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How Car Washes Work

        Auto | Auto Basics

Dry
On this dryer arch, you can see the silencer and nozzles on the left side.
On this dryer arch, you can see the silencer and nozzles on the left side.

­ ­Af­ter the car is completely washed, the final step in the automated process is the dryer. Much like a giant ­hair dryer, the dryer in a car wash heats large amounts of air and forces it out through a series of nozzles. These heated blasts of air rapidly dry the surface of the car.

The dryer has a large, flat, round section just before the nozzle opening. This section is called the silencer. Like a muffler or the silencer on a gun, the dryer's silencer deadens the noise created by the air being forced through the system.

A dryer in a full-service car wash does not completely dry the car because attendants will go over the car with towels once it leaves the tunnel.
A dryer in a full-service car wash does not completely dry the car because attendants will go over the car with towels once it leaves the tunnel.

Some car washes apply a special chemical after the final rinse, before the dryer, that speeds up the drying process. The temperature and force of the dryer can be set. Most full-service car washes set the dryer lower than exterior-only car washes. This is because a full-service car wash usually has attendants who hand-dry the car with towels to remove all of the water.


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