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Alternative Use for Automatic Car Wash

OneTimeSUPERSHINE

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Hello to anyone and everyone who has either owned or operated ANY type of Car Wash or even if someone has a thought or clever idea as do what I should do about my current car wash situation..! We currently own a full service car wash in conjunction with a gas station/ convenience store. We decided to add the car wash to the property about four years ago.. it sounded like a fabulous idea at the time..! We thought it could be a nice addition to the property (not a huge amount of space to work with, but just the right amount of real estate for something small) and most importantly we would be RICH!! (Ca-Ching!) HAHA (imitating the sound of a cash register opening) just kidding, but we thought that by adding the automatic car wash we would be able to generate a positive cash flow to the business.. My family and I did not realize the actual amount of the TIME, ENERGY, and MONEY it would really cost to own and operate one of these.. either the machine is having mechanical issues or either we have to call the company to repair/fix something that a customer damaged, or simply the weather is shitty. I‘m curious to find out if anyone has ever taken one of these and converted into something other than a car wash that can be profitable...? The store is not selling anywhere near the number of washes that we had anticipated, and now it’s just becoming this huge money pit.. not saying that I despise car washes or anything..but I am just seeking honest advice and this seemed like the best place to post my thoughts. any positive feedback will be greatly appreciated! -Faraz-
 

Eric H

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What is the footprint of the building? maybe add a google earth photo of your property.
Depending on the length of your tunnel you could divide it up into 3 or more retail spaces. Lease out to T-mobile, nail salon and Quickserve food.
 

washnshine

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We currently own a full service car wash in conjunction with a gas station/ convenience store. We decided to add the car wash to the property about four years ago..
Did you truly add a “full service” car wash? This would be with online vacuuming and interior cleaning/glass cleaning/floor mat cleaning and wipe down at both the entrance and exit of the tunnel. This model is extremely labor intensive, outdated and difficulty to maximize profits with. If you truly are operating a “full- service” model, you might want to consider more of a flex serve, or express model. I’m not saying that is the only problem, but generally speaking, full serve locations are not ideal these days.
 
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DavidM

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Before I converted it to something else, I would make sure you have exhausted your options to make it a successful wash. Why isn't it getting used? Too much competition? Customers not impressed? Not cleaning cars? Equipment broke down too often?

Unfortunately, there are not a lot of options for conversion of an automatic wash bay.
 

Axxlrod

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Hello to anyone and everyone who has either owned or operated ANY type of Car Wash or even if someone has a thought or clever idea as do what I should do about my current car wash situation..! We currently own a full service car wash in conjunction with a gas station/ convenience store. We decided to add the car wash to the property about four years ago.. it sounded like a fabulous idea at the time..! We thought it could be a nice addition to the property (not a huge amount of space to work with, but just the right amount of real estate for something small) and most importantly we would be RICH!! (Ca-Ching!) HAHA (imitating the sound of a cash register opening) just kidding, but we thought that by adding the automatic car wash we would be able to generate a positive cash flow to the business.. My family and I did not realize the actual amount of the TIME, ENERGY, and MONEY it would really cost to own and operate one of these.. either the machine is having mechanical issues or either we have to call the company to repair/fix something that a customer damaged, or simply the weather is shitty. I‘m curious to find out if anyone has ever taken one of these and converted into something other than a car wash that can be profitable...? The store is not selling anywhere near the number of washes that we had anticipated, and now it’s just becoming this huge money pit.. not saying that I despise car washes or anything..but I am just seeking honest advice and this seemed like the best place to post my thoughts. any positive feedback will be greatly appreciated! -Faraz-
What's your definition of Full Service?

Tell us dimensions and what car wash equipment/machine you have.
 
Etowah

OneTimeSUPERSHINE

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Thank y’all’s very much for your quick and informative responses! It is just your basic 3 option car wash through a company named W.E.T. (not full service) self vacuum station is there which is coin operated. The Location of our store is steady-busy, and it’s a branded Shell Gas station.. I feel that right now people don’t have money in their pockets to barely afford gasoline for their vehicles, and then to dish out an additional 6,7, or even $9 for a “premium“ wash..may just be the real issue.. times are rough right now. We are located in SE Houston, Texas right off of Dixie Farm and i-45. Will take pictures and send dimensions this afternoon to give you some visuals. Stay tuned! Thanks again
 

washnshine

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Thank y’all’s very much for your quick and informative responses! It is just your basic 3 option car wash through a company named W.E.T. (not full service) self vacuum station is there which is coin operated. The Location of our store is steady-busy, and it’s a branded Shell Gas station.. I feel that right now people don’t have money in their pockets to barely afford gasoline for their vehicles, and then to dish out an additional 6,7, or even $9 for a “premium“ wash..may just be the real issue.. times are rough right now. We are located in SE Houston, Texas right off of Dixie Farm and i-45. Will take pictures and send dimensions this afternoon to give you some visuals. Stay tuned! Thanks again
So this is an in-bay automatic? In other words, there is no conveyor and the car stays stationary while being washed? Is it touchless- no brushes? What is the brand of the machine?
 

Chuck Ivey

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Is this the Shell on Galveston Road at the end of Dixie Farm Road?
 

MC3033

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I’d recommend leasing before anything else. Gets value out of equipment and adds value to gas customers
 

soapy

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You might be able to do a revenue share with the folks that sold the wash to you. They take care of all the equipment and give a % of total gross sales.
 
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