Talk Description to Me

Episode 62 - The Car Wash in Stereo!

July 31, 2021 Christine Malec and JJ Hunt Season 2 Episode 62
Talk Description to Me
Episode 62 - The Car Wash in Stereo!
Chapters
2:54
The AutoSpa
7:55
At the AutoSpa wash tunnel window
22:10
Inside the car wash!
28:48
Interior detailing
Talk Description to Me
Episode 62 - The Car Wash in Stereo!
Jul 31, 2021 Season 2 Episode 62
Christine Malec and JJ Hunt

Ok, this is the big one. In this action-packed episode, Christine and JJ go where no Description podcast has gone before: though a carwash! And not just any carwash -- the longest, most sophisticated, full service car wash in North America. And not with any old microphone -- but with binaural mics for full 3D sound. So put on some headphones, lean back in your seat, and join us for a trip to the AutoSpa.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/TalkDescriptionToMe)

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ok, this is the big one. In this action-packed episode, Christine and JJ go where no Description podcast has gone before: though a carwash! And not just any carwash -- the longest, most sophisticated, full service car wash in North America. And not with any old microphone -- but with binaural mics for full 3D sound. So put on some headphones, lean back in your seat, and join us for a trip to the AutoSpa.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/TalkDescriptionToMe)

JJ Hunt:

Talk description to Me with Christine Malec and JJ Hunt.

Christine Malec:

Hi, I'm Christine Malec.

JJ Hunt:

And I'm JJ Hunt. This is talk description to Me where the visuals of current events and the world around us get hashed out in description rich conversations.

Christine Malec:

So if you're not wearing headphones right now, we really recommend you hit the pause button and go find a set of headphones because this is an episode like we've never done before. I feel like all of my podcasting career has been leading up to this golden, golden moment. Because JJ and I went through a carwash, and not just any carwash, and not with just any microphone, we found the deluxe carwash and we went through with a set of by normal microphones. So if you put headphones on, you're going to want to grab a towel because you're gonna feel like you're right there.

JJ Hunt: On location:

You want to walk right through. Alright, so it's gonna be slippery. There might be some hoses.

Christine Malec:

So, I'm going to give you a sense of what this episode is gonna gonna sound like. And then we're gonna talk about where we went. And then you're going to hear some fantastic descriptions and some really viscerally affecting audio.

JJ Hunt: On location:

We're walking between two, two of the tunnel. The one on our right is active, the one on the left is not okay.

Christine Malec:

What we did is we drove out to the Primo drive thru carwash, I didn't know facilities like this existed. And in a minute, JJ is going to describe what it was like from the outside. And so what you're going to hear is we pa we stood outside the glass wall, which is at the tunnel that you we can watch your car go through what the cars go through. So JJ does a stellar description of all of the magic things that happen with machines and water insides. Then we get in the car with the binomial mics, and we cruise on through and it's fantastic. At the end, we do a little detailing, we look through another glass window at the detailing bays, and you get a sense of what goes on inside the car as well. So when we propose this episode to each other, JJ did some research around the various places where we could go and JJ describe for us where we landed because it was pretty spectacular.

JJ Hunt:

Yeah, you know any carwash would have been fun to go through, you know the tunnel style of carwash where you're sitting in your car and you're going through and the machines are spraying water at you and the brushes are worrying and then you you know, you drive in, you drive through you drive out again, that would have been fun anywhere. But when we were looking for places to go, we came across this place called auto spa and they've got two locations. We went to auto spa Mississauga and spoke to sue Murray, they're covered in there.

On location:

Nowthere's a very fine sprayer that spraying the tires and everything from me down. And then there's a bar over the top that washing off are now going under a bar and put washing the whole top. Oh my god, they were just so lovely to us and welcoming and gave us a tour. They said "Come on down" and they walked us right. We walked through the carwash I've never

Christine Malec:

That was awesome!

JJ Hunt:

I didn't know you could do that!

Christine Malec:

I didn't know! Okay, not right through not like a car. There's two lanes where cars could go and we got to walk between them while one of them was functioning sending cars through so we got sprayed on and a little little sudsy. And it was pretty awesome.

JJ Hunt:

It was fantastic. Yeah, as Sue Murray and Gemma helped us let us around and toured us through the facility and it's a massive facility. So I've read in some online reviews that this this carwash the auto spa is kind of like a Taj Mahal of car washes.

On location:

It's got the massive brushes that are like six feet tall, that are whipping around like they call them brushes. And they are going from all big brush and scrub the size. There's also vertical brushes that are doing the hood, the front and they actually roll all the way over the car because the sensors have already taken the dimension to the They can match it perfectly. It's just enormous. It is super full service. It's got everything and opened in 2018. And when you you pull up you have to drive through this is in Mississauga, so both 40 minutes from Toronto, right? Where Mississauga and Oakville meet, it's in a new development area. So there's there's some, some mall that's being constructed and it's it hasn't opened up yet. There's a brand new school there, there's a new gas station going in. And by far and away the most established business there so far is the auto spa and its massive 44,000 square feet. For comparison, a big supermarket is about 50,000 square feet. So it's huge. And when you pull up to it's a gray building with blue detailing, blue and yellow being the colors of auto spa. And you know, there's a there's a main door you can walk through where there's a cafe, there's a customer service area, there's like a big screen TVs. So you can you know, when non COVID times you can hang out and watch TV and have a Starbucks because they've got Starbucks there while your car's being done.

On Location:

There's a sign on the blade dryer that please don't break. I'll move up with two, because you actually have to get really close to it. So I can imagine, as a driver, it's kind of nerve racking, if you're getting up to this thing is not becoming a topic because not listening. So that is actually a notice on and don't worry. Beside the main building, there's the detailing building. And then there's the the the wash building an amazing facility. And because there are the two wash tunnels side by side, that's why we were able to walk through because we had to walk between them. So there were cars being washed to our right, the lane to our left was closed at the moment, because we went early on on a weekday, so there wasn't a lot of traffic yet. And that meant we could really get in there and check out all the equipment. I mean, just a crazy, fantastic facility. But all of the equipment in here, there would be simpler versions of at your local carwash. So if you go to a carwash that's attached to your, your gas station, a lot of the same style of equipment will be found in your local carwash, except in your local, they're probably going to be well I know they're going to be much less sophisticated. This place had it all. It was phenomenal.

Christine Malec:

Again, we can't say enough about how helpful the staff were. They were totally on board when we approach that like you guys are doing great work Come on through. And yet they spent as much time as we needed to understand the mechanics of what was going on. Super, super friendly. So thank you so much to sue Murray and Gemma there who who totally built up the experience for us. It was fantastic. So here we go.

JJ Hunt:

So we are at the Auto Spa, ultimate Car Wash and detailing in Mississauga and we are on the far wall of the main washing house. I mean, it's a it's basically a warehouse with glass walls, one glass wall to an interior that leads into the interior detailing room. And then we are in front of the we are outside of the exterior glass wall. So what we can see in front of us are the cars lining up in front of two side by side tunnels. So in a standard tunnel wash, you have one room, a long room, usually cinderblock walls, maybe you've got a glass wall, and the whole room is considered a tunnel. And as you drive through there are jets and sprays and sensors and brushes that kind of create this tunnel as you drive through but it's generally one tunnel with an open door at each end. So you drive in you, your car gets put on a conveyor, you go through the tunnel of brushes and suds and whatnot, and then you drive at the other end. This is a massive facility. This is huge. We're just told the longest tunnel carwash in North America 190 feet long, I think it's massive and there were two of them side by side. So we were able to walk between them earlier. So we actually walked through a carwash does that never occurred to me that I would ever walk through a carwash you know said spray at the ankles but my shoes right? And so now we're on the outside glass wall. So what we can do is we can watch as the cars go through kind of station by station by station and describe what it looks like here. This is kind of the ultimate. So your local carwash would likely have some of these features or have this but smaller or have this but not quite as sophisticated in terms of the tech This is as grand as it gets. They refer to these as Taj Mahal carwashes. These centers are just incredible. So okay, so right now we're at the start before you even enter the Welcome Gate. And there's an attendant, that kind of, you know, waves you in, we've talked about the waving gesture, like, come here, come here, come here, come forward, come forward, waving with the hand, you know, fingers pulling toward the face kind of thing. And then stopping, you put the handout to say stop. And then once you're stopped, he's got a spray bottle. It's a young man COVID mask in a, you know, color shirt branded for the, you know, in the auto spa, blue and yellow, and he stops, he's got a spray bottle sprays down your car, and hose it down with a pressure hose. And what we were told this is for is to is to start by washing away the largest particles of dirt, any chemicals that are currently on your car. So it's winter and you got salt on the car, you want to wash that off first, big particles of dirt or any other kind of cleaning chemicals, you want to wash that off first. And the reason for that is, not only does it help get rid of it, but it gets rid of it before you get to the brushes. So that when the brushes start whipping against your car is not grinding a piece of salt into the into the paint or anything like that. So that's this station here. And then you enter and you go through the Welcome Gate. And this is a, you know, a gate, two pillars and a, an A bar across the top. And it's illuminated from the insights as well come across the top. And then down the sides are our information, signs, right. So package one, package two, please drive forward, keep car running package three, package four. And so if it needs you to do something, it'll light up your package number one, please drive forward, those two signs will light up, and then you drive through this gate. Now what we were told is at the entrance, this particular tunnel system actually measures your car sensors measure the width of your vehicle, so that as you then move through the rest of the machinery knows how wide and how tall your car is, so that it can adjust accordingly. So that's what's going on at the welcome station. So there's a pickup truck, a big black f 150 pickup truck that's just pulled in getting a getting handwash. Now, kind of the pre hosing before it goes in package number four is flashing so this person got the most expensive package. So let's follow it along. After the the attendant has hosed down the car, he then gives you the gesture to move forward, move forward, move forward again. And your car rolls off of what it has been sitting on which is two grades. And that's so all the water can wash down into the beneath the floor and get reclaimed. That's part of the reclaiming of water system that they've got here. And then he gestures you forward again move forward moving forward with forward the cars, driver side front tire rolls onto a conveyor system. And then he tells you to stop and you put your car in neutral. Once you've done that, the conveyor is what's moving your car forward, it can start you it can stop you but mostly it just very slowly pushes your car forward because there's a little kind of block on the conveyor behind your tire and that's where you are. Okay, so the truck is going through the Welcome Gate and getting a full sudsing. And so all the way there are suds coming down from the sides, there are some hoses coming down from the top, very gentle suds into the entire truck is covered in suds. And there's a split there's a particular suds nozzle that is aimed at the tires, so the tires get sprayed right away. And then there are low brushes. So these are parallel to the floor, dark blue brushes with with tire wheels on them so that the tire wheels are horizontal, they find out where your car is they rub against your tire. So okay, now the tire is coming. So now it can adjust to the width and the brushes whip around and around and around and around and scrub your tires because the tires are generally pretty muddy that so it's knocking off a lot of that. And then once it's done that the car which is still covered in suds rolls forward through another gate, and this gate is the sensor gate. There's no car in it right now the trucks already gone through, but so I can see the sensor panels on the insides of the gate. And they change colors. So there's a series of lights in there. Sometimes they're purple, sometimes they're green, sometimes they're blue, they just slowly morph and shift and I believe that is what's taking the dimensions of your vehicle and that information gets transferred station to station. As we move down the line is all of these gates that I'm talking about are branded right so they all have the auto spa logo which is A yellow oval with blue writing, and a blue outline. And the all of the gates have this, paneling this close up of water and motions in different shades of blue. So it's color coordinated. The brushes that spin on the inside are either red in blue, or blue and yellow to match the branding of the company. So it's like they have done a job inside. And when you're going from station to station, there are these light panels that light up to say, here's what's happening now, you know, you hear you're doing you're soaking stage, you're at your washing stage, you're at the drying stage. So there's a little bit of a, it's not like a light show. But you know, there is more attention paid to the experience than in the kind of some of the old school car washes, where it's just a cement block building that you drive through, it's a little bit there's more to it than that for sure are that's rolling toward us down the line now fully covered and such has been has gone is going through the tire brush now. And the sensor is is now going through the second gate, so the sensor is picking it up and getting another layer of suds on it. So this is a second full coating. So the first coating of suds just look like it had been sprayed. Now it looks like it's being absolutely covered. And it's going into another gate that's got water jets shooting down into the side. And as the car goes through, every bit of that full blanket of suds is being washed away. So it it really is. I mean, it's like it's almost like a clean line, the water cuts down in a clean line. And everything in front of that line is is clean and wet. And everything behind that line is is still sudsy.

Christine Malec:

Would it obscure your view of the window as you're going through?

JJ Hunt:

Oh, yeah, yeah, it complete covering. It's, I've seen people spray using spray insulation before where you go to a wall with a spray machine and the insulation comes out as a foam and you coat the wall, and then it's it spreads a little bit so you get complete coverage. That's how you insulate inside. And this reminds me of that as you spray the foot. As the the suds get sprayed onto the car, the suds expand so that by the time it's done, the entire car is completely blanketed all the windows, everything is blanketed and it holds on long enough that it's still like that when the blade or the the blade of water basically because it's a you know a whole series of of nozzles that spray in in a line. It washes it all off. But But before then it's still completely coated your car is completely blanketed. And then from there, the car moves on and hits the first rows of brushes. So right now we've got two different brushes or two different kinds of brushes that are in front of us. There's one that's a horizontal brush, and two that are vertical. And these are cylinders, cylindrical brushes, and they are lined with a shammies basically long thin strips of shammies These ones are blue and red. So really, it looks like a shaggy Muppet. And, and they're not moving right now. So this they're just these tubes, one horizontal to vertical. And they're, they're just waiting, the car is now rolling through, it's getting that rinse so that blanket of suds is now being rinsed off, and then it's going to come into these brushes now. Okay, so the the horizontal brush has started to spin. And it's as wide as the car and right now it's right on the nose of the car. And as the car travels through, this brush goes up onto the hood, the car is still moving forward. Now the brushes rolling up over the windshield onto the hood. And it's now doing the roof at the same time. The vertical brushes these big cylinders that are at the side, they're starting to scrub on the side. So while the top brush is spinning in doing the front of the car, the hood of the car, the roof of the car and then down the back of the car. The side brushes which are vertical are continuing to whip in circles. And they are doing the sides of the car and they're also on arms so that they can actually travel around the front and around the back. So the front back corners also get Particular attention. And now that the car has moved on, the brushes have stopped. They're sitting down like relaxed Muppets again with the next car so the car continues the cars continue to go through. They get those side brushes they get the top brushes, there are a couple of different stations of those were different kinds of there's a there's a Polish that is applied later on and it gets a different color Have brush in a different kind of systems, you're not washing it off you're buffing. And then near the end you get to the drying station. And the drying station here are they use what they're called blade dryers. So instead of like a vacuum hose where the air is either pushed through or sucked through a nozzle around nozzle, the air in this case is forced through a very long thin narrow strip. So the air comes out in a blade. And just in the same way that there was like, the suds get cut by the by the rinse water as it comes down in almost like a you know a blade of water. This is the the air that sheds all the water away from the vehicle because it can't pass through this blade of pressurized air that's you know, forcing down on the vehicle and they've got two of these, then they tilt an angle the blade machine, as you drive through it again knows the shape of your vehicle knows the dimensions of your vehicle so it can tilt up so that when the windshield is what's what it's drying, it can it can face it appropriately when it's the hood of the car, it can tilt in a different direction. And it will also go down the sides of the vehicle to so that the sides, so by the time it gets through there, it's the car is pretty much dry. And there's also a cement truck robot. There also buffing wheels that can spin and buff the vehicle as it goes through. So we can't see everything this glass wall doesn't extend the entire length. So I'm not going to get all of the exact stations correct from here. But when we're inside and we're rolling through, I'll be able to point out like, okay, here's the polish brush. Here's this brush. Here's that brush. We'll try not to do too much talking while we're inside so we can let the glory of the of the system itself you know shine through but what we'll point out here in there when you know this is this is what the sound is coming up. This is what that sound is coming up. How's it going?

Attendant:

How's it going?

JJ Hunt:

Good. Thanks.

Attendant:

Have you been before?

JJ Hunt:

Nope, first time, fine.

Attendant:

Okay, put your car in neutral now please.

JJ Hunt:

Yep.

Attendant:

Thank you. So when you go there kindly in neutral again. Okay? No brakes. You don't move it. Ok?

JJ Hunt:

All right.

Attendant:

Stay here.

JJ Hunt:

Sounds good. Hosing down the car with a pressure washer. [spray sounds] Getting the wave forward so that - oops I gotta get back into drive. Roll forward onto the conveyor. Stop. Back in neutral. I got the thumbs up. And we are rolling.

Christine Malec:

So we're being pulled on the conveyor now. That's right.

JJ Hunt:

And I'm not allowed to touch. First susdsing. Tire buffing, er tire washing. Blanket sudsing. For vertical brushes on both sides of the car. More brushes or top brushes, two more side brushes. Were getting a wax or polish on now. Those are polish brushes. The rinse off of the polish. Now we're approaching the two blade dryers and there's a sign on the blade dryers that says please don't break, I'll move upwards soon. These are horizontal bars that have not moved yet. Now they've started to move as they are over on their windshield. Now we're at the buff and shine station, a horizontal brush and two vertical brushes. Now the very last station is the tire shine. So there's tire buffers, ankle high. And there's a countdown in front of us, digital countdown 7-6-5-4-2-2-1 and it says go so now I've got the green arrow. We are finished rolling. I put her back in Drive.

Christine Malec:

Ahhhhh. I feel refreshed.

JJ Hunt:

Ha ha ha!

Christine Malec:

To open a window is almost irresistible.

JJ Hunt:

Ha ha ha!

Christine Malec:

It was my fingers were twitching, open the window. Why Why?

JJ Hunt:

So now we're in the detailing area, the interior cleaning area of Auto spa. And so again, this is like a warehouse garage with three garage doors, three large industrial sized garage doors, each leading to a different a different conveyor system. And these conveyors are like the move or laters or whatever when you're at an airport. These are long rubber mats that in there in parallel so there's one beside the other for your right hand tires and your left hand tires to sit on. And so when you get in here, your exterior wash has already been completed. So your car is perfect and shiny and gorgeous. And then if you're getting the interior option, here's where it gets clean, you pull into the garage lineup, and then when it's your turn again, someone like moves you forward they give you the gesture, hand over your keys your drive, they then drive your car up onto this conveyor system which slowly moves your tires there so slowly moves your vehicle Along this conveyor, and there are three different technicians workers along the way, who are cleaning your vehicle, they open up all the doors. And there are tracks there are channels, metal tracks and the ceiling from which hang air hoses and vacuums and blowers and all sorts of things. And as your car moves along and your doors are open, the workers will reach up, grab this air gun so they can blow out the little, you know, whatever the water, the end of the year, your cup holder, they can blow that out, get the dirt out, then they reach up grab a long blue hose which is hanging from the ceiling, that's a vacuum they go in the vacuum that up and slowly but surely your car moves along your vehicle moves along from station to station. So first guy is doing vacuuming and airblown the next worker along is focusing on dusting so he's got rags and you know hand sprays and these wiping down the interior wiping down the dashboard wiping down the you know, any anything that can be wiped down. And of course, your mats they've already been taken out, they get taken out before you even get on the conveyor system and they either get hosed down, or vacuum or shampoos if you've selected that option. And then the last person in the line, the last person to touch your vehicle as quality control. They look over every part of the vehicle. And they decide, is there anything that's not up to snuff? Is there anything that needs needs a bit of extra attention, and they take care of that and they've got regs, they got vacuums, they've got access to everything. So the by the time your car leaves, it's about a 15 minute process, I think they said. It's all taken care

Christine Malec:

Oh gosh, thank you both so much for being so

Sue Mari:

I'm glad you guys came! of. welcoming, it really made it a special. You guys have been so welcoming. It's really lovely. Thank you so much. We love making this podcast. If you love hearing it, perhaps

Christine Malec:

Oh, me too! you'll consider supporting its creation and development by becoming a patron. We've set up a Patreon page to help cover the costs of putting the show together. You can contribute as a listener or as a sponsor to help ensure that accessible and entertaining journalism continues to reach our community. Visit patreon.com slash talk description to me that's pa t ar e o n.com slash talk description to me have feedback or suggestions of what you'd like to hear about here's how to get in touch with us. Our email address is talk description to [email protected] Our Facebook page is called talk description to me. Our website is talk description to me.com and you can follow us on Twitter at talk description.

The AutoSpa
At the AutoSpa wash tunnel window
Inside the car wash!
Interior detailing