It’s hard to imagine a tool that was more perfectly designed for the auto mechanic than an ultrasonic cleaning system. Yes, impact wrenches, hydraulic lifts, and computerized diagnostic analyzers are all nice, but no other piece of equipment can cut hours off of a repair or rebuild job like ultrasonic cleaners can. Cleaning tasks that used to take hours can be done in a matter of minutes with an ultrasonic cleaning system; the entire process is also safer, since we’re not exposed to dangerous solvents while the parts are being cleaned. There’s no need to stand over the top of a parts washer directing the flow into each crack and crevice either; we are free to do other productive tasks while the parts are being cleaned, and come back to pick them up when they’re ready to go.
It makes sense to use ultrasonic cleaning systems to speed up the work on almost any component we touch on a car, motorcycle, or truck, but here are some of the ones that we think can have the biggest impact on not only the time of the repair or rebuild, but the quality of the final job as well:
Carburetors – This is an obvious first choice. The small needle valves, jets, orifices, and ports that make up a carburetor are painstaking to clean of fuel varnish and sludge. Even worse, it’s common to damage one of these delicate surfaces when cleaning by hand, which slows the job down even more and can affect the performance of the vehicle if it isn’t repaired properly.
Cylinder Heads – Cleaning a cylinder head of fuel varnish, oil sludge, and carbon deposits is tedious, particularly around the intake and exhaust ports. Ultrasonic cleaning can turn this long process into a 30-40 minute event, and make dye-penetrant testing and re-assembly a breeze.
Brake Cylinders – As brake cylinders wear, the piston and cylinder tend to fill up with dirt, brake dust, and metal particles. Improperly cleaning the parts prior to rebuild can result in pistons that hang and brakes that don’t work. Ultrasonic cleaning gets all of the debris out of the machined mating surfaces and cleans up the fluid reservoir.
Fuel Injectors – Cleaning fuel injectors by hand is much like cleaning carburetors; it’s a time-consuming process, and it’s very easy to damage a surface or nick the injector nozzle, which will result in inefficient fuel spray and poor performance. Soaking the injectors in solvent to dissolve the varnish helps, but the ports still need to be cleaned to get all of the deposits out of the opening. Ultrasonic cleaners make this task painless.
Differential – Removing the gear oil from a differential case usually requires the use of dangerous solvents, and leaves residue that makes inserting new bearings and seals difficult. Ultrasonic cleaning will leave a case that looks like brand new, and can clean up the ring and pinion gears for dye-penetrant checks and teeth inspections.
These are just a few of the components that ultrasonic cleaners can quickly prepare for repairs or rebuilding. We could just as easily include transmissions, alternators, fuel pumps, and emissions sensors in the mix. Regardless of the part or component, the fluids used in a vehicle and the deposits left behind from use can all quickly and completely be removed, making the ultrasonic cleaning machine the best tool in the auto mechanic’s garage.