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Karcher's Klean!Star automatic car wash officially starts operations at Esso Lorong Chuan

By Kenny Yeo - on 6 Nov 2022, 11:04am

Karcher's Klean!Star automatic car wash officially starts operations at Esso Lorong Chuan

Note: This article was first published on 26 October 2022.

The Karcher Klean!Star system at Esso Lorong Chuan.

The ongoing labour crunch has forced businesses to look at ways to automate certain aspects of their operations. And for Esso petrol stations, it means the comeback of the automatic car wash. 

Beginning today, car washes at Esso's Lorong Chuan outlet will be a mostly automated affair thanks to the installation of a Karcher Klean!Star car wash system.

Apart from freeing up manpower for other more high-value tasks, the Karcher system is also efficient in its use of water. 

At this location, collected water is recycled using a Karcher WRP 8000 water treatment unit.

According to Karcher, its Klean!Star system can recycle as much as 85% of the water used in a wash. The collected water is sent to two holding tanks under the car wash and is then recycled using a Karcher water treatment unit. 

Karcher claims that in doing so, the system can save 6.57 million litres of water a year (based on 120 car washes a day).


Ensuring a thorough wash

To ensure a thorough yet scratch-free wash, the system uses specially-designed polyethylene foam brushes that are gentle on the paint. Furthermore, sensors are used to guide and the brushes and the brushes themselves were designed so that they don't trap debris – owners can be assured that the brushes are clean for each wash. Check it out in action above.

The wheels are said to be one of the hardest parts of a car to clean and to do that the Klean!Star system has a dedicated wheel wash unit that has integrated high-pressure water jets and sensors to ensure wheels of all sizes are properly cleaned. 

The planetary wheel washer moves in an "S" pattern to ensure proper cleaning.

Finally, after the cars are cleaned, a high-pressure blower is deployed to blow dry the car. Again, sensors are used to ensure the blower follows the contours of the car as closely as possible to ensure proper drying.


My thoughts

Having seen the system in action, it seems to do a decent job for the price. I saw two cars being washed and they looked fresh after the process. The blow dryer does a fairly good job too. I'd say the cars were about 85% dry after coming out from the car wash.

The main advantage of this system is that it ensures consistent performance, as opposed to manual washing where the quality of the wash can differ depending on who's doing the job and at what time of the day.

Do I think it's superior to detailing studios or specialised car washing operations? Probably not. A manual wash done by professionals is likely going to yield better results. However, they cost more, take longer, and are often located in places that are not so accessible. 

At the price, I think it's worth a try to see if it's something that'll work for you.


Locations and pricing

The Karcher Klean!Star system is currently in operation at Esso Lorong Chuan with more locations coming in the months ahead.

Two other locations currently undergoing installation works include Esso Toa Payoh Lorong 2 and Esso Bedok North. They will come online later this year.

Prices of a wash start at S$11 for a regular sedan.

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