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Auto Fill Windscreen Wash

Rain automatically channelled into the windscreen wash bottle
  (+10)(+10)
(+10)
  [vote for,
against]

Not having my own car, on the rare occasions I do drive, I borrow the other half's motor. The car is lovely and a joy to drive, but for one thing. He never, ever remembers to fill the windscreen (US read windshield) washer bottle. Consequently, my driving is seriously hampered by the poor vision afforded by the myriad bodies of insects who didn't get out the way in time.

My solutions?

(a) fill wash bottle myself (b) replace boyfriend (c) buy a car with an Auto Fill Windscreen Wash

Since (a) and (b) involve too much work I propose (c).

I live in a rainy city, in a rainy country. A lot of rain falls on a car during that year. Especially this week. The Auto Fill Windscreen Wash system would comprise a reservoir which is filled when it rains.

As the rain comes down the windscreen, it would sink through a series of grilles and be funnelled into the reservoir. A standard windscreen wash additive containing a cleaning agent (soap or methanol depending on your ecological conscience) and antifreeze could be added to the mix via a valve controlled by a chip. If a flowmeter were incorporated on the entry to the reservoir, a constant additive concentration could be maintained. The ratio of additive could also be varied throughout the year to ensure more antifreeze in winter.

I've Googled and searched the HB but can't find any reference to this type of system, but if belongs in the Hall of Lame, I will apologise for my newbie enthusiasm and be rightly chastened...

hazel, Jul 31 2003

[link]






       I can't see much fault with your idea; sounds good. One question though, would the rain water not need to be filtered?

I can't believe this has never been thought of before on the HB...
silverstormer, Jul 31 2003
  

       options a) and b) are certainly cheaper than option c). Perhaps a retrofit kit to modify your existing vehicle? A very sound and environmentally beneficial idea.   

       In Vancouver it usually rains frequently enough that washer fluid is rarely needed. In the event I had a really dirty windshield I could drive around till I found a squeegee person - that would only take a few moments.
rbl, Jul 31 2003
  

       Good point [silverstormer]. You could fairly easily incorporate a mesh filter which would stop leaves and junk getting through. This would obviously need emptying from time to time but shouldn't be too onerous.
hazel, Jul 31 2003
  

       [rbl] I think if this were installed during the build process it shouldn't add too much to the cost. A retro fit kit is also a good idea - but I was thinking it might be a bit fiddly - and more expensive also.   

       You'd be surprised how expensive option (b) could prove to be!
hazel, Jul 31 2003
  

       definitely needs a more sexy name, but this is inspired. genius.
neilp, Jul 31 2003
  

       couldn't think of a windscreen wiper pun - it's been a long day of writing grant proposals and my humour levels are understandably low...
hazel, Jul 31 2003
  

       its a good idea. I confess though I'm voting + for option c through self preservation. [neilp, po, Mr M et al. will know why]
jonthegeologist, Jul 31 2003
  

       could we auto-inflate tires in a similar way ? if you drove *very* fast and push down the little valve thing to let the air in
neilp, Jul 31 2003
  

       doesn't the little valve thing let air out?
hazel, Jul 31 2003
  

       of course, but only when the pressure's higher inside than out.. if you were going really fast, that wouldn't be the case, hence air would flow in. You'd need to have fast reactions though, to press the valve.
neilp, Jul 31 2003
  

       1. get jo, sorry, other half to lie across bonnet (such a quaint word) on all journeys especially when its raining 2. give other half a small wiper blade...   

       only kidding, a really good idea.
po, Jul 31 2003
  

       Call it Rain Wipe. Or maybe get Rain-X to license it and call it Rain-Ype...+ regardless of the name.
hoopdy, Jul 31 2003
  

       /only when the pressure's higher inside than out.. if you were going really fast, that wouldn't be the case//   

       Don't be silly, air travelling at speed is at a lower pressure. That's how aeroplanes stay up. Thus the air in your tyres would be sucked out even faster, resulting in more than bugs being splattered on the windscreen as you enjoy a quick excursion into the hedgerow.   

       I still think the mere threat of option b) should be enough to get the bottle refilled "automatically".
egbert, Jul 31 2003
  

       [egbert] then perhaps if we drove really slowly ?
neilp, Jul 31 2003
  

       ...or in reverse.
silverstormer, Jul 31 2003
  

       On the version of the system coming preequiped with new cars make sure you have a way to refill the the washer additive from inside the car, else you'll have to go mucking about under the hood eventually anyway.
sub_text, Jul 31 2003
  

       //of course, but only when the pressure's higher inside than out.. if you were going really fast, that wouldn't be the case, hence air would flow in. You'd need to have fast reactions though, to press the valve.//   

       If the tire was flat, how would you get enough speed for the tire to centrifically inflate?
supercat, Aug 01 2003
  

       I was under the impression that my little FIAT already did this, maybe it doesn't and I've been deluding myself for years. Otherwise it does and I'm sorry but then this is fully baked and you deserve the harshest of chastisements.
nichpo, Aug 01 2003
  

       It's seems such an obvious thing that I was rather surprised I couldn't find any evidence of it. I've been thinking it would be a good idea since I was tiny. What model is your car?
hazel, Aug 01 2003
  

       [hazel ]Its a FIAT Barchetta. But I think I maybe just assumed it did this because I'm always assuming the world works better than it actually does. Have a crescent anyhoo. +
nichpo, Aug 01 2003
  

       Currently I'm 5'2" or 157.5cm for those of you in the metric world. So I'm just short (I prefer this to "vertically challenged" as that sounds like there's something wrong with me) and certainly not tiny in insect terms. However, in my younger days, when I first had this idea, I was smaller (like so many of us - I believe our mothers preferred it that way).   

       I say currently. In practice I'm not expecting this to change for a few decades (barring unfortunate double amputation accidents) until I start shrinking as an old lady.
hazel, Aug 01 2003
  

       Thanks [dag]. Short ladies' heads do provide somewhere to rest your pint when standing at the bar. Though they don't always appreciate this is an asset.
hazel, Aug 01 2003
  

       <foresee's hazel's next inspired idea>
po, Aug 01 2003
  

       Hmmm. A tall beer table by the bar....   

       Don't see the problem with resting pint on the bar myself.
hazel, Aug 01 2003
  
      
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