The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

February 14, 2014

Car washes carry on despite brutal winter

JOHNSTOWN — The snowy weather may be great for salt suppliers, not so good if you have a car or own a car wash.

Area car washes are reporting that business this winter is ranging from below average to above average.

Mark Symon, owner of Symon’s Auto Wash, 925 Menoher Blvd. in Southmont, said business has been below average this winter because of the snow.

“We are busy when the roads get cleared,” he said, adding that is because cars will stay clean after being washed.

 Cold weather doesn’t hamper business, said Symon, who has an automated car wash bay and a detail shop located inside a heated building.

“It could be zero degrees and we could wash cars,” he said.

The sun was shining and the roads were clear when Symon was interviewed Tuesday.

“We’re doing a brisk business today,” he said.

But even when the roads are snow-covered, customers will come, he said.

“I think people are getting fed up with how dirty their cars are, so they are getting them washed no matter what,” he said.

At Big Bubbly Car Wash, 999 W. High St., Ebensburg, business has been average to better than average this winter, said Zane Bianucci, who along with his wife, Sue, own the business.

“You will get a day when no one will come because of the snow,” he said Tuesday. “And then you get a day like today when it is sunny and you get lots of cars.”

A bad winter for car washes is when it rains often because the rain washes salt off cars, he said.

A good winter for car washes is when it snows one day, is sunny for a couple of days, and then snows again, he said.

Bianucci, who has two automated bays and five self-serve bays, also said that cold weather does not stop people from washing their cars.

In Somerset, Jake Wheeler, owner of Trackside Auto Shine, 221 N. Pleasant Ave., said the wintry weather has placed a damper on his business.

“We could use a little more sunshine instead of all the snow that we are getting,” he said.

There have been only a few prime washing days this winter, he said.

When nice weather arrives, the car washes will be packed, said Wheeler, who has two automatic bays.

When the weather is bad, Wheeler said he keeps busy by making repairs to the equipment.

Frank Sojak is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at

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