Dry Ice Blasting Provides Authentic Presentation When Restoring Classic Cars

Serving Southern California

The Situation

In the automotive resale industry, quality cleaning is essential to remove contaminants such as cosmoline, road dirt and grime, and also to break dust from the underside of vehicles. For difficult to reach places and interior or soft materials, a gentle touch is required.

Ales has been preparing and presenting tangible assets, such as cars, boats, airplanes, and anything with a motor, for sale for 40 years. While he’s been aware of dry ice cleaning for the past 10 years, he had not yet seen results that sold him on purchasing a machine.

His main concern was the lack of control over the dry ice blast stream. He knew that if the stream wasn’t delicate enough that it could lower the quality of his vehicles, and he wasn’t willing to take that risk.

Ales has tried all sorts of restoration and cleaning methods over the years, including dry ice, but wasn’t satisfied with “good enough.”

“When it comes to dry ice cleaning, you have to have the settings in between a MicroClean system and a 3 mm pellet system,” he said. “Cold Jet’s fragmenting nozzles are helpful, but they’re work arounds.”

What he needed was greater control of particle size in order to preserve the high standard of quality for his vehicles.

Dry ice blasting resulted in overwhelming results

When Ales heard about the Cold Jet PCS 60 and saw a demonstration, he was hooked. The PCS 60 is Cold Jet’s groundbreaking dry ice blaster, equipped with a proprietary and patented Particle Control™ system, which gives the user complete control over particle size and allows them to fine-tune the most effective setting for each individual application.

He’s had the PCS 60 for about six months and the results have been “overwhelming and encouraging.” The vehicles are restored to their original glory, not hiding behind carefully taken pictures or remaining grit in corners. Ales can show his cars off with genuine pride at every step.

With an 8-10 hour cleaning time, he’s attained results that have generated astonishment in his online automobile community. If the incredulous responses don’t say enough about his results, he’s also gotten commissions for special projects.

“The ability to control the size of the particle, the volume of the product going through the hose, the pressure, so easily, just with a dial… it was instantaneous results.”

Ales said with a laugh that, “It felt unfair. I spent 40 years cleaning stuff.” After these results, he said he almost didn’t want to share his secrets because he knows he has the best tool in the industry.

Restoring classic cars with dry ice

Ales and his crew typically use 500 – 1,000 pounds of dry ice on a complete vehicle detail. This clean is completed without a drop of water, which Ales said is a huge mindset shift for him and his staff.

Another source of disbelief from friends has been that he cleans car interiors with dry ice. With the PCS 60, Ales can clean and restore leather seats and even electrical components.

“We use over seven different nozzles and extensions,” he said. “Without this variety we would be unable to leverage the multitude of settings provided by the PCS 60. And without a doubt, could NOT execute a full clean on the vehicles. With our continued effort to discover more cleaning and preparation solutions for the retail sector, I am certain we will expand our standard nozzle choices to a considerable amount moving forward.”

He is now planning to design and build his first dedicated retail facilities where he will have a minimum of two PCS 60 machines always on site and one dry ice production machine as well.

Within that process, Ales intends to address the two most significant challenges that all automotive service environments have difficultly overcoming: noise and risk to nearby workers.

“Occasionally, we need the serious end of the performance capability of the PCS 60. Meaning, the higher pressure and particle size settings, which can be loud – above what would be possible in a general work space environment without ear protection. This is considered a nuisance at minimum to nearby techs.”

Ales is excited to continue learning new applications for his PCS 60, because of the “endless” possibilities he sees in store.

“This is the most revolutionary thing I’ve come across in years,” said Ales. “It’s a perfect fit in this industry. It’s perfect if you’re going to present anything that’s used online for sale.”

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