AquaJet® Touchless Car Wash – To Use or Not to Use?
August 29, 2016
AquaJet XT® is a touchless car wash system designed by Mark VII, a subsidiary of the world’s largest manufacturer of car wash equipment, WashTec AG. This system is marketed as a huge improvement on traditional automated car wash systems, delivering not only a better wash but also better water conservation. Does this system really stand up to its advertised image? Let’s find out.
How Does the AquaJet® Touchless Car Wash Work?
The AquaJet system is a drive-through automatic system. After selecting the wash you require, a LED lighting system will direct you to stop, move forward and move backwards, much like the lighting system at a pedestrian crossing. According to the official website, the Express Wash or the basic wash is completed in less than 10 minutes while the Premium Wash is completed in less than 15 minutes. Here are the stages of the Premium Wash:
- Pre-soaking the vehicle – Nozzles lower towards the front and the back of the vehicle at the same time to maximize time. Nozzles are also located on the sides.
- Spraying of a car wash chemical to loosen dirt. The chemical is allowed to sit for approximately two and a half minutes, giving it additional time to work on hardened dirt and grime.
- Wheels are cleaned by a brush that is rotating at a high speed.
- The chemical is removed by a high pressure wash.
- The vehicle is covered in triple foam that enhances the cleaning process.
- The foam is quickly removed and the vehicle is rinsed by another round of high pressure washing.
- Customers can pay for a coating of premium wax such as Rain-X® and Turtle Wax® before the final drying process.
- The vehicle is dried spot-free by an AquaDri® dryer.
AquaJet® Touchless Car Wash: Pros
- Efficiency – Who would say no to a car wash that takes less than 15 minutes? It is the perfect time saver for a customer on the go.
- Cheap – The price of a wash may change from one location to another, but generally it is not more than $20.
- Touchless car wash system – This system is the best alternative to automatic car washes with abrasive nylon and/or cloth brushes, so there is no risk of paint scratches and swirls.
- Water conservation – According to Mark VII, a basic wash uses approximately 24 gallons of water per car. This is much less than the 40 gallons used by other automatic car wash systems.
- Energy conservation – The entire system is designed to maximize energy efficiency.
- Dryer system – This is a great alternative to having your car hand dried by untrained car wash attendants with dirty towels or driving away in a soaking wet car.
- Using wax from reputed brands – There is a good choice as opposed to automated systems that use generic wax products.
AquaJet® Touchless Car Wash: Cons
- Generic chemicals – The vehicle is a sprayed with a car wash chemical that is most probably not only generic, but also very abrasive. This can lead to dull and lifeless paint.
- Abrasive wheel cleaning system – The wheel cleaning brush rotates at a very high speed which is detrimental to chrome or aluminum. These materials need to be cleaned with a soft-bristled brush. Moreover, in this system the same harsh car cleaning chemical is also sprayed on to the wheels and tires, although the best practice is to use a product specifically designed to clean them.
- Triple foam – Triple foam is one of the gimmicks often used by automated car wash systems to lure in customers by color and scent. Although the website says it “enhances the cleaning process”, triple foam is more often than not just colored and scented soap without any special cleaning properties. This, too, contributes to dullness of paint.
- Incorrect application of wax – Although this touchless car wash system gets points for using wax from reputed auto detailing product brands, it is evident that spraying it over the vehicle in less than a minute will not activate the desired shine, paint protection and water beading properties. Wax should be carefully worked into the paint by hand, even though the process is time consuming. Moreover, the surface needs to be prepared by claying and polishing before waxing. If hand applied wax can last up to six months with great car care, this quick application would not even last one wash. It is ultimately a waste of money.
Before using this touchless car wash system, it is important to weigh its pros and cons. It is of course evident that this system is no match for hand washing a car. However, it is a good system to be used during winter when hand washing becomes quite difficult. It is still superior to other automated car wash systems that cause a great deal of damage to vehicles.
Looking for a better option than a touchless car wash? Schedule an appointment with DetailXPerts to experience our innovative, eco-friendly steam cleaning system.
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