Mike's Carwash splitting into two companies

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The central Indiana locations of Mike’s Carwash Inc. will undergo a name change as part of a reorganization in which the Indianapolis-based business will split into two separate operations, company officials disclosed Thursday afternoon.

Brothers Bill Dahm and Mike Dahm have completed what the company is calling a “friendly reorganization” that calls for Bill to operate the 26 central Indiana locations under the new name Crew Carwash.

Mike Dahm will operate the other 15 locations under the established Mike’s name, but with a new look, the company said. Overall, Mike’s has 41 locations in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

The split is expected to take effect Oct. 5.

Locations in Indianapolis, Anderson, Lafayette, Terre Haute, Columbus and Kokomo will switch to the Crew name.

Carwashes in South Bend, Fort Wayne, Evansville, Dayton, Cincinnati and Florence, Kentucky, will remain Mike's.

“Both companies look forward to great things to come in the future and appreciate what has always made us No. 1 … our customers,” the company said in a written statement.

Mike's was founded in Fort Wayne by Joe Dahm, the father of Bill and Mike, in 1948.

In a lawsuit filed in Hamilton County in 2010 by former co-owner and cousin Jerry Dahm, the company was valued at about $49 million, with real-estate holdings worth another $24 million.

A judge in July 2012 awarded Jerry Dahm just $140,000 in damages in a civil case that sought close to $30 million. Jerry claimed his cousins fired him after 30 years in the business and forced him to sell his shares in the company in 2010 at an “unfairly low” value.

The judge ruled the brothers "had legitimate reasons for terminating Jerry Dahm."

Mike’s headquarters are at 10251 Hague Road on the city’s northeast side.

The company said that all previously purchased wash books, coupons and discount tickets will always be accepted at Crew Carwash locations.


  • lucky to have mike's
    seems to me that we are lucky to have such a great employer in central Indiana that also does great work.
  • Another full-service wash
    Kopetsky's on W 16th is the best we've found - the run the car through the auto wash, and then a crew descends on your car, detailing it inside and out. And they don't accept tips.
  • Damage at Mike's
    They did $480 worth of damage to my car. They didn't bag the rear wiper properly and the red scrubber things got tangled in it and bent it at the base. They said "your vehicle is 11 years old - we'll give you $100". They were the rudest, most condescending people I've ever encountered. They wanted me to go all over town and get more estimates. I let it drop because it was clear I was going to have to take them to court to get them to pay what they owe me. VERY disappointed in Mike's.
  • No clue
    As a former manager at Mike's, I have to say the the daily preparation, cleaning, preventative maintenance and quality control measures at Mike's would blow most people away. There's about 2 hours of inspection and maintenance before it even opens for the day, and quality is checked constantly throughout the day with fine tuning and adjustments being made constantly to adhere to extremely strict quality and cost standards. The technology and different systems used are extremely complicated, most people have no idea what goes into it. Managers go through months of training to become experts in the operation and maintenance of the wash. Think about that the next time you go to a gas station car wash which is run by a part time high school cashier and if you're lucky brings someone in once a week to check the operation and cleanliness. Are there times when there are drips coming out of your door jams and you might have to go through again (for free) to wash the remaining dirt off? Sure. I work at a car dealership now with a car wash and I'm almost embarrassed when I have to run a customer's car through it due to the subpar quality and horrible drying. Comparing Mike's to a $5 wash or a gas station is like comparing Wal-Mart to Nordstrom. There will always be a market for both. And I didn't even mention the extremely high hiring standards and level of customer service training they put employees through.
  • Luke $5 Car Wash
    If Luke $5 Car Wash from up North ever comes to Indy, these guys are done. Same product, nice facilities, $5 vs. $15. Most of their sites have gas with 10 cent discount, making the wash more like $3/
  • RAMA
    You gotta try Rama on S Madison. Full service inside & out plus they'll change your oil!. Best place in town.
  • Hose not an option
    Uh, like I just said, I live in the city. My 6 story condo doesn't have spigots and driveways. So much untapped demand in so many different industries around this city.
  • DIY
    It's not Mike's or nothing. A hose and a bucket of hot, soapy water do a great job at a much cheaper price.
    • Monopoly not hyperbole
      In Carmel? Fishers? Maybe there's competition. I live in the city, and NO gas stations have car washes. It's Mike's or nothing.
    • Disagree
      I moved here 3 years ago from Iowa and was blown away that a city/area this size doesn't have more full service car washes. The only one I have found is Sparkling Image. Most the car washes the google maps comment refer to are just like Mike's and only clean the outside of your car.
    • I used to think Mike's was OK
      Got the "Works" car wash for about $15 at Mikes--you run through the sprayers and brushes and then a blower sort of dries your car. If you want to avoid drips, you have to hand finish it yourself. Took my daughter's car through a car wash in West Hollywood, CA recently. It's in a very nice part of town. The use the nickname "Car wash to the Stars". They hand vacuum your car, then run it through an automatic portion sort of like Mikes. Then each car is driven out and a guy spends 15 minutes hand finishing your car, cleaning the interior, vacuuming the trunk,etc. Price? $15. Most people do tip, however. Still, it made me realize there's not much competition here locally.
    • swirls
      anyone else get swirl marks during the winter from high volume of cars going through mike's and most likely having dirty cleaning pads. wouldn't even think about taking a new car through touch based cleaner
    • RE: Vinny
      I agree, Vinny. There is no explanation as to why they decided to change their name. It seems like an odd choice. Maybe there were legal issues stemming from the family.
    • Monopoly?
      Is Mike's one of the biggest franchises in this city? Yes. Monopoly? Not even close. Even a casual google maps search turns up dozens of non-mike's express places. There are not just Sparkling Images (of which there are at least 3) but plenty of other places. You are also forgetting that a lot of Shell's and other gas stations have built in car washes as well. Also a lot of dealerships have car washes. Not to mention all the independents. Mike's is expensive if you pay for a single wash. Wait until the books are discounted at Christmas and father's day and you save a bundle. They aren't that much more than any other "nice" car wash. If you don't like Mike's that's fine, but please refrain from hyperbole.
    • Mike's is awful
      Time for a rant. I moved to Indy 5 years ago. I enjoy it here. What I can't stand is the monopoly held by Mike Carwash. Everywhere else I have lived has had multiple competing carwashes... not here (except for like 2 Sparkling Images which are great). Mikes is unbelievably expensive, and the washes are terrible, my car leaves wet and dirty everytime. Somebody please start opening some Turtle Wax franchises and put these clowns out of business.
    • Poor Article why the NEED for the name change?
      Why the name change?? Why not just transfer/spin off into separate llcs

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