Windshield washer fluids

We just purchased a 2006 Saturn Vue from a dealership and were told to never fill the washer resevoir with the commercially prepared fluids. Use clear water only as the other fluids gum up the pump.


Read what the owner’s manual says. I can’t believe that a commercial fluid would gum up the pump. Furthermore, if you live in an area where the temperature gets below freezing, at best the windshield washer won’t work and you run the risk of breaking the reservoir. I forgot to put in windshield washer antifreeze years ago when I had a 1954 Buick. The reservoir was glass and it broke when the water froze.

I seriously doubt that washer fluid would gum up the pump. They may be aware that there is a seal in the system that won’t tolerate the alcohol in commercial fluid. That would be a design flaw.

I put only distilled water in my washer reservoirs because it does not waterspot the car or damage the wax. However, I live where it never freezes hard, so washer fluid freezing is not an issue for me.

So the Saturn Vue can’t be sold in the Northern States?? Do you know what happens with clear water when temps drop to -5?? It’s called ICE!!!

That is one of the DUMBEST statements I’ve ever heard a dealership tell someone…and believe me I’ve heard some real dumb ones.

I have replaced one windshield washer pump since 1972, so I don’t really believe the dealer’s advice. Secondly, how exactly does clear water work in cold regions that require the -25 degree concentration that clear water doesn’t have?

I guess you now know not to bring your car back to the dealer for anything that is not covered under the warranty. I certainly would not want them working on my car. Next thing they will be telling you not to fill the oil since that will decrease mileage because it has to pump more.

This would really be fun it they would put that in writing.

I’m sure that you can use rubbing alcohol (isopropanol); available at any pharmacy. It will act as an antifreeze and help dry the water off quicker if you use 68% IPA and 32% water by volume. You could use 30% IPA and 70% water just to avoid freezing. You may not like the odor, so check it out before using it in your car. It’s not an unpleasant odor to many, but you might not like it.

I’ve used the generic blue stuff, available from any megastore with no problems.

I’m starting to wonder if we are getting hit by trolls again or there are some severly hearing impaired folks going to dealerships.

They’re probably referring to those products like windshield washer fluid w/Rain-X with formulations to reduce streaking, remove bug residue etc.

No chance that the simple alcohol and water mix will do any harm.

Here’s an interesting test for you to perform:

Go to the parts department at your Saturn dealership, and ask for the price of a bottle of GM Windshield Washer Fluid. (Note: Nobody in his right mind would actually buy the genuine GM Windshield Washer Fluid, due to the excessive cost, but it is still likely that they stock it.)

If they tell you that they don’t stock it, ask why. If they tell you that they don’t stock it because it damages the ww pump, at least there will be some consistency to that weird statement that you heard.

On the other hand, if they do stock it, then ask the parts guy and/or the service manager why the dealership sells a product that damages the vehicles that they sell. When they question you as to the source of your information, simply refer them to the person who gave you this very curious information.

Then, back out of the place before the ensuing fist fight between their employees involves you.


I like that answer VDC.

This sounds like something a salesman might say. Let the salesman sell you the car and then let all advice go in one ear and out the other. Most salesman have no automotive background, therefore, they tend to spew drivel.

Then, back out of the place before the ensuing fist fight between their employees involves you.

I want to stay around with popcorn and a beer.

In the year 2525, if Saturn can survive, if the pump is still alive, you may find: The pump may be gummed, as a rule of thumb, it could be awful numb, to listen to things so dumb.

You’re showing your age!! GREAT SONG.

Gasoline causes wear, too…

Were you warned that putting gas in the car and driving it would eventually lead to the car wearing out?

Where I live, the -25F washer juice freezes. I have to be sure to get -35 or -40. I guess I can’t get a Saturn.

I’m not old, but I used to listen to that 60s and 70s music in the 60s and 70s.
I never fully understood the lyrics to that until now.

Kind of like CCR:

Don’t go around tonight,
Well, its bound to take your life,
There’s a bathroom on the right.

A lot of those lyrics were easier to understand wasted.

Boone’s Farm and whatever…

That’s all I remember of it.