Windshield Wiper Fluid Vs. Water: Which Is More Effective?

Many car owners have enquired if they can use plain H2O in place of windshield wiper fluid. The debate of windshield wiper fluid vs water is an old one that continues to this day. Both sides of the debate have their pros and cons; we’ll explain the difference and the best applications of each.

Windshield Wiper Fluid at a Glance

Windshield fluid is usually a mixture of antifreeze, solvent, and detergent. Some more advanced formulas may include methylated spirits, which prevents the liquid from freezing in the tubing and reservoir. Other formulas specifically remove bugs, tar, or other forms of grime.

Water and Windshield Wiper Fluid: The Comparison

Is water alone sufficient? Water is already a main staple in cooling the car. That is why vehicles have a water pump for keeping the engine cool. Some car battery types also require distilled water to replenish electrolyte levels.

Water can wash away regular dirt and dust. However, it may not be sufficient for cleaning certain splatters, such as bird droppings and bug parts. This is especially the case in colder climates where water can quickly freeze into the windshield surface. This is why water alone is inadequate for winter use. However, water just might be good enough the rest of the year in mild climates like Seattle’s.

The Drawbacks of Windshield Wiper Fluid

While windshield fluid is superior from a performance standpoint, it does have a major problem. The ethanol and methanol in the fluid are poisonous and toxic for the environment. It can also erode paint finishes and damage rubber and plastic parts.

We Fill Your Car with the Right Fluids

Our car care package includes fluid changes. Chuck’s Auto Repair uses the optimal fluids for your vehicle type and driving habits. While both water and windshield wiper fluid clean the windshield, the latter performs a far more efficient job.

Auto Fluid Inspection and Replacement

Serving Motorists in the greater area Seattle

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