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washer fluid bottle as a reservoir

use your windshield washer fluid jug as a reservoir
  (+19, -2)(+19, -2)
(+19, -2)
  [vote for,

This is basically a case of removing the middle-man. Everyone buys windshield washer fluid in 1 gallon plastic jugs that are fairly uniform. This is a jug-holder under the hood of your vehicle and a cap with a tube that leads to a washer pump. The holder housing is square for the square jugs, but the bottom is a shallow recessed round part for the round jugs. I have found that they both use the same caps so the unit would have a standard cap that has a pickup tube in it. The jug would be held down by a rubber strap that fit around the base of the cap neck.

-Washer jugs are sturdy enough to last a long time under the hood of a car.

-How many times have you filled your reservoir with fluid only to find that it takes only 3/4 of a gallon, now you have this 1/4 full container of fluid sitting in your garage?

-You can easily swap out the fluid in case you mixed too much water into the fluid (for summer use) and the weather turns cold.

-This would make use of the jugs already out there and save the consumer money since the manufacturers don't have to make an extra part to fit into your car (and break someday down the road).

KineticKill, Mar 18 2008

Australian Sports Car with Bundy Rum http://www.automerc...u/photo/804/036690/
[Texticle] - here you go [marked for expiry] [ConsulFlaminicus, Mar 20 2008]


       I like it   

       easy to do but useful   

dev45, Mar 18 2008

       I could not fit such a device under the hood of my car. Also this would require a more expensive pump to make it work as the the pump would need to be a self priming variety in order to pull the fluid up and out of the container. Such pumps by design have wear surfaces that would require replacement to ensure operation. That is part of why the use reservoirs with centrifugal non self priming pumps.
jhomrighaus, Mar 18 2008

       We used to fill the reservoir with whiskey, and then re-route the hose into the cab.
nomocrow, Mar 18 2008

       "I could not fit such a device under the hood of my car. Also this would require a more expensive pump..."
1) The idea doesn't preclude the use of a proprietary reservoir, and
2) There's no reason the bottle couldn't be installed upside down to avoid the need to prime.
phoenix, Mar 18 2008

       Why not have a tank of pure detergent, a dosing pump, and collect rainwater from the car's gutters to automatically dilute down the detergent into a bigger tank ? Then you only ever have to refill the small tank with concentrated detergent.
8th of 7, Mar 18 2008

       I do not believe the pump would be an issue. There seems to be plenty of pumps out there to choose from, all at resonable prices. Fish tank pumps can take a lot of abuse and work for years (just as an example). And as said earlier an inverted bottle may help.   

       -Many modern cars do not have any under hood room, and this leads to washer reservoirs that are really weird shapes and in really weird places, like fender wells (where they are easily damaged). I know that this would work in trucks, if nowhere else. Trucks have plenty of room in their engine compartments to stow the bottle there. Who says it has to be in the engine compartment in the first place?   

       -I keep hearing about rainwater to be used as washer fluid but don't find it too feasible. The sprayer outlets are very small and get clogged easy so any rainwater would have to be filtered. Also there would have to be a way of introducing alcohol (or some kind of anti-freeze) into the mixture for winter use. What about dry-climates? How much water and/ or trouble will this really save? Washer fluid in jugs are everywhere- its convenient.
KineticKill, Mar 18 2008

       I like the rainwater idea - it really sucks to run out of water on the freeway in winter and that would help. You could route it over the exhaust manifold so evaporated and then cooled on something mounted on the hood, so that it dribbled pure water down into a tube (an evaporative collector), thus avoiding the filter problem. You would have to add alcohol, but you could have a spot designed to mount a 151 proof rum bottle to dribble into the water. Then if your car ever breaks down in the desert you have pure water to drink and rum to drown your sorrows!
+mw+, Mar 18 2008

       There was an Australian sports car (no, not an Astra with mag wheels) that had a bottle of Bundaberg rum in the tool compartment. I'll try to find a link.   

       It seems that they went and named a place after the offending rum, which obfuscates web searches.
Texticle, Mar 18 2008

       I question this observation: //Everyone buys windshield washer fluid in 1 gallon plastic jugs that are fairly uniform.//   

       In my experience most people fill their washer reservoirs with ordinary tap water from the watering can on the filling station forecourt.   

       I usually add a few drops of washing-up liquid: though methylated spirits (denatured alcohol) might be a useful addition.
Ned_Ludd, Mar 19 2008

       Excuse me, what I meant to say was: everyone (in the USA) buys windshield washer fluid in 1 gallon plastic jugs that are fairly uniform
KineticKill, Mar 19 2008

       How about a fill-station built into the petrol/gas bowser? Just pop your credit card in and fill her up with washer fluid.   

       That would have to be a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to meter the blue-goodness than a zillion plastic containers (would ship in kiloliters and be stored in a large holding tank).   

       As an afterthought, an automatic dilution system could mix your antifreeze with water to suit the temperature of your area - maybe something akin to selecting your fuel grade, with a correspondingly lower cost the more water is added.
TIB, Mar 19 2008

       //Excuse me, what I meant to say was: everyone (in the USA) buys windshield washer fluid in 1 gallon plastic jugs that are fairly uniform//   

       Actually, I live in the united states, and my sister is the first person I know to have ever bought windshield washer fluid... "just so the light stops coming on." All the other people I know pull into the gas (Petrol for you non-americans) station, and uses the sqeegee there to wipe down the windows, or washes the whole car at home.
ye_river_xiv, Mar 19 2008


       I think it greatly depends on where you live and the time of year. In the winter I go through a bottle every week in order to kep my windows clear enough to see due to road spray after snow. In the spring, hte bugs get really bad in the evening and washer fluid is vital for keeping the worst of them off your window. Thats what its like in upstate NY. I suspect if you live in texas or california that Washer fluid is a far less need commodity. Also up here it is quite a challenge to find a gas station squeegee that wont actually make your windows dirtier, rather than cleaner(i suspect its from all those people stopping to wipe their windows rather than using the washer built into the car.
jhomrighaus, Mar 19 2008

       + good idea!
xandram, Mar 19 2008

       Just a cultural observation, but I'm struck by the blithe acceptance of rampant consumerism inherent in the idea. Is it really the case that (some) Americans have been convinced by advertising that it is necessary to buy windshield washer fluid (//Everyone buys windshield washer fluid in 1 gallon plastic jugs//) ?   

       <reflects> I guess a lot of Europeans, Oceanics and Asians now also believe they/we need to buy bottled drinking water... little wonder we are destroying the planet.
ConsulFlaminicus, Mar 19 2008

       Ever actually tried to remove a bug from your windshield using tap water. Doesnt work to well, further regular water freezes in the reservoir and lines and as such is unsuitable for use in 3/4 of the country for half the year. Lastly in areas where usage is low, plain water can harbor bacteria. Windshield washer fluid also provides a streak free surface following drying.   

       I am not aware of an easy or efficient process for manufacturing your own Washer Fluid at home as it is not composed of readily available materials.
jhomrighaus, Mar 19 2008

       Dishwashing detergent and antifreeze aren't readily available? Or is it the water that is hard to find?
Texticle, Mar 19 2008

       Using antifreeze (the kind added to a radiator) as an ingredient in windshield washing fluid is not a good idea. Antifreeze is very poisonous, and has a scent/flavor which is very attractive to some animals.   

       Can you imagine the impact of millions of gallons of diluted antifreeze being squirted into the environment?
drememynd, Mar 19 2008

       [+] Bun for the pros AND the cons. Remember- This is HALF BAKERY which is full of good ideas that are just not practical. Funny thing though.. when my washer fluid container cracked on my truck, I ended up doing exactly what is described here. I removed the original contianer, put the 1-gallon bottle down in the engine compartment and strapped the handle to the inside fender and duck-taped the hose and cap to the new bottle.
Jscotty, Mar 19 2008

       //...is necessary to buy windshield washer fluid ?//   

       umm... yes ?   

       plain water tends to freeze during the winter and additives does help clean some stuff that's stuck on.   

       Noted though: I could use tap water in the summer and possibly make my own in winter.   

       Does your tapwater suck that badly ?
FlyingToaster, Mar 19 2008

       Suck how badly, and who are you asking?
Texticle, Mar 19 2008

       If only some of the people here had the pleasure of driving through a Chicago winter....   

       Yes, washer fluid is necessary to millions of drivers in the US. Making your own isn't a bad idea, just not very practical. The fluid is composed of water, some blue dye, methanol or ethanol and some mild detergent. A gallon can be purchased for as low as $1.75.   

       The idea before about washer fluid at the pump is very practical. You could eliminate tons of waste per year since so many of those jugs go un-recycled. I have never seen washer fluid sold in any bulk amount, but a pump that makes the fluid (from water and additives)at a gas station might just work. If it is cost effective-
KineticKill, Mar 20 2008

       It can be purchased in 55 gallon drums normally used by trucking companies or places like jiffy lube.
jhomrighaus, Mar 20 2008

       We salt our roads more heavily than a Virginia ham around here; if you don't have the washer fluid you're stuck in a haze. Service stations and parts places will sell it as low as $.99/gal on sale; that's when I buy 4 gal and set three back for January, February and March.   

       [+] - this is brilliant. As long as the manufacturers will stick to a standardized size - the slightly more space-efficient squared-off milk jug being my choice - it'd be a snap to design in.
elhigh, Mar 20 2008

       I just remembered that the washer reservoir on my old '78 Civic was, in fact, a rubber sack that hung on the side of the battery.
elhigh, Mar 20 2008

       An electric pump might not even be needed- anyone ever have an old beetle with the air pressurized washers? Pressure came from the spare tire in the trunk.
KineticKill, Mar 21 2008

       Some old MGs and Austins had a hand pumped washer pump that you had to pull in and out like a bike pump.
jhomrighaus, Mar 21 2008


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