Schedule Semi-Annual Tune-Ups for Peak Car Wash Performance

Jan 12, 2022 -- Posted by : Ted

by Frank Donaldson, Service Manager, Howco Inc.

Just like the vehicles it cleans, car wash equipment performs best when it receives regular tune-ups.

When scheduling this maintenance routine, we recommend semi-annual visits in spring and fall, as these seasons lead to a busy time for most car washes. With spring comes warming temperatures and pollen, and depending on the geographic area, preparation for spring can start as early as March.

Following are some of the needs a Howco service technician will address during a semi-annual car wash inspection and tune-up:

Tunnel Equipment
* Inspect and grease equipment bearings.
* Inspect conveyors to ensure sprockets, chains, and pushers are in good repair. Also check the correlator, conveyor guide rails, decking, take-up, and drive sections. Ensure that you clean your trench and that no debris from the winter months has negatively impacted your conveyor or reclaim system. Be aware of road salt, leaves, sticks, trash from the site, and even debris from pickup truck beds.
* Most operators may want to have their reclaim tanks pumped and cleaned.
* Inspect all hoses (water, air, hydraulic, and chemical) for leaks, especially if you have had a cold winter.
* Inspect air system (air compressors, regulators, valves, and cylinders).
* Inspect cloth.
* Inspect and clean vacuum systems (filters and dirt pans).
* Check and adjust the chemical delivery system and applicators.

Self-Serve and In-Bay Equipment
* Inspect and grease equipment bearings.
* Inspect the In-bay automatic and self-serve equipment booms and hoses for any water, air, or chemical leaks.
* Check and adjust the chemical delivery system and applicators.
* Check guide rails.
* Inspect proximity switches, targets, and photo eyes to make sure they are reading and appropriately adjusted.
* Inspect air system (air compressors, regulators, valves, and cylinders).
* Inspect cloth where applicable.

In fall, we begin planning for cold weather and a high-volume time for most car wash operators. The tune-up tips above can and should be applied to the fall tune-up, with the following additional tips for winter preparation.

Tunnel, In-Bay, and Self-Serve Equipment
*Check that the tunnel, building, and site lighting are in good repair for the shorter and darker winter days ahead.
* Make sure wind curtains, doors, and door actuators function correctly. The goal should be to keep the wind and cold freezing temperatures out of the bay.
* Make sure exposed water lines are insulated and protected.
* Prepare and plan for icy weather and the safety of customers and crew.
* Know the dynamics of your property related to sun angles, cold spots, wind direction, and tendencies for water and ice accumulation.
* Make sure all drains are open and unobstructed.
* Make sure bay heaters are working and in good repair.
* Make sure floor heat is working properly.
* Check and make sure all weep systems are working, cutting off and on as intended.
* Have additional tarping/covering for exposed conveyor trenches to help reduce heat loss and freezing.

Semi-annual tune-ups are just one of the ways Howco addresses its customers’ equipment, chemical, and service needs.

We’ll see you at your car wash!