Is there any difference in all the different windshield washer cleaners that I see in the auto parts stores? Some are more than double the price than the lower-priced washer fluids.

QUESTION: Is there any difference in all the different windshield washer cleaners that I see in the auto parts stores? Some are more than double the price than the lower-priced washer fluids.


ANSWER: This is a great question, and yes, there is a big difference in the washer fluids, especially here in the snowbelt area with sometimes very cold weather. The blue color fluid is the most common and often discounted. The good stuff is either orange or purple. I have purchased a case of the orange color that contains Rain-X additive that does work. The original blue color often discounted washer fluid is great for the summer months and nonfreezing conditions.


 


QUESTION: I own a 2009 Mustang GT and only drive the car in the summer. The car is parked in my garage for the long winter. My question is should I disconnect the battery or connect a battery tender to the battery?


ANSWER: I like to keep a battery tender on the car and every other week plug the tender in verses keeping it on charge 24/7. This way the battery is actually getting exercised.


 


QUESTION: With daylight saving time gone I am going to work in the dark and also driving home in the dark. At 50 years old, I have a hard time seeing in the dark. I have seen a lot of ads for replacement headlights for my 2004 Ford Taurus.


ANSWER: Before you go out and just buy a replacement head light bulb, check the actual headlight capsule for clarity. I have replaced many headlight capsule assemblies over the years and also replaced the bulbs with Sylvania Silver Star bulbs. The difference is night and day. The headlight capsule in an after-market brand is 50 percent less than an original. Beware of cheap after-market replacements that will discolor in a year. A good aftermarket will have a two-year or longer warranty.


 


QUESTION: I own a 2005 Monte Carlo with 128,000 miles that uses a quart of oil every 900 miles. The engine runs great, and I don’t know if I should have a valve job done to correct the oil usage.


ANSWER: Do not even think about taking the engine apart. If you do anything, just change the oil and filter and start using a high mileage oil. This will cut down on the oil consumption and give extra protection to the engine. A lot of engines will use a quart of oil every 1,000 miles or so. The manufacturers consider this a normal condition.


 


Junior Damato writes regularly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360.