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Old 07-09-2005, 09:36 PM
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Question Dirty water in windshield washer reservoir

This afternoon I looked at a used 1991 420SEL. Only 125k in the clock. Car checks out ok, but I noticed that the fluid in the washer reservoir was dirty. I touched the water and it DID NOT feel oily (did not look oily either). Just dirty and it looks like there were little black blugs (or "specks" not sure which one).

I am planning on having a thorough pre-purchase inspection. But just preliminarily, is there some significance to this finding?

I understand that oily fluid in the coolant return reservoir usually means a bad headgasket (or some other horribly thing ). But I am not sure what significance to attach tot he dirty windshiled washer reservoir.

Your input will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-09-2005, 10:21 PM
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My guess would be the PO put in tap water instead of the washer fluid blue stuff and after about 1 month or so the bugs and algae take over. The black stuff is probably mold. Smell it and then smell a jug of the blue washer stuff and compare.
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Old 07-09-2005, 10:34 PM
carson356
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blue stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtf
My guess would be the PO put in tap water instead of the washer fluid blue stuff and after about 1 month or so the bugs and algae take over. The black stuff is probably mold. Smell it and then smell a jug of the blue washer stuff and compare.

just to chime in, i am very opposed to using the "blue stuff" in my own mercedes or recommending it to customers of mine, the majority of the time when systems do contain this type of cleaner alot of them tend to become clogged, mercedes sells both a soap for summer weather or for climates that dont have freezing temperatures, and a soap that will protect the washer bottle during freezing weather, i suggest using these. here in southern california we do not need to add solvent to the bottle that will prevent freezing so all i use is the summer version, it will not crystalize as does the blue type causing clogs.
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Old 07-10-2005, 02:14 AM
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DTF & Carson, thanks for the replies. In my previous Benzes I have used the factory summer wash. Over the long it is cheaper than replacing those silly little nozzles on the hood of the car.

So, you guys don;t think that the dirty water is anything to worry about? Like I said, there is no oily residue. It would be a different story if the dirty water/oily water was in the radiator overflow tank, then I'd worry.

Thanks...and anyone else, please feel free to chime in.
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Old 07-10-2005, 02:50 AM
carson356
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noting to worry over

i don't think i would worry about it, i would flush it really well and monitor it,
usually what i have seen is the little thermostat on the heater coil will leak and fill the bottle with coolant, even on severe headgaskets where the coolant reservoir is severly contaminated with oil i have never seen oil in the washer bottle. i think as previously stated the customer must have put in plain water with out any cleaner.
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Old 07-10-2005, 10:02 AM
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Yup, it's probably algae. I used to keep only water in mine and had these black spots develop. Just get a brush and scrub them off. I certainly wouldn't let it hold up the purchase.

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