The recent dismantling of the former Mobil station at the airport business park has left the Island not only with one fewer gas station but also no automatic car wash.

Plans are in the works for a new Shell station and car wash at the site. But until that project is completed Islanders are facing the long, muddy, snowy, icy off season with no convenient way to clean their cars.

Summer was one thing, when washing the car could be a pleasant way for driver and dog alike to cool off outdoors.

But it’s getting cold now.

Island youth groups often hold car washes as fundraisers — and there’s no better time than now to haul out the buckets, suds, hoses and youthful elbow grease.

Numbers from the Registry of Motor Vehicles confirm the obvious: there are thousands of cars registered on the Vineyard. For sports booster clubs, scouts, eighth grade classes planning their trips and other community youth groups, that surely translates to a tidy sum of money that could be raised for good causes.

Bright idea to mop up a few extra dollars: hold a weekend car wash.