Screenwash always runs out when you need it the most.

That may sound trivial – but after weaving through narrow roadwork lanes half blind on more than one occasion I just needed to get this off my chest now. The good old wishy-washy water. Has a nice ring to it. But no one thinks of that when they’re in the car at dusk and the drizzle settling on the windscreen is SO light that even the intermittent wiper setting comes on too often, and the winter dirt from the road and the cars ahead then settles on top. Suddenly you don’t see a thing. Quick, spray some screenwash onto the windshield. Oh, it’s all been used up; but the wipers still smear the sludge across the windshield, taking away your last bit of visibility. Oncoming cars with their lights reflecting off the dirt on the windshield make sure I’m now completely blind.

That’s what happened to me on the A7 highway in the middle of roadworks where I absolutely couldn’t stop. Panic grabbed hold of me, making me stick my head out the window so I could at least see something. That’s not a tale to be told in front of a crackling fire; it’s a matter of life or death. And not just for you, but also for other innocent drivers. So why do we daily commuters so often neglect the small, fluid-filled containers in our engine compartments? Because we’re too lazy? Because we’ve gotten into the habit of sensors alerting us if something is missing? I don’t know, because I’m neither a psychologist nor the owner of any sensors. That’s why I shall start a finger-wagging appeal today (I was supposed to become a physics teacher for secondary schools at the start of the new millennium, so please forgive me and my wagging finger).

Resolutions for the New Year.

Forget about trying to quit smoking. You won’t see it through anyway. Don’t plan for the umpteenth time to exercise at least twice a week. If you haven’t managed the last few years, why should it work now? But – next time you’re standing in front of your car, open the hood. Check how much screenwash is left and whether fresh lemon juice as an additive can keep the frost out. Even heated containers have small tubes that lead to the jets which could freeze. And if the container is almost empty, please top it up. Using the right agents; they only cost a few euros. Because one thing’s for sure – you’ll be out of screenwash at precisely the point you need it the most. Put a small bottle of that stuff in your trunk.

Because what’s the use of all the good tips from Fritz, and various information on how the diffusers can be kept clean, what percentage of light can pass through, and which lamps are the best – if despite your car’s good lights you can’t see a thing because the windshield is smeared? On that note, have a great and safe start to the year – may your windshield always be clean. And take care of yourselves!

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