Last week, we had our first day of this winter in the low 20s. As many tenured Carolinians can tell you, once we hit January this isn’t uncommon on a day-to-day basis. We’ve talked a lot about coolant, tires and the like when it comes to prepping your car for the winter, but have you checked your washer fluid?
Windshield washer fluids are not all created equally. Some are good for removing bugs, some are good for deicing, and some are considered “all-season,” and that’s fine, but not all freeze at the same temperature. Many washer fluids freeze at 32° just like water and, as you know, we easily go below freezing even in our more mild winters.
You may be thinking “OK, so in the mornings my fluid may freeze and I won’t be able to use it. So what?” We’ll, you could crack your reservoir. Frozen fluids expand, and since most washer fluid reservoirs are plastic, they are very easy to crack… and not always cheap to replace! Preventing fluids inside from freezing can be a real money saver in the long run.
Don’t forget also that ice that can form on your windshield. That can take time to melt just from your defroster! A good deicer can really speed up mornings by clearing your windshield quickly without damaging paint.
As always, whatever you choose, please don’t use water in your reservoir during the winter. If a deicer isn’t for you, you’re better off going empty it doesn’t crack.