David Blue

Diamond Bay Car Wash (Google Review)

Diamond Bay Car Wash Street View

Sorry about the narrative - I found the experience about to recount oddly significant.

Its gist:

  • Digital payments on-site do not appear to be functioning as of late June 2023.
  • I was able to use cash successfully.
  • Though it’d obviously been long-abandoned, the water that came out during the rinse cycle, at least, was free of debris and did not smell of poo poo.
  • The employee of the Break Time told me that:
    1. The store had been able to sell working car wash codes for as long as she’d worked there.
    2. It had been a notably long time since “anybody” had been able to get in contact with the owners of the car wash.

I was visiting my sister’s lake house this past June (the 18th I believe) having just taken my first road trip in 4 years in my (new to me) Golf. I had gotten the car fairly dirty on my way there - having driven the longest route I could from Columbia, basically. I asked my brother-in-law about car washes in the area and he mentioned “the one behind Break Time,” though couldn’t tell me whether or not it was still opened.

With post-COVID hours, I was pushing it when I arrived at ~10:40PM with like 3 quarters to my name. So freakin thankful, immediately, that no music was being played (the last do-it-yourself washes in Columbia - Lighthouse Car Wash - play pop radio so loud it’s actually hard to concentrate.) I was curious about the prospect of using my debit card as soon as I saw the sign indicating that it had to be done in a singular location, where I found an (absolutely adorable, apparently locally made?) interface that appeared to be stuck on the authorization screen for a prior transaction.

Before I proceeded - and perhaps actually relevant to purpose of such a review (sorry) - I walked up to the Break Time, where the last shift was closing solo. I brought up the car wash and she immediately noted that they “hadn’t heard from them in months,” and that the store ⇨ wash payment processing hadn’t been working since she’d started there.


I decided to at least try rebooting the on-site payment terminal with the master breaker switch (which is very large and very visibly placed, I should say,) if only because I thought it’d be interesting to watch such a legacy, time-worn piece of automation come back to life.

…and it was! I got to see the terminal boot from a quite sophisticated script and the sound of everything settling into place was enchanting, pitifully.

Unfortunately, though this did clear the error, it landed on (and got stuck) the exact same error when I tried my card lol

I had enough cash to rinse my car off, which was all I really needed in the end. That evening was one I’ll never forget (for other reasons too,) and I would encourage the owners of that car wash - if they happen to see this - to contact MFA Corporate (my employers) at their main phone number. Ya never know - they’ve expanded stores a lot and they might be interested in the property.