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Windshield washer fluid in radiator??

 
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Old 29 Jan 2011, 02:01 pm
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Question Windshield washer fluid in radiator??

Hey guys,

I think I might have dropped windshield wiper fluid in the radiator.
I only filled about 1/4th of a gallon in there.

Later on, they replaced my thermostat; totally unrelated, the prev owner just ran his pt without one (here in florida in the summer the thermostat is in an always open position anyways).

So by changing the thermostat, I can imagine some of the fluid leaving the radiator. It was then refilled with approx 1/2 gallon of coolant.

Do you think the windshield wiper fluid could cause any damage in the radiator?

Thanks!
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Old 29 Jan 2011, 02:19 pm
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Default Re: Windshield washer fluid in radiator??

No i wouldnt worry to much about it.
unless its due for new coolant then its just an excuse to drain and refill.
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Old 29 Jan 2011, 02:21 pm
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Default Re: Windshield washer fluid in radiator??

I expect at the moment there's less than a quart of windshield wiper fluid in the system.
I wonder if I need to drain it or just leave it like that?
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Old 29 Jan 2011, 02:25 pm
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Default Re: Windshield washer fluid in radiator??

yea i would just leave it.
if you had 1/2 gallon or more in there then i would say change it but since its 1/4 or less i would say your fine.
did you pour it in the radiator or the overflow bottle?
just saying because if it was in the overflow you could just dump it out and put coolant in.
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Old 29 Jan 2011, 02:59 pm
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Default Re: Windshield washer fluid in radiator??

Washer fluid (up here) has Methanol in it. Dunno if it'd have it in FL, doesn't
seem to be the need.

Methanol's pretty nasty stuff. It'll likely just boil out, though.

If it doesn't freeze in your loale, drain and fill with H20, then refill
with Prestone after a while
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Old 29 Jan 2011, 04:36 pm
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Default Re: Windshield washer fluid in radiator??

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbosnail7 View Post
did you pour it in the radiator or the overflow bottle?
just saying because if it was in the overflow you could just dump it out and put coolant in.
the bottle in the center-top of the engine.
It's been already mixed with the rest, as I noticed it only today when I wanted to refill the windshield wiper fluid and noticed the cap saying it was for radiator coolant.
Both those caps look alike, and I know I must have mistakingly assumed it was the windshield wiper fluid bottle.

@UptownSport: I did notice that after refilling the radiator with windshield wiper fluid, the levels dropped from high to low again in a matter of a few days.
I left it at low, since I knew I had to get the thermostat fixed anyway,and less coolant meant a hotter engine.

'm not so concerned about the evaporated stuff, but about it leaving a residue and/or corrosion, although windshield wiper fluid should not corrode.
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Old 29 Jan 2011, 06:49 pm
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Default Re: Windshield washer fluid in radiator??

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
the bottle in the center-top of the engine.
It's been already mixed with the rest, as I noticed it only today when I wanted to refill the windshield wiper fluid and noticed the cap saying it was for radiator coolant.
Both those caps look alike, and I know I must have mistakingly assumed it was the windshield wiper fluid bottle.

@UptownSport: I did notice that after refilling the radiator with windshield wiper fluid, the levels dropped from high to low again in a matter of a few days.
I left it at low, since I knew I had to get the thermostat fixed anyway,and less coolant meant a hotter engine.

'm not so concerned about the evaporated stuff, but about it leaving a residue and/or corrosion, although windshield wiper fluid should not corrode.
Again, who know what's in it in FL, It wouldn't leave residue, tho

Weird:

Quote:
Anti-freeze, or methylated spirits, may be added to a mixture to give the product a lower freezing temperature. But, methanol is harmful when breathed in[citation needed], so more popular now is an ethanol winter mix, e.g. PAV[clarification needed], water, ethanol (or isopropanol), and ethylene glycol.

Concerns have been raised about the environmental aspects of washer fluid.[citation needed] Widespread, ground-level use of wiper fluid (amounting to billions of liters each year)[citation needed] can lead to cumulative air pollution and water pollution.[citation needed]

Consumer advocacy groups and auto enthusiasts believe that the alcohols and solvents present in some, but not all, windshield washer fluid can damage the vehicle.[citation needed] These critics point to the corrosive effects of ethanol, methanol, and other components on paint, rubber, car wax, and plastics. These groups propose various alternatives and homemade recipes[specify] so as to protect the finish and mechanics of the motor vehicle.
[edit] Legionnaires' disease

On 14 June 2010 the UK's Health Protection Agency announced the results of a preliminary study of 75 patients which found an association between the use of pure water as wiper fluid and Legionnaires' disease (which is spread by breathing in aerosolized bacteria from infected water), after noticing that prevalence of the disease was five times higher among professional drivers.
Ethanol isn't going to hurt anything, unless you drink lots before driving
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Old 31 Jan 2011, 10:05 am
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Default Re: Windshield washer fluid in radiator??

My old Toyota overheated about 75 miles away from home a while back and don't remember why but I didn't have any antifreeze or water but I did have a bottle of widow washer which after I cooled off the car it got me home. It did make soap bubbles though. I just ran any old antifreeze in that car and never had a radiator trouble.
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Old 31 Jan 2011, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Windshield washer fluid in radiator??

Washer fluid also can have some soap in it (to remove bugs)- hence the bubbles. If you do add water, go to a supermarket and get distilled water (for steam irons) tap water can have all kind of minerals that can junk things up.
THe recommended antifreeze is from the dealer, but Zerex G-05 is compatible - NOT all antifreeze is compatible and can cause grief. A mix of anti-freeze and water is a better heat transfer medium than either one alone.
If you added to overflow tank, take off hose from tank and drain/replace. If not, I think you'll be okay if you didn't add much.
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