Understanding Your Car Wash’s Mechanics

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As a child, going to the car wash could be the most eventful part of the day. The rush of water right before the colors stream down onto the windshield may have seemed magical. The mechanics, however, are anything but magic. Anyone looking to own a car wash should understand the mechanical process and have readily available car wash repair services. The mechanics can be broken down into four main areas: entering the wash, washing, rinsing, and drying.

Entering the Wash

To usher cars into the wash area, most car washes use a conveyor track to guide the car through. There are two options for conveyor tracks, front-wheel pull and rear-wheel push, which determines how the track will move the car. After the car passes an infrared sensor, the digital control system takes over and cues the wash sequence.


An array of small nozzles spray a water and chemical solution to prepare the car. Next, a large curtain of cloth strips aides in stripping any loose dirt from the car’s surface. After the car is prepared, a foam sprayer coats it in soap and large, vertical scrubbers run around the front, sides, and back to remove any remaining grime.


The most common way to rinse cars after washing is by using a rotating pressure washer. Its power comes from a pressure tank of water located in the wash area. Following this step, an arch rinse is used for a spot-free finish. After rinsing, there is also the option to include a foam wax dispenser to create extra shine on the vehicle.


Most car washes use an industrial dryer in the final step. An industrial dryer is much like a typical hair dryer, in that it strongly blows hot air to dry the surface of the car. It is also extremely loud and is usually accompanied by a silencer so the sound is not overpowering. 

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