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Discussion Starter #1
Added fluid for the first time and the owner's manual didn't seem to match what I found. The manual said among other things:

Fill the washer fluid tank only three-quarters full when it is very cold. This allows
for fluid expansion if freezing occurs, which could damage the tank if it is completely full.


What appeared was a very long tube that went down to somewhere with no tank in sight. I poured in what fluid I had and it disappeared with no indication of fullness of the tank. What is going on?
 

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Most wiper fluid has an antifreeze formula good to well below zero. I wouldn’t worry about it freezing.

The cheap blue stuff in my garage says it’s good to -20f, which is, thankfully, at least 20 degrees colder than it ever gets here on Long Island.

Not sure how cold it gets in Hope, but -20 is pretty cold.
 

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Don't worry about it, just fill as normal without backing it up to the top of the fill pipe.
You can hear the pitch change as you get closer to full.
 

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Wow! that is a long way down. Many thanks to all for the information.

BTW it can get to -20 in Hope but very very seldom. The nearby ocean is a great heat source in the winter and a nice heat sink in the summer.
 

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You can see it in this picture. It has two pumps. One for the front windshield, and one for the rear.
Do you think they oversize the reservoir to be more than the typical 1-gallon refill bottle? To compensate for the rear window's washer fluid usage?
 

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Do you think they oversize the reservoir to be more than the typical 1-gallon refill bottle? To compensate for the rear window's washer fluid usage?
Probably. Here in Virginia there is absolutely no chance that washer fluid will ever freeze. If I was concerned, I would keep a wooden dowel as a dipstick. When it got almost empty, I would put in a jug of fluid, and check where it fell on the stick. After that...no worry.
 

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OK. I just walked out to the garage with a dowel. The long tube has enough of a curve in it that dowel won't work. I walked back to the house thinking about a bamboo sliver, as a better option.

On my way down our concrete path, I slipped and fell on my back on the black ice. The frustrating part is that I slipped on it on the way out, and told myself to avoid it on the way back. Over three years ago, I broke my left clavicle, and scapula, in a bicycle run-in with a dog. The scapula feels like it did then. I am back in that arm sling, and just ate 600 mg of ibuprofen. At least it took my mind off my cold.
 

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As for the temperature - for those buying the blue cheaper version - I would not worry. it was -22c here yesterday and for most of the day today, actually and the car windshield wiper fluid was just fine.
 

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The anti freeze characteristic of washer fluid is provided by methanol. Being an alcohol, it evaporates fairly quickly. So while ww fluid doesn't freeze in the jug until its rated temp, say -20, or inside your washer reservoir under the hood, once you spray it on your windshield, the alcohol begins evaporating very quickly and that's why windshield freeze-ups do occur ABOVE the temperature that the fluid is rated for.

I used to buy Prestone De-Icer Washer Fluid (gallon sized, yellow fluid) and it's still my preference as it's rated for -34F. This year I've been using Rain-X -25F formula with good results as well, and it's cheaper.

Personally, I don't use much ww fluid during the summer months. I find it makes a mess of the car in general, streaks and drips on the paint. I use it only in emergencies. For daily touch-ups of the windshield, I grab come glass cleaner and a towel when I get home, only takes a minute and the results are superior.

Because of this... I use winter formula year round, I don't want to get caught with too much summer mix in there, and having to pump it out.

However, if you use fluid all 12 months of the year, you should switch to the winter formula well before freezing temps hit. That way the summer formula is all used up. Conversely you can probably switch to summer formula for a top-off once March rolls along (depending on your climate).
 

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OK. I just walked out to the garage with a dowel. The long tube has enough of a curve in it that dowel won't work. I walked back to the house thinking about a bamboo sliver, as a better option.

On my way down our concrete path, I slipped and fell on my back on the black ice. The frustrating part is that I slipped on it on the way out, and told myself to avoid it on the way back. Over three years ago, I broke my left clavicle, and scapula, in a bicycle run-in with a dog. The scapula feels like it did then. I am back in that arm sling, and just ate 600 mg of ibuprofen. At least it took my mind off my cold.
Ow. My wife clocked her head badly this AM on the driveway. We spent the morning in the ER. :(

Good news...normal CT. I hope you have a speedy recovery.
 

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Ow. My wife clocked her head badly this AM on the driveway. We spent the morning in the ER. :(

Good news...normal CT. I hope you have a speedy recovery.
Thanks...ditto for your wife. I'd like to think that the increased experience that comes with age would offset the fragility that also comes with age. So far, not so much. :)

As to the dipstick idea. The pour tube has an "S" bend, which makes running something down there a pain. I tried a 1/4" polyethylene tube, but it is still a bit too stiff. I will try a 1/4" vinyl tube later. My thought is; If I can run a clear tube to the bottom, I can then put my finger over the end and withdraw it. The captured fluid will give an accurate indication of fill level.
 

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Sorry to hear about all the slip-n-fall injuries going around... hope all are well soon!

Almost broke my a$$ taking the garbage out last Friday morning- overnight rain turned to black ice on all the secondary roads by morning. Lots of spin-outs, pileups, etc... that morning.

Made my wife and kid walk out on to our street so they could see what I was talking about before leaving for work/school.
 

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The nonexistence of visits to the gas station with its convenient squeegees means I use more windshield washer fluid than in my former cars.
 
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