Methanol, a key ingredient in windshield washer fluid, keeps the liquid from freezing in the reservoir, tubing and on the windshield. The methanol also acts as a degreaser to help remove the oily film and grime that splashes from the road. Rain-X® ClearView windshield washer fluids are coloured to help identify the fluid in the reservoir as windshield washer fluid and not just water.
Water alone is ineffective at cleaning the greasy film and dirt from the roads and tends to smear on windshields. Water with detergents or degreasers is fine for warm summer temperatures, but it can’t withstand the usual subzero Canadian winter climates.
When a car travels at highway speeds, the wind chill factor can produce temperatures as low as -50°C on the windshield. Using properly formulated Rain-X® ClearView windshield washer fluids that have been manufactured and tested to ensure that they meet the freeze protection specified, can help to prevent liquid from freezing on your windshield.
Most windshield washer fluids are non-smear, methanol-based formulas with good cleaning action. They can, however, differ in performance due to special detergents, cleaning agents, and/or the proprietary technologies used.
Rain-X® ClearView windshield washer fluids include a water repelling technology that treats the windshield with water and soil repellent to help prevent windshield ice-up and streaking for better visibility. The features and benefits are clearly marked on all Rain-X® ClearView windshield washer fluid packaging to help you choose the right wash for your needs.
Rain-X® ClearView windshield washer fluids contain methanol, which is a volatile organic compound (VOC). On hot summer days, VOCs can evaporate, combine with other chemicals in the air and contribute to some levels of smog. During winter, these conditions aren’t as prevalent, so using windshield washer fluid will not have a significant effect on the environment.
It is important to switch to a summer formula during hot weather. Rain-X® ClearView Bug & Tar Remover windshield washer fluid contains less methanol levels to help reduce the amount of VOC emissions, and has detergents to clean off bug splatter and greasy dust.
When a car has been sitting in cold weather for several hours or if driving at high speeds in very cold air, even the best windshield washer fluid can form an ice haze on a cold windshield. Before using your Rain-X® ClearView windshield washer fluid, warm the windshield by letting your car run a little with the heater on, and keep the windshield heated when highway driving on very cold days.
Freezing can occur if the windshield washer fluid is diluted by ice or water on the windshield, or if summer windshield washer fluid is still in the reservoir. Always drain the reservoir of summer windshield washer fluid before adding winter windshield washer fluid.
If ice forms while driving, blast the defroster and flood the windshield with windshield washer fluid until it melts. It is helpful to keep the defroster on while driving so that when the windshield needs clearing, there will be less, if any, frost or ice forming on the windshield.
Let your car run for a minute or two to warm the engine before driving. It’s a good idea to also turn on the window defroster and fan (on high) to warm the windshield before spraying on the windshield washer fluid. This will help reduce the freezing that occurs when spraying windshield washer fluid onto a cold windshield.
Remember, windshield washer fluid is not meant to replace scraping/clearing ice off your windshield before driving; the windshield washer fluid typically helps to speed up melting and removal of ice and snow for better visibility while driving.