Operator Spotlight: Jensen’s Car Wash

After spending 18 years on the road working for Pennzoil, Scott Jensen realized traveling was no longer his cup of tea. Jensen decided to become an entrepreneur and start his own business ventures. He now owns a prosperous oil change business, tire shop, and car wash located in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.

Scott and Charlie Jensen
Scott Jensen pictured with his wife Charlie.

A Desire for Change

During his time at Pennzoil, Jensen developed quick lube centers. However, the job required a lot of travel. That job gave him the perfect skill set to open up an oil change business of his own. After two decades, Jensen decided it was time to travel a new path. He began his entrepreneurial journey by renting a gas station in 2001, which he converted into an oil change service center. As the business prospered, Jensen toyed with the idea of opening a tire change business. First, he needed to clear a few hurdles.

Clearing Hurdles

It became increasingly clear he needed a larger piece of property. Jensen had his eye on a property that was for sale. He attended the auction at the county courthouse to purchase it. However, another attendee outbid him. Instead of giving up, Jenson approached the purchaser and asked if he was willing to rent out the property. He agreed and later told Jenson they should build a car wash.

The car wash opened in 2007. Unfortunately, the first year was rough due to construction on the main road. Once the roadwork cleared up, the wash blossomed with profitability.

In 2008, Jensen opened the tire change business named Jensen’s Tire. Over the years, he merged everything into Jensen’s Tire & Service.

Jensen's Car Wash Tunnel With Red SUV
Red SUV being washed in a tunnel.

Developing a Successful Wash

Originally the wash was equipped with four self-serve bays and an in-bay automatic system. After eight years, Jensen replaced the touchless system because customers were not impressed with the results. He remarked, “You’ve got to touch the car, I’m convinced.” He installed a soft-touch PDQ wash system. Traffic increased, enabling Jensen to construct another bay with identical equipment five years later. Today, the wash features four self-serve bays and two automatics.

Connecting With Kleen-Rite

When Jensen opened his car wash, he purchased equipment, parts, and supplies directly from the distributors. Eventually, he discovered Kleen-Rite through our heavy online presence. Jensen splits purchases between Kleen-Rite and the manufacturers to retain access to their technical advice and repair services.

Jensen said his favorite part of doing business with Kleen-Rite is the free shipping offers on pallets. He said, “I have a forklift, and it’s a no-brainer to order pallets since shipping is free.” Transporting supplies to storage on pallets with a forklift is fast and enables Jensen to spend his time performing other tasks. Plus, he likes our prices and the wide assortment of car wash supplies we carry.

Jensen’s Advice to New Owners

Vacuums at Jensen's Car Wash
Self-serve bays and vacuum islands at Jensen’s Car Wash.

If you are considering purchasing an existing wash or building your own, Jensen advised focusing on “Location, location, location.” A property in a high-traffic location viewable from the road is best. Another recommendation Jensen provided is to spend time researching automatics to understand what you are purchasing.

Your wash will get dirty. Jensen said, “You got to keep the place clean.” A clean wash will help customers form a favorable first impression because it shows you care about the finer details. Equipment will eventually break; Jensen said, “Fix things when they break, don’t procrastinate, get right on it; things compile if you let one thing go, then you are in over your head.” He also discussed learning how to fix things yourself because it saves time and money. Learning to fix things yourself is a shared recommendation among many of the owners we interviewed over the years.

Over the years, Jensen developed his car wash into a profitable business alongside his other ventures in the automotive industry. We are grateful to Jensen for being a loyal Kleen-Rite customer and taking the time to discuss his wash with us. We wish him the best of luck in the future!

Check out the previous operator spotlight featuring Bruno and David from Topaz Car Wash.

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