Week 3 Recap

Today we went straight to Barstow which is 2 hours away. We had to help fix a broken motor in a hand wash gas station car wash. This motor turned on pistons which pressurized the water that shot out of the pumps to wash the car. The motor was burnt out so we had to take it out and replace it with the new one. Once we took it out we found a leak and we closed it out with some sort of special tape and a glue solution. Once we did this we found that a hose that the water ran through had a tear so we told them to order and new hose to install it right away so they don’t waste water.

We started at 6am today and we went directly to a car wash in South Central. Today all we had to do was an inspection of the car wash. First we saw if the conveyor belt was working then we went to the back room to see in the pumps, water distribution, and vacuums were working. As we turned on the wash we found two leaks in two of their spinning washers and a ripped up mat that cleaned the wheels. We headed back to the office to write a quote for the customer to see how much it would cost to replace and fix those parts. Then we headed over to a car wash in Culver City that was having a hard time controlling when they wanted to turn their blowers on and off. In this car wash the blowers would turn on right when a car entered the car wash and then would turn off realizing that the car has not yet gotten to the blowers and is still getting washed with water and soap. The problem is that the blower can’t be turning on at the wrong time then turning off and then turning on again at the right time because all that turning on and off wastes energy so they have to find a way to program it where it turns on when it is supposed and stays on to do its job.

 We first went to San Pedro to see a green Forest car wash that had a loose conveyor belt. When went there to tighten it up by taking a link out of the conveyor belt then we cleaned their tire waxing machine. When then left to a Redondo Beach car wash to fix its conveyor belt switch and to do more maintenance on little water pumps.

Week Two Recap


 Today started at 6am and luckily we spent all our time at two car washes. First we went to the metro bus wash in Santa Monica to see how they were handling their water consumption. The problem with this one was that their timers for the pre rinse were on too long so even after the bus left the pre rinse it was still wasting water so we turned the timer down to save water. Also this car wash did not have a bus counter so we didn’t know exactly how many gallons per bus because we did not know how many buses. Lastly the washes final rinse was turning on in the middle of the wash so it was on too early. It would turn as the bus was in the middle getting scrubbed and then at the end when it was actually suppose to be on. To solve this they have to install another infrared sensor before the final rinse so that when the bus arrives there it can actually turn on when it’s needed instead of turning on twice and wasting water. Next we drove to another metro bus wash that was trying to conserve water too. They were having the same timer problem and final rinse problem. After diagnosing the situation, NS will set a price of how much it will cost for the parts and the labor to fix their car washes.


We started the day around 7am and went to the office. The first thing we did was to write the quotes for the metro bus car wash so that they could see the amount of money needed to fix their problem. While my uncle finished the quotes I triple checked the numbers for San Diego to make sure there weren’t any mistakes. After this we went to West LA to a regular car wash to fix a water sprinkler that wasn’t spinning and also to fix the part of the wash that guides the wheels of the car and moves the car for you while it’s washing. We finished this in an hour then we went to the office to pack up a computer for my uncle who will be going to San Diego to program a car wash.


 My uncle went to San Diego for three days to set up the car wash down there. After checking all the numbers and the types of washes he took that information down there to program it into the computer. The wash had to be up and running on Friday morning for its first customers.


Week One Recap

 Today was my first day working with my uncle and we went to the San Fernando Valley to see a metro bus wash that was having difficulty with water consumption and leaks with their equipment. Since it was my first day today I was just hoping to learn anything new about the function of the machines in the car washes and how they operate as a whole. I did learn about infrared machines that signal when a bus is coming through and tell certain machines to start working to help clean the bus and the same thing happens when the bus is at the end, it will pass through an infrared sensor to let the dryers know that the bus is done getting washed so it’s time to turn on and dries the vehicle. This station was having a hard time calculating the number of gallons used per bus and since we are in a drought they want to conserve the water and see if a bus that takes 50 gallons of water only uses 50 because if it’s using 70 there is a leak. They have sensors like I said before that tell you the number of buses that have been in the wash and they have a machines that tells you how much gallons they have used so with this they hope to calculate the number of gallons per bus, but sometimes buses go one after another and don’t wait for the sensor to reset so then the machine thinks it is one big bus and this messes up their calculations. This is the problem they are trying to solve, to account for every bus individually. I had an idea of putting a bar code sticker on each bus and then having a sensor read the sticker and then it would calculate the water use and the time on that bus and when another bus comes it reads the sticker again and sees that it’s a new bus and not a big one and repeat the process.


 My second was a bit slower and that is only because I spent more time in the office. Today we started off by inputting numbers and a type of wash into the computer to program it for a car wash in San Diego. So basically there are 865 customers and each customer gets a number and they also select a wash, whether it is a touch-less or soft-touch wash and what we do is input the number and what wash they want. So we started doing that when my uncle got a call from the car wash we went to yesterday. We went there to fix a sensor that when the buses go through it starts and stops the last rinse and they needed us to lower it because they also wash their cars there and the sensors were to high for them to wash their cars too so it did not read it and didn’t know when to shut off. So we then lowered the first two on the left side and then angled the right sided ones downward to meet the left sided ones which were lower and angled up. We then went back to the office to input the rest of the numbers.


My last day of the week started bright and early at 7am and first thing on the agenda was to go to the office and check the numbers to make sure we did every one correctly. After checking we headed over to the Torrance Transit car wash to fix the solenoid valve that was turning off when it was supposed to. After 4 hours there and many tries to fix it we ended up noting that it wasn’t working because of a plc that was busted so the commands of the program weren’t being transferred correctly so it wasn’t shutting off. We took a picture of the problem so that we could order a new one to try to replace it with.