New

The Best Windshield Fluid: 2017 Buying Guide and Reviews

Why should you bother finding the best windshield fluid for your car? Well, they’re actually important, despite the fact that some people don’t even realize that they need fluid for their windshield wiper. It’s not really true that one windshield fluid is much like another; that’s why you actually have to give it some thought if you’re buying windshield fluid.

Quick Look: Our Top Picks

Windshield Fluid NameQualityPriceRating
Prestone AS259 All-Season Windshield Washer FluidA+$
nextzett 92100815 Kristall Klar Washer Fluid ConcentrateA+$$$
Sanco Industries Aqua Charge Windshield Washer A$$
BMW Windshield Washer FluidA+$
Prestone AS250 De-Icer Windshield Washer FluidA+$

Is it really necessary?

Some people seem to think that you just turn on the windshield wiper when it rains. But, most of us who have been driving long enough know that this isn’t true at all. You need the right windshield fluid because the windshield can get really dirty.

One common problem is that you can have bird droppings on your windshield. You can also drive through a swarm of insects and if you are going fast, then you can end up with lots of dead bugs on the windshield. These things can be so sticky that using just plain water as your windshield washer fluid isn’t going to cut it; you’ll just smear stuff all over the windshield.

These things can make your car look unsightly, not to mention obstruct your field of vision. So, you need a proper windshield fluid that will remove this debris so you can see more clearly out your windshield. These things can smell bad too, so you may want a fluid that has antibacterial properties or a fragrance to remove the foul odor and mask the bad smell.

If it’s also dusty where you live, then when you use plain water as your windshield fluid, then you may just smear streaks all over the windshield. This can reduce the visibility, and if you do it while you’re driving, then it reduces your safety.

Factors to consider

It’s true that for just about any consumer product, price is always going to be a factor. After all, if two different brands are the same, then you can buy the cheaper one. But the price isn’t really much of a factor in this case since these things tend to be really affordable. Even the “premium” brands aren’t expensive. This is especially true of the brands we’ve picked out.

So, each of the windshield fluids we have chosen is affordable, so we don’t have to keep mentioning that the price is great. Instead, you’ll have to consider these other factors first.

Concentrate or premixed

Some windshield fluids are in concentrate form, meaning you have to mix it with water; they can be in powder or fluid form. However, some are already premixed. They both have their own set of pros and cons.

With the concentrates, you have to concentrate (sorry for the pun) on getting the mix right. If you don’t, you may not get the cleaning capacity you need. You may also end up with a mixture that’s too concentrated, so you end up dyeing the windshield. Normally, you can’t use plain tap water for these, and instead, you have to buy distilled water so you don’t put in any impurities.

On the other hand, this means that you can mix a large volume of windshield fluid for each purchase, so you won’t have to keep buying it too frequently. Also, some premixed windshield fluids expire quickly or they don’t react well to very cold weather.

Cleaning capacity

You can’t expect the fluid to work magic—you still should wash your windshield when you clean your car. But, some fluids are better than others at cleaning gunk from your windshield. It’s best if it can take care of dead bugs, dust, and frost.

Seasonal or all-year use

This isn’t always a case of premix or concentrate. It’s possible that a concentrate isn’t good for very cold weather, while you can have a premix that works, even in the winter.

Size

Again, this is all about balancing the volume and the price. But, if it is affordable enough, you should get a large one so you don’t have to keep buying. Also, sometimes the bigger volume you get, the cheaper it becomes per unit, though the overall cost is, of course, higher.

Smell

At the very least, it shouldn’t have a smell at all, but, you may find fluids that smell quite nice.

Our Top Windshield Fluid Reviews

Windshield Fluid NameQualityPriceRating
Prestone AS259 All-Season Windshield Washer FluidA+$
nextzett 92100815 Kristall Klar Washer Fluid ConcentrateA+$$$
Sanco Industries Aqua Charge Windshield Washer A$$
BMW Windshield Washer FluidA+$
Prestone AS250 De-Icer Windshield Washer FluidA+$

Prestone AS259 All-Season Windshield Washer Fluid

Prestone AS259 All-Season Windshield Washer Fluid-5be9fb95e7068

Prestone has long been a recognized brand for coolants and brake fluids, and they’ve been in business for 90 years. It’s not surprising that they’ve branched out into other types of car care products, and they’ve made sure that the usual Prestone quality is present in their all-season windshield washer fluid.

This is a premix, and it is available, even in larger sizes. It offers a very strong cleaning capacity that you can use all year.

Pros

  • Since it’s a premix, you don’t have to figure out the correct mix ratios for it to work optimally. That’s already done for you. Also, even if you have some other fluid inside the fluid container, you can just pour this in and it’ll work.
  • We’ve promised that all the fluids on this list are very cheap, but this is ridiculously cheap.
  • This is going to work, not just for the warmer seasons, but also for winter.
  • It’s very strong and it’s versatile too. During the spring and summer months, it can help deal with gunk, like road grime and dust, bird droppings, dead bugs, and even sticky tree sap.
  • During the winter, it can melt the frost and even light ice from the windshield. There’s no need to wait for the defroster to warm up the ice and you don’t have to scrape the ice off the windshield.
  • It doesn’t smell bad at all; it even has a bit of a nice smell, though it’s quite faint.

Cons

  • Since it’s a premix, you’ll need to buy a lot if you’re going to use it for a fleet of vehicles.
  • Some other fluids have a more pleasant scent than this one.

BUY THIS ONE

nextzett 92100815 Kristall Klar Washer Fluid Concentrate

nextzett 92100815 Kristall Klar Washer Fluid Concentrate-5be9fb9783b47

It’s called “Kristall Klar”, not because it’s distinct—it’s just that the brand is German. The nextzett brand is also deliberately not capitalized. German innovation and manufacturing quality are all justifiably highly regarded.

This is a concentrate, and a single 8.5-ounce container is enough to end up with seven gallons of windshield fluid. If you have a fleet, you can have them all taken care of if you buy this in a pack of 20 containers.

Pros

  • It works very well against dirt, bugs, and other types of road grime.
  • It reduces the wear and tear on wiper blades and it doesn’t cause wiper shuddering and skipping.
  • It contains water softeners, so you can use it with plain tap water, and it won’t leave any residue or mineral buildup in the fluid tank.
  • It’s safe to use for plastic, rubber, paintwork, or chrome, as it doesn’t have any ammonia. It’s also free of phosphates, and it is biodegradable too.
  • It smells nice with its fresh citrus scent.

Cons

  • You’ll have to mix it right with the proper amount of fluid and a gallon of water. It can’t be too soapy or foamy.
  • It can’t handle freezing temperatures, and it won’t help with frost.

    BUY THIS ONE

Sanco Industries Aqua Charge Windshield Washer Ultra Concentrate

Sanco Industries Aqua Charge Windshield Washer Ultra Concentrate-5be9fb99d3f49

This one is another concentrate in liquid form. It comes in quart containers that can make 55 gallons of washer fluid. This is an ultra-concentrate, so obviously, using it as-is won’t get you the desired results and would be overkill.

Pros

  • You get 55 gallons of fluid from a single quart. That basically means that if you’re using this for a single car, it’ll be a while before you have to buy another container.
  • It also means that you end up paying pennies for each gallon of washer fluid mix.
  • It’s strong enough to get rid of tree sap, bird droppings, road grime, and dead bugs without leaving streaks on the windshield.
  • There’s really no smell when you properly mix it.
  • It also freezes at 32° F (0°C). If you add methane, the freezing point drops to -20°F.

Cons

  • Without the right mix ratio, you end up with undesirable results.
  • It’s very strong, so, you better not spill any when you try to mix it. It’ll dye your car, so mix it away from the car first. You also have to wear gloves so you don’t end up with blue hands. The smell is also rather bad in concentrate form.
  • You’ll need 13 gallons of methane for each quart. That makes for a very complicated mix.

BUY THIS ONE

BMW Windshield Washer Fluid

BMW Windshield Washer Fluid-5be9fb9b5e8ac

Do you have a BMW? If you do, (or you want to feel like you do), then you may want to try out this washer fluid. It’s specifically designed for BMW cars, and you can get them from BMW dealerships. If it’s designed for premium cars, then it must be good for even your regular car, right?

This one is another concentrate, and it offers numerous formulas, depending on the freezing point you want. You can mix 2 oz. of this liquid concentrate to 160 oz. of water and your freezing point is 33° F. But, if you mix 8 oz. of concentrate to 12 oz. of water, the freezing point drops to -25°F.

Pros

  • You can mix it to the concentration you want, depending on how cold it is. You don’t have to memorize these formulas, as there’s a chart right on the bottle.
  • If you have a BMW, you don’t have to think about choosing another washer fluid. The smart folks at BMW have done the thinking for you. It works very well with no streaks and it takes care of your washer fluid tank.
  • It’ll baby your car, even if it’s not a BMW.

Cons

  • It comes with BMW prices, though admittedly, buying a pint (good for 8 refills in warm weather) doesn’t cost much at all.
  • It can get really complicated measuring out this stuff.

    BUY THIS ONE

Prestone AS250 De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid

Prestone AS250 De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid-5be9fb9cd4ac4

As the name implies, this one is designed for use for removing frost and light ice; it just melts ice on contact. You need it if you’re using a separate brand for warmer months.

Pros

  • This thing won’t really freeze on you since it’s decidedly for very cold climates. Its freezing point is -27°F.
  • It works very well on ice, and if you use it with a spray, you can also use it for doors and nozzles that are frozen shut. It works extremely fast.
  • It also has surfactants that help with cleaning off road grime.
  • It’s already premixed.
  • It’s Prestone, so you’re not getting an inferior product that will damage your windshield.

Cons

  • Other washer fluids are more effective for the warmer months.

BUY THIS ONE

Conclusion

For many reasons, we recommend that you just get the Prestone AS259 All-Season Windshield Washer Fluid. This means that you have a washer fluid that you can use all year, and it cleans grime, as well as frost off the windshield. It’s already premixed, so there’s no way for you to mess up with the proper concentration. It also doesn’t smell bad either.

It’s natural that you don’t often think about the best windshield fluid until you get a bad one. Then, the streaks or the ineffective cleaning fluid will have you searching for a better option. With the Prestone AS259 All-Season Windshield Washer Fluid, you won’t encounter any trouble, and you can just use it at any time of the year.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment