The Frozen Nozzle Problem

We have put men on the moon. We have designed drones, spy satellites and mobile phones you can watch TV on. But it seems beyond human wits to design a system for washing windscreens on a cold day.

No doubt I could search the internet for a cunning mixture to stop the water freezing, but it would probably be strong enough to strip paint or damage passing pedestrians. I once had a plastic attachment that you inserted into the coolant hoses in the car. It used the heat from the water in the car’s cooling system to warm water from the washing system and, theoretically, stop it from freezing. Unfortunately, when it is cold enough to stop your nozzles from thawing all day, a drop of warm water held several feet away from the nozzles in a plastic gadget, is not going to do much.

However, I stick to my point. If you can kill people on the other side of the Earth, watch terrorists in training or see  cats playing the piano on your phone, we could surely invent a system for heating the nozzles of windscreen washer systems. I really must ask Number Two Son how Canadians do it. You can’t possibly go through a Canadian winter with an increasingly  opaque windscreen and no forward vision. There must be some way of washing windscreens in winter.

I did develop a way when the washers on my Ford Escort went wrong. Things on Ford Escorts were always going wrong. That’s how we used to learn about fixing cars. My system, which I employed for a 90 mile trip in winter, consisted of a bottle of water and an arm. When the windscreen grew too dirty with the mud thrown up from the road I wound my window down and squirted water from the bottle onto the screen.

It worked tolerably well but I quickly developed a Mark II system. It was like the original system but I used to stop the car and walk round to the front before pouring the water. That way the slipstream didn’t blow half a pint of freezing water up your sleeve.

In case you can’t tell, it’s been a cold day in Nottingham, my car windows are dirty and I have not had to use all my brain for work.

I also have a picture of the cake from yesterday. My sister emailed it to me.

13 thoughts on “The Frozen Nozzle Problem

  1. Lavinia Ross

    Over here the standard commercial mix for the windshield washer reservoir contain a percentage of methanol and sometimes detergent. Yes, it can be rough on paint.

    The cake looks good. I haven’t had any in a long, longtime, but speaking of cakes, I remember a good friend who used to make cheesecake. Hers was so good, she sold them to a local restaurant, and her cheesecakes were in high demand. A gift of one of her cheesecakes was a wonderful gift indeed.

  2. arlingwoman

    Well…there are electric car blankets and there is antifreeze window washing liquid. I’ve never had this problem, but I have run out of the winter washing liquid on a trip. In any event, the cakes look mouthwateringly good.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      I do have anti-freeze in the water, but it doesn’t keep the nozzles free. Electric car blankets sound rather impressive but probably impractical as I park on the street. We aren’t really geared up for winter living. 🙂

  3. Clare Pooley

    One of Richard’s company cars before he retired had a heated front windscreen as well as a rear one. Such a luxury! However, that didn’t stop the nozzles from icing up. Richard drips neat de-icer onto the nozzles before he sets off which helps. Also, he had friends in Canada who never parked their cars outside in the winter. They all appeared to have garages where they plugged their cars into the mains overnight to keep them warm, otherwise the oil becomes so gloopy that the engine doesn’t turn over let alone the window washers not working. 🙂

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Electric front windows seem so sensible. I’d much rather be able to see where I am going rather than where I’ve been. The garage and electric heaters explain a lot. Our houses in this street have rather small garages (mostly used for storage) and driveways that are often rather tight for a modern car.

      1. Clare Pooley

        We have a garage which we can’t use for our cars and is a storeroom too. We have been looking at carport designs this year and still can’t find anything that would be suitable!

  4. tootlepedal

    I have had exactly the same problem and much the same thoughts. I have also used both of your ad hoc methods over the years. I am waiting to see what happens in our electric car which hasn’t got a hot engine to help defreeze the water system.

  5. paolsoren

    Coldness and it’s concomitant problems and annoyances is a relative thing. Here, one week from Christmas, when it is usually boiling hot and annoying I am regretting the fact that I took my electric blanket off my bed a month ago. It is cold and wet and miserable. So I know it’s not as cold as where you are but it is still………..

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      I know what you mean. When i worked in South Africa one of my jobs was taking the outside temperature. Imagine my surprise when the first “winter” saw me taking the temperature whilst wearing a pullover and a boiler suit. It was 21 degrees C, which was considered quite a decent summer temperature back in the UK. It’s comparative :-).


Leave a Reply