Seeking a greener carwashing experience

From chemicals to containers and wash practices, there are many ways to be environmentally friendly.

Since we only have one planet, everyone has a stake in protecting the environment. Certainly, Nemo Car and Dog Wash is no exception. Admittedly, we enjoy an advantage in the industry in that our suppliers are well versed. Australias’ environmental standards are considerably more stringent than ever so environmental stewardship — from chemicals to equipment — is a significant focus for Nemo Car and Dog Wash.

Nemo Car and Dog Wash have taken huge steps to ensure that we are using products that are not harmful to the environment and sustainable. For example, some carwash formulations still contain a chemical that cleans well but is very hard on equipment and poses a risk to employees, operators and the public.

Of course, chemicals are only one aspect of our efforts to be good stewards of our environment. Our carwash equipment is engineered to minimize the consumption of water and electricity.

Protecting the environment we share is everyone’s concern, and Nemo Car and Dog Wash is doing its part. We will strive to make our chemicals and equipment more eco-friendly while looking ahead and planning for an even greener future.

How to clean an engine

For a car owner to enjoy the beauty of a clean car, it’s vital to address the cleanliness of the interior, exterior and under the hood — the engine.

The engine is the heart of the car. Keeping it clean means giving a car the power to perform smoothly.

Why clean a car engine?

Typically, people who live in urban areas with paved roads and experience little or no debris should clean their engines twice a year.

However, those who live in the country or do a lot of off-road driving — where they encounter a lot of dust, grime and debris — should clean their engines every three months. The same applies to those who live in areas that experience extensive snowfall and rain.

Cleaning a car’s engine has numerous benefits, but it’s vital to do it safely to avoid making mistakes that can cause malfunctions.

For example, engine sensors and wires should not be exposed to water. They can cause short circuits, leading to a faulty engine which can be very expensive to repair.

Benefits of cleaning a car engine

  • It prevents combustive materials, such as oil or leaves, from building up and becoming a fire hazard.
  • It removes debris and road salt, thus reducing corrosion.
  • It makes it easier to spot any potential danger, such as leaking fluids and cracks, before they become problematic. This means having a clean engine can make a car safer and protect the driver from breakdowns and accidents.
  • A clean engine improves a car’s look, thus increasing its resale value.
  • A layer of grime in the engine makes it work harder, thus using excessive fuel. But a clean car engine improves a car’s fuel economy and performance, thus saving money.

How to clean a car engine

1.     Schedule.

Ideally, opt for a warm day. Warmer weather, which is low in humidity, will help the car engine to dry faster.

2.     Prepare the cleaning supplies.

To effectively clean a car’s engine, you will need some equipment and products, including;

  • A non-metallic scrub brush
  • Simple, all-purpose cleaner
  • Air compressor or a clean towel
  • Tape and a plastic bag
  • Water sources, preferably a pressure washer
  • Safety glasses and gloves
  • Biodegradable engine degreaser
  • Wrench for removing the battery cables.

3.     Allow the car to cool off.

If the car was running, switch it off and flip open the hood to allow the hot engine to cool off for a few hours before cleaning it. In fact, it’s advisable to clean the engine in the morning since the car would have cooled down overnight.

Pouring cold water on a hot engine can warp and crack it, leading to expensive repairs. Additionally, a hot engine instantly dries off the cleaner, leaving the engine with unwanted spots.

4.     Tighten the dipstick and caps.

Tightly seal the brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant and other liquid reservoir caps. Please press down the dipstick to ensure it is adequately sealed.

Doing this prevents the water from getting into the fluids, thus preventing chemical reactions and degradation, that can damage the engine.

5.     Disconnect the battery.

First, disconnect both battery terminals and, if possible, remove the whole battery to enable you to clean that area comfortably. Disconnecting the terminals ensures you protect them from getting wet and damaged.

6.     Cover up.

Cover up the sensitive electrical components using a plastic bag and seal them tightly with electrical tape. Protect features like engine control units, ignition wires, distributor caps, spark plugs, coil packs, alternators and other filters.

Protecting these compartments from getting wet will ensure you thoroughly clean the engine without the fear of damaging anything.

7.     Degrease.

Agitate the surface grime and dust using a brush with synthetic bristles, and vacuum it up. After scrubbing off the dirt, wet the engine bay using warm water to help in removing loose grime and dirt. Then, spray the degreaser throughout the engine compartments, and allow it to soak for 10 minutes.

Pay special attention, and add more grease remover to the caps, hoses, fluid containers and firewall, which always have extra grime buildup.

8.     Rinse.

Rinse out the engine bay using a weak stream of pressure sprayer. Avoid using a high-pressure sprayer, since it may leak water onto the covered areas, causing problems. Start rinsing from the back, going to the front.

9.     Finish up.

After rinsing it, wait for the water to evaporate, and then wipe the engine using a soft microfiber cloth. Alternatively, you can use a compressor to blast in the air to the nooks and crannies, thus removing excess water.

Remember wiping the engine removes not only water but also the remaining grime.

10.  Remove the coverings, and reconnect the battery.

After wicking up the water, remove the plastic and electrical tape from the covered areas. Dispose of them correctly. Leave the engine with the hood up for about an hour or until everything completely dries out.

Reinstall the battery terminals and reconnect the battery.

11. Start the car.

Once the engine is completely dry, start the car and allow it to run the usual way until it reaches its operating temperature; you can drive it or switch it off.

Things to avoid when cleaning a car engine

Don’t be too quick to take the car’s components out; you might misplace them or put them back improperly. It’s advisable to take a picture of any part you want to remove.

Don’t go crazy with the cleaning chemicals. Some engine cleaners can leave residue on an engine, leading to corrosion.

Conclusion

Make it a habit to advertise the need to clean a car’s engine regularly using the above steps. That way, it becomes easy to keep the engine looking good and also be able to identify and resolve any emerging engine problems while ensuring safety.

Carwashing Vs. Detailing

What are the basic differences between these two services?

Taking care of a car is an important goal for a lot of car owners. They want to be able to drive their cars around with pride, and this requires that they look their best. To do this, there are two primary options they can use: carwashing and detailing. Below we’ll explain the difference between the two methods, including the benefits you can receive from each and when to use either one.

What is detailing?

Detailing is an advanced process designed to make your car look as good as possible. According to Onsite Detail in St. George, Utah, “Auto detailing is taking care of a vehicle through regular cleaning maintenance and protection to maintain as close to original condition as possible or even improving it to ‘better than new.’ It is most often referred to as an in-depth, thorough cleaning and/or restoration of a car, truck, van or SUV to achieve a high-quality cleanliness and protection.”

The biggest benefit of car detailing is that it can make a car look new again and protect the paint color at its current level. In addition, interior detailing services can extend the life of the interior of a car, which typically receives a lot of wear.

However, car detailing is typically more time-consuming and expensive in comparison to a carwash. Customers will likely use car detailing less than washing, such as after their cars have received some damage or when they want them to look especially nice. Many detailing experts recommend that a car gets detailed every four to six months or so.

What is a carwash?

Carwashing is simpler than detailing. It includes washing the outside of the vehicle to remove dirt and other debris. It can also include cleaning the inside of the car by doing things like vacuuming the seats and the floors.

Most car owners will get their cars washed more often than detailed. This is because a carwash can be completed in just a matter of minutes and it is significantly less expensive. Washing a car more often will also help to protect it against weather elements and from wearing down inside so that it won’t need detailing as often. While there is no recommended amount of time one should go between carwashes, if customers want to keep their cars looking their best, they should probably wash their cars every few weeks at least.

Going to a drive-through carwash is typically quicker. Some allow customers to remain in the car while it is cleaned, while with others one just needs to wait inside the carwash for a few minutes. After just a few minutes, the car has been washed, dried and vacuumed out, leaving it looking a lot better. Many places will even provide undercarriage washing, which can help protect a car from things like road salt.

Which one should you recommend?

Which service you recommend will depend on what the customer is trying to accomplish. If the customer is simply trying to take good care of the car and wants it to look a little better, you can probably recommend a carwash. On the other hand, if the car is starting to look a little worn down and needs a little extra work to make it look like new again, then you’ll probably want to recommend detailing. You should also consider how much the customer is willing to spend and how much time he or she has available.

Carwashing vs. detailing

Knowing the difference between carwashing and detailing can help you to take proper care of customers’ cars. You will know which one you need to recommend and how often customers should get either option. This will help their cars look great and last longer, making for a more enjoyable drive and keeping the value within the car.

Killer additions to keep a car cool in the summer!

Keep customers from feeling the heat.

Luckily, you can make this dream a little bit more of a reality. There are some killer items that you can sell to customers to add to their cars that, once they do, will make the car significantly cooler in the summer. Check out the additions below, and see if your carwash could benefit from selling any of them.

Windshield visor

One of the most common additions people make to their cars in order to keep the heat out is a windshield visor. Cars become warm in the summer because direct sunlight enters in through the windows. This is why we park in the shade whenever we can. Since the windshield is the largest window in the car, blocking the sun from coming in would make a huge difference.

Windshield visors and sunshades are fairly inexpensive and easy to use. You just pop them open once you park and lay them underneath the windshield. While they won’t block heat from entering your car entirely, they certainly help.

Tinted windows

To help customers block out even more of the sun, consider offering window-tinting services. Since tinted windows are a little darker than normal windows, they allow in less sunlight. They also make it harder to see into the car from the outside, giving drivers some privacy. Keep in mind that some areas have laws against how dark tinted windows can be, so you should check the laws in your area before you proceed.

Seat covers

What often makes a car so unbearable to be inside during the summer is that everything is hot to the touch. This often includes the seats, making it hard to drive when you’re wearing shorts or a skirt. To solve this problem, you can sell and install some seat covers. For example, Neoprene seat covers help to deflect some of the heat from inside the car, so you have a more comfortable ride during the summer. Not only that, but since they are water resistant, you don’t have to worry about sweat stains or spilled drinks. Seat covers are a great way to not only give a customer a more comfortable ride year-round, but they also protect the underlying fabric to retain a car’s value.

A solar-powered fan

Finally, a solar-powered fan might make a drive a little more comfortable. Since there is so much sun out during the summer, you might as well make use of it. With a solar powered fan, you get a nice breeze throughout the car at all times, even if the car isn’t running. This is great when you have to sit in your car for some reason, but you don’t want to waste gas by running the car and the AC the entire time. A solar-powered fan doesn’t use any energy from your car, and many models can clip right onto the window to give the driver or passenger a nice breeze.

Don’t suffer inside a hot car this summer

We’ve all had that moment where we dread getting into our cars because we know how hot it is going to be. You reach into your car to start it up, and the warm air inside is almost suffocating. You then have to wait outside your car for a few minutes while the AC does its work before you can even think about sitting down inside the car.

By offering some of the killer additions above, you can hopefully help customers make this a problem of the past.