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workin_ike

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My first post and don't know much of the industry. Interested in buying a location that is about 17 years old but looks well maintained. Has 4 SS and 2 IBA. Location is quite busy. How much time a week would you guys think it would take for normal operations? I'm not expecting to include repairs/malfunctions/emergencies. I'm just looking for ballpark ideas. 30-50? 60-80?
 

Car_Wash_Guy

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That depends on you and the systems you put in place and the overall maintained level the wash is at. Some operators here spend the equvekence to a F/T job plus OT here. They’re married (slaves) to the operation or they just love being there( I do enjoy hanging around at my washes - its My hobby and many times I just go to hang out).

I have relatively new equipment and it’s well maintained. I have 4 guys that cover 9-5 every day. I tell them to call me if something breaks. If I’m in town I’ll fix it. If I’m away I call in a tech.

With that said Id say I’m at my site as little as 0 hours ( If I’m away ) and as much as 35( my office is there ). I’d say for a small operation and an owner / operator 2-3 hours/day would be the average for a nicely run place.
 
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Rfreeman

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Busy location means high traffic which means high probability for trash. Excluding what you mentioned going by daily to clean up and check everything I would estimate 2 hrs. If the customers basically use the place as a dump well then could be more. In 2 hrs. I would think you would be able to check vacs, check vending, wash down bays and clean up and get out of there.

Fundamentals of a car wash....clean and everything working properly.
 

MEP001

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I have a very busy 6-bay SS and spend at least an hour a day cleaning every evening, plus a guy who comes in every afternoon and spends an hour. Add to that four or five more hours a week here in there cleaning out the vacs, cleaning walls, pulling coins and restocking the changer, etc.

You say you aren't expecting to include repairs, do you plan to have a service company do them? Because you'll basically be working for them, especially with two IBAs. Depends on the machine, but some need a lot of preventive maintenance, and the bays can get really nasty in warm months with algae growth.
 

workin_ike

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I have a very busy 6-bay SS and spend at least an hour a day cleaning every evening, plus a guy who comes in every afternoon and spends an hour. Add to that four or five more hours a week here in there cleaning out the vacs, cleaning walls, pulling coins and restocking the changer, etc.

You say you aren't expecting to include repairs, do you plan to have a service company do them? Because you'll basically be working for them, especially with two IBAs. Depends on the machine, but some need a lot of preventive maintenance, and the bays can get really nasty in warm months with algae growth.
I'm not saying that I don't expect to do repairs. I'm just saying not expecting to "include" that amount of time as routine. Because I know a repair or maintenance can't be estimated due to skill level, severity of work required, frequency of repairs. I'm just looking for a normal routine week. And yes, I plan on doing my own maintenance and repairs.
 

bert79

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We have a 3bay ss and 1 IBA. I would say plan on devoting 20-25 hours a week to the car wash. Keep in mind after hours phone calls, handling refunds, researching things you need to learn and handling/depositing money.
 

MEP001

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I'm not saying that I don't expect to do repairs. I'm just saying not expecting to "include" that amount of time as routine. Because I know a repair or maintenance can't be estimated due to skill level, severity of work required, frequency of repairs. I'm just looking for a normal routine week. And yes, I plan on doing my own maintenance and repairs.
That's good to know, just thought I'd put that out there as a "reality check" just in case.
 

Waxman

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I put in between 30 and 45 hours a week at my car wash. My situation is a little different because we have a standalone detail shop that is open six days per week, and a used car lot attached to the wash too. I have cut back on my hours in the last couple of years trying to have more of a life as I get older. When the economy got tough I was working seven days a week to try to make everything earn enough. Once I install my new touch free I'm hoping for even a little bit more freedom and flexibility with my hours. I have other business interests besides this one which also take up some time During the work week.
 

Wash4Life

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We have a car wash that has five self-serve and two touch-free IBAS. Before 2016, we would put 3 hours a day Monday through Thursday. Fridays were five hour days. Saturdays were 5.5 hours. Sundays were six.

What changed when 2016 arrived was we started our membership program. We needed to be attended regularly to sell memberships and do membership odds and ends.
 

mac

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Basically the more time you can be there the better. Shoot for the busy times each day. Cameras help a lot here.
 
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