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Under carriage for SS Bay?

JGinther

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JGinther & others,

How much extra do automatic car washes tend to charge when the "undercarriage wash" is selected in addition to the top of the vehicle?
I don't know how to answer this question. Have you not looked at any of the 50 automatic car washes in your area?
 

mjwalsh

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I don't know how to answer this question. Have you not looked at any of the 50 automatic car washes in your area?
My question was more to the forum to see what the going rate around the country for "extra cost for undercarriage" on the automatic's menu. When I find time ... I will eventually try to find out what percentage of the local automatics have the "undercarriage option" & what the variety of specific to undercarriage local rates are when they do have that option.

Since most of the local automatics tie in the gas purchase with their car washes ... it complicates it a bit IMHO. For example some of them charge more for gas than my 5% back "lower price to begin with for gas" no car wash "Sam's Club card only" personal choice for gas.

Anybody else have checked into what the going rate that "no gas purchase" automatics charge when they offer "undercarriage". I guess for that matter ... I don't know if most of the forum members with automatics also sell gas ... I am not sure????
 

MEP001

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People don't generally offer à la carte purchases for in-bay automatics. I've also never seen or heard of an in-bay automatic that offers two wash packages that are identical except for one with undercarriage and one without. They're usually "Crappy Wash," "Half-Ass Wash," "Decent Wash," and "Expensive Wash" with the first two without undercarriage and the latter two with it. So there's no answer to your question.
 

mjwalsh

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You are probably right about the no "à la carte" when it comes undercarriage with our locals ... I have not paid much attention to those gas station car washes even though they are becoming more & more of a competition issue.

I'll never forget when a former employee who with his wife used to lease gas stations ... called to my attention & pointed out to me a vehicle ... that had just drove from a nearby automatic gas station car wash. The vehicle was still dripping from the wash but the driver got out & just loosened & dropped the huge clumps of mud under his wheel wells with our self service car wash bay wand spray. He then went his merry way. Ugh!
 

JGinther

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The vehicle was still dripping from the wash but the driver got out & just loosened & dropped the huge clumps of mud under his wheel wells with our self service car wash bay wand spray. He then went his merry way. Ugh!
Hence, my point. One got the dollar, the other got the buck.
 
Etowah

mjwalsh

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Just to put a person's reaction here ... from one of our car wash customers (about 60 years old) today when I mentioned the relatively new undercarriage wash option to him ... visiting with him ...while he was drying his dually pickup out in the sun today in our parking lot. I told him we were debating on whether to add the undercarriage spray roll under device.

He said he was concerned about possibly the pressure getting up to where the alternator on vehicles is. I responded saying that vehicles often drive through heavy rain storms & likely get just as wet. He said that is different than pressure directed in the area of the alternator. Any thoughts ... could this be true???

He did said that he was kind of for the added option ... considering salt (ice melt) on the streets here is as bad as ever. He said he was plenty disgusted that the local dealerships have not been putting undercoating protection on brand new vehicles ... anywhere near as much as they used to on brand new vehicles before sold from their car lot.

Any thoughts ... some places in colder climates ... use more salt & other corrosives ... so this is more relevant for some of us than others.
 

MEP001

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Undercoating is a scam. Most people know that now, which is why dealers don't offer it anymore.
 

Sparkleclean

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Mjwalsh, you have to be able to respond to those customers better... lol. Every single touchless wash made has high pressure underbody washes as part of the equipment. Whats the difference between underbody wash at a pdq g-5 car wash, or doing it your self in a self serve bay?? Or any underbody wash in any tunnel? Can it cause problems? Yes, when we first installed it i pulled my 03 silverado in to try it and the water promptly got into my spark plug wires and stalled the truck. BUT it was because the wires were old and cracked, so the water shorted it causing the stall. It is in no way the underbodys fault and the same thing would have happened in the touchless bay. Actually i was glad it happened because it told me i needed to replace my wires.

My customers love it. Especially because the local municipalities started using liquid brine road pre treatments before storms here last year. now instead of salt particles getting in cracks and crevices, this liquid salt goes everywhere!
 

Sparkleclean

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my customers would probably use this, but then just toss it aside on the floor for the next customer to drive over it.

Yes and yes.... my customers leave it on the ground two or three times per week. Sometimes other customers pick it up sometimes we do. No different then finding the foam brush or spray wand on the ground though. Occasionaly it breaks. 99.9% of the time it is the 1/4”x1/4” mxm fitting between the wand and gun. .50 and its back running. But the most important part of your post is the begining.... “my customers would probably use this...” thats the key!
 

MEP001

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I would suggest looking for a gun with a 3/8" outlet and using a steel fitting but they'll probably just break it somewhere else.
 

mjwalsh

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Mjwalsh, you have to be able to respond to those customers better... lol. Every single touchless wash made has high pressure underbody washes as part of the equipment. Whats the difference between underbody wash at a pdq g-5 car wash, or doing it your self in a self serve bay?? Or any underbody wash in any tunnel? Can it cause problems? Yes, when we first installed it i pulled my 03 silverado in to try it and the water promptly got into my spark plug wires and stalled the truck. BUT it was because the wires were old and cracked, so the water shorted it causing the stall. It is in no way the underbodys fault and the same thing would have happened in the touchless bay. Actually i was glad it happened because it told me i needed to replace my wires.

My customers love it. Especially because the local municipalities started using liquid brine road pre treatments before storms here last year. now instead of salt particles getting in cracks and crevices, this liquid salt goes everywhere!
Sparkleclean,

About 10 days ago, I was part of an impromptu interview-local TV station broadcast where I reminded the public about not just salt but about the needed removal of the "ugly nasty looking liquid beet juice" that the city started using about a year ago.

I agree that the extra boom might be a challenge ... I notice the video made by Hydrospray does not show the potential interaction between other booms ... since we already have a total of three booms (two Z booms) including a very far extended third Mosmatic 180° blow dry boom. We would be adding a 4th boom if we did go with the undercarriage option!

Can I talk you into sharing with us via a quick upload to YouTube a quickly done video from your Smartest Phone to give the rest of us a hint about the added multiple boom challenge ... just in case one of us might see a way to copy or better yet ... improve a bit on your boom synchronization?

I do thank you for the heads up about the gas station & other automatics undercarriage norm that may or may not hold true here in our relatively small metro area. It is something that I will have to look into. I would think that the self service roll under could have the more thorough advantage over the quick automatics. One issue that came up that forced many of the automatics to take care of ... is the amount of dripping causing an ice slick on the city street as the numerous cars drove out. More & more of them now employ ($$$) manual labor toweling before the vehicles drive out to help prevent their created icy street hazard that they were called on to correct. The toweling I suppose also provides needed time delay for the dripping from the undercarriage spray to be mitigated??? Since we have a very long drive out area as they exit ... the dripping (city officials wise) will not be a problem for us.

The below article from a (Mpls-St Paul newspaper) could assist in educating the customer via social media or whatever:
http://www.startribune.com/need-for-rustproofing-has-fallen-off-but-it-can-be-useful/185568982/

The author included this possible educating nugget for those of us who may choose the undercarriage option on our self service car wash bays:

"However, the absolute best rustproofing is frequent car washing that includes a thorough flushing of the underside of the chassis, wheel wells and the inside edges of doors, hood and trunk. As a metallurgical engineer once told me, 'rust never sleeps. Ferrous metals simply prefer to exist in an oxidized state. You can't stop rust; you can only slow it down.' "
 

JGinther

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Can't believe someone thinks hand drying is the solution to the ice formation problem... Drying the paint works as well as peeing up wind. Nearly all of the water is from truck beds holding 25 gallons of water in the bed as they drive off... Really, the city enforces hand drying???! Or just asked the operators to come up with a solution, and that was it?
 

Earl Weiss

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Sparkleclean,


Can I talk you into sharing with us via a quick upload to YouTube a quickly done video from your Smartest Phone to give the rest of us a hint about the added multiple boom challenge ... just in case one of us might see a way to copy or better yet ... improve a bit on your boom synchronization?

.' "[/I]
I think Hoffman has some vids out there with 5 booms. Center and each corner.
 

mjwalsh

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I think Hoffman has some vids out there with 5 booms. Center and each corner.
Tom Hoffman Jr has a lot of videos on YouTube. This shows where he positions Mosmatic flats way off center ... not sure if that is the best solution ... a tiny clip within the following does not actually show the booms in action. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdB5hlIJL1Q

My Mosmatic flat with Z booms look the same as his but is in the center & is only one. I am envisioning modifying one of my straight stainless booms just above the Z booms. I very likely will need some machine shop help ... not sure. I was hoping SparkleClean's setup with the third ceiling boom could shed some light on how to do a ceiling mount undercarriage mount while keeping entanglements to a minimum. One thing going for it ... is that it will probably be used way less than the main gun & the foam brush. That does not mean in a Northern Climate with corrosive streets during the wintertime ... it will not be worthwhile. Even if it is more dormant most of the year!

Our Blow Dry requires a 2"+ diameter arm so we felt it made more sense to put that as a side boom ... but the undercarriage could be set up with a very small diameter boom straight boom arm above the Z booms.

I see on Tom's automatics his lowest tier does not include an undercarriage spray... not sure how thorough those selections would compare to the self service approach.
 
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mjwalsh

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Sparkleclean,

I do appreciate you taking time to take & post the 2 pics. A video showing how the booms avoid each other would have been better but ... hey .... the pics do help some. Just like I suspected ... your climate & most others' is mild enough so you can get by without overhead doors on both ends of each inside bay.

One thing about going over innovations etc with others on this forum ... is that many really don't have a good enough sense of what it is like to run a car wash where the winter time temperatures average as low as we have here in North Dakota. Not to mention the frequent winds that go along with the cold weather. I think Swampdonkey, some in Canada, & a few others can relate but they tend to be the exception.

We stored some perfectly good & even brand new nevery used 360° booms that hopefully we will find time to mount .... but not in the center of the bay but still not too close to the wall .... on the coin box side. There is no law that says that a ceiling mount 360° boom can't be used on a side wall several feet from that specific wall with a strong enough wall bracket creating the flat mounting surface to add to greater ease of use. We are pretty sure we can make it work ... maybe even without having the selection on the coin box. That would save a ton of money if we can avoid the coin box & Hydrospray's automatic 3 way valve. It might be wishful thinking but I am thinking that we will get enough regular customers (with word of mouth) to just use a manual valve right next to the coin box. The trick might be to have clear ALERT blinking leds with "plain as day signage" if the valve was ever in the position of even partially routing the high pressure into the undercarriage wand. The undercarriage wand gun must be able to release water ... weep etc ... blow out etc ... & in our case we (& I believe our customers) prefer the variable pressure releasing ... on non trigger pull dump guns (albeit more expensive to buy initially).

Our stored booms look very similar to your center mount boom ... more straight than the Z booms ... the straightness we think will work in the customers' favor. Time will tell ... we will have to hold off somewhat until we get further along on our major laundromat 32 washing machine renovation. Ideally, we would be able to take advantage of some late winter & early spring usage. Some of our self service competition seems to have gone all in on fragrance - upholstery .... tri foam dis & dat ... so hopefully myself & my 2 or three employees will have a unique & a bit of a humble niche in other ways.

Sparkleclean .... have you found any significant usage of the undercarriage wand-rollers during the late spring, summer, & early fall??? Is it pretty much just a wintertime thing???
 

Sparkleclean

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Sparkleclean,

I do appreciate you taking time to take & post the 2 pics. A video showing how the booms avoid each other would have been better but ... hey .... the pics do help some. Just like I suspected ... your climate & most others' is mild enough so you can get by without overhead doors on both ends of each inside bay.

One thing about going over innovations etc with others on this forum ... is that many really don't have a good enough sense of what it is like to run a car wash where the winter time temperatures average as low as we have here in North Dakota. Not to mention the frequent winds that go along with the cold weather. I think Swampdonkey, some in Canada, & a few others can relate but they tend to be the exception.

We stored some perfectly good & even brand new nevery used 360° booms that hopefully we will find time to mount .... but not in the center of the bay but still not too close to the wall .... on the coin box side. There is no law that says that a ceiling mount 360° boom can't be used on a side wall several feet from that specific wall with a strong enough wall bracket creating the flat mounting surface to add to greater ease of use. We are pretty sure we can make it work ... maybe even without having the selection on the coin box. That would save a ton of money if we can avoid the coin box & Hydrospray's automatic 3 way valve. It might be wishful thinking but I am thinking that we will get enough regular customers (with word of mouth) to just use a manual valve right next to the coin box. The trick might be to have clear ALERT blinking leds with "plain as day signage" if the valve was ever in the position of even partially routing the high pressure into the undercarriage wand. The undercarriage wand gun must be able to release water ... weep etc ... blow out etc ... & in our case we (& I believe our customers) prefer the variable pressure releasing ... on non trigger pull dump guns (albeit more expensive to buy initially).

Our stored booms look very similar to your center mount boom ... more straight than the Z booms ... the straightness we think will work in the customers' favor. Time will tell ... we will have to hold off somewhat until we get further along on our major laundromat 32 washing machine renovation. Ideally, we would be able to take advantage of some late winter & early spring usage. Some of our self service competition seems to have gone all in on fragrance - upholstery .... tri foam dis & dat ... so hopefully myself & my 2 or three employees will have a unique & a bit of a humble niche in other ways.

Sparkleclean .... have you found any significant usage of the undercarriage wand-rollers during the late spring, summer, & early fall??? Is it pretty much just a wintertime thing???

Last year we had several bouts of negative 15 degree temps here. The wash is located on a hill above a lake in new hampshire. It can be like a wind tunnel at times. We still dont add doors. We use a custom weep system and anti freeze chemicals. When it drops too cold usually the foam brush will freeze up but i have signs warning of it.

We see usage of the underbody year round. I am next to an off road vehicle dealership so we get mud trucks and atv in the spring, summer and fall. Then plows and winter usage from road salt.

My wall booms are all tilted so at rest they naturally go back to the wall. They occasionally will mix but it is usually because one or two people are trying to wash the same car. I.e. Someone is using the wand and someone else is using the spray gun. I dont have a wobble head so i see that often. Spraying high pressure soap and trying to brush it in. But the underbody boom doesnt really add any more trouble to the bay.
 

mjwalsh

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SparkleClean,

Any thoughts about us improvising in some of the ways you suggested in your earlier posts with this: https://www.kleen-ritecorp.com/p-55840-suttner-underbody-lance-with-non-weep-gun.aspx ??? Maybe not as sturdy as the Hydrospray's but it would give us something to worrk with .... to do some initial low cost testing in just one of our 6 bays.

Since the local competition all have brand new doors on both ends we have to somewhat also let our customers close the doors during below freezing weather so weep-antifreeze is sadly no longer an option for us. I wonder if someone could tell me if we could possibly modify the Suttner non weep into a weep though .... because I think it would be easier on our Cat 310s if the customer left the undercarriage selection running with no trigger pull. In other words less heat potential buildup within the regulator-bypassing hose close to the Cat 310.

I would run it with no trigger squeeze at all ... but you have already warned in an earlier post that it will fly around dangerously in the bay??? If I went that route I could then make the nozzles a size bigger allowing more water volume which would mean less pressure but I am sure the customer would not have as an effective spray with that much less pressure ... not sure.

Our former Specialty Equip SS hi pressure booms are 360° so we might make an extra effort to find the perfect boom mount spot away from the wall to make the usage better than just a wall boom. Time will tell. Possibly too late to get much benefit the "beet juice-salt on our local streets" season though. But that will give us more time to hopefully tweak.

Here is a more thorough description of the item:

https://www.dultmeier.com/products/0.48.5724/12902 and

https://suttner.com/products/product-details/?product=Underbody+Lance
 
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Roz

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I like the wand concept, wish Suttner would have a version with a weep hand. Alternative idea is the wand that you can adjust the angle from 20-90 deg. Something to experiment with in a bay as we always like to test new ideas. Thanks for the idea!
 
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