New car technology is making life hard for car wash operators, magazine reports Ward’s. According to a survey of 250 members of the International Carwash Association (ICA), nearly 40% of respondents report problems when washing cars equipped with front collision avoidance systems or automatic return to neutral systems (shift-to-park). These two types of devices are often activated and immobilize the cars during washes.
This sometimes causes (minor) collisions in the car wash. In the case of cars equipped with anti-collision devices, the cameras detect the movement of the rollers in front of the car, which causes the car to stop; the one following on the conveyor stamps it from behind.
The device shift-to-park is designed to prevent accidents when a driver gets out of his immobilized car forgetting to put the transmission in neutral. The car does this itself as soon as the driver’s side door opens. The problem is, some car washes are vacuumed – with all the doors open – while the conveyor takes them to the wash area. As the device shift-to-park prevents the car from moving if the driver’s door is open, the transmission goes to neutral and the car stops.
These systems can be turned off before washing, but the majority of drivers don’t know how, and even more don’t. The ICA says it is working on solutions with manufacturers.