Freezing Washer Nozzles - Andrew
Is it just the cars I've had - Peugoet/Citroen/Ford/Volvo - or do other cars have washer nozzles that freeze up. It sure isn't rocket science to use some of all that spare heat under the bonnet to keep things warm. It's dangerous to have a dirty windscreen on the motorway that you can't wash because things are frozen up. The washer bottle is ok and has a strong measure of windscreen washer fluid but it seems to freeze at the nozzle. With gritted roads there is more muck than usual being thrown up and it dries to a white film that is very difficult to see through particularly when it's sunny.
Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - Diesel Dave
A 1990 VW Jetta I was lucky enough to own had what appeared to be Heated Washer nozzles - they were certainly wired up to something - never a problem with freezing up.
Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - Brian
There's a comment which I posted on another thread to say I'd noticed a spate of cars recently with what appeared to be illuminated washer jets.
I took them to be a fashion accessory but it was suggested they might be heated by a bulb.
Try your local accessory shop, unless someone on here has a definitive answer.
Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - richard turpin
It's not the nozzle that freezes I think. It's the pipe on the way. A Previa is a candidate as the pipe leads onto the wipers and is fully in the airstream as you go along. The Alfa GTV was also a candidate as with the forward opening bonnet the pipe had to go via the leading edge ie: the front....away from the heat from the engine. This will always be a problem wherever the pipe is near the airstream.
The cure is neat screenwash.
Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - Andrew T
I suspect that in near-zero temperatures the nozzle is prone to just enough evaporation to cool the liquid a degree or two and freeze it. Usually when a nozzle freezes it will thaw within a minute or two of stopping the car - but you can't always do that on the M-way ! Unfortunately the IPA in the windscreen antifreeze is pretty volatile and has efficient evaporative cooling.
Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - peter
If my (failing) memory serves me correctly in the 1960s you could buy an aftermarket attachment (remember manual washers were an accessory in those days!) that consisted of a heating coil unit that fitted around in the top hose and had the washer fluid passed thro it. I think I made my own by using brake pipe in contact with the engine block. Whilst it does not prevent nozzles from freezing it gives a better wash wipe with hot liquid, altho in those days washing up liquid was the only additive to screen wash! It was certainly an asset ,particularly when the car had no heater, which was not uncommon.

Thinking about it, if you remove the non return valve fitted in some older cars, it will allow the nozzles to drain back dry and therefore reduce the chance of freezing.
Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - Pete
Apart from all the above good sense the fact is that having inoperative screen washers is one of the 1000+ things that Plod-U-Like can give you a ticket for!
Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - Stuart B
There is a firm based in Kidderminster who still makes these. As you say there is a little heat exchanger which uses heat from a heater pipe.

They are called Easycruise tel 01562 827730 they are on Hoo Farm Ind Estate.

Personally I reckon that its the jets which freeze, there might be some particular cars where the pipework is exposed but on balance I tend to think its the jets which are the problem on most cars.
Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - rg bhaji
see earlier message "plea for useful accessory".

Why do we have satnav and cupholders, yet this one has never been addresed?

Are cars designed by high-mileage all-weather drivers?

Maybe not...
Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - Stuart B
Posted this on the earlier thread, (BTW these multiple threads on a single subject are a right pain)

rg bhaji wrote:
> any scandianvian types out there? what do you do over there
> (apart from having heated garages?)
> rg


The simple answer is that in the frozen north we just bung in more additive.

I think the cold climate strength of the premix is actually stronger in terms of the "anti-freeze" ingredient which is usually propan-2-ol aka iso-propyl alchohol.

Actually I just buy a winchester of the stuff from the chemists and use the car stuff at normal strength and add in a few % of the alcohol. Its not cheap, about £20 IIRC but its significantly cheaper than buying loads of bottles of additive which are mainly water anyway. Plus the last winchester I bought was about 3 years ago so 7/8 quid a year for unfrozen washers is a bargain.

There is somehow a method you can estimate the freezing point acc to % alcohol so you know how much to put in but I forget. I use that well known method guessimetric.

Hope that helps someone.
Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - rg bhaji

Yep, my solution (no pun intended) too, but using screenwash. V. expensive...

(BTW could you get done for "passive alcohol consumption"? if you use the washers regularly?)

However, my point is that manufacturers go to great lengths to provide cupholders, etc, without addressing an issue that affects safety and sheer convenience of motoring. There must be an engineering fix, ideally using electricity rather than yet another coolant pipe offshoot.

"In extremis", I have carried a Fairy Liquid bottle (aaahh! the Blue Peter generation!) and simply squirted it on manually out the window. Crude, but it sure beats having collisions.. Another one was leaving the washer bottle half-emply and topping it up with boiling water first thing. The heat usually travels along the pipes and thaws the nozzles out. The 405 has five tiny nozzles on an arm attached to each wiper blade which, sitting right out in the airflow, is particularly vunerable.

Up here in Teesside it was a "cabin heater" job this morning, with a small fan heater in both vehicles 15 mins before boarding passengers.

Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - Stuart B
Can you get done for apssive alcohol consumption? Often wondered about that myself.

Another reason not to use the additive in full strength is the pong!
Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - ian (cape town)
Is this stuff safe for the paintwork?
Re Is it safe for the paint? - Stuart B

Never had any problem. The alcohol is an ingredient anyway in washer additives, all that is being suggested is increasing the concentration from the 1% or so that the original stuff contains up to maybe 2-3%?

I don't know the exact concentration to use for a given freezing point as I understand the only way to determine this is by practical experiment.

But most additives say they are OK down to minus a big number if they are used neat as opposed to normal concentrations.

Freezing point of neat IPA is about -89C if that is any help.

Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - Brian
Having used French industrial alcohol (95% pure and freely available in 1 litre bottles in hypermarkets over there), that works well, but the fumes drawn in via the heater can be a little heady.
Rover 600 - Michael Thomas
Not a problem, these cars have heated nozzles. Coupled with a good screen wash additive.

All I need now is a heated windscreen so the stuff doesn't freeze on contact with it.
Re: Rover 600 - Nicholas Moore
I've never had any freezing problem on my 200 or 600. The old C-class only got heated washer jets on ?2000 model year, I think!
Re: Rover 600 - Brian
Whoops: I was using the alcohol at about 10%.
Hence the hangover.
Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - Derek
I think it's the super-cooling effect of cold air passing over the washer nozzles, which can only be countered by hefty doses of washer fluid (which isn't too good for your paintwork anyway). My Pug 405 had the washer feed actually on the wipers themselves. Great idea, but just gave more opportunity to freeze!

I've had no problem with cars where the washer nozzles are set below the rear lip of the bonnet, like the 406, where they aren't caught by the airflow.
Re: Freezing Washer Nozzles - Charles
Screenwash in 5 litres is available from Wilkinson hardware stores for £2.99. The cheapest source I know and it works well.
heated washer jets - Phil P
A few cars have got heated washer jets. On mine they're in the same circuit as the heated rear window and mirrors. I think the problem is that when you switch off at night, the residual heat from the engine is enough to evaporate the volatile alcohol from the nozzles so that you have ice plugs by the morning. The link below is to a previous thread on this subject.
Re: heated washer jets - Honest John
The washer pipe heater exchangers referred to by Peter and Stuart B were originally called 'Hotwash'. Basically a section of the washer pipe was clamped to a section of the heater pipe. Autocar had a special offer on them. This is useless information. Stuart B's of a supplier is the bit to pay attention to. Or DIY.

Re: heated washer jets - Mike Jacobs
I suppose that one could think that the jets are frozen, when in fact they are partially blocked with dirt. Tree sap can play absolute havoc with the jets. Point taken though .I am sure they must freeze on certain cars in certain conditions.
Regards, mike

Value my car