As a result of the push for more cleanliness and sterilization during the pandemic, you might have noticed that there has been a shortage of cleaning supplies at your local supermarket lately.
This shortage has led to some businesses getting creative when it comes to new ways of cleaning and keeping employees (and customers) healthy.
Well, how’s this for a new and creative:
Ford found a way to use the vehicle’s heater, with the help of a software update, to sterilize itself.
The origin of the heater sanitizing solution
NYC police were concerned about keeping their Interceptor SUVs clean from shift to shift.
Since hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes have been hard to come by, they decided to contact the Ford Company for cleaning tips.
An engineer at Ford discovered that the car’s heater can effectively kill COVID-19.
The engineers worked on and perfected a software patch that can upgrade the SUVs and actually sterilize itself in 15 minutes.
The patch is being installed in NYC police vehicles currently. It’s also being offered for free to other police officers across the country through licensed dealers.
How does this work?
Ford, along with Ohio State University, tested and confirmed that a car heater temperature of 132.8 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes reduces the virus in the air and on surfaces by as much as 99 percent.
In light of this data, Ford developed software that increases the heat of a regular car heater, which involves some onboard climate controls and engine modifications.
The heater in most cars has the ability to reach around 130 degrees, so the software only needed to boost the heat temperature by a few degrees for it to become effective.
A licensed dealer installs the software, which is turned on through buttons on the steering wheel or a laptop that has been connected to it.
Here’s the play-by-play on how it works:
- A driver activates the system and then gets out of the vehicle. (Trust us, you don’t want to be in the car during this action.)
- The vehicle’s hazard lights will flash.
- The speedometer will increase to around 100mph, marking the beginning of the process. The increase in speed also increases RPMs to around 1800 or more. This is around the same RPM experienced when driving on a highway. Experiencing this RPM while parked allows the vehicle to put the extra effort towards generating more heat.
- Coolant, which cools the engine, helps harvest the heat and sends it to the heater. Normally, if a heater gets dangerously hot in a car, the coolant flap will close so that no more heat will get through. With the new software, this safety feature has been taken away in order to deliver the extra heat needed for sterilization.
- Once the process is complete (around the 15-minute mark), the speedometer slows to zero and the brake lights will come on.
According to Bill Gubing, director of passenger vehicles and SUVs for Ford, the inside temperature can reach up to 185 degrees or higher, which is quite a bit more than needed to effectively eliminate the virus.
What do you think? Is this a cleaning hack that you would install in your vehicle?
We may not have self-cleaning vehicles yet, but rest assured that Bryant Motors has a wide variety of new and used vehicles for you to choose from.
Check out our online inventory and contact us today! We are open for business and have sanitized and taken precautions to keep you safe.