News from the Industry
Odd carwash accident blamed on faulty brakes
An employee accidentally drove a car right through a carwash in Geneva, IL, causing more than $1,500 worth of damage to a Ford F150.
The driver claimed the brakes went out, causing him to drive right through the exit. The front and driver's side of the vehicle were both damaged. The driver, Ubaldo Arriaga, 36, ended up hitting a sign and then a tree.
A witness said he saw the vehicle rapidly accelerate while exiting the tunnel. However, a report stated: "A check of the vehicle's brake pedal was conducted, and there was no indication of brake failure."
Business celebrates 25th anniversary
Jim's Auto Installations & Detailing Center of Ipswich, MA, is celebrating its 25th year in business and owner Jim Goguen said they're now looking forward to 25 more years of success. Jim's, which opened on June 1, 1986, started out as a small detail shop. Six years later, it expanded and added on such services as window tinting and truck accessory sales. They eventually had to move into a new location to support their customer base and expanded service offerings.
Goguen said, "We listen to the needs of our customers. When they talked to us about car tint and vinyl lettering and graphics — we obliged; and as the car audio aspects of the business evolved into higher technology like navigational systems, Bluetooth, and car video capabilities — we took action to grow that end of the business as well."
As for their years of success, Goguen credits the customers. "The backbone to our success is our loyal customer base. We have always focused our attention on providing our customers with the newest techniques in the detailing industry, accompanied by superior customer service. They appreciate our commitment just like we appreciate their loyalty."
Carwash turns inner tubes into a profit center
A carwash in Charles City, IA, is taking advantage of the summer heat wave by renting inner tubes and canoes as an additional profit center.
Davico Car Wash rents inner tubes with life jackets for $10 per day, and customers use them for floating down the Cedar River. The wash also rents canoes and inner tubes that hold coolers.
The wash has been very busy since they started renting the tubes, said Dave Brissette. In fact, most days the wash is sold out of tubes by noon. He added that people have come from all over the state of Iowa to rent tubes, and there have even been people come to the wash from Minnesota.
City limits home carwashing runoff
Water conservation measures enacted in Abilene, TX, limit the runoff allowed from home carwashing and watering. The city went to a reduced watering schedule on June 6. Under these ordinances, a citation may be issued for excess water from a carwash or yard running more than 75 feet down a gutter or alley.
The first offense for a water conservation ordinance violation is a minimum fine of $50. Last month, the city issued 17 citations for water violations for excessive runoff and/or watering on the wrong day or at the wrong time.
CNN says detailing services increase car value
Detailers looking to boost the importance of their services can now reference CNN.
A July 6 CNN story said waxing, headlight restoration, wheel cleaning, minor scratch repair and interior cleaning are all fix-ups that can add $300 to $2,000 to a car's value.
Lauren Fix, an auto care expert and spokeswoman for the Car Care Council, said in the story that it is worth paying a professional detailer to clean and polish a car thoroughly if the vehicle is worth more than $40,000. With a car this valuable, the difference between super-clean and dirty could be thousands of dollars.
City considers regulating charity washes
Officials in Moreno Valley, CA, are considering regulations for charitable carwashes. Council members are saying that such a measure would curtail a valuable fundraising method for youth groups.
The city's staff researched how seven local cities deal with charitable carwashes, and the survey found that four cities require a temporary-use permit before conducting an event. Out of the four cities, only one charges for the permit. The other three jurisdictions chose not to police carwash fundraisers even though their zoning codes provide for regulation.
Councilman Jesse Molina initially broached the issue for study and discussion, and he said that he wants to find a way that carwash owners and charitable groups can work together.