearms into the air is one. Driving by looking through a snow porthole is another. You’re a better man than that. I know you are.