Last Updated on January 22, 2023 by Bernard Juchli
This is a fun guide to show how to trick a car wash change machine. This isn’t illegal if you can use it to perform magic tricks or charge owners of the machines to show them how vulnerable their machine is. You shouldn’t try this on someone’s machine with the intent of trying to con the machine owner. It is illegal, and you will be prosecuted.
This publication is only an eye-opener showing the various methods anyone can use to break into a change machine. It could be with special software, a magnetic stripe reader, or manually with simple stationery items.
How to trick a car wash change machine
This section covers reveals the common methods people use to get into a car wash change machine. As mentioned earlier, this publication does not endorse the act. That said, below are ways to hack a car wash change machine:
1. Break in with a foil
The first step to trick a car wash change machine is using just a foil. The foil works by fooling the randomization sensors. A hacker will insert the foil into the change machine after shaping it into the size of a paper bill.
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The foil then reflects the bill inspection pattern to the sensor, forcing the coin machine to dispense the change as it mistakes it for real money.
2. Stolen coin vault keys
To trick a car wash machine, you will need access to the car wash coin vault keys to easily break into the change machine. This would typically require the services of an insider, and the timing needs to be right.
If a crook has access to a bunch of coin-vault keys from vehicle washes, they will test the keys on various change machines, hoping the coin-safe cracks open.
For a cleaner job, they’d be careful not to damage the locks; this way, there was no sign of a break-in until the car wash management would only figure out there was a break-in when they tried to retrieve cash.
3. Break-ins with paper bills
It seems odd, but even a paper bill can be a tool to trick a car wash change machine into getting back double the change from the coin machine.
This method will work when hacking a coin machine—insert the paper ring in the slot. It won’t work if the vending machine has trays that need to be moved into place before inserting the bill.
A crook will insert a wrinkled $5 bill before smoothing it out. Typically, it needs to be cut at the lower-left corner, about half an inch before the number on the bill to make a hole in it. So, if it’s a 5-dollar bill, the cut comes next to the “5”.
At first, the change machine mistakes the insertion and will dispense an additional fiver in change.
4. Insert a photocopy of a paper bill
A faulty car wash change machine will accept counterfeit money to five quarters. Do note that photocopying dollar bills, especially with the intent of presenting them as genuine bills, is a federal crime.
Just insert the bill; if the car wash change machine is faulty, it should spit refunds. Older change machines are usually the target as they are thought to be possibly malfunctioning.
5. Attract coins with a magnet
Most car wash change machines are now computerized, so it won’t work trying to trick them with a magnet. Instead, a hacker targets an older coin change machine.
Here, you need a sizable magnet to distort the self-service for free money. You place the magnets over the coin grabber to attract them.
It turns out coins in the US do not get attracted to magnets, so good luck with this.
Unless you have access to the vault keys, most methods would only work on older machines with many hack defects. Perhaps, you should give those machines a shot—I mean, experiment. Make sure to take permission from the business owner to help them check for vulnerabilities in their machines.
Teach the owners how to trick a car wash change machine, and you can collect payment for helping them secure their machine. A fantastic way to make money instead of trying to con them of their sweat.