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  #1  
Old 03-21-2010, 12:47 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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How do car dealerships clear snow off cars...

...without scratching them? I suppose they could be covering them every night and taking the covers off every morning, but I've never seen a covered car at a dealership at any time of day, and they never seem to scratch the paint job, so I assume shovels aren't used either.
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2010, 01:20 PM
Fir na tine Fir na tine is offline
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The ones I noticed here in Maine use leaf blowers. If the snow is too heavy for the leaf blower to handle they use large squeege type pushers.
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  #3  
Old 03-21-2010, 03:16 PM
Disheavel Disheavel is offline
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I used to help my friend's Dad's place by driving them through their carwash. Scrape the windshield just enough to see out, drive into the carwash (no soap and maybe just cold water), and then a blow dry. Probably less than a minute per car, 4 guys could do the 100 cars in two hours.

Last edited by Disheavel; 03-21-2010 at 03:18 PM.. Reason: addition
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  #4  
Old 03-21-2010, 04:31 PM
Munch Munch is offline
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Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
I assume shovels aren't used either.
A shovel?!? Holy crap - that's a terrible idea. I imagine they just use a broom or a snow brush.
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  #5  
Old 03-22-2010, 08:20 AM
racer72 racer72 is offline
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I worked at a car dealer many years ago, my job was washing and detailing cars. The first thing to remember is, very very few folks go car shopping when the weather is crappy, especially when it snows. On most days it snowed I was called to told to stay home. If the temperature was below freezing, any water on the car would immediately freeze so washing cars was out of the question. Nothing like finding the doors frozen shut when a car is running.

Here in the Northwest the answer would be, the dealers basically wait till the snow melts.
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  #6  
Old 03-22-2010, 09:46 AM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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I imagine they use a snow brush like everyone else. To some degree racer is correct, but around here, we'd never shop if we only shopped in good weather, so eventually they do clean the cars. I've gone car shopping on snowy days, and had to wait while the salesguy swept off the car - no big deal. I imagine keeping the cars clean of snow and the parking lot driveable is one of the biggest hassles here for car lots - oh yeah, they had to boost the car when we wanted to drive it, too - cars and lot clean and keeping cars able to start. The three biggest problems in car lots.
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2010, 10:38 AM
FluffyBob FluffyBob is offline
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Maybe this guy cleans them off.
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2010, 10:58 AM
Chris Luongo Chris Luongo is offline
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I work as a car alarn/ remote starter installer, mostly for new-car dealerships. I've seen many times how they deal with snowstorms.

1. When a storm is predicted that is big enough that it will probably interrupt sales anyway, they put all the cars in one place.

That is, they first put as many cars inside as will fit. Put a car up in the air on each lift, then put another car under it.

Put more cars in the middle of the garage, in the service drive-thru, as many as will fit.

Put the rest of the cars all compacted in neat rows off to one side of the lot.

2. After the snow, they usually have a few older pickup trucks with plows on them.....they plow the portion of the lot that is empty, get it nice and clean.

3. Go to the area with all the parked cars. Clear all the snow off the first row of cars, move all cars over to the clean area.

Repeat until all the cars are clean, and parked in the clean area.

4. Now, the plows will go and clean up the area where all the cars were parked overnight.

5. Now you have a clean lot, clean cars, and you put them all back where they're supposed to be.

From my experience, almost all dealer employees are on hand helping out----salesmen, managers, the regular "lot boys," and so forth.

To answer the OP's question:

A. The cars at the dealership, since they don't receive regular use, don't get warm like our personal cars. Therefore, they only collect snow, almost never icy windshields. No type of scraping is generally necessary.

B. The most popular tool I've seen used to clear off the snow quickly, easily, and without damage is the Sno Brum:

http://www.amazon.com/Sno-Brum-Origi.../dp/B0007LDXLA

I have one of my own; it's great!

Unrelated anecdote:

I was at a Toyota dealer, and I saw one of the mechanics working on a large used BMW the dealer had for sale. He got it to start and run, but it ran very poorly.

Chatting with the mechanic, he told me that during snow removal, someone had forgotten this car running for over eight hours, it overheated, and suffered major engine damage.

Other anecdote: To avoid the above situation, many dealerships make a policy that any car left running, for whatever reason, gets its hazard lights turned on. If you go by a dealership and see a row of cars all with the hazards flashing, especially during a snowstorm, you can be pretty sure all those cars are running.
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2010, 03:31 PM
kushiel kushiel is offline
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I'm still wondering what these guys did. I should have driven by. Oh wait, my car looked like that too.
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2010, 06:06 PM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Originally Posted by kushiel View Post
I'm still wondering what these guys did. I should have driven by. Oh wait, my car looked like that too.
Is that supposed to be a car dealership? Doesn't look like any one I ever remembered seeing in Regina.
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  #11  
Old 03-24-2010, 08:29 PM
HepToTheJive HepToTheJive is offline
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Originally Posted by Munch View Post
A shovel?!? Holy crap - that's a terrible idea. I imagine they just use a broom or a snow brush.
Yeah... I learned that lesson when I was seven and my dad asked me to clean the snow off of his car...I did not get to play in the snow later that day after he came out for inspection.

In my defense he never explained how he wanted me to do it.
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  #12  
Old 03-24-2010, 09:48 PM
StuffLikeThatThere StuffLikeThatThere is offline
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Originally Posted by Chris Luongo View Post
From my experience, almost all dealer employees are on hand helping out----salesmen, managers, the regular "lot boys," and so forth.
That was a beautiful explanation, except you left out the part where the guy who is off the day after it snows all night calls and mocks everybody else. Or maybe that's just where my husband works.
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  #13  
Old 03-25-2010, 10:38 AM
kushiel kushiel is offline
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Originally Posted by psychonaut View Post
Is that supposed to be a car dealership? Doesn't look like any one I ever remembered seeing in Regina.
Photo credit says McKenzie Sales and Leasing - I'm betting a small used car dealership, not one of the actual car company dealerships.
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  #14  
Old 03-26-2010, 09:31 PM
Apocalypso Apocalypso is offline
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I live in the NE (Pittsburgh area), and I've never seen a car dealership where snow stayed on the cars very long. A few days after our big snowstorm, the used car lots I pass on my way to work were all looking spiffy. I talked to the owner once, and he mentioned how important it is to keep the cars looking nice - he would take them in to get detailed - and how he tried to emphasize to his employees to clean snow off right away. I believe they brush the snow off and wipe down the cars with towels.
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  #15  
Old 03-27-2010, 08:25 PM
RalfCoder RalfCoder is offline
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Back in the early 70's, I used to work next to a used car lot in Northern Michigan. In the winter, the salesmen would walk around with a big push broom and sweep the cars off. I assume it had soft bristles, and sure hoped it wasn't used for sweeping the floor too. The dirt and grit it would pick up would have scratched the cars a lot, I'd think. But then again, this was a low-end used car lot, so I suppose shortcuts could have been accepted.
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  #16  
Old 12-28-2010, 08:40 AM
william ding william ding is offline
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How dealers clear snow off cars

I have used a snow rake (broom) for the last 20 years or so. The best one is available at Sid Savage auto dealer supply. It's safe because it uses a freeze resistant foam head. (no scratching)
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  #17  
Old 12-28-2010, 10:51 AM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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I've only worked at one dealership where snow was a problem and it wasn't much of one. We had a lot attendant and everyone pitched it to help; we used push brooms, but only when the snow was unusually deep. Mostly, we put on glove to push the snow off the cars and since it was a small dealership in a small town, we usually didn't have more than 20-25 cars on hand.
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  #18  
Old 12-28-2010, 11:34 AM
anson2995 anson2995 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disheavel View Post
I used to help my friend's Dad's place by driving them through their carwash. Scrape the windshield just enough to see out, drive into the carwash (no soap and maybe just cold water), and then a blow dry. Probably less than a minute per car, 4 guys could do the 100 cars in two hours.
...and 5000 gallons of water.

Here in the snowbelt, dealers have large indoor showrooms. Who wants to trapse around a snow-filled parking lot, anyway. If you want to drive a car that's out on the lot, then they clean that one off. Why clean 100 cars on a snowy day? Seems like a waste of time.
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  #19  
Old 12-28-2010, 12:12 PM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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Originally Posted by anson2995 View Post
...and 5000 gallons of water.

Here in the snowbelt, dealers have large indoor showrooms. Who wants to trapse around a snow-filled parking lot, anyway. If you want to drive a car that's out on the lot, then they clean that one off. Why clean 100 cars on a snowy day? Seems like a waste of time.
5000 Gallons of water isn't that much. I estimate that would cost <$100 for the water. As far as who wants to traipse around a snow filled parking lot... well that was pretty much answered above. Not all dealership have gigantic large indoor showrooms. Some dealerships empty their parking lot of vehicles, remove the snow from it, then start clearing snow off the cars and moving them to the 'clear' part of the lot. As to why clean 100 cars on a snowy day? Well that's like the old George Carlin bit (paraphrasing) where he says he didn't take a bath today because he didn't do anything to get dirty. You do it because you have a product to sell and you want to show case it. You make it sound like people are out there in the middle of a huge snow storm trying to keep the snow off cars. I think it's more of a case of people clearing the cars after it snows.

Last edited by Enright3; 12-28-2010 at 12:13 PM..
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  #20  
Old 02-05-2011, 11:35 AM
kicx kicx is offline
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How to clean snow off your car.

I found interesting article -
How to clean snow off your car. How to leave out of a snowdrift. )))))))))))

Last edited by kicx; 02-05-2011 at 11:35 AM..
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  #21  
Old 02-05-2011, 01:01 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
...without scratching them?...they never seem to scratch the paint job, so I assume shovels aren't used either.
Please tell me you didn't really think that anyone (besides HepToTheJive) actually used a shovel on the body of a car.
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  #22  
Old 02-05-2011, 05:35 PM
Superdude Superdude is offline
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I worked at a car lot back in the early 90's in Louisville, KY. My job was one of the "lot boys," by which we did anything from detailing cars to running personal errands for our bosses in company cars.

When snow fell in increments higher than a dusting, we'd use brooms to push the snow off, then run them through the car wash.

The biggest problem we ran into (unrelated to the OP) was road construction. The lot was right next to a freeway on-ramp. When they were building the ramp, the blocked off the lot's drainage system on a day when we had torrential rains. The lot FLOODED. I was out trying to move cars to ANY dry spot. The lot sloped toward one end, and, at that point, I was standing in water that came to just under my hips. My personal car was at the lowest part of the lot, and the water was just below my windows.

There exists, somewhere, photos of me SWIMMING in the parking lot.
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  #23  
Old 02-05-2011, 06:15 PM
automagic automagic is offline
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Before a storm we would park as many cars as we could inside. We put a car on each lift and raised it all the way and park another car under it. The ones that were left outside we would clean the snow off with a snow brush and then wash them in the indoor car wash. The most important part was to get the car completely dry before taking it outside.
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