Windshield fluid in the Engine Coolant container

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  #1  
Old 12-24-05, 06:46 PM
knight838
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Unhappy Windshield fluid in the Engine Coolant container

hi guyz I did something stupid and was wondering if I could fix it. I accidentally added the windshield washer fluid inside the engine coolant container. Is it possible to clean it out by myself, the car so far has been running fine but I am not sure how much damage it could bring?

Thanks for your help
 
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Old 12-24-05, 07:19 PM
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have the system flushed good..... then distilled water and whatever coolant the manufacturer says to use. that containers a overflow, probablly hasn't been contaminated at that time, but it flows back into the rad. when it cools


also would like to add...... good thing it wasn't added to the oil it hasn't harmed it much right now though
 
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Old 12-24-05, 07:53 PM
knight838
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Question

Originally Posted by v8driver
have the system flushed good..... then distilled water and whatever coolant the manufacturer says to use. that containers a overflow, probablly hasn't been contaminated at that time, but it flows back into the rad. when it cools


also would like to add...... good thing it wasn't added to the oil it hasn't harmed it much right now though

hi any ideas how to flush the system out?
 
  #4  
Old 12-24-05, 10:19 PM
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pop a lower hose, or if it has a drain on the radiator, drain it out in a good sized pan (make sure to dispose of the coolant properly, its hazardous, kills animals) ask a local lube shop or autoparts store to see if you can there..... or if you have a lube shop that can do it, there are machines that run water/cleaners through the system till its clean, and refill with 50/50, though if you do it yourself, you have to drain and refill two or three times to be safe with distilled water, or until clear water comes out before you refill with 50/50 mix of the recommended coolant.
 
  #5  
Old 12-25-05, 08:23 AM
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The closest you can come to COMPLETELY flushing the system out is to remove the thermostat, the lower radiator hose, and one of the heater hoses and run water through the radiator, engine, and heater core until clear it comes from all three places. Even this method, though, will not sufficiently flush the block....there should be a plug on each side of the block wich would allow you to drain the engine completely if you wanted to make sure you got ALL the washer fluid out. That is PROBABLY not necessary though.

I think the main issue with the washer fluid in the coolant is that it will cause foaming wich can lead to air bubbles trapped in the cooling system. Wherever there is an air pocket that area of metal will not cool properly and theoretically COULD cause a head or intake or something to crack. You do NOT want that to happen.

The other issue is that the washer fluid will probably break down your antifreeze over time so that you do not have adequate freeze/boil protection.

I think if you remove the thermostat and the lower radiator hose and a heater hose and flush out the radiator, the engine, and the heater core as I previously described and you should be fine. Like the others said, the jug that you poured the washer fluid into is probably just an overflow (unless it has a pressure cap on the jug) so if you havn't run the car much since the mistake chances are your coolant is not very contaminated.

For future reference (and for anyone else who has made this mistake or might make this mistake sometime), if you had not run the car at all you could have simply removed the jug, rinsed it out, and refilled it with antifreeze and you would have not had any problem whatsoever.
 
  #6  
Old 12-25-05, 06:25 PM
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I don't know if all windshield fluids are the same. But I know many are just water with a few percent of methanol. Methanol isn't going to melt down your cooling system. Just flush the system as explained above. Don't panic. Don't think you have to remove every drop of the fluid.
 
  #7  
Old 12-29-05, 10:51 AM
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............At the bottom of some radiators is a drain plug. My new car has a plastic wingnut looking thing. I say... open the drain, let it drain into pan. Then if you want, put a garden hose in the radiator fill cap and fill it back up again. Run the car for a bit then drain again. If you are careful you can do it at the same time. Be careful not to overheat the motor. It shouldn't as long as it is being supplied with cold water. After it is flushed. Drain it, and refill with recommended antifreeze mix with water. ........If there is no drain, you have to unclamp the lowest radiator hose to drain it. It is just more of a pain. this should be sufficient. That stuff won't kill the car. But if you want, jiffy lube does it.
 
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Old 12-29-05, 05:54 PM
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I wouldn't stress too much over it.... after all, you only mixed one alcohol with another. You didn't say how much washer fluid you put in, but do have it flushed out as recommended above.
 
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