When I was asked to write an article on the maintenance of a specific piece of equipment, I was told I could write about anything: conveyor, wraps, blowers — anything I wanted. I decided to go with something some washes have a tendency to neglect, and that’s the tire and wheel brushes.
As we know, the tire brush is at the entrance of the tunnel, where the wheels are at their hottest, the cars are at their dirtiest, the chemicals applied are the strongest, and the motors and bearings (hydraulic or electric) spin faster than anywhere else in our tunnels (other than blowers). That’s a recipe for disaster if not properly maintained.
Let’s talk about the basic maintenance that will help your equipment last longer:
- Daily: Check for hydraulic leaks, inspect the brushes to make sure they are clean and look for any objects stuck in them that can damage customers rims. Listen for unusual noises and push the brush back and forth by hand to ensure proper operation.
- Weekly: Grease the rotational bearings applying one or two pumps, and grease the cylinder rod to prevent it from getting stuck when retracting or extending. Make sure you do not over-grease the bearings. Over-greasing will break the seal and allow water inside the bearings, leading to premature failure.
- Close of business day: Clean brushes.
- Monthly: Grease the pivotal bearings, inspect the brushes to make sure they are not worn-out (normally the brushes wear out faster at the entrance end) and deep-clean the equipment. With a prep gun, clean the arms, base, bearings, etc.
Failing to properly maintain the tire brushes will lead to poor performance, dirty wheels and tires all leading to dissatisfied customers. Nobody wants their wash to be that carwash.
Keep it clean and functioning properly and enjoy clean wheels and tires for years to come.
Victor Alonso is a 15-year industry veteran, an instructor in CarWash College and a Tech Support Specialist. You can reach Victor at [email protected]. For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit CarWash College or call the registrar’s office at 1-866-492-7422.
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