Car Wash Systems
A car wash system is any collection of equipment designed to wash an
automobile. They can be automated, self-service or full service. Car
wash systems are an important part of a car maintenance regimen; it
helps to prevent wear as a result of the accumulation of contaminants
like dirt and corrosive materials like road salt.
Several different kinds of car wash systems exist, including self service, automated and full service. Each type of wash system requires different equipment and components. Car owners can also elect to add a variety of extras to their wash, including a wax coat, carpet shampooing, leather conditioning and tire detailing. Self serve systems have a large bay with a pressure sprayer and foaming scrub brush. They are usually coin operated; the number of quarters inserted determines the duration of the wash. Coin operated vacuums are usually available onsite and can be used to clean the interior and upholstery. In comparison, automatic car washes are a popular system in which cars are driven into the wash bay and either guided into the washing equipment by conveyors or the equipment moves around the stationary vehicle. Automatic car washes can be one of two varieties, either touchless or cloth friction. Full service systems clean both the interior and the exterior of the vehicle and often include detailing.
Car washes can greatly extend the life of a vehicle. Caustic materials, such as road salt spread on winter roads, can corrode the exterior of a vehicle and rust its undercarriage. Most car washes use special soap designed to protect the paint finish. There has recently been increasing pressure on the car wash industry to use environmentally friendly chemicals and to conserve water. Because of this effort, customers can find varying levels of sustainability-consciousness depending on where they take their cars. Some car wash systems integrate water reclamation systems, which capture used water, filter it and then reuse it during future wash cycles. This greatly conserves the amount of water used, which saves money and reduces the chances that discharge water will eventually carry harmful chemicals into groundwater, rivers and streams. Other sustainability investments include biodegradable or otherwise environmentally-friendly soaps and detergents as well as the use of refurbished cleaning materials instead of new equipment.