High-quality windshield washer fluid should have such performance characteristics as a low freezing point, cleaning and antistatic properties. Every windshield washer fluid will contain two main components such as the solvent and surface-active substances.
The monobasic alcohols and glycols act as the solvents that lower the freezing point of the washer fluid and dissolve oil compounds. The surface active substances are needed to remove fats from the windshield.
The composition of the windshield washer fluid
The basic components of washer fluid are ethyl, methyl, and isopropyl alcohols. The choice of the components of the washer fluid is greatly determined by their cost. For example, methyl alcohol is cheaper than isopropyl alcohol but its performance characteristics are not as good.
Companies that have years of experience will prefer high-quality raw materials despite the fact that they can be confronted with such difficulties as acquisition of additional licenses, quotas, permits, and certificates. It is worth noting that in some countries. the production and the realization of windshield washer fluid, based on some alcohols, is prohibited because of the risk to human health.
The surface-active substances remove oil and soot residues, dirt, and fats. They are so active that between 1-2% of these substances may be enough to make the windshield crystal clean. There also may be some other additives as components of the windshield washer fluid. For example, there is a component that covers glass with a thin film. The latter can change the refraction angle of sunlight that keeps the windshield clear for two weeks. Additionally, windshield washer fluid can include aromatics that are used to render a fluid a marketable state and subdue the smell of alcohol. And the last, but not least important, component of the washer fluid is water.
All high-quality windshield washer fluids are made on the basis of water drawn from artesian wells, or just distilled water. Tap water cannot be used in most windshield washer fluid production because of additives placed in the water by municipal water systems.
It is not recommended to use the windshield washer fluid in a traffic jam. If the vehicle is not moving, the harmful vapors can easily penetrate into the passenger compartment. If there are some symptoms of poisoning, the driver should shut down the engine, leave the car and breathe fresh until he stars to feel better. Keep in mind that some alcohols can be accumulated in the human body and cause poisoning over time.
The Performance Characteristics of High-Quality Windshield Washer Fluid
Not every washer fluid factory is able to produce a high-quality product. If the driver decided to buy the windshield washer fluid, he has to know how to distinguish high-quality washer fluid from low-quality fluid.
Here are the main performance characteristics of high-quality windshield washer fluid:
(1) The surface-active substances. Shake the container with fluid. The stable foam on the surface of the fluid means that there are active-surface substances. If the foam does not appear, it is better to select a different brand to purchase;
(2) Transparence. If the windshield washer fluid is of high quality, there will be no sediments on the bottom of the container;
(3) Packaging. It is recommended to buy washer fluid only in transparent containers with high-quality labels and caps; and
(4) The label. The label should include such points as:
(1) the composition of the washer liquid;
(2) freezing temperature;
(3) the manufacturer’ s address; and
(4) the number of the sanitary and epidemiological inspection report.
This report ensures that the product has no risks to human health and does not contain the poisonous substances such as methanol.