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Old 12-13-2006, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default Where to buy 0F washer fluid, in So. Cal?

So the D.O. install is almost complete (wiring done, just gotta mount the pump) and I've run into an unexpected obstacle. I was planning to run washer fluid in the 20-25 percent methanol range, ie: 0 degree blue washer fluid. This being december and all I thought maybe my chances of finding some would be ok, and that I'd basically just empty the shelf at whatever store I located it at- a year's supply or so.

Except that I live in north San Diego county.

So far, I've been to Pep Boys, Kragen, Western Auto, Wal-Mart, Target, most of the local supermarkets, several gas-station convenience stores, etc. The only thing I can find is the +32F variety, which is <1% methanol.

Has anybody down here seen 0F fluid anywhere?
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Old 12-13-2006, 02:55 PM   #2
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Don't hesitate to just run bottled water and give us an initial impression.
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:05 PM   #3
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Last resort is having one of us Utah/Colorado guys ship some to you, but that could get pricey. Take a drive up to Tahoe or somewhere it gets that cold in Cali.
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:06 PM   #4
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Actually, what makes this all even stranger is that I know you can buy 0 degree washer fluid somewhere around here, because I have a bottle of it (Peak brand) sitting on a shelf in my garage, about 95% empty. I've been living out here for two years, and I can't imagine that I'd have carried a bottle of washer fluid with me when I moved out here from Ohio- I travel light.

I will probably try to get the system finished up this weekend and do some initial testing, using distilled water unless I can find something better. For starters, I've got an ignition map stored in the EMU that makes some serious power, but pings like crazy. I figure if I can load that map and make it run without pinging, then the WI system is doing its job.
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:10 PM   #5
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Last resort is having one of us Utah/Colorado guys ship some to you, but that could get pricey. Take a drive up to Tahoe or somewhere it gets that cold in Cali.
Well, from San Diego to anywhere cold is a bit of a drive...

Worst-case scenario is that you can buy 5 gallon drums of 99% pure meth from McMaster-Carr for about $48, plus shipping.
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:23 PM   #6
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I would be willing to bet just water eliminates your ping and leaves you some headroom.
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:13 AM   #7
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Try Lowes.

I just bought -20F from a Lowes here in Phoenix. -20F should be around 30%~36% Methanol.

I asked them if that was a seasonal item and it is available all year round. It was $1.47 per gallon.
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:28 AM   #8
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Windshield washer fluid at Lowes? As in the hardware store? Never even thought to look there. I'll be down around one tomorrow at lunchtime, so I'll check into that. What section of the store was it in?

And if not, WideOpen's probably right about just running straight water. If all goes well, I may have the system up and running this weekend.
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Old 12-14-2006, 02:02 AM   #9
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Also, fuel line antifreeze is methanol also, I use the 20 degree stuff and add some of that to it now.
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:16 PM   #10
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Well, no luck at Lowes- they looked at me like I was crazy (perhaps they wandered why a guy in full motorcycle leathers wanted windshield washer fluid.) Also stopped by NAPA on the way back, and while they had it in their flyer, it's not avaliable in CA, OR, TX, Phoenix, or Atlanta. Couldn't even order it. (The fact that PHX and ATL are excluded specifically makes me think perhaps this is an environmental legislative issue?) But it wasn't a total loss- they just opened up a Chick Fil-a restaurant in San Marcos, first one of those I've ever seen out here. Stopped in for a sandwich and man, I'd forgotten how good those things are.

So that's that. I'll run distilled water for now, and if worst comes to worst I'll either order the 5 gallon barrel from McMaster-Carr or load up the car with it the next time I have to do a road trip. I go through Yuma a lot, perhaps they have it there...

Makes me wonder though- what do they fill their washer bottles with in those parts of TX where it actually gets cold?
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:47 PM   #11
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It's about 20 or 30 bucks just to ship a gal of Syrup to FL from here, so I guess sending you a case of W/W from VT might be prohibitive...
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:25 PM   #12
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Heet Gasline antifreeze is a quick and dirty way to some methanol.....if they sell it in TX
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:50 PM   #13
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San Diego's in Cali, Kelly
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Windshield washer fluid at Lowes? As in the hardware store? Never even thought to look there. I'll be down around one tomorrow at lunchtime, so I'll check into that. What section of the store was it in?

And if not, WideOpen's probably right about just running straight water. If all goes well, I may have the system up and running this weekend.
Yup, that Lowes.

It is called Krystal Kleer WW Fluid and it is blue in color. It was right near the Customer Service counter on an endcap display. I was there again yesterday and they had at least 3 cases stacked near the endcap.

Again, I asked if it was a seasonal item and the clerk told me that if it was, the SKU number would have a special code - and it didn't.

As an alternative, you can go to Walmart and get small bottles of HEET brand of fuel line anti-freeze. It comes in a yellow bottle and it is 99% Methanol for $0.99 each.
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:59 PM   #15
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San Diego's in Cali, Kelly
I have absolutely no idea where I got Texas from Myself
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Old 12-16-2006, 12:08 AM   #16
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Texas, California, no worries Kelly. Were all too laid back out here to care.

So a little research reveals that this is in fact a legislative restriction. California Code Title 17, Section 94509 prohibits the sale of washer fluid consisting of more than 10% VOC outside of Type A areas (places where it has been legally determined to be cold). So thats that. Makes me start to wonder where the heck that bottle in my garage came from. Maybe I did carry it all the way out here from Ohio after all...

But, with thanks to Kelly, Ive learned the secret of Heet brand fuel additive. According to the MSDS, the yellow bottle is 99% methanol, and its $1.12 at Wal-Mart. (Avoid the red bottle thats isopropanol)

So, I think Ill be running Joes Old-Timey Recipe 0F Bootleg Windshield Washer Fluid:

Two 12oz bottles of Heet: $2.24
104 ounces distilled water (~4/5 of a gallon): $0.54
One drop of blue food coloring: $0.01
Total cost: $2.78 per gallon.
Advancing your timing just a little bit more: Priceless.

Disclaimer:

If you live in California, do not make this recipe and put it into your windshield washer bottle and/or inject it into your intake plumbing. If you do, then you will immediately die and go to hell, where members of the Sierra Club will recite poetry at you.
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Old 12-16-2006, 12:48 AM   #17
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Just pick up a gallon can of 100% denatured alky at ACE for 13 bucks. Common meth replacement for running alky kits. It's what I run in my Suby. 50/50 denatured/distilled.

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Old 12-30-2006, 07:22 PM   #18
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VP sells Methanol in 5 gallon cans for $25. You could use the 12 oz bottles of Heet as well, pure methanol.
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