Response to Leaking Sunroof article in the Star Wheels Section
In the Toronto Star newspaper's Wheels Section on February 11, 2012 was an
article that several
members contact the CCA National Office about. The following is the letter sent
to the editor of the Wheels section, Mr. Mark Roberson, and the journalist who wrote
the article, Eric Lai, to provide the more acurate information than what was published.
February 15, 2012
Dear Mr. Roberson and Mr. Lai:
In a Toronto Star Wheels column with Eric Lai, dated February 11, 2012, a question
was raised about a vehicle’s sunroof leaking as it went through a ‘no touch’ carwash.
For the record, the Canadian Carwash Association (CCA) would like to challenge the
information that appeared in the article.
Carwash equipment manufacturers work with all the major car manufacturers to ensure
that the majority of vehicles they build can be professionally washed. They call
this the “carwash envelope” and they look at such things as tire width, rims, trim,
how low a vehicle is, width and height and any other items that would not be carwash-friendly.
They also look at water pressure. All carwash manufacturers build equipment that
is well within vehicle manufacture water pressure specifications; the same cannot
be said about home pressure washers. Leaking sunroofs are not a professional carwash
problem, if it were, be assured that the industry would be working with manufacturers
to find a solution.
A touchless carwash is designed to produce water flow at a range from 350 PSI at
80 gpm (gallons per minute), to 1,250 PSI at 40 gpm, far less than most home power
washers. Home power washers can be rated at 2,000 PSI at 1.5-2.2 gpm. These washers
can certainly strip paint away — especially with zero degree or turbo nozzles. Industrial
power washers are even higher, ranging up to 9,000 PSI.
In every type of wash situation, loose paint and rust will likely be dislodged.
Professional carwashes are specifically designed to provide the most efficient wash
possible without any damage to the vehicle. Carwash equipment manufacturers routinely
work with car manufacturers to ensure that vehicles receive best wash possible.
Professional carwashing remains the best alternative for keeping a vehicle clean
and free from rust-causing agents. It is also the most environmentally friendly
method of cleaning cars. Carwashes are required to send their wastewater directly
to municipal sanitary sewer systems where it can be treated. On the other hand,
driveway car washers cause additional pollution to our lakes and streams by sending
their wastewater directly into the storm sewer system, meant only for rain and melting
snow, which is not treated before release.
Water is a scarce resource, and any practice which is potentially harmful to the
integrity of the supply must be avoided. The carwash industry takes water stewardship
very seriously. The Canadian Carwash Association wants to ensure the public that
the carwash industry’s practices are designed to reflect this fact while achieving
desired wash quality without damaging customers’ vehicles.
Please consider the above for publication as a letter to the editor. As well, I
am open to discussing this further should you wish to.
A. Jorge de Mendonça
Canadian Carwash Assocation