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2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Wrong fluid

I accidentally put windshield wiper fluid where the anti=freeze goes. Will it hurt the vehicle?

I will be interested to see what our mechanic members say here. I have worried about this in my cars since my kids started using them.

Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol,windshield wiper fluid contains methanol.Do not mix together, have the entire system flushed ASAP.

Windshield washer fluid is water, methyl alcohol, and a blue dye.

The amount you added won’t hurt a thing.


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Alcohol is what they used fore antifreeze until they got “permanent” antifreeze that was ethylene glycol.

I’m sure the glycol seemed permanent after having to constantly check the alcohol concentration because it evaporated.

If it’s near time to change the antifreeze, I’d go ahead and do it now. Unless I was on a severe budget, or had recently replaced the antifreeze. In that case, I’d take off the radiator cap (engine cold) and start it up and let it run for a half hour or so. Most of the alcohol will evaporate out the open radiator.

You didn’t say how much you put in the cooling system. If more than a quart or so, I would suggest testing the coolant’s specific gravity. That will tell you if it’s at the standard 50-50, minus 34 degrees F protection level that is recommended for year-round use.

How much wiper fluid, and have you started the car yet?

Probably not, but I’d replace the coolant just to be on the safe side. The engineers who designed the Jeep engine didn’t test for the effects of methanol on the internal gaskets.

I’m with Tester. I can’t imagine it would be a problem unless you put a gallon in. On our Acura, the two are very close together and both plastic reservoirs so it can happen.