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Old 09-08-2021, 04:05 PM #1
Deej101 Deej101 is offline
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Windshield Washer Fluid Reservoir

The thing is stained blue. Is this normal? Or the result of cheap fluid?

I have tried *everything* to clean it. Ammonia, alcohol, Oxyclean, Dawn, Simple green, Awesome orange, etc etc etc.

However, for the areas that I can reach, it does wipe off fairly easily--but of course, if you've handled one of these (OEM 3rd Gen), you know how impossible it is to reach every interior surface. The only thing I've yet to try but think may work is a WaterPik.

Anyway, at first I thought it might be the remnants of some sort of prank on PO--perhaps some "buddy" filled his reservoir with blue Sharpie ink.

But then I got thinking that maybe it's leftover leak detection product? Because the reason I'm cleaning it is because I want to locate a leak. Does that sound probable?

What should I use for leak detection, anyway, and will it leave a stain? (I think it is ABS plastic)
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Old 09-15-2021, 04:28 AM #2
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That's weird. What washer fluid do you use?
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Old 09-15-2021, 03:25 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truc.karl View Post
That's weird. What washer fluid do you use?
I typically just use generic blue stuff, but this has me questioning that choice--although this staining pre-dates my ownership of the car.

Weirdest thing, that I didn't really even pay attention to at first, is that the worst staining is on the underside of the *top* of the reservoir, not exactly where you'd expect to find an accumulation residue.

Although, to be fair, that is *also* the only part that I cannot reach to clean--but it was the most heavily stained area even when I first took it out.
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Old 09-23-2021, 01:39 PM #4
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I dont mean to be rude, but why would you care if the reservoir is stained blue? Its under the hood. No one is looking at it. Just thought you may have better use of your time by washing your car, changing your oil, or enjoying a beer watching football.
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Old 09-23-2021, 03:31 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4runr4eva View Post
I dont mean to be rude, but why would you care if the reservoir is stained blue? Its under the hood. No one is looking at it. Just thought you may have better use of your time by washing your car, changing your oil, or enjoying a beer watching football.
I know, right? Probably a bit of OCD involved.

At first, it was because I suspected a leak, so wanted to do leak detection, starting with a clean reservoir. Then, it became a curiosity and a quest, because it didn't make sense that it wouldn't clean up.

I've given up on it and just put it back.

I think I've figured out at least why the top is stained as it is: this was probably a replacement (this truck had a front right collision in its history), so the reservoir had probably been sitting around somewhere, upside down, and when the fluid evaporated, the concentrated dye stained the top underside.

Once I have a plausible explanation, my brain lets the issue go.
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:31 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deej101 View Post
I know, right? Probably a bit of OCD involved.

At first, it was because I suspected a leak, so wanted to do leak detection, starting with a clean reservoir. Then, it became a curiosity and a quest, because it didn't make sense that it wouldn't clean up.

I've given up on it and just put it back.

I think I've figured out at least why the top is stained as it is: this was probably a replacement (this truck had a front right collision in its history), so the reservoir had probably been sitting around somewhere, upside down, and when the fluid evaporated, the concentrated dye stained the top underside.

Once I have a plausible explanation, my brain lets the issue go.
That is brilliant. Thanks for the follow up. Now, that does make sense.
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Old 09-24-2021, 02:30 PM #7
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Yeah, cheap fluid. Try this: take the tank out, get some baking soda and pour some vinegar in it. Let it soak for a few hours. Come back, rinse out and TRY to physically wipe the inside as much as you can. I bet some "blue" comes out.

I use RAIN X washer fluid which is orange. That does do some staining, but I don't care b/c it is the best windshield in the world (Jeremy Clarkson's voice).

Good luck
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Old 09-24-2021, 04:07 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieRoe View Post
Yeah, cheap fluid. Try this: take the tank out, get some baking soda and pour some vinegar in it. Let it soak for a few hours. Come back, rinse out and TRY to physically wipe the inside as much as you can. I bet some "blue" comes out.
So yeah, I had already done all that, and the remaining blue was only where I couldn't physically reach to rub the surface. Even agitating with (don't laugh) uncooked rice wouldn't dislodge it! Stubborn.
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Old 09-24-2021, 04:53 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deej101 View Post
So yeah, I had already done all that, and the remaining blue was only where I couldn't physically reach to rub the surface. Even agitating with (don't laugh) uncooked rice wouldn't dislodge it! Stubborn.
I hear ya, it would bother me to no end too. It's a silly tank and no one sees it. Anyway, did you try bleach? I'm sure you can get that tank on the cheap, As a last resort, try the following

Saw this:
How to Clean Dirty Windscreen Washer Bottles (Coolant / Expansion Tanks) | Tech Tip 30 - YouTube
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Old 09-25-2021, 03:00 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieRoe View Post
I hear ya, it would bother me to no end too. It's a silly tank and no one sees it. Anyway, did you try bleach? I'm sure you can get that tank on the cheap, As a last resort, try the following

Saw this:
How to Clean Dirty Windscreen Washer Bottles (Coolant / Expansion Tanks) | Tech Tip 30 - YouTube
Hah, nice find! I didn't even look on YouTube.

TBH, I did not try bleach, because I worried it may compromise the ABS plastic further, but I was tickled to see him using the rice!

Now I am sorely tempted to remove it and try again, although it won't be as easy as that small one in that video--our's has 3 holes on different planes, with the largest hole not having a cap. Will have to get creative about how to seal that off, and finding a container large enough to accommodate the large bulky tank and it's appendages. Hmmm talking myself out of it by the minute...

Thanks for posting that!
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Old 10-11-2021, 03:07 AM #11
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I just removed my rock catcher aka windshield reservoir and relocated it. It's on perfect condition no stains. You can get it on the cheap if you'd like!
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Old 10-14-2021, 05:30 PM #12
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I just removed my rock catcher aka windshield reservoir and relocated it. It's on perfect condition no stains. You can get it on the cheap if you'd like!
Thanks for the offer, but I reinstalled mine and will soon forget about it, lol.
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