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#1129: The Non-Alcoholic Windshield

Original Air Date: 07.16.2011

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This week on Car Talk, Scott in Alaska is searching for a way to keep his windshield clean, and the local salmon population happy. You'd think a couple of MIT grads would know the perfect eco-friendly, wiper fluid solution, right? Well, maybe not so much. Meanwhile, Gregory's Chevy has a nasty habit of stalling when he parks facing uphill--which wouldn't be a big deal, except for the fact that he lives in San Francisco. Also, Cynthia's convinced that clean oil is improving her Acura's gas mileage, and has 100 bucks riding on Tom and Ray agreeing with her; Andy's got a pesky Check Engine light that's ignoring his best efforts to ignore it--and, why you never want to go to a movie with Ray. All this and lots more, this week on Car Talk.

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Not enough alcohol/water mix

by carman

There is a fine mix that needs to be figured out in order to avoid freezing or evaporating too quickly, both have happened to me on my RV! Last time I went camping I bought something called Camco along with my RV flagpole and new grille and it didn't require any mixing, solved that problem!

Not enough alcohol/water mix

by carman

There is a fine mix that needs to be figured met in order to avoid freezing or evaporating too quickly, both have happened to me on my RV! Last time I went camping I bought something called camco along with my Anchor Text Here and new grille! and it didn't require any mixing, solved that problem!

Green Antifreeze for Alaskan Winters

by fzwater

Use ethanol to avoid methanol and still get the antifreeze action. But both are pretty innocuous in the environment at the level used in windshield washing. The recipe of using 1 pint cheap vodka per gallon will help, but it won't get you much freeze protection. To prevent freezing down to 0F or -20C, you will need about 35% ethanol. Cheap vodka is 80 proof, or 40% Ethanol, so using that directly will work fine-I would add a 1/4 c ammonia and 1 T dish liquid per gallon for improved cleaning properties. But it is kind of expensive to use even cheap vodka for windshield washing, so you might try to find denatured alcohol (~100% ethanol) for about $15-20/gal at a local hardware store-see the paint section. Try to get it denatured with methanol. The other stuff smells terrible. Then your gallon of wash fluid would cost about $5-7 per gallon for the ethanol.

Show Review - 1676

by Anonymous

Natural Windshield fluid

by gallen6

Here is a recipe for natural windshield fluid: 3/4 Gal water 1/4 cup pinesol 1 pint cheap vodka The pinesol is biodegradable, the vodka provides the natural anti-freeze and has the added benefit of pickeling the salmon ready for long term storage or grilling ;-)

winshield fluid for Alaska

by stef686

Your answer to him was very bad, first off I have been a mechanic for industrial machines for over forty years and making that adaptor would be a pain in the ass. Second what is the matter with RV antifreeze use it. Also that alcohol base windshield washer is really no problem the alcohol in it will evaporate long before it hits any streams...............

Show Review - 1679

by drvsmith007

Scott in Alaska

by drvsmith007

Scott is obviously and enviromentalist, however consideration must be given to the simple fact that both alcohol and methanol evaporate quickly when exposed in small amount to the air. Prof. B.C. Mann

Southerners know everything about alcohol

by gradybaby

Poor guy, living in Alaska where more alcohol is consumed per capita than just about everywhere but Boston. We all know PGA (pure grain alcohol, moonshine) is the best alcohol in creation. Mix that 50/50 with water in your spray tank and you, the salmon, and everyone wil1 be happy - and if you break down, you can have a nip waiting on the tow truck!

Non-Alchoholic

by Anonymous

Don't put pure water in your windshield washer. In cold weather, even if the water is heated, it'll freeze in the lines, clog the nozzles, and freeze instantly on contact with the ice cold windshield. They don't put alcohol in windshield washers in Ireland, much to our chagrin when we rented a car there last winter.

Driver's Veg Oil in Brakes

Is this guy truly the ultimate cheapskate?

Below the Beltway

How women and men can see the same movie very differently.

If you do nothing, how do you know you're on vacation?

Existential dilemmas that make you go 'hmm.'

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