Smell You Later: Keeping the Vehicle Environment Fresh, Electronically
You want to know what smells worse than your own vehicle after tough daily usage? Probably your customer’s vehicle. Although we are sometimes blessed with customers who are fastidious about keeping their vehicle clean and the interior smelling fresh, there are some work vehicles that need installations that can give Collyer’s Mansion a run for its money (younger readers are going to have to look that one up… and no, it is not the new, trendy, eco-friendly furniture shop in Brooklyn). Sometimes you get a Ford F-250 for auxiliary lighting, and the interior is downright funky. Or worse, being in the business, we look for a deal on a used vehicle. In the leasing game, there are great deals to be had on dealership loaner vehicles that only have a few thousand miles and are only a few months old. However, in the industry, they are known as ‘fart cars,’ because of the tough life they lived for just a few months in rental duty (pun intended).
In addition to a full interior detail complete with Ozium, there are new technologies available to keep interiors smelling nice that are far from the days of Little Trees – which still do work well, but typically mask odors rather than removing them. Electronic HEPA filtration systems are the next wave of technology to hit the streets.
One item that can be easily stocked by mobile electronics dealers is High Efficiency Particulate Air HEPA cabin filters. Bosch recently launched a line of HEPA premium cabin air filters. It includes 58 SKUs covering 110 million vehicles in operation in the U.S. and Canada. However, being selective, a dozen SKUs can take care of the most popular vehicles visiting your shop. Hey, if you are going to be underneath the dashboard anyway, might as well offer an air filter swap. Bosch says a HEPA cabin air filter offers advantages over a non-HEPA filter, including protection against finer microscopic particles of dust, allergens, harmful gases and bacteria to provide the cleanest air possible inside the vehicle. It also reduces deposits of these substances on heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) components to promote optimum performance and reduce the risk of costly repairs.
The filters feature triple-layer construction that includes a support layer, the HEPA layer, and a static cotton layer that together, provide outstanding efficiency in trapping more particles and dust than other designs. They feature a melt-blown electrostatic HEPA layer made with very dense media that provides greater particle-trapping capabilities than non-HEPA cabin air filters. Bosch says its HEPA premium cabin air filters are designed and tested to meet high-efficiency particulate air standards based on test standard ASTM D2986 and have an efficiency rating of 99.97% at 0.3 microns. Most Bosch HEPA premium cabin air filters can be replaced in 15 or 20 minutes. Bosch recommends replacing the cabin air filter every 12,000 miles or at the manufacturer’s suggested change interval as indicated in the vehicle owner’s manual.
JVC also wants to join the HEPA movement, as is offering a unique cupholder-mounted air purification system. The KS-GA100 sports a compact design, and it helps to remove smoke smells and other odors. Its unique design allows the KS-GA10F (replacement HEPA filter, included with the KS-GA100 and available separately) to remove allergens and germs, as well as keep a vehicle’s interior smelling fresh and clean. According to Scott Caswell, senior marketing manager for JVCKENWOOD USA, “There’s no longer a need to hang stinky trees from your mirror. With a diameter of 2.8 inches and a height of 4.6 inches, the new KS-GA100 rests easily tucked away in the cupholder. It comes with a two-way power supply, giving the option of the traditional 12-Volt socket, or a USB-powered option as well. It also offers a three-layer purification system, which allows it to quickly purify up to 350 cubic feet of air in just five minutes.” To use the filter, the customer just needs to wave their hand over the unit. One wave puts it into low-speed mode, which would be the usual setting. Another wave kicks it into high gear, in case there was a visit to the fish market on a hot day. A third wave turns the unit off. The JVC product would seem a great addition to any sale with a stinky interior. Of course, not to get crass, but the true test would be a demo in the shop bathroom! The KS-GA100 will be available in select channels only.