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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have been using Halfords £5 for 5 lt screen wash for the last 7 years in my Nissan, Vauxhall, Fiat, Audi, Skoda and my current MINI and BMW.

Recently, on the BMW forum some one had mentioned that specially with MINIs and BMWs if you dont use their screen washer then you have a major risk of blocking the pump and pipes which is something not covered under warranty and could cost around £100 to fix.

So far I haven't blocked anything and everything is working as good as new however now I am a bit scared of using the same washer.

Can you please share if you are using BMW's washer?

Saurabh
 

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I do use the screen wash from Mini. They do a 100:1 concentrate which make 5-7 litres for about £1.60 a bottle but does not contain an antifreeze, in the winter I top up with the normal screen wash in 1 litre bottles. On the plus side I have probably only used about 10 litres of mixed wash in 20 months and 37K miles. I have coated my windscreen with Getechniq G1 which help a lot.
 

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For many years it's been know that mixing different brand of screen wash can result in a jelly like substance forming in the washer bottle, which will eventually lead to blockages.

I can see why BMW/MINI won't pay for this blockage to be removed.

VAG stipulate this in their owners handbooks, owner must use the VAG screen wash or the Fan Jet washers may block. Therefore I have kept the receipts for when I purchase genuine screen wash, and never had a problem with years of VAG motoring.

I use MINI branded screen wash in my MINI because my roof is white, and the MINI stuff is clear, but I see on reason why any brand couldn't be used, providing you don't mix them, i.e. make sure it's empty before you switch brands, then flush the new stuff through for a bit to ensure all the old stuff is out of the pipes and don't forget the rear washer. Problem solved.

Or

Just stick with the Mini stuff it's not that much more that supermarket prices, but cheaper than motorway prices. You know it won't react, and if it does its not your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do use the screen wash from Mini. They do a 100:1 concentrate which make 5-7 litres for about £1.60 a bottle but does not contain an antifreeze, in the winter I top up with the normal screen wash in 1 litre bottles. On the plus side I have probably only used about 10 litres of mixed wash in 20 months and 37K miles. I have coated my windscreen with Getechniq G1 which help a lot.
Cheers. BMW quoted me £3.75 for a lt, but again thats stealer for you. Where did you buy washer?
 

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So just for comparison, Halfrauds charge £3.49 for ready mix screen wash 5lt. The BMW stuff is £3.75 for 1lt concentrate, which in this country will be fine at 4to1, so you are getting 5lt for £3.75. So it's a wash ;) I just stick with the BMW stuff.
 

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Good grief they'll tell you anything to sell their own stuff; i use the cheapest i can and at the mo some industrial stuff ! I keep the screen wash full in the winter nearly 100% concentration and in the summer tone it down ; if you use it regularly i think the risk of gelling is minimal; dirt and bits might be an issue over time! Re the Gelling, sorry, I will run the risk of clogged jets! i think that's a bit ott!

In my experience blocked jets occurs if you get polish in the nozzles rather than from the fluid and sometimes perhaps dirt or scale in the fluid from hard water BUT I have never experienced a blocked jet in 30 years of driving/ car owning. My mr2 mk2 was 17 years old and 1600000miles in when i sold it and it was fine!

I'm not too keen on the brightly coloured stuff; worry about it staining the paint or at least marking if it dribbles (!!!!)

So to conclude, i use the cheapest i can get hold of!
 
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My MINI handbook (Sept-2014) does not insist or even recommend only using MINI branded screenwash.

Instead it mentions 'screenwash manufacturers' in general, so accepts other manufacturers products can be used. Instead it says that screenwash concentrates from different manufacturers should not be mixed together.

So I understand that providing screenwash at the recommended dilution rates are used when the reservoir is near empty, a different diluted screen wash can be used safely. Always dilute separately in another bottle, and do not attempt to put concentrate and water into the screenwash reservoir separately.

Of course using MINI screenwash consistently will always be preferable but MINI branded concentrate is likely to come from more than one source (BMW-MINI do not make it). Likewise the windscreen wiper and washer systems come from proprietary sources common to other car makers (Bosch, Valeo etc.) so there is nothing inherently to be concerned about providing the handbook instructions are followed.
 

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Unless BMW can prove their screenwash is brewed from unicorn tears, I'll stick with my current bottle, which is shell pre-mixed as it was on offer at my local garage.

I can see that mixing different brands may cause problems, but most folk only top it up when warned that it's low so there won't be a lot of the original mix in there.

Blat7Chris, while it's more or less the same price as others, I would have a problem with going out of my way simply to buy screenwash from Mini - Christ knows what else I might buy when I'm up there.:D
 

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Unless BMW can prove their screenwash is brewed from unicorn tears, I'll stick with my current bottle, which is shell pre-mixed as it was on offer at my local garage.

....
I worked for a first-tier supplier of windscreen wash/wipe systems for over ten years until recently retiring.

The purchasing of service-replacement items, which would include branded screenwash, would be from any approved suppliers at the lowest cost. Getting 'unicorn tears' approved would not be OK'ed unless at least two sources quoted at reasonable cost!

Also we had to comply with test specifications for all major manufacturers, VW, GM, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Nissan etc. selling into Europe, USA and Australia. I never found any wash/wipe specification that specified that only the maker's approved screenwash was to be used for product validation.
 

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I use fairy liquid if I have time - otherwise clear water. I generally have a bottle of Ballygowan drinking water in the car - if all else fails I chuck that on the screen....
 

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Currently using Nettos summer wash; dont find anything shifts bugs like a proper wash though! Winter-cheapest i can find! with heated nozzles and screen i dont seem to have any issues !
 

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Be careful with Fairy Liquid, it uses salt as part of the thickening agent. Whilst our cars aren't that prone to rusting I don't like the idea of a saline solution swilling around the front .

Different ball game on my two old Triumphs, they rust for fun with no help!
 

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Mine was nearly empty after 4monthsi put in almost 2 litre's I'm forever cleaning the screen anything vaguely tough doesn't shift(I'm still trying to decide if the wipers or the screenwash ) I've never experienced this with VAG stuff or the A1

This car is driving me up the wall ?
 

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Yes prestone is widely available in the uk and good stuff!
 

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Hi all,

I have been using Halfords £5 for 5 lt screen wash for the last 7 years in my Nissan, Vauxhall, Fiat, Audi, Skoda and my current MINI and BMW.

Recently, on the BMW forum some one had mentioned that specially with MINIs and BMWs if you dont use their screen washer then you have a major risk of blocking the pump and pipes which is something not covered under warranty and could cost around £100 to fix.

So far I haven't blocked anything and everything is working as good as new however now I am a bit scared of using the same washer.

Can you please share if you are using BMW's washer?

Saurabh
My mini screen wash has recently failed,the filter in the screen wash reservoir was blocked due to using screen wash with salt in,gonna charge me £75 for repair, complained to customer services and got it done for nothing,hope this helps
 
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