Causing Conflict: What Hot New Car Technology Means for Car Wash Operators


New technology has made cars smarter, faster and more efficient than ever before. But even though new car features have undergone thousands of hours of research and development, some of the elaborate additions have kyboshed the clean process in the automatic car wash world. 

What’s triggering the complications? Features like forward collision avoidance are great for the road, but not in a car wash. Many drivers and wash owners have reported that the avoidance system triggers during a wash cycle, stopping the vehicle mid car wash, causing the vehicle behind it to collide.

Operators have also reported problems with cars that won’t roll in neutral, requiring an employee to go along for the ride to keep things moving and ensure car safety.  

‘Smart’ automatic wipers sometimes activate and become damaged, and key-less entry systems lock up when they come in contact with wash brushes. Locked up means locked out, with the keys inside. 

How can we overcome car wash challenges? Most vehicles have manual override instructions that allow the car owner to temporarily turn off the feature. The problem? Each vehicle is different so there’s no standard approach to accessing and turning things off. Imagine pausing at the door of the car wash and frantically jabbing at buttons and swiping through screens. It’s become a lot more complicated than a sign that simply states ‘put car in neutral.’

As these challenges continue to test the car wash industry, one idea to alleviate problems is to work with automakers to standardize deactivation features and educate car wash owners on individual vehicle requirements to keep things safe during a car wash.

For more information on how we can help your car wash keep things clean with high-tech vehicles, contact us today.