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#3210815 - 12/08/13 09:01 PM Washer fluid in overflow tank
y_p_w Offline


Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 2616
Loc: SF Bay Area
Yeah - I know. Really stupid. I was in a bit of a hurry and dumped some methanol based washer fluid in the first thing that looked like a washer reservoir. It's my wife's 2002 Civic, which has this hidden coolant tank.

So then it hit me that the washer reservoir wasn't in the front. I know.

It's due for a coolant change anyways as it's still on the factory coolant over 10 years. I'm on the road now and I guess a WM should have something that should allow me to pump it out. When I get home tonight I'm going to remove the tank (looks like I'll have to pull the battery) and pour it out. I'm just hoping that not too much has gotten into the cooling system.

Any worries with a little bit of that stuff in the cooling system?

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#3210822 - 12/08/13 09:08 PM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: y_p_w]
donnyj08 Offline


Registered: 08/12/12
Posts: 1227
Loc: indiana
i doubt any harm will result immediately, if at all. if it was me i would flush it out pretty soon, however.
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#3210831 - 12/08/13 09:14 PM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: y_p_w]
spasm3 Online   content


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 4354
Loc: North Carolina
Methanol boils off at around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. I wonder if he will need to do anything? If its hard to take the reservoir off, you can flush it out with a garden hose and then with a turkey baster, take out enough water to be able to add coolant to a 50% mix


Edited by spasm3 (12/08/13 09:16 PM)
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#3210840 - 12/08/13 09:25 PM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: y_p_w]
ls1mike Offline


Registered: 06/14/08
Posts: 3386
Loc: In the Garage...
How much we talking here? 1/4 gallon? 1/2 gallon?

What is the cooling system capacity?
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#3210864 - 12/08/13 09:53 PM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: y_p_w]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 14961
Loc: Iowegia
Quote:
It's due for a coolant change anyways as it's still on the factory coolant over 10 years.


I would change it out as soon as possible, but hopefully the coolant will dilute it enough not to cause an immediate problem.

Tens years is a long time to still have the OEM coolant in there.

BTW, none of us here have ever done such a thing. grin2 LOL


Edited by MolaKule (12/08/13 09:54 PM)
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#3210867 - 12/08/13 09:54 PM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: y_p_w]
yonyon Offline


Registered: 03/06/12
Posts: 3492
Loc: NJ, USA
The reservoir takes about half a quart and the cooling system takes about a gallon. I think you should drain the reservoir or at least pull the hose off before the engine has a chance to cool. Drain and fill everything within the next month.

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#3210869 - 12/08/13 09:57 PM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: y_p_w]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 34702
Loc: New Jersey
Yikes. Added like a gallon?

Is the verflow unpressurized or part of the flow loop? if it isnt pressurized and just takes some fluid as it expands and contracts, Id just siphone that tank and fill with good 50/50.

If anything else, Id do a full flush, including pulling he freeze plugs, to get a complete drain and flush.

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#3210904 - 12/08/13 11:02 PM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: y_p_w]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 11960
Loc: apple valley, ca
Siphon it out
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#3210915 - 12/08/13 11:49 PM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: JHZR2]
yonyon Offline


Registered: 03/06/12
Posts: 3492
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Yikes. Added like a gallon?


I don't think the reservoir is big enough to do that.

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#3210921 - 12/09/13 12:15 AM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: MolaKule]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 11975
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
BTW, none of us here have ever done such a thing.

Have you ever tried to get original green coolant out of a washer fluid system? Better yet, when it was a car that hadn't been driven for a couple years, the washer cap was left off, and a bird found its way in there for the sweet drink? wink
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#3210929 - 12/09/13 01:16 AM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: MolaKule]
y_p_w Offline


Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 2616
Loc: SF Bay Area
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
Quote:
It's due for a coolant change anyways as it's still on the factory coolant over 10 years.


I would change it out as soon as possible, but hopefully the coolant will dilute it enough not to cause an immediate problem.

Tens years is a long time to still have the OEM coolant in there.

BTW, none of us here have ever done such a thing. grin2 LOL

The owners manual says every 10 years or 120K miles for the first time and half that for subsequent changes. Far cry from my old Integra where it was 45K/3 yrs miles then 30K miles/2 yrs. Nowhere near that on the mileage, but a bit over that in years. Before she met me, my wife had never had anything done with this car except oil changes. It's probably due for a brake fluid flush too.

I was able to pull out the tank, but I had to remove the battery to get to it. Once I had a better look, I noticed that the washer fluid (both the concentrate and water I added) hadn't really mixed with the coolant. If you've ever had a black and tan, it sort of reminded me of the Guinness sitting on top. I poured maybe 6 oz of the concentrate with methanol and then added water. This was the first overflow tank I've seen with a hose clamped to the bottom. The other ones I've had used a hose going in through a hole in the tank, where the hose opening rested at the bottom. I didn't want to mess with the clamp (looked kind of delicate) so I just poured out the whole mess out without disconnecting the hose. I didn't have any coolant so I poured maybe 5 oz of water. This is the smallest overflow tank I've ever seen.

I also looked in the manual for the system capacity. 1.03 gallons. Thought it was a misprint, but this thing has a tiny radiator and a tiny overflow tank. I'm thinking of just getting a gallon and calling it a day. And at $20 or whatever they're changing for the premix, I think I might just top off with water. I've always read that 40% is actually adequate for corrosion protection and freeze protection down to maybe -10 deg F. I'm never going anywhere that cold.

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#3213499 - 12/11/13 02:12 PM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: JHZR2]
George7941 Offline


Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 1516
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Yikes. Added like a gallon?

Is the verflow unpressurized or part of the flow loop? if it isnt pressurized and just takes some fluid as it expands and contracts, Id just siphone that tank and fill with good 50/50.

If anything else, Id do a full flush, including pulling he freeze plugs, to get a complete drain and flush.


Nobody pulls freeze plugs off to drain an engine block. Open a block drain plug, yes.
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#3220206 - 12/18/13 03:24 AM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: y_p_w]
stockrex Offline


Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Michigan
Don't drive it get compatible coolant and drain and fill .
Drain and fill with distilled water, run till warm then drain and fill with coolant little bit stronger than 50%. Check specific gravity.
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#3220207 - 12/18/13 03:27 AM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: y_p_w]
stockrex Offline


Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Michigan
Don't pull any flipping plugs, just drain and fill few times with just distilled water.
U can do a back flush using a hose.

Never. Be in hurry outcome is never good.
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#3220253 - 12/18/13 06:20 AM Re: Washer fluid in overflow tank [Re: y_p_w]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 22002
Loc: NY
Being OCD I'd probably do a cooling system flush and be done with it. I wouldn't pull any plugs, I'd flush the radiator, fill with fresh clean distilled water, drive, flush, repeat. Fill with the proper anti-freeze mix and be on my merry way.
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