screenwash lies

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sp!ke, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Sp!ke

    Sp!ke Administrator Staff Member

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    Why is it that screenwash always freezes?

    So I bought some winter screenwash the other day, rated to -8 it said...

    Like hell it was, I filled the tank from empty (so I know it wasnt diluted) and as soon as it hit 0 degrees any attempts to use the squirter, it ended up with frozen liquid obscuring my vision on the screen.

    Not to be thwarted, last week, I bought some screenwash rated to -20. This worked just fine until the temperature reached -7 and then it too turned to ice on contact with the screen. :crazy:

    Am I suffering alone with this problem?
     
  2. CiaranMcKeown

    CiaranMcKeown Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hasnt got that cold here for us but mine was frozen this morning so i had to run it empty so i can fill it up with some good stuff
     
  3. Shude

    Shude MB Club Veteran

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    Mix up the MB stuff in a bucket and pour it in, that's what I do! Not had a problem with the exception of running out of the stuff...
     
  4. Bobby Dazzler

    Bobby Dazzler MB Club Veteran

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    MB Blue has worked a treat for me during this cold weather.
     
  5. fuzzer

    fuzzer MB Club Veteran

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    Im using at the mix of 50/50 the stuff from costco. £4 for 5 litres.

    works a treat , doesnt freeze on me.
     
  6. andy_k

    andy_k MB Club Veteran

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    we haven't really got cold enough but Halfords screenwash worked at -1 today.


    I thought W124s had heated jets
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  7. Ade B

    Ade B Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Me too, but mine are frozen until the engine heat thaws them out - not sure what dilution ratio I'm using, I suspect not strong enough as the last top up over christmas involved emptying the remains of a bottle of MB screenwash into the tank and topping up with water... I suspect it needs to be more like 50/50 in this weather..


    Ade
     
  8. Beetnik

    Beetnik Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Cheapo screen wash = volatile chemical to lower freezing point.
    Quality screen wash = non volatile chemical to lower freezing point.

    Cheapo screen wash: volatile component evaporates at jet, freezing point rises, screenwash freezes at jet (but not in reservoir so it looks fine when you lift the bonnet)
    Quality screen wash: works.
     
  9. andy_k

    andy_k MB Club Veteran

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    then they are not working properly - they should heat when you use the washer

    As for the fluid, I'm pretty sure that it remains liquid in the pipes and the reservoir but at the nozzle of the jets where it is exposed to the atmosphere any alcohol etc used in the cheaper fluids would just evaporate and the remaining water/detergent would freeze

    basically what beetnik said whilst I was typing
     
  10. Ade B

    Ade B Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'll add that to the list of unresolved niggles which I'm saving for a sunny sunday... :rolleyes:

    Ade
     
  11. Spinal

    Spinal Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    As other's said, in cheaper screen-wash, alcohol or other volatile chemicals are used to lower the freezing point, this gets squirted onto your windscreen, which has a nice large surface area. This helps the alcohol evaporte MUCH quicker, causing two things:
    - The remaining liquid has a higher freezing point, and as such is susceptible to freezing
    - The evaporation of the alcohol causes the liquid to lose heat, thus cooling it down

    add to that atmospheric temperature and windchill, and you have a frozen screen :D

    You could always turn the heating on full blast, point it at the windscreen and let it warm up the screen so that nothing freezes on it :p

    M.
     
  12. mattc

    mattc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Andy, Ade - heated washers, heated water bottle and hoses were an option not a standard fitment in this country I am sure - perhaps they were standard in Scandinavian countries?
     
  13. andy_k

    andy_k MB Club Veteran

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    my old 230T had them and that was pretty basic spec. I never looked at the ones in the green estate because they just worked and they were behind the sound proofing :)
     
  14. mattc

    mattc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    So it had the heater element in the washer bottle? Cool!

    Mine just defrost with engine warmth (and we all know how warm it gets under a 124 bonnet so it does not take too long)
     
  15. andy_k

    andy_k MB Club Veteran

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    and wires feeding to the washer jets - I thought they were standard :)
     
  16. verytalldave

    verytalldave Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I always believed that a strong concentration of winter screenwash could damage paintwork. For example, anything more than a 25/75% dilution was potentially harmful.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  17. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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    As far as I'm aware all 124 models have heated jets , just look under the bonnet - if you see wires going to them , you've got them . The method of activation is something of a mystery , but I always assumed they were linked to a temperature sensor along with the heated door mirrors ( where fitted - some early cars had non-heated mirrors) .

    Usually , when the jets do not heat it is the elements within that are burnt out . The jets are not that expensive from the dealership and easy enough to fit : pull off the wires and hose from underneath , squeeze the plastic clip and push up from below - replacement clips in easily .

    I've done it a few times and it fixed the problem .
     
  18. SilverSaloon

    SilverSaloon MB Club Veteran

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    thanks for the tip on removal.... i think i need to renew one of mine (or clean it) as one of the jets (and unfortunalty its the drivers side one) isnt very powerful and doesnt squirt out hard at the screen.
     
  19. andy_k

    andy_k MB Club Veteran

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    I was convinced they were a standard fitting.

    As far as I know, they are operated by a thermal switch which is on an ignition live circuit
     
  20. Ade B

    Ade B Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    AFAIK, my heated door mirrors only come on with the rear screen demister.. Will have a poke round at the weekend as I need to check the sensor to the screen wash anyway..

    At least the new OVP seems to be holding up.. :)


    Ade
     

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