My brand new oil filter was doused with windshield washer fluid

filters
oil
selling
leaks
fluids

#1

I have a rather large container in my shed where I keep my routine car maintenance supplies. The problem has to do with the oil filters and windshield washer fluid. Today, I went to check my supplies and when I opened the container, everything was drenched. I first thought it was water, but soon realized that somehow the bottle of washer fluid had sprung a leak and emptied itself into the bottom of the container. Being mostly water tight, the container managed to keep trapped the evaporated fluid and so, everything was soaked. My question is can I simply dry out my filters and use them, or am I doomed to purchasing new filters? I’m really hoping to be able to use them.


#2

I would think you’d be ok. The oil will get hot enough to boil off any remaining water, and the methanol in there will boil off before the water does anyway.


#3

No problem whatsoever. Let the oil filters dry in the sun and you’re good to go. The innards of oil filters stand up to liquids far more active than mere washer fluid.


#4

I would just buy another filter. They are cheap, costing only about $5.00. Do you want to take the chance & mix the fluid with your oil?


#5

No problem. Just let it dry out and go ahead and use it during the next oil change.


#6

I’d replace them. It just isn’t worth it to risk even a miniscule amount of contamination of the oil, which you will certainly get if you use them. The filter element will retain all but the water itself.

Filters are dirt cheap. Why take even the smallest risk?


#7

The filters are designed to be wetted with motor oil, used and then discarded. I doubt that anyone has tried to predict what will happen if wetted with a water/alcohol mixture, dried and then installed. It is probably perfectly alright, but I would not put one on any engine I cared about.


#8

Well stated. I have no idea what effect the washer fluid alcohol might have on the binders that hold the filter element together. Why take a chance on a multithousand dollar engine to save $5?


#9

Cut one in half with a hacksaw and look at the filter element . . . wait . . . that’s too much work. I’d trash the whole lot and buy new filters . . . is it worth the risk of screwing up your engine? Just imagine . . . you install the contaminated filter, the filter element craps out and starts circukating around the engine and clogs up a few tiny oil passages . . . voila! Toast. Kinda like bad gas or questionable repair parts . . . discard and move on. Rocketman