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Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? #4781185
06/08/18 11:12 AM
06/08/18 11:12 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 695
McGregor TX
mrdctaylor Offline OP
mrdctaylor  Offline OP

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 695
McGregor TX
Guys,

I've been using the orange Rain-X washer fluid in my vehicles for a year or so now. I just happened to come across a post somewhere about this stuff messing up some guy's low washer fluid sensor. Has anyone here ever had this happen? So far mine seem fine, but I'm thinking about ditching the couple of gallons I have on the shelf and going back to cheap-o fluid. Thoughts?


02 Tacoma 3.4L, 225K, Magnatec 10W30
12 Highlander 3.5L, 104K, Napa Syn 0W20
17 Escape 2.0L, 37K, Hav ProDS 5W30
02 Trailblazer 4.2L, 186K, Edge HM 10W40
Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: mrdctaylor] #4781199
06/08/18 11:22 AM
06/08/18 11:22 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 2,621
The Northeast
mclasser Offline
mclasser  Offline

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 2,621
The Northeast
I heard about Rain-X not playing nice with some Audi fluid sensors. I've been using it on my cars for a few years now without issue.


2018 Hyundai Elantra VE
2013 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD
2002 Honda Accord EX-L

Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: mrdctaylor] #4781201
06/08/18 11:23 AM
06/08/18 11:23 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 695
McGregor TX
mrdctaylor Offline OP
mrdctaylor  Offline OP

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 695
McGregor TX
The comment I read was from a guy with a VW. Maybe it is a German car thing. :-)


02 Tacoma 3.4L, 225K, Magnatec 10W30
12 Highlander 3.5L, 104K, Napa Syn 0W20
17 Escape 2.0L, 37K, Hav ProDS 5W30
02 Trailblazer 4.2L, 186K, Edge HM 10W40
Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: mrdctaylor] #4781218
06/08/18 11:39 AM
06/08/18 11:39 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 695
McGregor TX
mrdctaylor Offline OP
mrdctaylor  Offline OP

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 695
McGregor TX
I found this:

https://www.classaction.org/rain-x-lawsuit

"The maker of Rain-X has been hit with a class action lawsuit alleging it deceived consumers by indicating its windshield washer fluid was suitable for use in all mass-produced vehicles. Consumers have complained that their low-fluid indicator lights wouldn’t shut off after filling their cars with Rain-X – and the lawsuit says this problem stems from the fact that the product isn’t compatible with certain vehicles. According to the suit, Rain-X shouldn’t be used in cars made by:

Volkswagen
Audi
Mini Cooper
BMW
Mercedes Benz
Chrysler

In some cases, consumers have complained that the Rain-X products actually corroded or otherwise damaged their washer fluid sensors – a problem that cost them hundreds of dollars to fix. Unfortunately, the makers of Rain-X are reportedly refusing to cover these costs."


02 Tacoma 3.4L, 225K, Magnatec 10W30
12 Highlander 3.5L, 104K, Napa Syn 0W20
17 Escape 2.0L, 37K, Hav ProDS 5W30
02 Trailblazer 4.2L, 186K, Edge HM 10W40
Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: mrdctaylor] #4781222
06/08/18 11:42 AM
06/08/18 11:42 AM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 128
WV
jonnied1 Offline
jonnied1  Offline

Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 128
WV
Messed up the sensor on my 2008 Ram truck. It will say low washer fluid with a full tank anytime it is below 45 deg. I haven't used Rain-X for several years now and the sensor is still messed up!

Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: mrdctaylor] #4781226
06/08/18 11:46 AM
06/08/18 11:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 695
McGregor TX
mrdctaylor Offline OP
mrdctaylor  Offline OP

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 695
McGregor TX
It looks like the German cars listed on that website plus Chrysler (and I'm assuming Ram trucks) use a type of sensor that can get fouled by this stuff. It is an electrode type sensor. I'm wondering if cars like my Toyotas use a float type sensor. I found a thread on a 4Runner forum where guys talked about using this stuff for years with no issues.


02 Tacoma 3.4L, 225K, Magnatec 10W30
12 Highlander 3.5L, 104K, Napa Syn 0W20
17 Escape 2.0L, 37K, Hav ProDS 5W30
02 Trailblazer 4.2L, 186K, Edge HM 10W40
Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: mrdctaylor] #4781236
06/08/18 12:00 PM
06/08/18 12:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 6,575
MA
Wolf359 Offline
Wolf359  Offline

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 6,575
MA
Yep, got the same problem with my Mercedes. It's a $10 part, but it's the labor that's a pain. Never used Rain-X, but I guess the previous owner may have. There was some video of someone cleaning off the sensor, I guess it gets coated in gunk and needs a cleaning.

Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: mrdctaylor] #4781237
06/08/18 12:01 PM
06/08/18 12:01 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,648
Chicago Area
opus1 Offline
opus1  Offline

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,648
Chicago Area
I've used it off and on in both the Sonata and Dakota and haven't had any problems...maybe because I rotated with other brands/types?

Something to keep in mind, though; I may not buy any more just to be safe. Thanks.


Current Fleet:

2010 Hyundai Sonata GLS
2009 Chevy Cobalt SS Sedan (yes,the turbo)
2002 Dodge Dakota SXT Club Cab
1994 Ford Ranger XLT (RIP, Dad)
Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: Wolf359] #4781273
06/08/18 12:47 PM
06/08/18 12:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,677
Chicago,IL,USA
pandus13 Offline
pandus13  Offline

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,677
Chicago,IL,USA
Originally Posted By: Wolf359
... There was some video of someone cleaning off the sensor, I guess it gets coated in gunk and needs a cleaning.

..just thinking out loud.

Do you think it would be cleaned by dumping a quart of rubbing alcohol or vinegar, then topping off with fluid after x hours?


16 Golf SportWagen
13 Mazda5
08 Yaris
04 Elantra
95 accent
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Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: pandus13] #4781287
06/08/18 01:04 PM
06/08/18 01:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,624
DELAWARE
Hootbro Offline
Hootbro  Offline

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,624
DELAWARE
The stuff messed up the level sensor in my old Ram truck and also my wifes FJ cruiser in that it plugged up the nozzle. No more for me.


2019 Toyota Tacoma 3.5L (MileSyn 0W-20)
2017 Jeep Renegade 2.4L (Idemitsu 0W-20)

Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: pandus13] #4781317
06/08/18 01:46 PM
06/08/18 01:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 6,575
MA
Wolf359 Offline
Wolf359  Offline

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 6,575
MA
Originally Posted By: pandus13
Originally Posted By: Wolf359
... There was some video of someone cleaning off the sensor, I guess it gets coated in gunk and needs a cleaning.

..just thinking out loud.

Do you think it would be cleaned by dumping a quart of rubbing alcohol or vinegar, then topping off with fluid after x hours?


Not according to the video I saw. It looked like it was really caked on.

Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: mrdctaylor] #4781382
06/08/18 02:52 PM
06/08/18 02:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,652
Where the wind comes sweepin'
Reddy45 Offline
Reddy45  Offline

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,652
Where the wind comes sweepin'
Is the orange stuff used because it cleans better or something? I run the blue stuff since it's cheap but using your wipers to clean your windshield is really ineffective. Easier to pull into a gas station and use the squeegee dunked in rain water. More scrubbing action.

Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: mrdctaylor] #4781388
06/08/18 03:02 PM
06/08/18 03:02 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 695
McGregor TX
mrdctaylor Offline OP
mrdctaylor  Offline OP

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 695
McGregor TX
I use the orange stuff because it has Rain-X coating that helps water bead up on your windshield. I like the way it works, but I don't want any unnecessary repairs in my future.


02 Tacoma 3.4L, 225K, Magnatec 10W30
12 Highlander 3.5L, 104K, Napa Syn 0W20
17 Escape 2.0L, 37K, Hav ProDS 5W30
02 Trailblazer 4.2L, 186K, Edge HM 10W40
Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: jonnied1] #4781391
06/08/18 03:05 PM
06/08/18 03:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,900
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
irv Offline
irv  Offline

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,900
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Originally Posted By: jonnied1
Messed up the sensor on my 2008 Ram truck. It will say low washer fluid with a full tank anytime it is below 45 deg. I haven't used Rain-X for several years now and the sensor is still messed up!


I'm glad I read this as I have a 13 Ram. I can't say with a 100% certainty if it has ever seen Rain X but if it did, it was only a top up amount as I know I had some on hand within the last couple years.

I mainly use Costco brand windshield washer fluid at the -45 ratio. I see no need, for the cost of it, to be switching it out to a summer brand every spring.

Thanks for the info. cheers


2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
2013 Ram 5.7 L Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
2008 Chevy Malibu 2.4 L Ecotec
Pennzoil Platinum and/or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum in all 3.
Re: Rain-X washer fluid ruins low fluid sensor? [Re: mrdctaylor] #4781528
06/08/18 05:40 PM
06/08/18 05:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 6,161
FL, USA
gregk24 Offline
gregk24  Offline

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 6,161
FL, USA
I would have never thought chemicals in washer fluid would damage sensors. Good to know! Won't be using this brand.


2012 Honda Accord EX-L K24z3
56,xxx miles
PPPP 0w20 / Fram Ultra

2014 VW Jetta SE 1.8T ea888
44,xxx miles
Castrol Edge 0w40 / OEM filter
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