Michigan Automatic Car Wash

Product Used

  • Eliminated pillow block bearing failures, reducing downtime and equipment costs
  • Reduced hourly lubricant consumption from 10 tubes to 1 tube
  • Reduced labor hours with dramatically reduced relubrication needs

Customer Profile

For this chain of seven automatic car washes, keeping the equipment running is essential to success. When a car wash is down for repairs or maintenance, the company is not making money.


The pillow block bearings at each of the car wash locations are central to the operation of the automatic car wash apparatus.


The company was experiencing 10 to 20 pillow block bearing failures per month, even with PMs being done every two weeks. The pillow block bearings were constantly subjected to water, which washed away or contaminated the grease, and maintenance workers were struggling to keep the bearings lubricated. The company needed a solution to protect the equipment better so it could reduce the excessive downtime as well as parts and labor costs.

LE Solution

LE’s Jimmy Kukulski, consultant, and Brian Nelson, technical services advisor, brainstormed possible solutions and came up with Monocal® GP Grease (1499), a calcium sulfonate complex lubricant that has inherent EP properties and performs extremely well in wet environments, especially ones in which water wash-off is a concern. At LE’s suggestion, the company changed over one of its automatic car washes to Monocal at the end of 2013.


The use of Monocal at that first car wash has completely eliminated the pillow block bearing failures. They were also able to reduce the number of PMs – going from every two weeks to every four weeks. Because of these positive results, the company plans to transition all seven of its locations to Monocal GP Grease. This success with the pillow block bearings has opened the door for LE to help them with their other lubricated applications and to help them combat contamination with LE’s lubricant reliability solutions, including Oil Safe® containers and color-coded labels and tags.

Other LE Products Used

  • Monolec® Syn Industrial Oil (9100) for compressors
  • Color-coded labels and tags
  • LEAPSM oil analysis
  • Oil Safe® containers