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Windshield washer fluid... Nothing's ever simple.

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by radiocycle, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. radiocycle

    radiocycle Member

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    So I went into the nearest car parts store, here in the SF Bay Area, and picked up a gallon jug of Prestone (...name brand, should be ok I thought) Bug Wash~Summer Windshield Washer Fluid. The label crows about 'Bug Stopper' and 'Power Cleaner' and 'Repels Water, advanced technology' and 'SAFE for rain sensing windshield wipers'. I bring it home to fill the reservoir and decided to check the manual. To my dismay, the manual states:

    Caution: Do not add formulated washer
    fluids that contain water repellent or bug
    wash. These fluids can cause streaking,
    smearing, and squeaking or other noises.

    I've read some of the older threads here on this topic but that didn't help much either. For instance, a BBC article was sited that claimed plain water alone should never be used to fill the reservoir, as it is a breeding ground for disease causing bacteria. Some guys have used Rain-X, while others say that product caused problems with their system.

    So does Tesla have a *recommended* washer fluid? If not, is there a brand readily available that you've used over time, in a modern system such as the M3, that works well and doesn't cause problems with wiper blades, auto weather sensing, etc. that you recommend? Thanks!

    r
     
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  2. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    I’m pretty sure the stuff the SC uses is about the same as the ‘normal blue stuff’ you get at the ‘gas station’. No special qualities except it won’t freeze. It is probably best not to use any special additives (built in or added) like RainX, etc.

    I’ve never had a problem with what I use which is what the local Sunoco sells.
     
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  3. David29

    David29 Supporting Member

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    Likewise. I use stuff that I get from CVS, the supermarket, or other usual outlets for washer fluid, nothing fancy. Have had performance about as good as on previous cars, no real issues.
     
  4. brd7

    brd7 Member

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    I use the RainX wiperfluid and am just as happy as I have been on previous cars.
     
  5. Runt8

    Runt8 Active Member

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    Unless you’re planning on drinking out of your windshield wipers, the main reason for not using water is you don’t want it to freeze and cause your lines to crack.
     
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  6. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    That happened me once when I didn't change over the summer windshield washer fluid to the winter windshield washer fluid in time.
     
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  7. Runt8

    Runt8 Active Member

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    Happened to my brother once as well for the same reason, in the line going back to the rear window. If I recall correctly it cost him ~$1000 to get it fixed as it involved a large amount of disassembly to access it.
     
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  8. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    I use distilled water from Walmart in the summer, and a mix of that with Isopropanol (~ 50%, depending on temps) in the winter. Most winter fluids for sale use methanol to raise the freezing point but I avoid it due to toxicity.
     
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  9. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    I decided to get a new car. That same winter the engine light came on, I think it was the glow plugs, I developed an oil leak, the brakes wore out, and then to top things off the neighbour's kid accidentally broke my windshield. I said "That's it! New car!"
     
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  10. radiocycle

    radiocycle Member

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  11. RAVAGESofTIME

    RAVAGESofTIME Member

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    I use whatever is sold as wiper fluid. The rainX stuff works fine. Read Amazon reviews to see if people are having issues with particular formulas.
     
  12. 3inthree

    3inthree Supporting Member

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    BMW and Mercedes both sell a concentrated washer fluid. It's about $10 for a pint bottle, and you can mix it in different dilutions depending on the desired freezing point. You can get it at the parts counter at any BMW of MB dealer, and several Amazon sellers have it as well. Here's a link to the BMW version:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PYLFM4O/ref=psdc_15719651_t3_B072YV9LQ3

    Someone in another thread mentioned that their SC uses these tablets, which appear to be a concentrated version of the BMW / MB fluids, minus the aclohol:
    https://www.amazon.com/303-230371-Instant-Windshield-Washer/dp/B000FF76KM I haven't tried these, but I have used some of thin maker's other products, and they were very good.
     
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  13. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    It is possible that the windshield reservoir in the car was contaminated by tap water but that is far from obvious. The bacteria are ubiquitous, and they find a comfy home in the UK auto where it neither gets too hot (65C+) or too cold (below 25C) to kill them. Periodic use of a fluid to flush the system and kill bacteria and fungus is a fair idea, but particularly important in mild climates year round.
     
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  14. gambit48

    gambit48 Member

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    The stuff that comes in the Model 3 leaves blue stains when it dries. Very annoying.

    I've got a bunch of the concentrated stuff that Toyota uses. I'll replace it with that as soon as I use up the Tesla stuff.
     
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  15. Msjulie

    Msjulie Active Member

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  16. radiocycle

    radiocycle Member

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    Ah, excellent! I just ordered (from Amazon) what I *think* is an American branded version of this same product. Thanks for the tip.
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VSTMTI8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    radio
     
  17. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    I keep forgetting to mention, I avoid tap water and use distilled to not have mineral spotting on the glass.
    For similar reasons, after I wash the car with tap water I squeegee it to remove almost all the water drops and then go over the car lightly with a micro fibre cloth.
     
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  18. Msjulie

    Msjulie Active Member

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  19. Glamisduner

    Glamisduner Active Member

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    The alternative is 1/2 the strength?

    Would RO water be close enough? I have only used distilled before.
     
  20. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    That is like asking if a car is fast enough
     
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