ALP heads and pressure washers?

Tb12

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I use a pressure washer for normal washes about every 2 weeks. In the winter, I'll use either commercial coin op pressure washers or touchless washes (read: foam and pressure wash) to get the salt off.

Am I going to be killing heads doing this? I can print some protective covers if necessary and clean the heads by hand but would rather not. Might make "stealth" housings more attractive just for the added protection...
 

thebravo

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Yes high pressure water close to and directly on the heads is more likely to cause the seals to leak and allow water inside which will kill them. I found adding a small bead of black RTV around the seam between the lens and the housing is a good idea. I go through an occasional drive through normal brush wash and that seems to be ok thus far.
 

Bocephus

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You living dangerously Bravo! I knew when I got my heads installed it was nothing but hand washes after that. That being said there are too many carwash horror stories to run my car through them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Tb12

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I'll never do a brush car wash, if it doesn't f up the heads it'll certainly swirl up the paint. I use the pressure washer as part of my home detailing hand wash.

Sounds like a "stealth box" with watersealing is gonna be the way to go. Now I just have to figure out if I can fit one in my grill (and still figuring out how the heck I want to mount a TX sensor, or if I'm just going 3 heads)
 

R4D4RUS3R

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This is an older thread but address my question so replying here versus starting new. I know how you guys feel about drive through washes but I dont drive a collectible car, the swirls in the paint over the years of washes is not weighed at trade in especially since I keep cars 10 years on average.

That said, are the AL heads ok with drive through wash systems? You’re going to shake your head but I have a subscription and like going often to keep my car clean. I dont want to install the heads and destroy them in the wash the price is too much for that. I would switch to a power wash at home before I damaged anything. This is just something I did not think about until I saw the custom enclosures on the GTR in a video with Vortex. Now I want custom enclosures to waterproof the sensors and protect them from being moved around. Reality is, I will start with a self installed 3 head system and build but can I use the wash or will that need to stop.
 

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This is an older thread but address my question so replying here versus starting new. I know how you guys feel about drive through washes but I dont drive a collectible car, the swirls in the paint over the years of washes is not weighed at trade in especially since I keep cars 10 years on average.

That said, are the AL heads ok with drive through wash systems? You’re going to shake your head but I have a subscription and like going often to keep my car clean. I dont want to install the heads and destroy them in the wash the price is too much for that. I would switch to a power wash at home before I damaged anything. This is just something I did not think about until I saw the custom enclosures on the GTR in a video with Vortex. Now I want custom enclosures to waterproof the sensors and protect them from being moved around. Reality is, I will start with a self installed 3 head system and build but can I use the wash or will that need to stop.

I take mine through an auto car wash probably once a month. I've not experienced any issues.
 

R4D4RUS3R

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I take mine through an auto car wash probably once a month. I've not experienced any issues.
That’s good news. I still have a bit before I can put everything together but maybe I can catch up with you guys if you do a testing day. I’m in west TN near Memphis.
 

Smason

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Something to note is that brand new heads come with some external sealant from factory.
 

R4D4RUS3R

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I was thinking the seam might be something you want to wrap once with some external tape as well. I have used liner less sealant tape for external electrical connections that is meant for the job and has some level of UV resistance. I may not need any of that but until I get a system in hand I cant do anything but chat about them and ask a bunch of questions to pass the time. Thanks for entertaining me on that. Ha.
 

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That’s good news. I still have a bit before I can put everything together but maybe I can catch up with you guys if you do a testing day. I’m in west TN near Memphis.

Sure, just let me know when you have your install ready and well give it a good test.
 

System

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I pressure wash my car at least once a week in all temps and have never had an issue. Canadian winter #5 on all original heads. They've probably seen 300+ pressure washes
 

BestRadarDetectors

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Pressure washers can surly damage sensors if hit directly with over 1000lb of pressure you can erode the waterproofing seals. On older sensors there was 2 seals... 1 Inner and 1 outer and on the newer sensors we actually now manufacture them as one piece without the need for seals. Its much more difficult to produce but it offers better long term protection. I get my car washed commonly as well and the place I go to blasts the dirt off before the car enters the tunnel but I ask them not to hit the heads directly.
 

Tb12

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This is an older thread but address my question so replying here versus starting new. I know how you guys feel about drive through washes but I dont drive a collectible car, the swirls in the paint over the years of washes is not weighed at trade in especially since I keep cars 10 years on average.

That said, are the AL heads ok with drive through wash systems? You’re going to shake your head but I have a subscription and like going often to keep my car clean. I dont want to install the heads and destroy them in the wash the price is too much for that. I would switch to a power wash at home before I damaged anything. This is just something I did not think about until I saw the custom enclosures on the GTR in a video with Vortex. Now I want custom enclosures to waterproof the sensors and protect them from being moved around. Reality is, I will start with a self installed 3 head system and build but can I use the wash or will that need to stop.

One thing to consider with a tunnel wash is how exposed your sensors are, and how rigidly mounted. I'd be concerned about a sensor being knocked askew if they're not tucked into your grille.

Ideally, if you're going to be exposing them to lots of high pressure washes, put them behind some Ir transmissive acrylic, or find a way to cap them to prevent direct spray on the seals.
 

R4D4RUS3R

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One thing to consider with a tunnel wash is how exposed your sensors are, and how rigidly mounted. I'd be concerned about a sensor being knocked askew if they're not tucked into your grille.

Ideally, if you're going to be exposing them to lots of high pressure washes, put them behind some Ir transmissive acrylic, or find a way to cap them to prevent direct spray on the seals.
Realistically the only way I will get them behind something custom is to have it done. I will not be doing that myself or for a while so I think the best trade will be buying the pressure washer for the house which I need anyhow for concrete and the kids cars which never see a car wash and whatever else. No biggie, just a change and I will avoid spraying the heads. I thought about what you said with knocking them off alignment and agree. Thanks for the reply and letting me bring your thread back to life.
 

Flonase

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I 3D-printed some loose-fitting caps specifically to try to protect them in touchless car washes. So far, so good... If you want to print a couple to try them out, the .stl files are in the ALP 3D parts thread.
 

Mythic01

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Interesting line of thought for a new Canadian owner in the midst of winter.

What are the best practices to ensure these sensors survive the cold harsh weather, salt, sand, accumulating ice/snow etc?

Is the only real threat here directly spraying the sensors with a pressure washer?
 

Heywood

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Interesting line of thought for a new Canadian owner in the midst of winter.

What are the best practices to ensure these sensors survive the cold harsh weather, salt, sand, accumulating ice/snow etc?

Is the only real threat here directly spraying the sensors with a pressure washer?
Generally I just use the window washer thing with the sponge in the winter then a paper towel to wipe it dry.

Touch less car wash then into the garage for the night if I wash the whole truck. I still wipe the RX and TX heads to get any extra water away.

I haven’t had any issues. I guess if I was really overly concerned, I could alway cover them with suran wrap or “Press and Seal”

I’m more concerned with the RX heads than the TX just because of where the seal is.
 

GernBlanston

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Pressure-washing's not good for your car. Parking sensors or no.
 

deanoobaby

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Pressure washers can surly damage sensors if hit directly with over 1000lb of pressure you can erode the waterproofing seals. On older sensors there was 2 seals... 1 Inner and 1 outer and on the newer sensors we actually now manufacture them as one piece without the need for seals. Its much more difficult to produce but it offers better long term protection. I get my car washed commonly as well and the place I go to blasts the dirt off before the car enters the tunnel but I ask them not to hit the heads directly.
i remember the old days where the G8 and G9 heads where fully filled with hardened rezin ..even if the outer housing was broken cable damage or even if the lense on the front popped off the front water still could not get to the circuitry ... not sure if ther ALP heads are the same though it would be crazy for them not to follow suit from there peviuse designs
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Pressure-washing's not good for your car. Parking sensors or no.
fair call i have just had my wifes car today at one of those care wash places where you put money into for each cycle manuel wash ..i realy wouldnt call them high preasure allong with there very wide spray ..i dare say my gernie i purchased from the local hardware store has more go in it
 
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Tb12

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Pressure-washing's not good for your car. Parking sensors or no.

Almost every high end professional detailer uses pressure washers. Just don't want to use a narrow nozzle/high pressure spray too close to the surface.
 

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