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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok not on my dacia, but our c maxs screen wash fluid smells of rotten egg when it's sprayed, I noticed last week it smelt very ammonia-ee so I emptied it then filled it with neat undiluted screenwash, now it smells foul, and I'm sure I can smell it on my clothes now, can I use anything in the system that won't split the lacquer off when sprayed?
I've got 5litres of white vinegar, but worried it'll make it worse... Pickled eggs anyone???
 

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Might sound silly, perhaps just flush it through with clean water, i had the same thing years ago on my van, i put the problem down to a chemical reaction between two types of screen wash. after a good flush with water and a fill up with screen wash, all was ok.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Might sound silly, perhaps just flush it through with clean water, i had the same thing years ago on my van, i put the problem down to a chemical reaction between two types of screen wash. after a good flush with water and a fill up with screen wash, all was ok.

Rob
stick the hosepipe down it you mean?
 

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Had a similar issue myself a couple of years back. Agree with the flush-out idea. Just fill it with plain water, empty it by whatever means suits, repeat until smell abates.

Wouldn't necessarily recommend usong a hose - certainly not one with any pressure behind it, as you may end up rupturing tubing or seals, and will probably end up drenched into the bargain!
 

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Hi,

We had a similar problem with our old Picasso during warmer weather. I tried some Milton sterilizing solution in the mix, which helped, but the smell returned!

Only way to fix it is to flush out the bottle and just use neat water in the summer months! B)
 

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Update, I tried to remove the bottle to see if it could be taken apart with no joy, the bottle is housed inside the front wing, and the only access I can see is behind the splash guard.
I got all the screws out but one last one that had corroded into the housing, I did feel like snapping it out but I doubt it'd ride right again.
I shoved the end of one of those x hose gizmos on the single spray setting, after alot of spraying and emptying it doesn't seem to smell now, could be it may do by morning after its been sat in the stinking bottle for awhile mind.
Thanks for the advice everyone, I've gone with just plain water for now.
 

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Update, I tried to remove the bottle to see if it could be taken apart with no joy, the bottle is housed inside the front wing, and the only access I can see is behind the splash guard.
I got all the screws out but one last one that had corroded into the housing, I did feel like snapping it out but I doubt it'd ride right again.
I shoved the end of one of those x hose gizmos on the single spray setting, after alot of spraying and emptying it doesn't seem to smell now, could be it may do by morning after its been sat in the stinking bottle for awhile mind.
Thanks for the advice everyone, I've gone with just plain water for now.
It will clear over time. :)
 

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Apparently Legionnaires Disease can grow in screenwash!

  • Don't mix different brands.
  • Use the winter strength all year round (they contain alcohol as an anti-freeze, it kills bacteria)
  • Use the ready mixed stuff all year round
  • Add a little Meths to the tank, kills bacteria and cleans glass
  • Run till empty and then add a kettle of very hot, but not boiling, water, allow to cool before using.
  • add up to a teaspoon of household disinfectant to the tank

I wouldn't use Milton, its 16% salt! If you do flush through with clean water after and rinse the car.

Some people recommend a weak solution of thin household bleach, Do it when you are washing the car, leave for a while, then run all through the pipes, then wash and rinse the car to remove any solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Apparently Legionnaires Disease can grow in screenwash!

  • Don't mix different brands.
  • Use the winter strength all year round (they contain alcohol as an anti-freeze, it kills bacteria)
  • Use the ready mixed stuff all year round
  • Add a little Meths to the tank, kills bacteria and cleans glass
  • Run till empty and then add a kettle of very hot, but not boiling, water, allow to cool before using.
  • add up to a teaspoon of household disinfectant to the tank
I wouldn't use Milton, its 16% salt! If you do flush through with clean water after and rinse the car.

Some people recommend a weak solution of thin household bleach, Do it when you are washing the car, leave for a while, then run all through the pipes, then wash and rinse the car to remove any solution.
thanks, I've heard that from work a few years back, I was considering disinfectant, I'm a fan of baking soda, but it would probably cake up in the pipes anyway, it's also very abrasive.
If it comes back I will have to take it to pieces.
I think there'll be a filter of some kind in there, it's probably had it, or it needs washing.
 

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I mixed different brands in my Getz and it turned into a gunky precipitate. Had to clean it out with a bottle brush and remove the filter (which is usually just before the pump). Didn't smell though. Sulphur smell is probably bacteria.

Apparently you can even get bacteria growing in diesel fuel lines.
 

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Chris1300 mentioned household bleach - yes it will kill bacteria off but one small accidental drop, even fairly dilute, on your lovely paintwork and you'll wish that you'd stuck with the smell ! I've been adding combined wash/anti-feeze liquids to my tank for more years than I care to remember and have never had any problems - I do the same as chris1300 recommends and use the pre-mixed winter solution all year round. Hey, it's dirt cheap at Halfords or in the supermarket so why not?

As for bacterial growth in your diesel, I understand that it is almost impossible to prevent but it can be deterred by keeping your fuel tank as full as possible at all times - low tanks mean more water from condensation in your tank, and water is food for bacteria. You can buy fuel additive to flush it out though but as I've never had the problem in 20+ years of driving diesels I don't know how bad it can get or how well the additive works.
 

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As for bacterial growth in your diesel, I understand that it is almost impossible to prevent but it can be deterred by keeping your fuel tank as full as possible at all times - low tanks mean more water from condensation in your tank, and water is food for bacteria. You can buy fuel additive to flush it out though but as I've never had the problem in 20+ years of driving diesels I don't know how bad it can get or how well the additive works.
Diesel Bug is very well known in the marine business. As you say it is a bacteria and it lives initially at the interface between fuel and water, it needs water to survive. So if you get a dose of wet diesel you will also get the bug and other engine problems associated with water in the fuel. That said the bug also needs time to grow which is why its rare in road vehicles. BUT euro diesel with bio fuel has a short shelf life and is very prone to diesel bug. Conversely fuel in boat tanks just sits there for up to 6 months and the bug grows - its a big problem.

Condensation is not a primary source of water contamination, it a myth propagated by marina owners to encourage boat owners to buy fuel at the end of the season. (a empty 1000 ltr tank will only yield 1 teaspoon of water under ideal conditions not enough to cause a problem as that will be dissolved in the fuel)

There are two main methods of dealing with "the bug" the first is in my experienced not effective and involves stripping down and heat cleaning all the components of the fuel system from the tank filler to the injectors. (have done this twice on one particular craft and the bug returned in days). The second is fuel treatments and these come in two types, prevention and cure.

Cures are usually biocides that are put in the fuel after you have the bug and have drained the fuel and changed the primary filter and you hope they work. They are very poisonous and will work IF you can start the engine and get the treatment to all the hidden parts. The problem is the jelly like substance that infected fuel becomes may be in all the injection equipment so you are unable to start the engine and are back to method 1.

Prevention is the best (easiest) method and a fuel conditioner that combines water with fuel thus ensuring the bugs cant live means you never have the problems and the water passes harmlessly through the engine, instead of accumulating in the fuel tank. These conditioners are not usually poisonous and can be put into contaminated fuel but they need more time to work, the bugs die and are broken down so they pass through the 5 micron filters and hence through the engine with no damage.

Some fuel conditioners and biocides can leave a gummy deposit in the combustion chamber - some don't - which is why manufacturers usually say they don't approve of "fuel additives".

That's about all I know about diesel bugs except to say I have seen it many times in marine engines never in a road vehicle.
 

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An interesting and informative read, David. I've heard of this affecting vintage buses, in which I have an interest. As many of these see only occasional, seasonal, use, and can spend several months laid up, there is plenty of time for the bug to get a hold.

Isn't nature marvellous... :blink:
 

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An interesting and informative read, David. I've heard of this affecting vintage buses, in which I have an interest. As many of these see only occasional, seasonal, use, and can spend several months laid up, there is plenty of time for the bug to get a hold.

Isn't nature marvellous... :blink:
google "liquid engineering" I have no connection with the company other than as a very satisfied user; their fuel set conditioner works and is approved by manufactures as it does not leave any deposits in the combustion chamber.
 

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Legionnaires actually wont grow if there is some form of wash in the bottle. It is plain water that suffers as the engine means the water is a perfect temp to grow the bacteria. When you look at the figures for those who have legionnaires a higher than normal % are reps and the thinking is they drive so many miles, only filling bottles with plain water and being exposed over and over in the course of a year.
 

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I always run my washer bottle dry before filling with a new brand. I really like the premixed prestone stuff and use it neat all year round. It leaves the screen really clear and streak free and also has a rainx type water repellant in it. Using neat premix washer fluid does accelerate perishing of wiper blades though in my experience.
 

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I go with Prestone as well for screen wash and de-icer, get it in Tesco but keep an eye one the price because they it's quite high a lot of the time and then drops.
 

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Which did a test on screen wash and came to the conclusion that the stuff you can find in pound shops was every bit as effective as screen wash costing ten times as much and that quality was rarely related to cost
 
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