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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-24-2005, 05:17 PM
alpinewhite325i alpinewhite325i is offline
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Question Frozen washer fluid lines

It has been in the teens here in Pittsburgh, but is this normal?

I know only the nozzles are heated, but I can't believe this is happening everyday.

My Honda Civic's lines froze one time in 6 yrs.

BTW, the washer fluid is from the dealer, but I would ASSume it should have sufficient freeze protection.
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2005, 05:45 PM
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Desertnate Desertnate is offline
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Assuming is your first mistake.

I have a freezing problem due to the car being parked outside at work. Not only do my lines freeze, but the resevoir gets frozen solid as well.

We have only been getting cold weather and no real snow, so I have no way to get out all the summer fluid I added while living in much warmer climates and putting in the anti-freeze stuff.

I wish there was a drain plug. I am thinking about creating my own drain and finding some sort of rubber plug to fill the hole, but I am afraid the plug wouldn't stay.

Last edited by Desertnate; 01-24-2005 at 05:49 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2005, 06:27 PM
STEVE46 STEVE46 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertnate
Assuming is your first mistake.

I have a freezing problem due to the car being parked outside at work. Not only do my lines freeze, but the resevoir gets frozen solid as well.

We have only been getting cold weather and no real snow, so I have no way to get out all the summer fluid I added while living in much warmer climates and putting in the anti-freeze stuff.

I wish there was a drain plug. I am thinking about creating my own drain and finding some sort of rubber plug to fill the hole, but I am afraid the plug wouldn't stay.
Get a hair dryer to thaw out what is left of the summer fluid and then just run the washer pump to empty it, that's what it's there for. Then, fill up with some good Winter fluid or Rain-X with De-icer. Make sure it's rated to at least -20F. The BMW winter washer fluid is probably the best I've used (smell's like it has lots of alcohol in it), so I don't mind paying the premium for that.
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2005, 03:14 AM
alpinewhite325i alpinewhite325i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertnate
Assuming is your first mistake.

I have a freezing problem due to the car being parked outside at work. Not only do my lines freeze, but the resevoir gets frozen solid as well.

We have only been getting cold weather and no real snow, so I have no way to get out all the summer fluid I added while living in much warmer climates and putting in the anti-freeze stuff.

I wish there was a drain plug. I am thinking about creating my own drain and finding some sort of rubber plug to fill the hole, but I am afraid the plug wouldn't stay.
Mine froze even before the dealer added fluid, and I know the stuff I put in was good for winter.

I see you have a Sequoia too. Funny thing is, when I drive our Sequoia to work, those lines don't freeze. And...the Toyota doesn't have fancy heated nozzles either.

Too bad the IS300 is so boring!!
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2005, 06:09 AM
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Tanning machine Tanning machine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertnate
Assuming is your first mistake.

I have a freezing problem due to the car being parked outside at work. Not only do my lines freeze, but the resevoir gets frozen solid as well.

We have only been getting cold weather and no real snow, so I have no way to get out all the summer fluid I added while living in much warmer climates and putting in the anti-freeze stuff.

I wish there was a drain plug. I am thinking about creating my own drain and finding some sort of rubber plug to fill the hole, but I am afraid the plug wouldn't stay.
I used a siphon to get the remainder out--it's not that hard to do--just some tubing and a pump (or your mouth, if you like the taste of washer fluid). I put in the Prestone winter fluid, which so far has been fine.

The stuff you can get at safeway, home depot, etc., that's blue, although it claims to be good to "-20" really isn't--it's not rich enough in alcohol and glycol.

The added problem is that the washer reservoir is away from the engine, so it doesn't pick up much heat and defrost--all you can do once it's frozen is park inside or hope for much warmer weather.
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2005, 06:15 AM
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Desertnate Desertnate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STEVE46
Get a hair dryer to thaw out what is left of the summer fluid and then just run the washer pump to empty it, that's what it's there for. Then, fill up with some good Winter fluid or Rain-X with De-icer. Make sure it's rated to at least -20F. The BMW winter washer fluid is probably the best I've used (smell's like it has lots of alcohol in it), so I don't mind paying the premium for that.
My tank is almost full right now. With all the rain we have been having, I really haven't used much fluid for the last 18 months or so. I don't know if I want to just run the pump since nearly a gallon of fluid might work the pump pretty hard. It would take a while.

I have a jug of some good winter fluid/de-icer that is rated to -30. Forget the brand name, but it's this weird green color. Once I get it in I am not worried about freezing.
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2005, 06:18 AM
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Desertnate Desertnate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinewhite325i
Mine froze even before the dealer added fluid, and I know the stuff I put in was good for winter.

I see you have a Sequoia too. Funny thing is, when I drive our Sequoia to work, those lines don't freeze. And...the Toyota doesn't have fancy heated nozzles either.

Too bad the IS300 is so boring!!
I have frozen the fluid in the Sequoia several times. The good part is since the resevoir is so close to the engine, it thaws out pretty quickly. If I run the rear heater vents, the rear washer thaws out pretty quick too, though not as fast as the front.

Bad thing about the Toyota is there is a screen over the top of the resevoir and you cant run a siphon tube down inside.
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2005, 06:20 AM
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Desertnate Desertnate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanning machine
The added problem is that the washer reservoir is away from the engine, so it doesn't pick up much heat and defrost--all you can do once it's frozen is park inside or hope for much warmer weather.
I noticed that too...

Last winter we had a long cold spell and I was frozen solid for nearly a week

I wonder if I can use the 'ole Turkey baster to draw out the fluid. It would save me a trip for some tubing or a siphon.

Don't tell the Mrs Desertnate
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2005, 06:51 AM
Staszek Staszek is offline
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I siphened out all the regular fluid and replaced it with Rain X antifreeze deicer stuff. $2 a gallon, and works great. It was 5 degrees yesterday not including the windchill and they didnt freeze at all, even at higher speeds
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2005, 06:51 AM
STEVE46 STEVE46 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertnate
My tank is almost full right now. With all the rain we have been having, I really haven't used much fluid for the last 18 months or so. I don't know if I want to just run the pump since nearly a gallon of fluid might work the pump pretty hard. It would take a while.

I have a jug of some good winter fluid/de-icer that is rated to -30. Forget the brand name, but it's this weird green color. Once I get it in I am not worried about freezing.
Running the pump is the way I've always drained out the leftover summer fluid before winter. You won't hurt the pump, that's what it's made for. You will get fluid all over your car, but I usually need a car wash anyway. The turkey baster is a good idea if you don't want to run the pump, but get that summer fluid out! It could freeze and destroy the lines or the tank!
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2005, 09:17 AM
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JonathanIT JonathanIT is offline
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Quote:
I wonder if I can use the 'ole Turkey baster to draw out the fluid.
Stay away from Desertnate's house for Thanksgiving!

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  #12  
Old 01-25-2005, 11:01 AM
Staszek Staszek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertnate
I noticed that too...

Last winter we had a long cold spell and I was frozen solid for nearly a week

I wonder if I can use the 'ole Turkey baster to draw out the fluid. It would save me a trip for some tubing or a siphon.

Don't tell the Mrs Desertnate

I just took a plain old plastic tube, like one that you have for fish tank or whatever, put it in the top, suck a little on the end to get it started (get your mouth out of the way before it starts to come out lol! And it drained the whole tank in about a minute or so.
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  #13  
Old 01-25-2005, 12:39 PM
NH-SHICKS NH-SHICKS is offline
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I just had my heated nozzels replaced. My washer juice would always be frozen, now I have no problems.

Steve
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  #14  
Old 01-25-2005, 02:33 PM
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A wet/dry shop-vac will empty the resevoir in a few seconds. For winter use, I always add extra denatured (91%) alcohol to the mix....trying to drive in this s#it with no washers is dangerous....

Regards,
Bob
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  #15  
Old 01-25-2005, 02:38 PM
Miles_1 Miles_1 is offline
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It was 83 degrees here today

I love hearing stories like this...that's why I left NYC 10 years ago.
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  #16  
Old 01-25-2005, 04:51 PM
alpinewhite325i alpinewhite325i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Staszek
I siphened out all the regular fluid and replaced it with Rain X antifreeze deicer stuff. $2 a gallon, and works great. It was 5 degrees yesterday not including the windchill and they didnt freeze at all, even at higher speeds
I almost bought the RainX; but wasn't sure if it was any good.

I think I'll give it a try.

Thanks.
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  #17  
Old 01-26-2005, 07:04 AM
Staszek Staszek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinewhite325i
I almost bought the RainX; but wasn't sure if it was any good.

I think I'll give it a try.

Thanks.

It leaves a little bit of a film on the car but not bad since when you are usually using them the car is dirty from road salt anyway. They havent frozen since so far so good.
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