Frozen Windshield Washer Fluid, Really Is a Dilemma...

Have you ever been overly consumed with something so menial that you actually wrote a blog post about it? I'm sure I have explored menial topics over the past couple of years. But the last few days have been rough because of a little problem I'm having. Okay maybe it's not little, for you see I can't let it go.

Consumed to the next level...

In case you live in a lovely part of the country where it's not freezing out, hello it's
currently below ZERO. Unlike typical Colorado weather where it's snowy and cold for a couple of days, maybe three tops, the cold just doesn't seem to be going away. Cold and snow for well over a week now. No warm Colorado sunshine melting the snow, warming the house, warming my spirit. It's fine, I'm not really here to complain about the temperature, I'm here to complain about something much more urgent.

Windshield Washer Fluid

That blue stuff you pick up for a buck at the gas station, it helps keep your windows clean. Windshield washer fluid helps keep your vehicle safely on the road by maintaining a level of cleanliness that's essential to driving. Clean windshields are especially important during crucial moments on snowy ice packed roads, icy splashback from the car in front of you, or light precipitation mixed with the previous two conditions. Only problem is, when it freezes like a big ol' hunk of ice in your windshield washer fluid tank, it does you absolutely no good.

Well, it does drive you bonkers. But that's not good right?

Like any intelligent woman, I googled "how to unfreeze windshield washer fluid". Oh trust me there are a plethora of suggestions, but none of which allowed me to solve my problem. Thanks google. I can put my car in the garage, but I will be the first to admit it's not much warmer in there and that would also mean juggling all sorts of random stuff around to actually fit my car in there. Which doesn't seem appealing when the end result (melted w/w fluid) may not be attainable. I may have used a hair dryer on the blue hunka-hunka frozen fluid, until I felt like a total ass and ran inside hoping no neighbors saw me.

Instead, I just think about solving the problem morning, noon, and night. I ask my friends on twitter. No luck. Although I did entertain some interesting suggestions.

For the meantime, until the temperatures rise to melt my blue w/w fluid ice block, I'm avoiding the highway. My school commute to pick up Sj has been lengthened and well, we've decided to enjoy the view. The cows sure are pretty in one big clump, trying to stay warm from each other's body heat. That's why they are snuggling right?

The Update:
Due to the overwhelming search driven response to this post I'd like to share how my dilemma was solved. The car dealership. My Highlander was overdue for an oil change. Just from my vehicle sitting in the work bay all morning, it unthawed miraculously on it's own. Of course within 24 hours, it warmed up above freezing.

Now it's only full of the high test pink stuff. So if you are desperate, go get an oil change. Some place that takes way too long for a simple task. It might just do the trick.


  1. Really, what is up with this Colorado weather? Were we not notified that we were annexed by Canada?

    Okay, seriously...I want to know what people say about the freezing windshield washer fluid. I'm worried now about my car parked outside.

  2. OMG. I'm so glad I'm not the only person who had this happen! Alas I have no idea how to fix it. I'm hoping it's just that the fluid was low so that if I add more, it'll be okay.

  3. Wow - I grew up in Minnesota where it's below zero 90% of the time and I never heard of that!

    Ummm - sit on the blue blob?

  4. Oh that is such bummer! You'd think they could come up with something that wouldn't freeze!
    I don't envy your weather for a second!

  5. I'm cold just looking at that temperature! I'll stop complaining about the cold here, at least we're above freezing.

  6. I've never heard of this happening, but if it happened to me I would head to Lowes Depot, or local hardware store, get a gallon of RV antifreeze, NOT THE STUFF FOR YOUR CAR. THIS STUFF IS PINK., and not harmful to bunnies and car paint, and pour a cup or so in your blue water holder.

  7. I am hoping the sun today will help. Although it's still in the negative degrees. Am cold. Very cold.

    DUDE, no joke, my moderation word is cries. LOL.

  8. Weird. I live in the frozen tundra and I've never had my fluid freeze. I've had ice on top of the area where the fluid shoots out, but I just chipped that off. I would have no idea what to do to keep the stuff from freezing. If you come up with something, let us know.
    Good luck!

  9. Wow, I've never heard of that either. I hope you guys are warmer soon! Cold weather like that stinks. - MH

  10. I learned from my husband that there are two types of windshield washer fluid and they are marked for how cold the weather gets. The stuff they sell during the summer will freeze in the winter. Unfortunately the stores don't always unstock the summer stuff and you can accidently buy the wrong type.

  11. ... and here I am tonight searching the interwebs to find out what to do with my frozen block of w/w fluid. Thus far I've been able to scoop a fair bit out of the reservoir using a spoon and topped the tank up with the proper -45 fluid (stirred so with any luck it will kinda blend together). Hopefully, when I let the poor truck warm up tomorrow before heading on the roads here in the frozen Yukon, it will be liquid enough that I can just run the lines and clear it all out. If not, I've found many suggestions of what to do ranging from the hair dryer technique, to warming the new washer fluid up to using a turkey baster to suck the offending fluid out.


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