Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Simoniz® Tire Shiner Maintenance Tip of the Month:

October 19, 2006

Here at CarWash College™, we know that the way to reduce labor, increase efficiency, and maximize throughput is to maintain the equipment. By maintaining your Simoniz® Tire Shiner and using the tips to follow, not only will you have an even application of the solution, but you will reduce the number of customer complaints associated with the tire shiner, consequently increasing your overall customer service index, throughput and bottom line.

Depending on the volume at your location, the following air pressure adjustments can be made to meet your needs. These adjustments will help you obtain the savings and product quality you seek.

  • The main air supply at the control panel should be set to about 80 psi, and the solution pump air regulators should be set to 60-70 psi. Depending on the consistency of your solution and the distance between the pumps and applicator pads, the solution pump air settings may vary.

  • Make the adjustments in small increments and allow several applications so that there are no surplus chemical costs incurred. Not doing so may cause the pads to become over saturated and valuable chemical can be lost.

  • Your retract pressure should be set to about 50 psi for the driver side and about 60 psi for the passenger side. The reason for the variance is due to the length of the arms on the passenger side, which require more pressure to retract completely.

The goal is to have the right amount of air pressure to the pumps so that the precise amount of solution is being applied to the tires. Also, the right amount of pressure against the tire is important so that your solution is not forced out of the pad or unevenly dispersed. Having excessive pressure to either pump will result in wasted solution and higher cost per application. Having the above mentioned settings applied to your tire shiner will increase your efficiency and allow for chemical savings.

Observe the amount of time that the chemical pumps are active. You should have the timer set according to volume. If you are washing a higher volume of cars you can decrease the amount of time that the pumps are active. At a lower volume location, the pads have the ability to drip dry and require more time to become saturated. This can be adjusted at the chemical timer located on the main control panel. The timer should read: E004S (4 signifying seconds). Set between 2 and 5 seconds depending on your volume.

The amount of savings at your location will vary due to volume. Washing about 160,000 cars per year, of which 50 percent are tire packages, and using 40 cents per tire shine application, the total cost per car would be above recommended usage, resulting in $32,000 per year in tire shine applications. After making the adjustments suggested, the cost per application should be closer to 20 cents. The savings would then amount to about $16,000 for the year.

Wes Rowe is a Training Instructor for CarWash College™. Wes can be reached at For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit, or call the registrar's office at 1-866-492-7422.