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    Thread: Accidentally poured wiper fluid into the antifreeze

    1. 11-27-2007 01:36 AM #1
      Hi all,

      I just bought a Volkswagen Jetta 5 months back and I have to say I've been loving it. Unfortunately, I had an accident earlier today in which I mistakenly poured windshield wiper fluid into the antifreeze tank. Immediately realizing my mistake, I did not make the mistake of turning on the engine but instead drained the anti-freeze tank to the level it was at before I accidentally dumped wiper fluid into it. Since I live in the great north, using teflon wiper fluid is a must here. To be more specific, I used wiper fluid that was capable of not freezing in temperatures upto -49 C. My question is, should I take the car to a Volkswagen dealership and have them flush the system and then refill it with antifreeze (and pay the exorbitant fee I'm sure) or is it fine to just drive my car the way it is? Also, if I don't take the vehicle for servicing, will this result in the decline of warranty coverage?

      Thanks for any help!

      FEW details about the car:
      Brand New 2007 Jetta with 2.5L engine
      Yes it has the VW G12 antifreeze in it (the pink stuff)




      Modified by MK-V_Jetta at 10:41 PM 11-26-2007


    2. 11-27-2007 11:24 AM #2
      Think about it..you put the fluid on top of the antifreeze. When you drained it, the antifreeze came out from the bottom. Therefore, common sense would lead anyone with half a brain to beleive that the wiper fluid is still in there sitting on the top.

      You need to not turn the car on and drain all of the antifreeze out and flush it immediately. DONT EVEN TURN THE CAR ON TO DRIVE IT TO VW. You must have it towed unless you can do it yourself.

      Yeah, its going to cost you a lot, but hey...thats the price for being stupid. You'll learn quickly hopefully.


    3. 11-27-2007 11:54 AM #3
      Ooh, that sucks... Yeah, dude... Our cars were meant to run at around 190º F and who the F*CK knows what wiper fluid will do at that temperature. Of course, there's a chance that it'll all be fine and dandy, but who wants to take that chance? Hopefully they'll have some sort of pump they can just suck it out with. Sorry to hear that, man. lol It sounds like something I might do.

    4. Member classicjetta's Avatar
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      11-27-2007 12:27 PM #4
      Flush n' Fill, FTW.

    5. Member 07bunny's Avatar
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      11-27-2007 12:42 PM #5
      you really cant just suck the fluid off the top.it will have mixed in. how far is the dealership from your house. if you can get to the dealership before your thermostat reaches 190 you can drive because the antifreeze will not have been introduced into the engine. never done this before but i do work on cars and trucks.

    6. 11-27-2007 01:03 PM #6
      Quote, originally posted by 07bunny »
      you really cant just suck the fluid off the top.it will have mixed in. how far is the dealership from your house. if you can get to the dealership before your thermostat reaches 190 you can drive because the antifreeze will not have been introduced into the engine. never done this before but i do work on cars and trucks.

      lol That reminds me of the time I wrecked my MB 560SEL. The front end was totally smashed and the radiator was toast, but the engine still ran and it still drove straight (gotta love German engineering). I knew it was totaled because of the age, so I wasn't worried about destroying the engine. I managed to drive it 15 miles to my shop to avoid it being towed by turning it on, flooring it 'til temperature red line and turning it off again. lol That was such a sad trip.


    7. 11-27-2007 04:07 PM #7
      if you havent driven it empty the resavor and then top it off.
      you will be fine

    8. 11-27-2007 05:10 PM #8
      How much washer fluid did you dump into the cooling system?

    9. 11-27-2007 07:11 PM #9
      Hey all thanks for your input!

      just a few notes

      1) I only filled about 1-1.5L into the tank (less than half a gallon) and then realizing it immediately, I did siphon it out to the levels that they were at before. That being said I probably overestimated how much fluid I filled but I'd just like to assume worst case scenario.

      2) I did not start the car prior to evacuating the wiper fluid because I did not want the wiper fluid introduced into the engine. I siphoned it out first before starting the engine.

      3) It's probably something ill never try again... ohh that darn pink stuff.

      With all the above being said, do you think I should go and purchase a bottle or 2 of G12 antifreeze and refill the system or should it be fine the way it is? Keep in mind that the time from dumping the wiper fluid in to siphoning it out was probably 15 minutes.


    10. 11-27-2007 08:24 PM #10
      You seriously should not have started the car until you flushed the entire thing and refilled it with new antifreeze.

      It might be OK, whos knows. Better safe than sorry though. I wouldnt personally have taken the chance by siphoning it out. Liquids mix, they dont just sit on top of each other.


    11. Member 07bunny's Avatar
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      11-27-2007 09:45 PM #11
      buy siphoning it that means you took out some antifreeze. if you can get your car to the dealer before your car reaches 190 and the gauge take it in and get the system flushed and filled back up. just because you siphoned out some fluid does not mean you got the washer fluid out.

    12. 12-06-2007 05:25 PM #12
      just flush

    13. 12-06-2007 05:35 PM #13
      Quote, originally posted by 2low4fathoes »
      just flush

      I'm sure he's grateful for the advice, but it is a little late, I'd say.


    14. 12-06-2007 09:46 PM #14
      Im pretty sure there is antifreeze in washer fluid so what is the worst that can happen?

    15. Member 07bunny's Avatar
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      12-07-2007 11:06 AM #15
      sorry but there isn't any traces of antifreeze in washer fluid. antifreeze is ethylene glycol, where washer fluid is a mixture of water and alcohol

    16. 12-07-2007 04:17 PM #16
      I highly doubt it will do anything crazy to your engine.

      You people are acting like he mixed the washer fluid into the engine oil

      So what if you have cleaner water lines in your engine now

      You know the antifreeze only runs through water lines in the engine, it never mixes with oil or does anything for combustion

      Seriously, no major harm is going to be done, just flush it out with regular old antifreeze. Since winter is coming, do it twice.


    17. 12-08-2007 11:38 AM #17
      I know it's a little late, but I just thought I'd put in my two cents.

      Although washer fluid is not the same as antifreeze, and I cannot guarantee that it's safe, I would think that it wouldn't harm much. Washer fluid needs to meet much of the same standards as antifreeze, such as a lower freezing point and being non corosive. I figure that the washer fluid is stored it a plastic reservoir, is pumped through an electric pump with (most likely) a metal housing and possibly a metal impeller, and then through rubber and plastic hoses up to the nozzles, which are becoming more and more often, heated.

      These are all the same things that cooling systems have, so I wouldn't worry about abnormal wear on components. We know washer fluid is meant not to freeze, so I wouldn't worry about that, and if higher temperatures presented a problem to washer fluid, I doubt they would allow it to be heated at the nozzles.

      I would assume it is a stable enough chemical to not have many concerns about being mixed in with your cooling system. However, this is all just speculation, and I would have to agree a flush is the best way to go for safe measure.


    18. 12-08-2007 12:51 PM #18
      Same thing 'almost' happened to me. It was Sunday night, and it was snowing, so I knew that I should top off my windshield fluid for the salty roads in the morning... I opened the hood, looked for the a 'blue' top, looked down a little bit more and noticed another blue top, and that's when I stopped and went to get a flash light. MKV's have two blue caps:

      [edit]I think it was an honest mistake, could have happened to anyone who is not familiar with the car.


    19. Member VMPhil's Avatar
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      12-11-2007 04:24 PM #19
      Ill tell you first hand my Dumb ass did this many many years ago with my Diamante by accident and from there it was heating problems left and right, and pretty much down hill from there. I cant be 100% sure that it was the exact cause of all the issues but it seems like the most logical reason.
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    20. Member 07bunny's Avatar
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      12-11-2007 07:19 PM #20
      just get a flush.

    21. 12-11-2007 09:32 PM #21
      So what ended up happening? Does it drive just fine now?

    22. Member 75rusty's Avatar
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      12-11-2007 11:43 PM #22
      How the hell did you manage to put 1-1.5L of wiper fluid in the coolant reservoir?

    23. 12-21-2007 03:31 PM #23
      Big danger here is that modern antifreezes don't really mix well with other antifreezes or wiper fluid....you can get precipitation and clogging of the system if you say drain and not flush then refill with garden variety antifreeze. Just putting a little wiper fluid into the overflow tank shouldn't cause this problem particularly since you caught it B4 mixing it into the rest of the coolant and drained it out of the tank...I'd get some VW G12 antifreeze and mix up enuff to fill the tank and call it fixed. Just be glad you poured it into the coolant tank and not the brake master cylinder fill or engine oil fill! That would be some real trouble!
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