One of the most neglected parts of routine car maintenance is the need to keep an eye on the windshield washer fluid level before it gets too low. While most modern cars will come with warning lights that can alert you to when you need to add washer fluids, it might be too late if you find yourself on a highway with no gas station in sight on a cold rainy day.
I recently took my family on a trip to Niagara Falls in upstate New York, and I learned a thing or two about long-distance highway driving and the need to have adequate supply of washer fluids while driving on the highway..
What is Windshield Washer Fluid Some Might Ask?
The child of a friend asked the same question when she heard us arguing about whose fault it is why we did not bring an adequate supply of washer fluids for the long trip. Washer fluids or windshield washer fluids as they’re popularly called are lab-created chemical solutions that can clear out freezing rain, bugs, and even freezing ice during the winter months.
The degree of visibility offered by a washer fluid will vary from brand to brand. If you reside in a colder climate region the type of windshield washer fluid you buy matters a great deal that is if you want to get to your destination in one piece. A good brand will also help prolong the lifespan of your wiper blades.
Windshield Washer Fluid Reviews
The key determining factor in finding the right washer fluid for your windshield can be found in what time of the year it is. You’ll be wasting your money using a fluid formulated for colder winter months during the summer.
So, for brevity sake, I have divided the review of the top rated windshield washer fluids into two sections; one for general driving when the weather is hot and the other for those cold winter months when driving can be hazardous without clear visibility.
Windshield Washer Fluids for Warm Weather Driving
The following washer fluids can be used during the warm weather months. All are well formulated to keep your windshield free of dead bugs, dust, and other environmental elements that might impact visibility while on the road.
1 – Prestone AS259 All Season Windshield Washer Fluid
When you drive long enough and after investing in several auto maintenance routines you’re bound to run into a product made by Prestone. Although their line of premier washer fluids and engine coolants gets all the attention, they also make radiator flush cleaners, brake and power steering fluids, and many others. This is marketed as an all-season windshield washer fluid, which means you can use it in all weather conditions. The manufacturer claims it is uniquely formulated to do away with flying bugs, saps from the tree, and winter frost. The windshield washer fluid from Prestone is delivered to you ready to use, which means there is no need to mix other solvents into the solution for it to help induce clearer visibility both summer and winter.
Does Windshield Washer Fluid Freeze?
The answer to the question does windshield washer fluid freeze will be a qualified yes. First of all, you can purchase a washer fluid that is formulated to withstand colder temperatures, but there are limitations. There are brands with washer fluids that guarantee solvency up to minus 20 degrees or even less.
Unless you purchase a fluid that is made to withstand the rigors of cold winter weather it will freeze up once the temperature gets close to below zero degrees. Yes, windshield washer fluids can freeze, but that depends on how it is formulated and its level of solvency in colder temperatures.
2 – Nextzett 92100815 Kristall Klar Washer Fluid Concentrate
The Nextzett 92100815 Kristall Klar Washer Fluid comes in a concentrated form, which means that little bottle can be used to make many gallons of powerful washer fluids. This is a German made windshield washer fluid that improves visibility during the warmer months of summer and spring. Not only will it help clear dirt and bugs, the issue of wiper blade shuddering or slipping will be eliminated or significantly reduced. Your windshield wiper blades should last longer than its shelf life if this is your washer fluid of choice. This concentrated washer fluid solution from Nextzett Kristall Klar contains lubricants and water softeners, all uniquely combined to improve its effectiveness and prevent the buildup of minerals inside your car’s washer fluid tank. There is another formulated version for use during the icy winter months from the same brand, and you can read all about it – here!
Windshield Washer Fluids for Cold Weather Driving
The following washer fluid is formulated to help with the visibility issues that can arise from the cold weather. It is quite hard to see when you have freezing rain clogging up your windshield. The listed solvent found below will help improve visibility with the coming winter driving season.
3 – Prestone AS250 De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid
Here we go again with another awesome washer fluid from Prestone, but this one is formulated for driving in winter weather. The formulation gives it the ability to do away with freezing ice or frost that might otherwise clog your windshield. To ensure this washer fluid does not freeze in very cold temperatures there is a higher concentration of methanol and ethylene glycol, two powerful ingredients not friendly to the re-freezing of washer fluids.
Tips for Getting the Most Use out of Your Windshield Washer Fluid
Before you buy any washer fluid read the recommendations from the manufacturer of your automobile. High-end cars usually require you use certain washer fluid grades to ensure the normal operating condition of the windshield washer fluid spraying mechanism.
Your tap water is not the best thing to put inside of the washer fluid tank of your car, simply because it comes with other elements that pile up over time. When you look at the reservoir for the washer fluid when it is empty you might find residues like calcium deposits, which means you have been using too much water as your washer fluid of choice. You have to find a way to flush out the condiments out before they can clog up the washer fluid dispensing hose.
Do not use washer fluids as a substitute for regularly cleaning your car including the windshield. A cleaner windshield means less use of the fluids, which ultimately leads to more money in your pocket.
Conclusion: Best Windshield Washer Fluid
If you own a car or truck you’ll be needing a washer fluid sooner than you know it. Refrain from adding water to your water fluid tank as that creates calcium deposits over time, which then leads to another added cost of flushing them out before they clog the hose.
The most important thing to remember when buying a washer fluid is the climate season in your area. Some of the washer fluids sold online are formulated for use in colder weathers where freezing rain is the norm most days.
Make a habit of checking your windshield washer fluid level before driving long distance. Clear visibility is a prerequisite for safe driving and one of the best ways to make that happen is to use a well-formulated windshield washer fluid.