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5 Essential Outdoor, Illuminated Signs for Car Wash Facilities

Jun 6, 2023

5 Essential Outdoor, Illuminated Signs for Car Wash Facilities

Every business relies on signage to attract customers and convey its core messaging. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a business type where signage is more of a vital part of the experience than a car wash. From open/closed and branding to wayfinding and pricing, signs are crucial to ensuring customers are “in the know” of every aspect of the car wash. But what outdoor signs for car wash facilities are needed, and what function do they serve?

Sweet Peas Car Wash Sign image

1 - Backlit Signage with Customizable Graphics & Messaging

Small businesses spend thousands of dollars with marketing and graphic design agencies to ensure their branding, logos, and messaging create a positive, memorable, and emotional experience for new and existing customers. Light and color are two of the easiest ways to capture the attention of passersby, so it only makes sense for car washes to show off their branding and other visual assets by investing in customizable, backlit signage. There are nearly limitless design options for what a backlit, customizable sign can display: logos, hours of operation, and pricing levels for all services offered. If you can dream it, it can almost certainly be created and enhance the car wash facade.

Deluxe Wash image

2 - Full-Color, Variable Message Signs

When it comes to grabbing the attention of passersby, no sign does as good of a job and has as many capabilities as a full-color, variable message sign. These signs for car wash facilities provide a versatile and eye-catching platform for conveying information, promotions, instructions, warnings, logos, and animations. Car washes are a great candidate for these signs because of their versatility and numerous benefits, including:

Variable Messages: As the name implies, these signs can display different messages at different times. The content displayed on the sign can be easily programmed and changed remotely. This flexibility allows for timely updates and the ability to communicate various information as needed.

Colorful Text: These signs can display text messages in various colors, enhancing visibility and readability. Using different colors can help attract attention and keep the messaging interesting

Graphics & Symbols: Full-color, variable message signs can display graphics, symbols, and icons. This capability enables car wash owners to communicate messages more effectively and provide visual cues to viewers.

Animation & Enhanced Visual Effects: As these signs support animation and special effects, they can display scrolling messages, flashing text, and text fading in/out. This enhances visibility, allowing the messaging to grab more attention and be more impactful.

Remotely Controlled: The communication interface of full-color, variable message signs are typically Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or Cellular, allowing for remote management and control of the sign, as well as for quick content updates and monitoring.

Scheduling & Programming: Full-color, variable message signs for car wash facilities have advanced programming and scheduling features that allow car wash operators to predefine and schedule messaging, graphics, and animations on signs at specific times or intervals. This makes it easy to manage and automate the rotation of content.

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3 - Directional & Wayfinding Signage

Effective, illuminated wayfinding signs for car wash facilities are essential to ensure a smooth traffic flow and to help guide customers to its different areas. Integrating these signs into the car wash is crucial to creating a top-notch customer experience. These signs for a car wash facility should be installed at strategic locations and provide timely guidance. Place signs ahead of decision points, intersections, or areas where customers might need to make a choice, ensuring they have adequate time to react and follow the indicated path.

These signs should provide clear and concise information to help customers navigate the car wash, including universally recognized symbols and simple, understandable messages. A few types of wayfinding and directional signage for car washes include:

Directional Arrows: As they sang on Sesame Street, “Follow the arrows, they’ll show you where to go.” Illuminated arrow signs provide visual cues that convey the direction to travel and show the correct path or route to various areas within the facility.

Red X & Green Down Arrow Signs: These dual-message signs are best used over lanes and wash bay doors. The green down arrow indicates the lane or bay is open, and the red x indicates it is not.

Red & Green Dot Traffic Controllers: Much like the Red X & Green Down Arrow Signs previously mentioned, Red & Green Dot Traffic Controllers indicate which lanes or bays are open (green) and which are not (red).

Enter/Wash In Use & Wait Blankout Signs: These dual-message signs for car wash facilities indicate whether or not a customer should enter an area of the car wash or continue waiting their turn. When one message is displayed, the other is “blanked out.”

No matter which directional and wayfinding signs are chosen, maintain consistency in their design and placement throughout the car wash. Using the same colors, fonts, and layouts helps create a cohesive visual identity. This consistency allows customers to develop familiarity with the signage system and makes it easier for them to navigate.

4 - Signs With Easily Recognized Symbols & Supplementary Instructions

Typically, car washes offer many services, including self-service wash bays, hand-wash bays, detailing bays, vacuum cleaners, and carpet shampooing. It’s crucial to utilize universally recognized symbols that represent these different services, such as a symbol of a car or a nozzle for the wash bays, a vacuum cleaner for the vacuum area, or a vacuum with bubbles for the carpet shampooing station. Using easily identified symbols helps overcome language barriers and improves comprehension of the provided service.

To further help customers fully and correctly utilize the car wash’s services, signs for car wash facilities with additional information can be beneficial. For example, signs can provide instructions for using equipment, remind motorists to turn off their engines in the wash bay, or provide safety guidelines.

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5 - Over-Height Clearance Bars

Cars are expensive. Car washes are even more expensive. As such, it’s essential to prevent both from unnecessary property damage caused by vehicles being too tall to enter the car wash. One way to do so is by installing over-height clearance bars as part of the signs for a car wash facility. These signs prevent tall vehicles, such as trucks, buses, or oversized loads, from entering areas with low overhead clearance. Over-height clearance bars are a safeguard to prevent accidents and minimize property damage and the associated repair costs.

In a future article, we’ll discuss the essential indoor signs for car wash facilities. Stay tuned!

Are you thinking about installing illuminated signage at your car wash? Signal-Tech has an entire product line dedicated to the car wash industry. Go ahead and contact our knowledgeable sales and engineering staff anytime to learn more about illuminated signage for car washes and learn how it can benefit the business for years to come.