Greenfield Blasts Slams Brooklyn Car Washes For Overcharging Jewish Customers Before Pesach


NYC car-washCouncilman David G. Greenfield is asking the Department of Consumer Affairs to investigate whether some car washes in Brooklyn are overcharging for pre-Pesach cleanings. It is well known throughout the frum community that area car washes run “Passover Specials,” but it isn’t clear whether these limited-time offerings are a bargain or a way for local businesses to take advantage of a particular segment of the community.

“These are serious allegations and I have reached out to the Department of Consumer Affairs to request an investigation,” said Councilman Greenfield. “After receiving complaints about exorbitant prices for pre-Pesach car cleanings, my office investigated and I was, frankly, shocked to find that local merchants are exploiting members of the Jewish community in Brooklyn during such an important and already expensive holiday.”

Over the course of several days, members of Councilman Greenfield’s staff called over 40 car washes across Brooklyn to inquire about prices for an interior and exterior cleaning. In the course of their investigation, some staff members were asked if they were Jewish or if the cleaning was for Passover. On several occasions, staff members who replied affirmatively were quoted a different, more expensive price for the exact same set of services than those who indicated they were not Jewish or that the cleaning was not for Passover.

“Pre-Pesach cleaning is more than just spring cleaning,” explained Councilman Greenfield. “Observant Jews clean their homes and cars to ensure that there is no chametz, or leavened products, which are forbidden by the Torah during Pesach. I want to see our local businesses thrive, but I do not want their success to come at the expense of ripping off members of the community.”

One of the worst offenders, a major car wash on Coney Island Avenue, which advertises their pre-Pesach services aggressively in the Flatbush and Boro Park neighborhoods of Brooklyn, quoted a non-Jewish staff member a price of $75 to detail a mini-van that was described as incredibly dirty and in need of the car wash’s best possible cleaning service. That price included vacuuming, shampooing and waxing of the interior, but was only quoted after confirming that the caller was not Jewish. The day before, a Jewish staff member was only offered the “Passover Special” for a price of $100 for the exact same services-a nearly 35% markup.
“We’re sending a message to these business that it is unacceptable to exploit anyone based on their ethnicity or religious beliefs. As a community, we simply cannot tolerate pre-Pesach price gouging,” concluded Councilman Greenfield. “I encourage everyone to call and confirm the price of a car wash before heading over for a pre-Pesach cleaning. Once you’ve waited on line, and the car wash gives you a higher price, it is difficult to leave and go elsewhere.”

{ Newscenter}


  1. Here in Chicago’s very Jewish 50th Ward, the Pre-Pesach car wash was a very pleasant — no cost — experience. We thank Ward Committeeman (and State Senator) Ira Silverstein and Alderman-Elect Debra Silverstein, a wonderful (Shomrei Torah UMitzvos) couple, for subsidizing the “free” coupons and convincing the providers to provide courteous service.

    Best wishes to the Silversteins for Hatzlachah in all their endeavors and for Chag Kasher VeSameach.

  2. 100 dollars for a Pesach car cleaning is a steal! Here in Montreal, a well-known car wash charges $150 for Pesach cleaning and $165 for an SUV! Now, that’s a lot of dough…and I don’t mean chametz.

  3. I once asked a car wash what the difference was between their “Full Service” wash and Pesach wash was. He told me that for the Pesach wash, they remove all the seat cushions, go under the linings, etc. For the Full Service, he said they vacuum all the exposed parts, but don’t remove seats or go under linings.

  4. Whys is this discussion limited to car washes?

    What about food prices ?

    Do I need to tell you how many famillies are suffering because of food store pesach roice gauging?

    Alteh Bucher

  5. Actually, the free car wash offered by Senator Silverstein’s office was a free exernal wash (value $3.50) and free use of the vacuum to do your own internal cleaning (value $1.00). Not to belittle the wonderful resources we here in the Chicago community have, but please don’t imply that everyone is getting a full detailing either!

  6. Commenter No. 6: I actually asked the Chicago car wash operator for more and offered to pay. To my surprise, he did the extra work, but refused to accept compensation from me!

  7. The food price gouging that goes on in our heimisha stores come Pesach is outragous & criminal! They should be put out of business & made to eat out of the same trough like a horse! Any mindless fool that patronizes these stores are ovair lifnay eever & should have their voting rights taken away from them!

  8. Let him complain about 30 dollars a pound of matzo and overpriced food like Hikind. Car wash is a luxury. Don’t go and they won’t overcharge.