Heated windshield washer fluid system on Encore

GoMich

Full Member
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Buick
Hey I was thinking it may be helpful to enthusiastic people like me, who brave cold months with snow and summer bug splatter…..
I have been using windshield washer fluid heaters “Alpha Therm AT38 OD” available on Amazon and such, for few years now in all my cars and my family ones. This heater defrosts windshield very fast, defogs it in summer and helps clean up bugs in no time compared to stock non heated fluid. I had enough experience to see the effectiveness, so I am totally sold on this system.
BTW I am not associated with company itself nor any of its affiliates.
Wanted to share my experience and show simple place to install the system on Buick Encore. Its very simple to do on this car, took only 30 min or so and took 2 long nylon wire ties and some foam pad on the backside.
For those who are not familiar what it does or how it works here is a short explanation.
Heater connects inline between washer fluid pump and wipers. Heater assembly has 3 independent heaters inside that are controlled by microprocessor and depending on fluid temperature, system turn on 1 or all 3 heaters at ones to heat up fluid inside the heater to 65C (149F), if temperature is reached, heaters turn off and unit does not use any energy. When you turn the washer sprayer ON in the car, heated fluid is discharged onto windshield, while cool fluid refills the heater tank at same time. Then electric heaters inside turn ON and re-heat fluid again. If you want to defrost or rinse the windshield, you just use 5 second burst of fluid, wait 20 sec to reheat new batch, burst again. I use regular blue fluid, in summer just soft water from tap works great, no need to spend money on blue stuff.
Heater connects directly to battery, no other wiring necessary. Unit only runs when engine is ON and battery voltage above ~13.8V. Unit will not run on vehicle that is parked and will not kill the battery. In summer unit uses very little power since fluid temperature is warm, only 1 heater sustains 65C while you drive. For technical minded, unit uses max of 53A of current at cold temperatures for 7 sec or so to initially heat up fluid.
Here is a picture of installed heater. Buick has washer line running at the corner. I just cut it and connected to heater. I diffidently recommend the system it seems to be reliable for years in my multiple vehicles, saves lots of fluid over time and has great visual effect of lots of steam coming from windshield in the winter when you use it at traffic light!
 

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TheAirman

Full Member
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18
2013 Encore Premium
I like it. Thanks for the write up. I'm going to check Amazon.

But...... 53 amps, even for only 7 seconds, hooked to hot battery, scares me just a bit. I saw what happened to someone who hooked their amp hot to the battery.

That big red wire is the power wire to the heater? Is that a fuse stuck down between the battery and fuse box?

And to add a little to the washer sprayer thing. Be sure and have your dealer order the special tool to adjust the washer sprayer up higher on your windshield. Mine did and it make a huge difference in how your sprayer hit the windshield.

Now to heat the fluid for the winter............
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GoMich

Full Member
66
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6
Buick
The red Wire between Battery and Fuse box is a Power lead to heater that's correct. It has a 60Amp fuse in a plastic clear shell there between battery and fuse box as well.
Regarding connecting such a load to a battery, there is no issue there. First heater will not turn on on a non running engine in a first place. Mating wires to terminals has no sparks, no crackling sound at all. Secondly even if you have engine running for some reason while you mate power terminals, heater takes 5 seconds or so to analyze system voltage before heaters turn on, it is not an immediate event.
Thanks for tip with spray nozzles, mine do look like they spay low as well.
 

GoMich

Full Member
66
3
6
Buick
Yes I worked a bit on front end to get the car look different than the rest of "crowd" and add "personality" to it. Thee is a bug deflector on hood and "Carbon Fiber" vinyl wrap on the sides. The bottom grille is there untouched, its just angle of the picture, looking like its not there. Next step is to work on rear lift gate.
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