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Senior Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi all, i am so fed up of not being able to wash my windscreen over the last few weeks!!! i would have thought that on a car like the Treg heated jets would be standard and not an extra!! as i have just found out from my owners hand book.

is anyone else having a similar problem and is there anything that can be done??

i drive nearly 40 miles to work and still with all the heat under the bonnet they don't spray water.
 

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Chairman
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I think you may not be using enough additive.

Mine is 50%/50% and the washers work first thing at -10C here once I've warmed the car up for 10 minutes to clear the screens.

Fill it up with neat washer fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i had a really strong mixture in the bottle and tried to pour neat fluid in this morning, but it was like a slush puppy drink in the neck of the bottle.

i suppose it has been colder than normal over the last few weeks and i only live a few miles from scotch corner and the weather hasn't been too good up here.

i will try and get as much neat fluid in as i can and hope it helps to melt the rest of the fluid.
 

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Chairman
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Definitely not enough additive, I'd say.

If I remember the label on mine correctly, Halfords double strength should be good for -26C when neat and about -15% when mixed 60 screenwash/40 water.

Don't use your rear screen washer. If it is frozen you can blow the pipe apart in the roof lining.
 

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Premium Member
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My car has the heated jets but was still not squirting the other morning. I'll up the additive concentration - but does anyone know if the jet heaters are on all the time or come on with the heated mirrors or heated rear window. I've been switching both off when the mirrors/windows are clear but am wondering whether to leave them on.

Searched through the manual to no avail....
 

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Premium Member
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I had a near death experience after discovering this on a long motorway journey this evening in -4 degrees C temps. Went to wash the windscreen as it was getting covered in salt and general road grime but instead it left a bloody great smear across the windscreen due to the washer jets being iced up. Nearly ended up in a bloody ditch

I think its pretty crap of VW not to include heated washer jets as standard when it could fundamentally affect road safety like this. I expect the vast majority of owners wouldn't even know where the washer reservoir is let alone understand about antifreeze concentrations !
 

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Chairman
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I expect the vast majority of owners wouldn't even know where the washer reservoir is let alone understand about antifreeze concentrations !
Given that service intervals can be two years, I think it is reasonable to suppose most people know how to fill up their washer bottle. Even my wife knows you need windscreen washer additive and she's the least car techie person I know!

However, I admit my washers weren't too happy first thing despite upping the mix a week or two back to supposedly withstand -15C so I'm complaining to the additive manufacturer as our max drop last night was a mere -8C.
 

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Add a little methylated spirits as well.
Helps to stop it freezing up and it smells nice too


You used to be able to get a kit which passed the water for the washer jets in a coil around a heater hose to warm the water up. not too difficult to make yourself, but the problem is usually the jets themselves freeze up to due air flow, and its wind chilll factor.

My Treg sailed through the snow on the way to work today, nice of everyone to stay in the inside lane to let me past.
 

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Chairman
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A couple of useful tips/reminders there.


I did the washer pipe wrap around on several cars years ago.

I first bought the kind of kit Hunterlees mentioned. You cut into an existing hot coolant return hose and inserted the device secured with a new jubilee clip at each end. You then cut the washer pipe and refitted it to the in and out pipes on the "device" which was just a copper coil for quick heat transfer, encased in rubber.

I immediately realised all I actually needed was a longer piece of washer pipe from the car accessory shop which was far less intrusive as no hose cutting was required: you just wrapped it round a convenient hot pipe 10 times and then surrounded it with some insulation for good measure.

In later installations I didn't even bother with the insulation.

It's surprising how hot the screen wash then gets and, of course, the hotter water helps clean the screen so much better too.

The jets for the Treg are on the underside of the bonnet so should be out of the airflow, but meths it is.

And if you can smell it, the flaps on your heating system aren't working properly . . . !
 

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I got some Bluecol (I think that's what it was called) washer fluid from Sainsbury's the other week. Said it withstands something like -65c when neat! Seems very good so far anyway. What i've also found very good in these conditions (having just driven back from Hull to Kent in 4 hours today) is the combined glass cleaner and Rain-x that I also bought recently. Very rarely needed to actually wash the screen on the way home. Also seems to keep the screen from freezing over night quite well too.
 

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Ex-Treg owner
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Just a couple of observations about comments I have read here from what I have always believed about screenwash in the winter:
* if the screen wash is frozen or slushy in the bottle the additive is too weak;
* if screen wash is successfully squirted onto the screen when driving it is not the washer jets at fault if it subsequently freezes;
* wind-chill effect is what generally causes the liquid to freeze once sprayed onto the screen and is spread thinly by the wipers once you are driving along.

I personally wouldn't consider the jets to be to be the cause of the problem in any of the above circumstances. Another personal pet-hate of mine is how recently all that appears to be available at lots of locations is the pre-diluted screenwash...I consider it paying exorbitant amounts of money for the water content!
 

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Honoured Member
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Just a couple of observations about comments I have read here from what I have always believed about screenwash in the winter:
* if the screen wash is frozen or slushy in the bottle the additive is too weak;
* if screen wash is successfully squirted onto the screen when driving it is not the washer jets at fault if it subsequently freezes;
* wind-chill effect is what generally causes the liquid to freeze once sprayed onto the screen and is spread thinly by the wipers once you are driving along.

I personally wouldn't consider the jets to be to be the cause of the problem in any of the above circumstances. Another personal pet-hate of mine is how recently all that appears to be available at lots of locations is the pre-diluted screenwash...I consider it paying exorbitant amounts of money for the water content!
I'm not an expert in these matters but I think you'll find that "wind chill" only relates to the effect of temperature and windspeed on flesh. (Human or animal). And relates to the effect of cooling exposed skin with cold and air.

"Wind chill (often popularly called the wind chill factor) is the felt air temperature on exposed skin due to wind. It measures the effect of wind on air temperature. The wind chill temperature is usually lower than the air temperature, since the air temperature is usually lower than the human body temperature.

The human body loses heat largely by evaporation and convection. The rate of heat loss by a surface depends on the wind speed above that surface: the faster the wind speed, the more readily the surface cools. For inanimate objects, the effect of wind chill is to reduce any warmer objects to the ambient temperature more quickly. It cannot, however, reduce the temperature of these objects below the ambient temperature, no matter how great the wind velocity. For most biological organisms, the physiological response is to maintain surface temperature in an acceptable range so as to avoid adverse effects."


For fluids, liquids, solids or or air, as you will see from the quote above gleaned from the interweb, windchill is irrelevant.

What may be at play here is the fact that as a fluid which is under (albeit low) pressure is released to atmosphere and its pressure drops so does its temperature. (think of the air coming out of a tyre valve, it feels colds not because of the air rushing over your skin, but because it temperature has actually dropped many degrees as it expands [Boyle's Law]). Also the air temperature under the bonnet may well be higher than in the open air and the washer fluid is now exposed to a lower temperature than before and without adequate anti-freeze will freeze.

There may be other factors at play, but there's no doubt it usually happens around the washer jets, and is presumably due to to inadequate icing protection.
 

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Ex-Treg owner
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For inanimate objects, the effect of wind chill is to reduce any warmer objects to the ambient temperature more quickly. It cannot, however, reduce the temperature of these objects below the ambient temperature, no matter how great the wind velocity.

There may be other factors at play, but there's no doubt it usually happens around the washer jets, and is presumably due to inadequate icing protection.
Point well made and taken.

I agree with the conclusion that most problems are attributable to inadequate icing protection - be it screenwash too dilute or other factors - nozzle exposure & heating included.
 

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Chairman
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I must admit I never thought I'd see Physics ping pong on this - or any other - car forum!
 

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Mechanical Guru
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With the reservoir being housed under the wheelarch away from any source of heat the only thing that will keep the screenwash usable is a high enough concentration of additive. If the reservoir is frozen no amount of heat at the jets or pipework will have any effect.
 

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Senior Member
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
when i was in the army years ago in Germany, we used to put vodka in the washer bottles in the winter as it was cheaper than screen wash!!!...


not had a problem over this last week or so, so it was obviously just a weak mix i had when i started this thread.

mind you i did come out of the house yesterday morning, start the old girl up and drive to work in -15....
 

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Honoured Member
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when i was in the army years ago in Germany, we used to put vodka in the washer bottles in the winter as it was cheaper than screen wash!!!...


not had a problem over this last week or so, so it was obviously just a weak mix i had when i started this thread.

mind you i did come out of the house yesterday morning, start the old girl up and drive to work in -15....
Weak mix??? Try this:

My son's washers froze up this week, despite the fact that he was using it neat.

When he checked the small print he discovered his Tesco Winter Screenwash gave protection all the way down to...................................minus 2!!!!

You get what you pay for, methinks.
 

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Premium Member
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I think my question earlier in this thread may have been overlooked so I am bumping it up to see if anyone can help...

My car has the heated jets but was still not squirting the other morning. I'll up the additive concentration - but does anyone know if the jet heaters are on all the time or come on with the heated mirrors or heated rear window. I've been switching both off when the mirrors/windows are clear but am wondering whether to leave them on.

Searched through the manual to no avail....
 

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Honoured Member
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2,175 Posts
I think my question earlier in this thread may have been overlooked so I am bumping it up to see if anyone can help...

My car has the heated jets but was still not squirting the other morning. I'll up the additive concentration - but does anyone know if the jet heaters are on all the time or come on with the heated mirrors or heated rear window. I've been switching both off when the mirrors/windows are clear but am wondering whether to leave them on.

Searched through the manual to no avail....
In my manual section 3.1 page 92:

"The Heated Windshield Washer Jets are on all the time the ignition is switched on and regulated according to the outside temperature".
 
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