Friday, February 20, 2015

Please, Learn from My Mistake

Like most people dealing with the weather we've been having here, I've been blowing through windshield washer fluid quite rapidly. With the extreme cold though, of late, I can't get it to dispense all the time - I am assuming that there is a freezing situation as it does sometimes work fine.

I thought that instead of using the more common blue stuff, that I would fill up with the yellow - which I recall (not sure if I recall correctly, but that is neither here nor there at this point) can withstand colder temperatures. I knew that I had about half a gallon or so of the yellow stuff in the garage and my plan was to fill up the reservoir before leaving the house this morning.

My daughter was getting ready, we've been doing college tours this week and were soon to be leaving for our last one. I yelled up to her that I was heading into the garage for a few and off I went. I popped the hood, grabbed the jug with the yellow stuff and began to pour. As it was nearing the top off point and I adjusted the jug to prevent overflow, it seemed to me that the viscosity of the liquid was a bit thick. For some reason, I thought, let me take a little whiff, even though I couldn't imagine what a whiff would prove, turns out, taking a whiff was a good idea.

If you are not sitting down, this is a good time to do so, You are soon about to laugh at me so hard that you might fall down and injure yourself.

Once I took that whiff, all I could think is, "OH FUCK! What the hell have I done!" You see, the whiff made me realize that I just filled the windshield washer reservoir of my car with used vegetable oil. At some point, I must have used the jug to empty my deep fryer. What I failed to do is take a sharpie to the jug and/or remove the original label not thinking that a year later, I wouldn't recognize the difference between yellow windshield washer fluid and similarly yellow (not so sure how similar it would be side by side) used vegetable oil.

Just checking in, I hope you did not injure yourself while laughing at me. BTW, no need to feel any guilt for laughing at me, I deserve it.

Initially, I was in shock at myself and flustered, I only new that I had to drive to Boston for an appointment with my kid to tour a college and there was not much time to really do anything about it. I knew that I had to avoid triggering the sprayer or I'd end up with oily windows that would probably be way harder to see through than the already difficult to see through salt-laden windows,

As I pulled out of the driveway poking fun at myself, it occurred to me that I might be able to siphon out the vegetable oil. I didn't have a lot of time to spare but on the route to my destination is a Harbor Freight tools store and I knew they sell an inexpensive ($6.99) siphon pump, so I made my way with the intent to stop there to pick up one before heading off into Boston. I also kept repeating to myself that no matter how filthy the windshield got with road salt and residue, not to trigger the shpritzer!

As I write this, I have siphoned out as much of the vegetable oil as I could. I refilled with the blue stuff with the plan to flush out all of it then refill to get more oil residue out and have time to lean the windows. The plan was to use only the back window, which has a much smaller surface area and would be easier to clean. Unfortunately, the gizmo must have frozen from being out in the ultimate cold all day - maybe after a night in the less freezing garage, I can continue in the morning.

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