BLOOMINGTON — Text messages are now as good as cash at a Twin City car wash.
Bloomington’s Empire Auto Wash, 1402 E. Empire St., recently launched Text4Wash, a program that allows customers to activate a wash by sending a text message.
“It avoids the need to pay at the pay station with cash, credit cards or tokens,” owner Jared Tomlin said Wednesday. “You can do this without rolling your windows down.”
Tomlin, who also works as an iPhone app developer, said he created the new feature to speed up car washes for customers. He plans to create similar features for Android and iPhone devices.
February is the busiest month for car wash businesses because of the winter season that dumps snow and salt on vehicles, Tomlin said.
“Cars get really dirty and the salt is very bad,” Tomlin said.
To sign up for Text4Wash, customers must purchase credits online at www.empireautowash.com or in person at the business. Customers then can pull up to the car wash and send a text to begin the wash. Prices run from $5 to $8.
The car wash is currently selling a $25 credit for new Text4Wash customers for $19.99. Multiple cell phone lines can be included in one account to accommodate families and businesses, Tomlin said.
When a person’s account falls under $10, the program sends the customer an alert, Tomlin said, adding that the program can also automatically refill the account.
To better serve customers, the car wash also completed a $2,000 upgrade on equipment. The business now has a new pre-soak and water softening system, he added.