As you hop in your car and begin the routine of heading to work, you look up and notice that your windshield is a mess. To make matters worse, your car’s windshield washer fluid reservoir is empty. Maybe those half-full bottles of windshield fluid lying around the garage will finally come in handy. But can you mix windshield washer fluid?
Let’s answer the most important question. What exactly does windshield washer fluid do? Simply put, it keeps your windshield clean of debris like dust and grime, allowing you to drive without any visibility issues. In addition, some versions help keep the rain off your windshield or are especially useful at getting those stubborn smattered bugs off of it.
So, what would happen if you mixed different kinds of windshield washer fluid to fill your car? Can you mix windshield washer fluid?
The short answer is yes; you can mix windshield washer fluid because there are no dangerous implications that come along with it.
Most brands have different types of windshield washer fluid, and each type offers specific benefits. For example, some versions are excellent de-icers, helping remove ice on your windshield and wipers and preventing ice from building up. In addition, some types are great at washing away those pesky summertime bugs. At the same time, other types help repel water from your window, thus improving visibility on rainy days.
Most types of windshield washer fluid consist of methyl alcohol, also known as methanol. This ingredient is prevalent in this product because it lowers the fluid’s freezing point and raises its boiling point. Depending on whether or not the fluid offers any other benefits, other types of ingredients may be present in it. However, what they are will depend on the brand and its benefits.
Many factors make a windshield washer fluid different from another. Below are five of the most notable differences.
Typically, the color of windshield washer fluid helps to differentiate whether or not the fluid has more than just methanol in it. So, the blue color means that it will be mostly water with just the added ingredient of methanol; this is usually a basic product version with no added benefits.
Other colors may include other ingredients besides methanol because they offer additional benefits. However, a green color doesn’t mean the same thing for one brand that it means for another brand. For example, Prestone’s de-icer is yellow, while Rain-X’s de-icer is purple.
There are several brands of windshield washer fluid out there, but the most well-known are Rain-X and Prestone. The brands in your local automotive store may vary depending on where you live.
Most brands have different versions of their washer fluid for the various seasons. For example, a washer fluid for the winter will be better with frigid temperatures, which means it can handle a specific temperature before freezing.
There are even some winter versions that can help prevent ice buildup on your windshield. While a summer version will help remove all that excess dust and splattered bugs on your windshield and can handle a specific temperature before boiling.
For each brand, the goal is to offer a competitive product that offers something unique. So brand a’s de-icer version most likely won’t have the same ingredients as brand b’s de-icer version.
To stay competitive, most brands offer their windshield washer fluid with varying levels of temperature protection. For the winter months or cold weather locales, brands offer varying freezing point protection from 0 degrees to -25 degrees. However, for those hot summer days or year-round warm locals, some brands provide their products with protection up to +32 degrees.
Yes, you can mix different brands of windshield washer fluid. However, as it is with most things, mixing two other products can alter its effectiveness. Even if the liquid includes the same ingredients, those ingredients won’t contain the exact quantities.
Yes, you can mix different colored windshield washer fluids. No dangerous complications will arise from combining them. However, if your intended goal is to gain the additional benefits of winter and summer versions, then purchasing an all-season variation would be better. It will be more cost-effective and less troublesome for you than pouring one into another.
Yes, you can mix Rain-X with a different brand of windshield washer fluid. No dangerous complications will arise from combing them. However, doing so may affect how well it works. Rain-X is an excellent windshield washer fluid and offers fantastic additional benefits; mixing it with another brand could diminish its overall effectiveness.
Can you mix windshield washer fluid designated for both summer and winter? Yes, however, if your goal is to gain the benefits of a summer version and a winter version, there is no need to mix two different products.
Brands like Rain-X and Prestone have all-season versions of their products. These versions offer the same benefits as their winter and summer versions but in one convenient container. So their all-season versions will provide the same bug removal benefit for the summer and the ability to keep ice off your windshield in the winter.
As previously stated, nearly all windshield washer fluid should contain methanol, the same ingredient used in antifreeze, because it protects a liquid from extreme temperatures. So, mixing antifreeze into it would be pointless.
Instead, your antifreeze will be more effective as a coolant for your car. Although they both contain the same main ingredient, methanol, they do not have the same purpose. Remember when a windshield washer fluid isn’t the basic blue version, it may have additional ingredients that can damage your engine.
While there are many different brands of windshield washer fluid out there, below are the top three brands.
Picked not just because of the excellent customer reviews but also because they offer various versions of their product with benefits that will complement your needs.
So, if you require a washer fluid that can wipe away all those bugs in Florida’s year-round warm weather, choose Rain-X’s Bug Remover version. However, if you need something for those harsh New England winters, Prestone’s De-icer version will suit you better.