Manor Car Wash

Chris Woelfle started out with an interest in cars. After working as a fabricator welder, Woelfle bought a Sunoco gas station in 1985. Eventually, he added one car wash bay to the establishment. A few years went by and Woelfle wanted to buy a repair shop that just so happened to be attached to a larger car wash. That establishment, the Manor Car Wash, was built in 1967 by Clyde Ament. Clyde passed the business to his son Danny Ament, who in turn sold it to Woelfle in 1988. Now Woelfle had a repair shop as well as a full car wash.

Woelfle felt that owning a car wash seemed like a pretty easy task. “I knew that Manor Car Wash needed some serious repair,” he said. “I did it almost as an afterthought and somehow it built itself into a great business.”

Tools of the Trade

Woelfle has turned to Kleen-Rite for car wash products throughout his time as owner. By reading each issue of the Kleen-Rite Kleen Scene magazine, and attending trade shows, he’s kept abreast of new technology.
Woelfle found that Cryptopay, a credit card acceptance system, was one of his best updates.

“No one seems to carry cash on them anymore, especially quarters or coins of some sort,” he said. “Switching over to Cryptopay saved me time and accumulated a lot of revenue.”
Weekends are the busiest time at Manor Car Wash. Woelfle knows he has to check his equipment every day as well as keep the lot free of trash and debris.
“I have had people come up to me and personally thank me for keeping my car wash the way I do,” he said. “They appreciate the fact that when they swipe their credit card, everything works. They don’t have to worry about wasting their time and money at a place that’s not functional. If you take pride in your car wash, people will reciprocate that feeling back.”
With so many machines working every day, breakdowns can be inevitable.
“I don’t know how you could get into a business like this and not have any knowledge of plumbing or electrical,” said Woelfle. He installs everything himself, whether it is the wiring of a new machine or building a new bay. He has learned to always have extra product on hand, even if he isn’t sure when he will need it next.

Business Evolution

“When I first started, I only had 2 options in my self-serve bays and now I have 8. I have come to find that more options do build more interest and time with consumers,” he said. “I have also found that it can confuse them. Some people just want wax but end up getting other things as well, which discourages them. But that is how the system works. I’ve added self-serve tire shine, foamy brush, and awesome Air-Shammee blow dryers.”
Woelfle still owns the repair shop he originally set out to buy. He says that his three car wash bays alone almost exceed the revenue he gets from the 30 to 35 cars that may come in each day for auto repair.
“This industry is a mind game,” he said. “You have to always be one step ahead in order to be on point with everything you do!”
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