Dirty wind­shields? At least the en­gine’s clean

Austin American-Statesman - - STATESMAN CARS - By Tom and Ray Magliozzi

Dear Tom and Ray:

My aunt said she had trou­ble find­ing the place where you put wind­shield-washer fluid. She told me the only cover she found was one that said “Coolant.” You guessed it — she put the wind­shield-washer fluid in the coolant reser­voir. She then told me that she used a bot­tle of Win­dex in­stead of the di­luted blue stuff you buy for car wind­shields. What should I do to help her, and what dam­age did she do?

— Adam

Tom: Well, the first thing you can do to help her is open her hood and show her where the wind­shield-washer reser­voir is. Then take a big magic marker and la­bel it for her.

Ray: The next thing I’d do is take the car to a me­chanic and have the coolant flushed out and re­placed. But I don’t think she did any dam­age.

Tom: Me nei­ther. If I had to guess, I’d say the dom­i­nant in­gre­di­ents in Win­dex are wa­ter and am­mo­nia. There might even be a lit­tle eth­yl­ene gly­col (aka coolant) in there!

Ray: There’s a small amount of soap in Win­dex. But my guess is that any suds would be sup­pressed by the high pres­sure in­side the cool­ing sys­tem. I mean, she might find her en­gine com­part­ment over­flow­ing with soap suds to­mor­row morn­ing, but I doubt it. It’s not like she put Dawn dish­wash­ing liq­uid in there.

Tom: Flush­ing the cool­ing sys­tem cer­tainly will re­move all doubt about any fu­ture dam­age that might re­sult. And she can feel good know­ing she has the clean­est cool­ing sys­tem in the neigh­bor­hood.

The scoop: The Mus­tang Own­ers Club of Austin pro­motes and en­cour­ages the own­er­ship, preser­va­tion and restora­tion of the Ford Mus­tang and other Ford col­lectible ve­hi­cles. The group ar­ranges and man­ages events for mem­bers, pro­vides tech­ni­cal in­for­ma­tion and pro­motes com­mu­nity in­volve­ment by its mem­ber­ship.

Meet­ings: Lo­ca­tion of monthly events varies; busi­ness meet­ings are held ev­ery other month, start­ing in Jan­uary.

Where to catch us next: To­day dur­ing the 30th an­nual MOCA Round Up at Great Hills Bap­tist Church, 10500 Jol­lyville Road. Free to the pub­lic; $30 auto en­try; $10 non­judged auto en­try. Reg­is­tra­tion 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.; tro­phy pre­sen­ta­tion 2:30 p.m. Fundrais­ing event ben­e­fits SafePlace.

MVP of the year: Michael B. Jen­niges, the only found­ing mem­ber who has re­mained ac­tive in the club for its en­tire 30 years.

Great­est moment: Prob­a­bly in March, when we cel­e­brated 30 years of ex­is­tence, mak­ing the Austin Mus­tang own­ers group of one of the old­est con­tin­u­ously op­er­at­ing car clubs in Cen­tral Texas.

Biggest event: The MOCA Round Up, which has oc­curred ev­ery year since 1980 with­out be­ing rained out.

Giv­ing back: The group’s an­nual Open Car Show in March at Dell Di­a­mond also ben­e­fits SafePlace; the club also so­lic­its do­na­tions, such as toys and di­a­pers, from its mem­bers.

Find us on­line: www.mo­catx.com

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