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Author Topic: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?  (Read 682 times)

webny99

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What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« on: March 11, 2019, 09:43:35 PM »

This popped into my head as I was posting in the "licence plates prone to peeling/fading" thread, and I wasn't sure what board it fit best, so I put it here.

In my area, Delta Sonic had almost a total monopoly until Royal Car Wash begun making some inroads recently. Both offer unlimited monthly plans for under $20 per month. Basically, in the winter, the monthly plan is guaranteed to be cheaper than paying per trip.

There is incredible demand for car washes in the winter months; late-winter Saturdays have got to be the worst, as I found out after waiting in line at Delta Sonic for around 20 minutes this past Saturday. Our Henrietta Delta Sonic is being expanded to a new double-tube concept - it's about time considering there's enough demand for three or more tubes at just that one location!

Car washes are also interesting for beginner drivers because they require following the attendants instructions, and the use of neutral.  :D
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cjk374

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2019, 09:51:14 PM »

Rocket-fast. Many locations all around me.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2019, 10:28:08 PM »

I actually can’t think of any devoted car wash chains in the Twin Cities. Whatever car wash that isn’t attached to a gas station like Holiday or Kwik Trip is typically a single locally owned and operated unit.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 10:31:41 PM by TheHighwayMan394 »
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Big John

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2019, 10:38:33 PM »

Only one mini-chain serving NE Wisconsin:  PDQ
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wriddle082

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2019, 10:43:39 PM »

In most of NC and also seen in nearby parts of SC and VA:  Auto Bell.  Because people can tell.
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briantroutman

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2019, 11:07:44 PM »

I actually can’t think of any devoted car wash chains in the Twin Cities.

Likewise in any part of Pennsylvania (to the best of my recollection). There might be a few car wash owners whose holdings include a couple of different locations operated under the same name, but nothing approaching what you might consider being a “chain”.
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ce929wax

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2019, 11:11:33 PM »

Ric and Stan's, back in the day there was Sparkle Buggy, also Meijer has quite a few car washes attached to their gas stations.  Other than that, a lot of local ones.
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2019, 11:17:47 PM »

There's a couple of local chains in our area.  One is Mr. Sparkle, which has locations in northern CT and one in Springfield, MA. The other is Sponge Brothers, with a few locations in the Hartford/New Haven area. 
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Bruce

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2019, 11:39:48 PM »

Brown Bear and Pink Elephant are both fairly prominent around the Seattle area, which means that Teal Tiger is next.

Takumi

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2019, 11:54:12 PM »

Flagstop
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ilpt4u

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2019, 12:16:07 AM »

Finish Line - relatively local in Western KY and Southern IL

https://www.flcarwash.com/
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MantyMadTown

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2019, 01:26:34 AM »

Only one mini-chain serving NE Wisconsin:  PDQ

Wait, that's a chain? I seriously thought it was just the location in Manitowoc.

I just found there's locations in Green Bay and Appleton. Definitely enough to make it a chain.
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Beltway

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2019, 07:04:12 AM »

Car Pool Car Wash
http://carpoolcarwashes.com/

7 locations in Richmond area.
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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2019, 07:21:19 AM »

Mr. Wash (including Mr. Wash Express).

There used to be at least one Clean Machine, but it’s gone and I’m not sure what it is now.
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Rothman

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2019, 08:24:57 AM »

Hoffman's is our very local chain.  Hoffman's also operates a few Jiffy Lubes in the area and, up until a couple of years ago, ran a very small amusement park -- Hoffman's Playland.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2019, 09:01:45 AM »

I think White Glove is a chain, which we have one location nearby.  Outside of that, none really.  In NJ there aren't too many gas stations with car washes attached (extremely few, really...I gotta really think of the one or two that's within a 20 minute drive).  Most car washes around here are independent places.
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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2019, 09:11:13 AM »

Scrub-a-Dub. I have a few tokens from them, but I don't know if they're still usable.

And Haffner's, including at least one location that's not also a gas station (MA 28 in Salem NH near the MA border), although most of them are.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2019, 11:53:33 AM »

Red Carpet seems to have the market cornered on the higher end of car washes in Fresno.  In Phoenix Cobblestone occupied the same segment. 

danthecatrafficlightfan

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2019, 12:06:24 PM »

Red Carpet seems to have the market cornered on the higher end of car washes in Fresno.  In Phoenix Cobblestone occupied the same segment.

don't forget about surt-thru express. they have 200 something locations and is a place you don't want to work at. my sister who worked there for almost a year quit because she said it was a horrible place to work for and now works at a  frozen yogurt shop JoJo's yogurt. MMMM!
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2019, 12:19:43 PM »

Red Carpet seems to have the market cornered on the higher end of car washes in Fresno.  In Phoenix Cobblestone occupied the same segment.

don't forget about surt-thru express. they have 200 something locations and is a place you don't want to work at. my sister who worked there for almost a year quit because she said it was a horrible place to work for and now works at a  frozen yogurt shop JoJo's yogurt. MMMM!

Generally I stick to the places that at leave have a detail shop.  They kind of had something like that in Hanford with Royal Car Wash. 

kevinb1994

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2019, 12:24:15 PM »

Around here there are gas stations with car washes and standalone car washes.
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webny99

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2019, 03:09:06 PM »

I am kind of surprised at how many people have said they don't have car wash chains in their area. Maybe cars just really do get dirtier in the Great Lakes region than they do anywhere else.
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J N Winkler

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2019, 03:10:08 PM »

Wichita has Zips Car Wash (four locations; never tried; automatic only, as far as I can tell from StreetView) and Fastrax Car Wash (two locations; never tried; possibly automatic only).  Little Joe's Car Wash used to be a chain with two locations, both offering DIY brushless with spot-free rinse and one automatic stall at each location, but one of the two was sold and now operates as Cyclone Car Wash.  90% of the time I take vehicles needing washing to Little Joe's.  Cyclone has more stalls but is also more likely to be backlogged, especially after an episode of winter weather clears, because it is more visible from the street.

My personal preference is DIY brushless with spot-free rinse, but I have used DIY brushless car washes with no spot-free rinse when I needed to get salt or mud off as required to protect the underbody and paint.  I don't trust even brushless automatic car washes.  I also don't hand-dry.

Wichita has auto detailing shops, but our experience with those has been mixed.  Five years ago we sent the Fit and the Camry to a shop in the light industrial area just east of downtown.  They did a good job on the Fit but managed to lose the key and fob for the Camry (replacement does not have Toyota triple oval but still cost more than they charged for the detailing job) and permanently damaged the instrument panel lens by allowing plastic detailing fluid to overspray onto it.
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briantroutman

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2019, 05:50:11 PM »

I am kind of surprised at how many people have said they don't have car wash chains in their area. Maybe cars just really do get dirtier in the Great Lakes region than they do anywhere else.

Cars certainly get dirty around here, and there’s also no shortage of car washes either. But—at least to my knowledge—most if not the vast majority of car washes in this region are either independent businesses or part of a group that is so small (like 2-3 locations) that you’d be hard-pressed to call it a “chain”.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 06:23:34 PM by briantroutman »
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webny99

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Re: What Car Wash Chains do you have in your area?
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2019, 08:26:45 PM »

I guess what's surprising is that chains like Delta and Royal haven't expanded to become multi-regional or even national. At least based on how busy they are around here it wouldn't seem like they would have any issues being profitable.
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