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Discussion Starter #1
Its been between -13 and -1 for the last 2 weeks now here and the washer bottle has never unfrozen in the entire time - having to wash the windscreen with snow. The bottle was freshly topped up with screen wash deicer - but the car lives outside and i am guessing the diesel engine dosent produce much in the way of extra heat to defrost it in normal use.

How do those of you cope in the really cold countries?..... can i insulate the fluid pipe runs?....or apply some sort of heater to the washer bottle?...ideas please?.
 

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I`m having the same problem, the tubes from the washer bottle run along the outside of the inner guard , close to the wheel arch liner. This area gets little or no heat from the engine bay. mine froze while I was driving, I felt them and they were rock solid. I would like to re-route them nearer the engine but it`s too b----- cold. (catch 22).!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
B&Q do the plumbing pipe insulation (its like a bendy polystyrene and easily cuttable). But unlike you i havent had chance to crawl around seeing if there is clearance to fit it. So you reckon its the pipes that have frozen up and not the bottle itself?.
 

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We use Antifreeze especially designed for our winters. They can go as low as -100 degrees but I use the one that states -40 degrees. I figure that is enough to cover our minus temperatures here in Toronto.

Do you guys in the U.K. or Ireland not have any minus Antifreese?
 

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they now sell little heaters. Some are for the windshield fluid bottles and some are for the pumped fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Marc - I do use the regular minus antifreeze, but down to what level it works to - i dont know. I have just checked the washer bottle and it is totally solid...... so i think i need some stronger stuff. Thanks Soberone for the heater tip - i will have a search - never seen anything like that in the UK. The winters in the UK arent usually this cold..... its only the last couple of years that its worsened.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
i have done a quick search online. Mercedes seem to fit a washer bottle heating system.....but i cant find anything in the uk that can be retro fitted..... may be a bit of adhoc insulation will do the trick.
 

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Marc - I do use the regular minus antifreeze, but down to what level it works to - i dont know. I have just checked the washer bottle and it is totally solid...... so i think i need some stronger stuff. Thanks Soberone for the heater tip - i will have a search - never seen anything like that in the UK. The winters in the UK arent usually this cold..... its only the last couple of years that its worsened.

you folks must be experiencing record cold over there. Freezing windshield fluid is one thing but becareful with windshield itself since suddent temperature change can cause crack. Have seen lot of the crack windshields this time of the year with people “banging” on the windshield with scrapper and/or pouring hot water. I remember seeing windshield fluid additive [mix] in my local parts store that said something like “-50F” on the bottle, may be you can find something like that in your area.
 

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It`s possible to access the tubes from the engine bay but a bit awkward. It would be simpler to route them around the engine bay, and add some of the insulation Tempest mentioned. I`ve almost neat washer fluid and it still freezes,if temps. stay as low as now something stronger is needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for that....i will do some shopping on the way home - see how low i can go. I drove past a bloke this morning carrying a steaming kettle down the street - to pour water over his car.....cringed as i passed.........there really are some idiots about.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Something to watch out for and avoid is the premixed washer fluid you can now buy....it costs nearly the same as the concentrated stuff and is in the same sized container......and you are actually paying for less liquid and more water!!!!......
 

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I guess they don't sell windshield washer fluid that is resilient to lower temperatures in the U.K. Find some -40 fluid and you won't have to worry about re-routing the fluid line.
 

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I think you can pour rubbing alchohol ointo it to keep it from freezing.Look into it.I'm pretty sure thats what it was.
 

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Buy some of the good stuff, use a hair dryer or heat gun to thaw the bottle and lines, then siphon out that old stuff, refill with the good low temp fluid and run the squirter till the lines are full. Why in the world would you consider buying a heater for it when the rest of us in cold climates get by with over the counter low temp fluid!
 

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Try to blow out the lines carrying the washer fluid, too -- you probably have drops of the old "hi-temperature" stuff still in there, ready to freeze again. Or just run some of the good stuff through the lines before replacing them.
 

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Tempest, get some alcohol, not the drinking kind, rubbing alcohol and put into the bottle as this should help a little. Used this to put into diesel tanks to keep the lines from freezing. Other than that you have to wait until it gets warmer for the bottle to thaw out. You can use same alcohol on the wind shield and this will also help in getting the ice off the glass.
 

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I once had the washer bottle on an old Renault freeze. I ended up taking it out of the car and putting it in the kitchen sink until it thawed out and I could get rid of the old water mixture. Very low Wife Acceptance Factor on that, though :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Got some new deicer - it dosent say what temperature it will protect down to - it just says use it neat in extreme conditions....... so neat it is. When its warm enough to work on the car, i will look at insulating the exposed lines. Thanks for all peoples advice on this thread - much appreciated. Will try and make a mental note to top the washer bottle up with better stronger deicer next year.
 

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Any insulation will only help for a very short period of time -- a few hour tops. Just replace the fluid with the good stuff. Whenever I have this sort of trouble I drive to a mall that has a heated parking garage and let my car thaw while shopping.
 

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Whenever I have this sort of trouble I drive to a mall that has a heated parking garage and let my car thaw while shopping.
Trouble is, in the sort of temperatures we're having it would take hours to thaw a completely frozen bottle - even if you could find such a wild thing as a heated garage.

I've got the same problem too - I think Kia filled my Soul bottle with something little better than water when I bought it a few weeks ago, and although I thought I'd worked most of it through the system and replaced with winter-strength fluid it's still freezing up.

In the last 48 hours the temperature has risen enough to thaw things, but my front washers are still dead (back one is working intermittently). I'm concerned the pump may actually have been damaged by the ice - not sure where the warranty would stand on that... :( If I could work out how to get to the bottle/pump I'd have a look myself.
 
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