The ballad of Sean and the raspberry vodka windshield washer fluid
by Doug Hempstead, CBC
Feb 24, 2020

Any ill-advised home fixes for your vehicle you'd like to share?


One reader was wondering why his truck smelled like raspberries all of a sudden, until he remembered his last-minute fix from a few days earlier. (Graham Thompson/CBC)

Last week, I did a blog post here which was a bit of a stream of consciousness with a rhetorical question about the possibility of making your own windshield washer fluid.

Sean wrote to me (this is awesome):
"In the summertime I simply use water in my washer fluid bottle - I just need to remember to change it out before the first freeze of winter.

Well, earlier this winter, I was in bed drifting off when I remembered that it was going to get freezing cold overnight and that I still had water in the fluid reservoir.

I jumped out of bed, and headed to the garage only to find I didn't have any fluid.

It was too late to go out to buy some, so I had to figure out another alternative. I decided to try the liquor cabinet.

In there I found a bottle of clear raspberry flavoured vodka that a party guest had left behind. It wasn't something that I was ever going to drink.

It was listed as 40 per cent strength, so I poured the flavoured vodka into my truck's washer fluid reservoir, started the vehicle and made sure the "antifreeze" made its way through all the lines.

I then went back to bed and forgot about it.

A few days later driving to work, it was a salty, slushy day on the roads, so I was required to use my washer fluid quite a bit. It took a while to figure out why my truck all of a sudden smelled like a giant raspberry.

That day after work, the guys I work with were all out in the parking lot cleaning their vehicles off and warming them up in preparation for the drive home.

When I sprayed my windshield to clean it, the guys immediately smelled the raspberry vodka and asked what the heck the smell was.

I'm sure you can imagine the laughs and comments I got from these guys after relaying the story. They ribbed me for few days after that."
For what it's worth, WikiHow does say vodka can be part of a do-it-yourself washer fluid mix in a pinch.

I have to ask: are there any ill-advised home fixes for your vehicle you'd like to share?