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The Carwash’s Role in Service Department CSI Scores

With roughly 30,000 franchised and un-franchised auto dealers in North America, it is easy to imagine that their carwash requirements vary greatly. There is one common factor with every dealership — the importance of achieving high Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) scores.  

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Carwash quality plays a significant role in achieving good scores for the service department. 

Because every dealership is different, each dealer should consult with the carwash representative when selecting a carwash that fits your operation.  

In order to give the carwash rep a good idea of where to start the process, consider the following initial questions: What is your current wash process? How many cars a day are you washing? What’s the process for cleaning the wheels?  

Depending on the size of the dealership, carwash volume can vary from 40 to 300 cars per day. For high-volume situations, speed is obviously a consideration. However, getting a car done fast doesn’t mean anything if it isn’t clean. Look for a vendor that specializes in providing dealer carwashes that deliver an excellent wash at an attractive per-unit cost. 

Some dealers looking for a particularly high-end finished product will want a unit that has the ability to deliver a car with a coated and polished finish.  

Other will want a fast, economical wash that delivers a very clean car and can be set up exactly as the dealer desires. Dealers should look for one that has foam rollers that are powered by electric motors, which automatically sense friction and adjust roller pressure accordingly, making the wash gentle on cars and good for CSI scores. 


Some carwashes also address environmental concerns. While many machines on the market require 24 gallons of water per vehicle, there are units available that only use 16 gallons of water and two ounces of detergent per wash. It’s not only better for the environment but also for the dealership’s bottom line. 

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