Car Wash Pump Maintenance Basics: Keep the Oil Clean!

At the heart of all car wash high and low pressure systems is the pump. You can maximize the performance and longevity of your pumps by keeping them well maintained with fresh oil.

How often should I drain crankcase oil in my car wash pumps?Cat-35 Pump
Here are some general guidelines, check with your pump manufacturer for specifications on your make and model:
• For standard piston and plunger pumps, oil should be changed after the first 50 hours and every three months or 500 hours thereafter.
• For R-series RAM Pumps, oil should be changed after the first 20 hours and every 3000 hours thereafter.

How do I change oil in my pump?
All pumps will be equipped with a crankcase drain plug, or a remote oil drain option supplied by the manufacturer. Drain the oil from the crankcase and replace the plug. The amount of oil required to refill the crankcase will vary based on the size of the pump. The amount of crankcase oil for each pump model is indicated on the pump’s data sheet. Many pump models are equipped with oil level indicators. See the pump manufacturer’s supporting documents for more information.
Always use an oil specified by your pump manufacturer for your specific pump make and model, failure to do so could shorten pump life and void manufacturer’s warranty.
The oil amount can also be verified on most pumps with built-in bubble gauges (red dot is the fill level) or dipstick. Oil level verification should be done when the pump is on a level service.
Over filling will cause oil spitting out of the oil fill cap. Under filling will cause inadequate lubrication of crosshead area of the pump and my result in drive-end failure.

Why does the crankcase oil appear milky?
Milky colored oil is as sign that water has entered the crankcase due to faulty high or low pressure seals. Water is a contaminant to the crankcase oil and will cause the oil viscosity to increase resulting in a loss of lubricity and may oxidize crankcase components. This lack of lubrication over time may result in damage to the drive -end components or complete drive-end failure. If you detect milky colored oil in any pump schedule service as quickly as possible.