Winter Screenwash at 28,500 miles

8 January 2011 - Filed under: Servicing

The UK suffered quite a cold spell over Christmas, the MINI coped quite well with the exception of the screenwash. But that was more my fault, here are a few things I learnt after a salty 160 mile drive where the temperature never exceeded -12c…

  • Cheap supermarket screenwash, even when used neat and supposedly good down to -25c freezes solid a long way before that.
  • Heated washer jets are of no use when the rest of the system is frozen solid.
  • The screenwash reservoir for the MINI is in front of the nearside wheelarch and will never really defrost from the heat of the engine.
  • Genuine BMW screenwash is cheap (around £2.20 a litre), when used neat it is rated down to -63c, I emptied a litre into my empty screenwash bottle and topped the rest up with water. I’ve had no freezing issues since.

At one point I was convinced I must have blown the pump as my screenwash hadn’t worked for a few days and the top of the reservoir filler had been liquid for a while. Luckily I hadn’t, but here are the repair instructions if you find yourself in the same position. Looks like an easy swap:

Whilst I was hunting for the repair instructions for the pump I  found details for how to correctly set up the washer nozzles. The special tool could probably be substituted with a pin:

Washer jet nozzle adjustment

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