Cleaning the Body

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Cleaning the Body

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Cleaning the Body

  • Cleaning the Body

     kerbe2705 updated 2 months, 1 week ago 12 Members · 19 Posts
  • Boz O’Clown

    Member
    April 20, 2022 at 9:09 pm

    I’ve never had a composite vehicle before. I know there are composite boats and airplanes. But they go through water and clean air. This car will be subjected to road grit, dirt, muddy water, etc. I wonder how well the surface of the body will wear in this environment. I’d guess most wear will be in the areas of the face, leading edges on the wheel skirts (especially the rear wheel) and the under belly. Maybe just proper cleaning and waxing will be enough. Also, it seems you won’t be taking your Aptera through your local car wash. So buy yourself a creeper to crawl under your car to give it a proper scrubbing. Any thoughts?

  • Jonathan Reni

    Member
    April 20, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    My understanding is that the composite body will be wrapped in something like a 3M vehicle wrap. Therefore, you would want to follow the wrap manufacturer guidelines for that product. I believe that they frown on automated washes with roller brushes due to potential scratching or peeling. I’m thinking hand washing with mild soap. My biggest concern is how long will the wraps last if constantly left outdoors. I’m guessing at least 3 yrs with proper care.

  • Scott Price

    Member
    April 20, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    I would wait until Aptera decides on the vinyl wrap / gelcoat / paint controversy. That key answer will likely be the primary driver for answering your question regarding maintenance, likely even more so than comparing underlying composite to steel or such. Whatever the final surface finish ends up being, I personally don’t envision the Aptera being more difficult to maintain or wash than other vehicles within the realm of that same kind of finish. The only unusual aspect will be cleaning the entire bottom side of the vehicle, which is not usually done for most cars on the road. The smooth flowing aerodynamics will likely cause less buildup of gunk compared to “barn doors on wheels cars”. Every vehicle has leading edges of some kind, so nothing unusual or of concern there. TBD on suitability for automated car wash facilities, though that will likely be fine since many car wash track systems can hold onto front wheels (which Aptera has just like regular cars).

    • Boz O’Clown

      Member
      April 21, 2022 at 6:30 pm

      I would think a three-wheeled vehicle will not work in a car wash with a track. In the case of the Aptera, only the front-left wheel would be pulled forward causing it to skew to the right. Oh well, nothing beats hand washing.

  • Philip Raymond

    Member
    April 20, 2022 at 11:49 pm

    If they decide to stick with wraps, forget automated car washes. Hand wash in your driveway or wherever will be the only option (per 3M). If it’s paint, gelcoat or colored body resin (my preference), I believe most any automated or hand car wash will work. The point is, it has nothing to do with the composite body, but rather what coats that composite body. By the way, love your forum name!

  • Steven G. Bueche

    Member
    April 21, 2022 at 1:40 am

    The place where we had our M3 facially wrapped with a clear paint protection film showed us his Ford Raptor that was wrapped and coated with a ceramic coating. Darn near nothing stuck to it. It was hyperbolic which is a fancy word for water doesn’t stick to it. It’s sort of like using RainX on the body. Look up Ceramic Coatings on Wraps. It should ease your mind a bit.

    • Gary Greenway

      Member
      April 21, 2022 at 2:30 am

      Hyperbolic is a particular shape of a curve. Hydrophobic means water beads up on it and runs off easily. Looks like autocorrect struck again.

      • Steven G. Bueche

        Member
        April 21, 2022 at 11:41 am

        Thanks for the save. Yes, he showed the water being repelled as he poured.

  • Len Nowak Nowak

    Moderator
    April 21, 2022 at 4:40 am
  • kerbe2705

    Member
    April 21, 2022 at 6:23 am

    Note that the belly will be aluminum, but we don’t know if it will be anodized, painted or powder-coated…

    • Gary Greenway

      Member
      April 21, 2022 at 11:19 am

      Powdercoating and anodizing are unlikely because the panel colors on panels of different materials need to match. That’s why vinyl wraps and paint are the two most likely options.

      • kerbe2705

        Member
        April 21, 2022 at 9:33 pm

        Wrapping or painting the belly would reduce its ability to be an effective radiator. Anodizing the aluminum would, at least “tint” it black or white – and “clear” anodization would be just fine for Luna.

        • Gary Greenway

          Member
          April 24, 2022 at 7:45 pm

          The thermal conductivity of aluminum is way better than paint or vinyl wrap. However the thin layer of paint or plastic has a negligible effect on thermal conductivity when layered on aluminum. Anodized aluminum has an emissivity ranging near 0.80. White paint or plastic has an emissivity around 0.85. Black paint or plastic comes in around 0.94. The higher the emissivity value the more heat can radiate off a surface at a given temperature. Given these characteristics painted surfaces are equal to or better radiators than anodized surfaces.

  • John Malcom

    Member
    April 21, 2022 at 7:22 am

    I am just anxious to deal with the washing problem as soon as I can. I will figure it out. Just want it in my driveway soonest.

  • GLENN ZAJIC

    Member
    April 21, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    I fully expect it will giggle while I am washing its belly!

  • Ron Freiley

    Member
    April 24, 2022 at 7:01 pm

    I think the wraps only last 5-7 years.

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      April 24, 2022 at 8:52 pm

      On horizontal surfaces, yes – but they seem to last longer on vertical surfaces…

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