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.

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.

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.

A shovel?!? Holy crap - that’s a terrible idea. I imagine they just use a broom or a snow brush.

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.

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. :slight_smile:

Maybe this guy cleans them off.

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  2. 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:

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.

I’m still wondering what these guys did. I should have driven by. Oh wait, my car looked like that too. :wink:

Is that supposed to be a car dealership? Doesn’t look like any one I ever remembered seeing in Regina.

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.

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.

Photo credit says McKenzie Sales and Leasing - I’m betting a small used car dealership, not one of the actual car company dealerships.

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.

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.

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)

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.

…and 5000 gallons of water. :eek:

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.

Please tell me you didn’t really think that anyone (besides HepToTheJive) actually used a shovel on the body of a car. :eek: