Maintenance Considerations For Your Transit Wash System

InterClean brush wash system cleaning a white and blue train.

Spending time and effort washing your transit buses and trains helps to keep your fleet working properly in addition to reducing downtime and increasing ROI.

Transit vehicle maintenance and wash system maintenance go hand-in-hand. If your wash system isn’t working properly, it is not effectively removing the dirt, debris, and chemicals that put a vehicle at risk of premature equipment failure and rust. On top of damage concerns, safety issues can arise if necessary signage is covered by dirt or debris, and the overall dirty look of your vehicles can negatively affect the perception of your transit agency.

In this article, we will dive into the importance of transit wash system maintenance, external elements that affect wash systems, and preventative measures you can take to increase the lifespan of your wash systems and fleet.

The Importance of Transit Wash System Maintenance

Two green buses in wash bays cleaning their fleet with an InterClean wash system.

If you own a transit fleet, you know how important it is to have clean and operational vehicles at all times. Routine and preventative maintenance of your wash system not only helps maximize its lifespan but also reduces the potential need for major repairs which can lead to long service interruptions and be costly to address. In addition, routine upkeep helps maintain system effectiveness, ensuring vehicles are thoroughly and properly cleaned.

Elements That May Affect Wash System Maintenance

Without regular maintenance of a wash system, you run the risk of damaging your fleet and shortening the lifespan of your system. The following elements can directly affect transit wash systems, causing you to spend more money on service, parts, and labor on your system and fleet.


When it snows, salt or other chemicals are laid out on the roads to help with the ice and to reduce vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, salt can attack the frames and running gear of vehicles, which can cause significant damage to your fleet if not washed off properly. After washing the salt and other corrosives washing off your vehicles, it’s imperative you then remove these chemicals from your wash bay as they can also harm your facility – requiring you to undergo additional maintenance. 

On top of the harmful chemicals that enter your wash bays, your facility is also likely to see more traffic in the bay during the winter months than it may in other seasons. This increased workload can wear out system components faster, making regular maintenance even more important to avoid reducing the lifespan of your wash system.

Water Density

The source and pressure of your water can affect how effectively your wash system operates. Due to its high surface tension, hard water can cause substantial mineral buildup in your wash system which can clog your pipes, reduce the flow and cause unnecessary stress on your system. Consider adding a water softener to your wash system build which, when properly maintained, is an effective means of mitigating calcium and mineral buildup inside your pipes and hot water heater. Annual maintenance for this system may include brine tank cleaning, settings optimization, water assessment, and valve or sealing ring replacement.


In warmer climates, humidity can take a toll on your fleet and your wash system. Heat can cause calcium buildup on the windows of buses and trains, which can then be flushed through a wash system upon cleaning. Like salt and corrosives from winter weather, calcium buildup can also affect your wash system–with effects similar to those of hard water, risking unplanned downtime.

Ways to Stay On-Top of Transit Wash System Maintenance

Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of maintenance and elements that can cause wash systems to require service more frequently, it’s time to discuss ways to extend your wash system’s lifespan with preventative maintenance.

Performing Routine Maintenance and Inspections

Sticking to a regular maintenance schedule not only helps to maintain your equipment but is also a way to track when a failure is likely to occur. Depending on the task, it may be performed daily, weekly, or monthly– but it’s important to find out what the OEM recommends for your specific system.  For example, wash bay, photoeye and nozzle cleaning should be done daily along with chemical (detergent), valve and seal, and tire guide checks. Alternatively, lubricant level and gear checks might be performed on a weekly or monthly basis. 

Enroll in a Routine Preventative Maintenance Service Plan

There are a number of complex working parts in your wash system that require ongoing maintenance, which you may want your OEM to perform. Many OEM’s have an annual maintenance plan available which includes a set number of site visits where their experts will inspect known wear items and provide service/replacement recommendations based upon the age and condition of the equipment. Replacing aging and/or worn parts as part of a planned maintenance outage can help avoid the costs of an emergency repair and the associated downtime when vehicles cannot be washed.

Invest in an InterClean Wash System

One of the best preventative measures you can take for your facility and transit fleet is investing in a wash system that is purpose-built for your transit fleet and facility location.

At InterClean, we’re passionate about helping transit municipalities and agencies make a great impression with clean fleets. Our wash systems have many features that offer a superior wash performance for your transit fleet. Here are some specific features of our transit wash systems:

  • High-pressure touchless cleaning: We deliver a high volume of wash water to the vehicle surface at moderately high pressure. We do not utilize excessively high pressure as that often damages painted surfaces, graphic-wrapped surfaces and can damage seal joints over time.
  • Reverse osmosis spot free rinse: Our systems deliver substantial volumes of high-quality permeate water, free of total dissolved solids to ensure no water spots are left behind. 
  • Unique design: We strive to harness natural forces such as water settling, minimize moving mechanical parts, and design safeguards to minimize damage when things like unintended contact with equipment occurs.
  •  Preventative Maintenance and Remote Monitoring Services: InterClean offers a complete routine and preventative maintenance program to keep your equipment washing effectively while minimizing operating costs.

InterClean not only supplies your wash system, but we also have a wide network of local distributors that can install, service, and maintain your system throughout the entire lifespan of your equipment. Our local field technicians can help you stay up-to-date with your wash system maintenance with pre-scheduled on-site visits, so you can stay committed to keeping your fleet maintained.

Stay Up to Date on Your Transit Wash System Maintenance With InterClean

InterClean brush wash system cleaning a white and blue train.

Don’t let your wash system get damaged or decommissioned, protect your investment with a Preventative Maintenance and Remote Monitoring Services plan.

InterClean’s 40+ distributors have helped transit agencies across the world minimize downtime, keep their vehicles sparkling clean, and reduce damages. With InterClean, you can feel confident that your wash system will help keep your fleet clean and on the road.

If you’re ready to stay up-to-date with your maintenance needs, contact us! We’re ready to help design your industry-leading transit vehicle wash technology.