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Thread: washer fluid additive?

  1. #1
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    washer fluid additive?

    what additives are people using in their cars?
    The previous owner of my Octavia had issues with the system gumming up and I'm in the process of replacing a clogged headlight washer jet.

    Skoda has a listing for a small bottle of concentrate additive, but apparently they're not allowed to sell it.

    I'm not going to be taking my car to them for servicing, so am trying to figure my options.

    thanks
    Steve

  2. #2
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    Bowdens Own Wipe Out. No clogging, good bug removal, good wiper lubrication, no residue left on paintwork. The best product IMO is the genuine VW additive, but the Bowdens Own seems to be a very good alternative.
    Cheers

  3. #3
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    I use the genuine VW additive in mine (a blue colour) but any good quality additive should be ok. As mentioned above, the Bowdens products are very good and readily available.

    I have heard stories of some of the RainX additives causing blockages over time. I think the hydrophobic properties of the RainX tend to crystallise over time - so best to avoid those.

    Also check your spray nozzles are unblocked (use a pin etc) as they commonly block up also causing a bad spray pattern/poor flow.
    Last edited by Lucas_R; 25-05-2021 at 02:11 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Is any person able to buy the VW additive? Seems Skoda are trying to force owners to go to them for servicing and I daresay they would top up for free. And likely it's the same stuff...

  5. #5
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    I have always used this stuff, although last time around they (apparently) didn't have it anymore and I got the summer concentrate bottle, but I still haven't used it as I've only just finished my last bottle of the original fluid.

    In a vehicle without headlight washers or rear window washers it probably doesn't matter too much since the plumbing is pretty simple... in the van I consider it a pretty cheap insurance policy against fouling the lines (11 years in it's still good).

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Hawk View Post
    While most of it's rumor, there is some talk that if your washers lines ever clog up your warranty won't be covered unless your using the right fluids.



    The Volkswagen washer fluid isn't exactly cheap at $10/L, but then I don't know that there are many parts that are. Since we seem to tear through the stuff I thought I would look a little closer at it. The text on the bottle says:

    "Suitable for use all year round for the windscreen washing system. Offers the necessary protection against frost, stops the jets from freezing up, frees the windscreen from dirt and protects both paint and the wiper blades. Can be used in all models, must be used for fan-type jets."



    It's listed as being mixed at 1 part fluid to 4 parts water and since our reservoirs are 5L, that's a full bottle to fill it up from empty... or so it would seem.

    Last time around I thought I would measure how much I was putting in. The light had come on early in the week and it was continued to be used throughout the week then filled on the weekend. It seems that after putting in 1L of fluid I only got in another 2.5L of water for a total of 3.5L so that light comes on pretty damn early.

    I haven't tested running it till it doesn't work anymore to see how low it gets since I assume that most people would want to get rid of that light and re-fill the fluid.


    So onto some maths (and you thought you would never need it again). Assuming you started with the right concentration you now have 0.3L of washer fluid and 1.2L of water in the tank. Adding in the full bottle of washer fluid every time will see you end up with a concentration almost double the requirement of about 1 part fluid to 2.5 parts water. This means your good down to almost -16C!

    So to keep it 100% on what the documentation says you would need to add in 0.7L and top up with 2.8L water. Saving about 30% on fluid right there (although you then have to measure out the right amount each time. Something in my brain doesn't like this since you keep ending up with 300ml left in the bottom of a bottle...

    Plan B would be to get a 5L container and pre-mix it then just top up as needed (although I don't know how well it stores in this fashion).

    Plan C is to question the need for that concentration. I note that the various ratio's are all about temps below zero, the second to last one being -16C. I'm guessing a large part of the concentration is about not freezing. Being in SW Sydney I rarely see anything below 0C so freezing in the lines isn't a significant danger.

    Moving to a nice neat half bottle (0.5L) per re-fill keeps my OCD in check and means your running at about 66% the listed strength or about 1 part fluid to 6 parts water.


    Now maybe I just spend all together too much time thinking about these things. Maybe I just keep pouring a whole bottle in each time I fill up and not worry about it too much since I'm saving about the cost of a cup of coffee at work. That and it's only refilled once every 6 weeks or so anyway
    Last edited by The_Hawk; 25-05-2021 at 07:42 PM.


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  6. #6
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    I like the alcohol based VW fluid but VW no longer carry it. Found some at an independent service guy so have stocked up on a couple of litres
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  7. #7
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    This works great
    SCA Windscreen Wash Concentrate 1L | Supercheap Auto
    I mix it a bit stronger than it says on the bottle.
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  8. #8
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Hawk View Post
    I have always used this stuff, although last time around they (apparently) didn't have it anymore and I got the summer concentrate bottle, but I still haven't used it as I've only just finished my last bottle of the original fluid.

    In a vehicle without headlight washers or rear window washers it probably doesn't matter too much since the plumbing is pretty simple... in the van I consider it a pretty cheap insurance policy against fouling the lines (11 years in it's still good).

    If it's still $10/L that's not too bad. Skoda had quoted me $10 for something like a 200mL bottle. But it's more like a 10:1 mix ratio.

  9. #9
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    Over the course of five decades I have used a mixture of predominantly water with a dash of methylated spirits and only one or two drops of dishwashing liquid. Works a treat and is cheap as chips. Cheers-John

  10. #10
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    Now days, I mainly use the Rainex windscreen washer additive. It's not the cheapest, but I never had to scrub any ice from the windscreen in the winter times.

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