These are the two car wash industry on-line
discussion groups with the greatest participation:
If you remember and use the former name of the
this site name is easy to remember and the site is easy to find.
can get to autocareforum by going to carwashforum.com first. You
will be automatically redirected to the autocareforum home page.
later visits you can get to autocareforum faster by using "bookmark"
(Netscape) or "favorite" (Explorer) to save the name
in your browser.
Autocareforum.com is owned, operated, and moderated by a former
automatic car wash owner, Bill Pitzer. His experience brings a
of reality to the discussions.
There is a lot of participation in autocareforum. Some of the
longer term and more frequent participants have met at the
annual Western Carwash Association and the International Carwash
This site has a short registration process to discourage spammers.
Autocareforum has an e-mail newsletter that Bill regularly sends to
participants, but you can opt out if you wish.
An excellent feature of this site is that the threads with the most
posts appear at the top of the thread listings. This allows you
keep up with the hot topics of discussion just by glancing at the top
Self-serve, in-bay automatic, conveyor, and detail shop operators have
The site has a limited search function. You can search for
within thread Subject headings and/or for all posts by Member Name.
After you get to the site click on "Discussion
Group" in the red box at the right of your screen.
This site name is easy to remember. Operated by the publisher of
Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine.
To participate in the discussion group, you will need to enter your
name, e-mail address, and some
other information that they use to entice advertisers. You choose
information to provide or not provide. I do not recall EVER
an unsolicited advertising by e-mail from any of the carwash.com
The registration process hides your e-mail address from those
pesky "snakes" that spammers use to collect e-mail addresses.
You can opt-out of the carwash.com weekly e-mail newsletter, but it
seems to be a pretty good newsletter.
You can post a question or message to the discussion board and then
to receive a notice by e-mail when someone has posted a response.
is a feature that you will want to use.
There are separate automated car wash and detailer forums.
There is a very useful "Search Messages" function/link at the top of
page of the Discussion Board. This search function allows you to
the text of all posts using any term. In this way you can easily
posts on any car washing topic in which you have an interest.
The carwash.com site also has links to articles that have been
published in Professional
Carwashing & Detailing magazine. There is a "Keyword Search"
the site's archives of these articles. You can quickly research
car washing topic that interests you. Excellent.
If you know of, or discover, any other car wash discussion group sites
please e-mail me to let me know about them.
Tips for using both sites,
including commonly accepted rules of
. Once you get to
these sites "bookmark" them or mark them as
You will want to go back to them again and again.
. Read and follow
the forum rules.
. If you are new
to the car wash industry and/or to these forums
start by reading the oldest posts first and read forward. Many of
questions may be answered in some of the past posts. And you'll
a variety of new things about the car wash industry. If your
has already been answered to your satisfaction in an existing thread
post your question: Veteran forum participants get annoyed when
see the same question every few weeks. But, if your question
been answered previously, go ahead and ask your question.
. Spend time
"lurking". Every forum or discussion group
has its own characteristics and participants, and these two are no
Read and follow the recent threads for awhile, so that when you
participate you'll be better able to make a contribution. But,
be afraid to participate when you are ready! You will be welcome.
You will notice
that both forums have frequent regular
It is helpful and fun to figure out the car wash backgrounds of
participants. You can contact these people individually to get
one-on-one help with your questions.
you post to the forums usually need to be
narrow or specific so that your questions can be answered by
with a reasonable number of words. If you are new to the car wash
one post from newbies that is frowned upon by forum participants asks
such as: "How do I get into the car wash industry?". The
that this question is frowned upon is that it is very broad and has
been asked and answered many many times. A similar question that
frowned upon is: "Who makes the best car wash equipment?".
Do not "bash",
"flame", "slam", or "jump on" other
participants in the forums. Personal attacks are obvious to other
participants and can easily get you banned from the forums. Keep
in mind that your words in print can seem much more
harsh or mean spirited to other participants than if you said them in
person. Remember that these
forums are very "public" and meant for constructive exchanges. Treat
other participants in the forum as you would want them to treat you.
Be prepared to
be "bashed", "flamed", "slammed", and "jumped
on" by other participants in the forums. No matter how courteous
you are you will eventually be misunderstood, and bashed or flamed.
This is just a product of participating in any
online forum, not just these forums. Keep in mind that words on
screen often seem much more harsh than if you actually heard them in
thread. Post a reply or follow-up message to
previous posting in a thread only if your message is DIRECTLY related.
your new message is not directly related to the topic of the thread
a NEW thread.
. If another
person posts a comment or question that is off the
the thread, do NOT in any way reply to that off subject post. By
you may want to directly communicate with the author of the off subject
to ask them to re-post their question or comment as a new thread.
the forum moderator will delete off subject posts anyway.
. Post only your
messages and comments. Unless
permission from the author, don't quote in the forums an email sent to
something that someone verbally said to you in private, or any other
communication by someone else. People often say things in private
they wouldn't say in public. It's no different on the message
. Don't post
copyrighted or private information in the forums.
is a legal issue here, but there is also an ethical one. Don't
the copyrighted or private information of others without their written
. Be nice.
Always stay calm. Be polite. Be
cordial no matter how obnoxious another poster has been.
Sources: Getting the Most Out of the Internet, 1998, by
Sky Dayton [founder of Earthlink]: 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13.
Net: User Guidelines
and Netiquette, 1998, by Arlene Rinaldi of Florida Atlantic University: