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Old 09-13-2006, 06:07 PM   #1
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Help! Windshield washer fluid in Coolant...

Hi everyone,

I lent my car to a friend and he called me up saying that the windshield wiper light was on. I told him to go ahead and poor fluids into the container with the "blue" cap in the front trunk.

Apparently he didn't know boxsters had a "front trunk" and assumed I meant back trunk, which also has a freaking blue cap. So he told me he poored about 1/4 a cup of washer fluid into it when he realized that it wasn't the windshield container (ugh!).

What should I do? I just opened up the manual and it says that sometimes in emergencies, one can poor PURE water into the coolant/anti-freeze container and then eventually you'd have to get it changed.

Is 1/4 cup of windshield wiper fluid going to mess up my car? Should I just buy new anti-freeze and attempt to replace it all together?

Thanks,

Mike

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Old 09-13-2006, 06:36 PM   #2
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I could be completely wrong, but i wouldnt turn it on at all. I would flush it and replace it because windsheild fluid is bound to have soaps or stuff that can turn into vapor instantly and could overpressurize the system or clog up some stuff, or leave a film which means poor heat transfer to the liquid which means overheating (water wetter does the opposite). Dont quote me, but id play it safe.
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:58 PM   #3
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Hi,

OK now - BREATHE... You should be completely OK. 1/4 Cup is equal to 2 fl. oz. of Window Fluid which is pretty much 50/50 water/isopropanol, so you have 1 fl. oz. of purified water and 1 fl. oz. of rubbing alchohol. Before the advent of ethylene-glycol, early antifreeze was a water/isopropanol mix.

In a 4.5 gal. system, that equates to 0.17% dilution. Your Car won't even know it's there. The alcohol will eventually vent to atmosphere and in the meantime, will actually reduce the surface tension of the coolant allowing it to shed heat more easily and run cooler (won't be noticeable, but it will) - this is how Water Wetter works. Better now...??

RELAX... but don't let others mess with your car in the future 'cause you never know what they're gonna do. Good thing it wasn't a Qt. low on Oil...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

BTW, if yours is a '99 (ALWAYS state model year when asking advise - the coolant capacity varies) it's not a bad idea to plan on a flush and coolant replacement. Porsche says it's lifetime fluid, but it ain't, the corrosion inhibitor package breaks down in this lifespan and needs to be replaced to preserve the integrity of the cooling system components. 5yr./150k mi. (whichever comes first) is the longest any coolant should run. Also, be sure to replace with any phosphate, silicate, and borate-free Coolant such as Prestone 5/150 Extended Life, Sierra and others.

Last edited by MNBoxster; 09-14-2006 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 09-14-2006, 01:55 PM   #4
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I'm not buying this story.

A few years ago on a UK Boxster message board a member claimed his girlfriend put washer fluid in the coolant tank, because the tank with a "blue cap" on it was low.

I think we finally beat the truth out of him.

This is something I would not worry about.
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Old 09-14-2006, 03:04 PM   #5
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Upside to that is your radiators, and water passages inside you engine will have a Steak Free shine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey99n
Hi everyone,

I lent my car to a friend and he called me up saying that the windshield wiper light was on. I told him to go ahead and poor fluids into the container with the "blue" cap in the front trunk.

Apparently he didn't know boxsters had a "front trunk" and assumed I meant back trunk, which also has a freaking blue cap. So he told me he poored about 1/4 a cup of washer fluid into it when he realized that it wasn't the windshield container (ugh!).

What should I do? I just opened up the manual and it says that sometimes in emergencies, one can poor PURE water into the coolant/anti-freeze container and then eventually you'd have to get it changed.

Is 1/4 cup of windshield wiper fluid going to mess up my car? Should I just buy new anti-freeze and attempt to replace it all together?

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 09-14-2006, 04:25 PM   #6
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haha Tool Pants you clown.

Anyways, this answer coming from you makes me feel a lot better.

Thanks for everyone's input!

- Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Pants
I'm not buying this story.

A few years ago on a UK Boxster message board a member claimed his girlfriend put washer fluid in the coolant tank, because the tank with a "blue cap" on it was low.

I think we finally beat the truth out of him.

This is something I would not worry about.

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