Does Windshield Washer Fluid Expire? Debunking the Myths and Facts!

It is vital to keep your windshield clean because an unclear windshield becomes a barrier for driving. Then, windshield washer fluids come into the scenario. But as a responsible car owner, you have to look for the important details of your windshield washer fluid before using it because you do not want to ruin your car component.

Does windshield washer fluid expire? Today, we have brought you a comprehensive discussion about the time period you can use windshield washer fluid in this blog post. So, move on to the sections below!

Does Windshield Washer Fluid have an Expiration Date?

Yes, windshield washer fluid has an expiration date. But there is no particular expiration date as long as you unopen it. This commercial product is water-based, and there are some chemicals like methanol, ethanol and butanol in the liquid. It can melt dirt and oil.

But it is still possible to use windshield washer fluid beyond its expiration date, even though you have opened the lid. If you use an expired one which is already used, it is okay to use it as long as the fluid does not form lumps.

Some of the most effective and reliable windshield washer fluids in the market are Rain-X Washer Fluid Addictive and Nextzett Kristal Klar Washer Fluid.

Does Windshield Washer Fluid Expire?

Yes, windshield washer fluids expire as any other commercial cleaning agent. You might have encountered an expired windshield washer fluid at least once because they are mostly used in extreme weather conditions, especially when you want to clean the windshield when the snow starts to melt.

An expired windshield washer fluid cannot stop you from using it if you have tightly closed the lid. Since the it is sealed as the air cannot come in, there is no oxidation inside the liquid.

Thus, it is not something you should be too concerned about because the windshield washer fluid contains water and some chemicals for cleaning. Basically, there are some alcohols which help to prevent the windshield from freezing. Therefore, you can still use an expired windshield washer fluid. 

However, do not use older, unsealed fluids that have so many lumps inside. The reason why, if the windshield is damaged, you have to bear a higher repair cost.

What are the Symptoms of Expired Windshield Washer Fluid?

When a windshield washer fluid is expired, you can see the lumps in the liquid. Thus, the consistency of the fluid might have changed significantly.

Especially you will see a few layers of the fluid. You can check the fluid level in the reservoir. Secondly, there will be a color change. The reason why, dirt and debris accumulate in the fluid.

Most of the time, the fluid can turn into a murky or darker color. Since an older windshield washer fluid is a good place for bacteria to grow, the fluid will issue a bad smell too.

When you notice these things, you can hold down your sprinkler control to remove the old fluid. Then it will drain so you can top up it with new fluid. Probably, you should top up a winter formula so it will not be frozen.

How long does windshield fluid last

How Long does Windshield Fluid Last?

The lifespan of windshield washer fluid is vague because it is not a product that deteriorates over time. It is produced to last a long time with its lid.

In general, an unopened fluid can save its good condition for up to 2 years. After you open the lid, its lifespan is calculated. Most of the time, the lifespan of windshield fluid is 12 months. which means you have to refill it once every year. But it can vary according to the frequency you use the windshield washer fluid.

Although windshield washer fluid is not included in the car’s regular maintenance, check whether the fluid has expired at least once every six months.

Can you Use Old Windshield Washer Fluid?

It is possible to use an old windshield washer fluid. But if it is too old, there will be some downsides to using it. Especially if you notice lumps in the fluid, it would be better to avoid using it on your windshield. Therefore, you are encouraged to buy a new bottle of windshield washer fluid without taking a risk.

When you want to dispose of an old windshield washer fluid, you can just pour it onto the drainage hole. Since it contains a high percentage of water, windshield washer fluids are not harmful to the drains.

What Happens If I Use Expired Windshield Washer Fluid?

If you do not care about your expired windshield washer fluid, your windshield will be damaged. There are chemicals in the windshield washer fluid; when the fluid is expired, those chemicals will interact with the glass.

As a result, the glass can become etched. When you have an etched glass, you will no longer be able to clean it easily. And also, it will be prone to further damage over time.

In addition, your windshield will look dirty because of the accumulated dirt and debris in the fluid. Those will transfer to the windshield. Consequently, you will find it hard to see through your windshield.

An unclear windshield can result in even accidents; thus, the cleanliness of the windshield is a must.

How Can I Properly Store Windshield Washer Fluid to Maximize Its Lifespan?

Here, the basic rule is to tightly close the lid of the windshield washer fluid as long as you do not want to use it.

Otherwise, the oxidation inside the bottle can ruin the consistency of your windshield washer fluid. And also, you are advised to keep the bottle in a dirt-free place because the dirt and debris can get into the fluid and contaminate it.

Moreover, you should keep the product away from direct sunlight and heat. The reason why, the heat can destroy the power of the cleaning agent.

Eventually, the expiration will be quickened too. Thus, you should choose a cool and dry place to maximize the lifespan of your windshield washer fluid.

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