If you live in Los Angeles, Orange County or the San Francisco Bay Area, you probably refill your windshield washer fluid reservoir with the $1.00 jug of blue windshield washer fluid marked +32°. Even if you use plain tap water, the weather really doesn’t get so cold that it will freeze your washer fluid and crack your reservoir. However, if you are planning a winter excursion to Lake Tahoe, you should be aware of how different laws can affect your trip. First off, the California Department of Transportation provides winter driving tips and information regarding the state’s snow chain laws. To see whether an chain controls are in effect, visit the road information page. If you are using an iPhone or other mobile phone, bookmark the Road Conditions (Mobile) page. Caltrans also provides live traffic cameras, which loads OK on a PC. Not so hot on a Mac unless I paste in the URL for the particular camera into QuickTime Player 7 or WIndow Media Player. Not sure why it doesn’t work the same for newest QuickTime Player 10.
Anyways, for the windshield washer fluid, I was searching around for an under 32° winter mix. I stopped at Pep Boys, Kragen, Target, and Wal-Mart. No one was carrying it because California regulates automotive windshield washer fluid. Basically, you cannot prepare in advance like a reasonably prudent person would and refill your automotive windshield washer fluid reservoir with a winter mix of windshield washer fluid. Instead, you have to wait until you reach sanctuary, a/k/a a Type A area. That or buy it online.