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At CarWash College™ we teach preventive maintenance. This month we are going to talk about blowers and the importance of frequently cleaning them. The purpose of the blowers is to dry the vehicle. In the customer's mind, if the car is not dry it's not clean. In addition, the condition of the blowers can impact on the customer's impression of how clean the facility is. Not only is a dirty blower an eyesore, it will also under-perform.
Let's start with what needs to be done on a daily basis. Every day at closing the inlet screens on the blowers need to be checked for any debris. Debris on the inlet screens can impact the amount of air flow allowed to pass through the blowers. Remove any visible dirt or debris found on the inlet screens. Also, wash down the blower housing and framework. Before washing the housing on the blowers cover the electric motor with a plastic trash bag, in order to avoid direct water contact with the motor.
On a monthly basis remove the inlet screen from the blower housing. Make sure that, before cleaning the impellers, the blowers have been locked out. Using a rag wash both the inlet screen and the impeller with a mild degreaser to free them of any dirt or debris. Again, dirt or debris can lower performance, as well as make the unit look dirty. Also clean the frame and the housing (if aluminum) with some type of aluminum brightening product. Spray the aluminum brightening product on the frame, allowing a few minutes for it to do its work, then rinse thoroughly with water. If your blowers have plastic housing, you can apply some type of rubber/vinyl protectant product to the housing. Apply the product at night and in the morning wipe the housing down to remove any residue that could transfer to the cars.
The blowers are an important part of the car wash process. By keeping the units clean they will operate at maximum performance and provide the customer with a dry car. Remember, in addition to contributing to the customer's opinion of how clean the rest of the car wash might be (and, therefore, how clean they will get their vehicle), optimizing the performance of the blowers can save you time (in repairs) and money (in downtime).
Robert Andre is the Manager of On-campus Training for CarWash College™. Robert can be reached at RAndre@carwashcollege.com. For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit www.carwashcollege.com or call the registrar's office at 1-866-492-7422.