The Importance of Preventive Maintenance
An Ounce of Prevention Equals a Pound of Cure
“Up time” of a car wash and car wash equipment plays a key role in acquiring and keeping customers as well as minimizing expenses. Regular Preventive Maintenance (PM) plays a key role in the up time of any self serve, automatic or tunnel car wash and ancillary equipment; water softener, reverse osmosis system and compressors to name a few. We are sure you agree that if any one of these items fail, the quality of the wash is greatly impacted. It is just as important to be proactive in maintaining car wash equipment as it is to make sure you have ordered enough chemicals to clean cars.
By performing regular manufacturer suggested preventive maintenance (weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly) on your equipment you can, in most cases, prevent a costly and time consuming repair. PM’s can detect potential major issues with equipment before they become “major” and address normal day to day wear & tear issues. For instance, if you find a pump seal leaking during a PM and make the necessary repairs there and then, you may have prevented having to replace an entire pump head or deal with a seize pump. By the way, important to note that you should use CAT oil in CAT pumps, General oil in General pumps and Hypro oil in Hypro pumps. Many of these high pressure pumps carry 3-5 year warranties. The very first thing the manufacturer is going to do is check to see that the approved oil was use. If not, no warranty. Plain and simple. Sure, 30 W non-detergent oil will work, but the specific oils recommended by the respective manufacturers is unique in that they will mix with water. When a seal fails the water will co-mingle with the oil. The oil turns white, still providing lubrication, other oil will be displaced by the water and obviously impede the ability to lubricate. Always check for “milky” oil on a PM. There is a big difference in cost and time to replace a seal versus replacing an entire head. There are many items that need to be checked on a PM and they differ with each type of equipment. It is always best to check your equipment manufacturer’s recommended maintenance for proper equipment guidelines and time intervals. You may also choose to have your local service provider (AutoAuto Wash) perform regular PM’s for you.
Bottom-line, the better ongoing care you provide to your machine, the longer it will last, the less it will cost for parts and maintenance. Keep copious records on the PMs provided. If your exit strategy is to sell the wash someday, surely the wash owner that can show the prospective buyer PM records will be a more attractive purchase.