It’s safe to say that keeping your line of sight clear when you’re driving is not just a good idea, it’s a necessity. That’s why it’s important to take ordinary maintenance tasks seriously, like choosing the right windshield wiper fluid. Getting to where you’re going requires more than just four wheels and an engine. If you’ve ever seen a windshield after a long road trip, you know the kind of beating your windshield can take and the result – impaired visibility.
How do you know what kind of wiper fluid to use in your car? Does it matter? Turns out – it does. To get a better picture of how to get a clear view behind the wheel, we’re breaking down what you need to know about the wiper fluid you choose to put in your ride.
What about good old H2O?
Maybe you ran out of the blue wiper fluid and just wanted to get by until you made it to the auto parts store, so you filled up your wiper fluid reservoir with water. That might be an ok solution if you live in a warm climate, but in cold climates, if the temperature drops below freezing, so does the water in your reservoir and in the lines. This can destroy your wiper system and leave you high, and literally, dry out on the road.
Is blue wiper fluid safe?
Strictly speaking, most blue commercial wiper fluids are toxic. They contain methanol, which if ingested can cause serious injury or even death. Toxicity from breathing in methanol fumes or skin exposure is very rare, and it does have the benefit of killing bacteria and has a lower freezing point. If you live in an area where freezing temperatures are not a maybe, but more of a sure thing, you may want to select a fluid that is designed for winter weather and contains ethylene glycol to prevent freezing altogether.
Some people even choose to make their own wiper fluid by mixing water with white vinegar. However, this mixture will still freeze, not to mention your car may smell a bit pickled and the tank could sustain damage over time from your homemade brew.
Be sure to consider your climate when choosing the right wiper fluid for your vehicle. The important thing is to keep driving forward no matter what the weather is or how many bugs fly your way on the road to somewhere. If you are passionate about keeping things driving forward, check out the Automotive Technology Program at J-Tech Institute. J-Tech is helping the future technicians of tomorrow learn the skills they need to help keep engines running and wheels turning across the country and beyond. It’s a great time to be a part of the automotive industry. Contact J-Tech today to learn more or to schedule a tour of our Jacksonville, FL, campus.