Import Auto Repair

Marketing Ideas for Auto Repair Shops to Keep Customers Coming Back

A Car Advice Blog

In 2018, operating a website for your business is a given. Maintaining and updating that website is the challenge auto shop owners face. One way to drive visitors to your site is to start a car advice blog. If the content you produce provides direct value to your most-likely customers, consumers will revisit your website and maybe even subscribe. This gives you opportunities to inform them of specials, educate them about their vehicles, and remind them of services that their cars need (more on this last point later)

Social Media

Just like your website is a standard part of your auto shop’s marketing, so is creating a social media presence. Consistent posting on Facebook is essential to show those who hear about you that you’re open and ready to help your customers. Pick a schedule and stick to it so that your followers (who are most likely also your customers) can learn when to expect new content from you

While you might post at a consistent time each day or each week, the possibilities for the type of content you post are limitless:

coupons and special offers

links to your blog

customer testimonials

helpful advice and recommendations for maintenance

Recall information for major car manufacturers

Coupon Advertising

Coupons provide a low-cost, high-exposure option that draws new customers and reminds existing customers of the excellent service you provide. Offers you could use include:

Half-off oil change

Free oil change with purchase of an emission/safety test

Free oil change with any repair of more than a certain dollar amount

Free/reduced cost tire rotation with the purchase of another service

A certain dollar amount off a specific service (e.g., $25 off a tuneup)

A certain percentage off the cost of an overall bill

The key to making coupons work is getting them into the hands of the right people. Register tape advertising that appears on the back of grocery store receipts offers a perfect—and cost-effective—means of delivery. Because your auto shop coupon is placed on the backs of receipts at a grocery store that is close to your shop you will repeatedly deliver the coupon to people who are most likely to use your services.

Keys to Selling Auto Service Professionally and Ethically

Be prepared to cost-justify. When it comes to selling maintenance, one of the single greatest mistakes that shop owners and service advisors make is being unprepared to cost-justify the services. You’ll need to be able to quickly explain to your customers, in clear financial terms, why the service is a great investment for them

Know your customers’ buying habits. You’ll need to know your customers’ buying habits as well as their service histories. You should always request your first-time customers’ service records, and should ask them about their service histories verbally as well. This information can be extremely helpful during any sales process, especially when it comes to selling maintenance. Great doctors are always interested in a patient’s medical history, just as great service advisors are always interested in a customer’s service history. This information not only indicates which maintenance services are due, but will give you valuable insights to your customers’ buying habits as well.

Have the right tools available. People believe what they see, so whenever possible, you should get your customers visually involved. are big supporters of complete vehicle inspections, proper documentation, and visually showing your customers what was discovered. Since third-party documentation is usually viewed as a credible source, you should use your customers’ owner’s manuals, their service records, and print-outs that show industry recommendations, maintenance brochures, and repair orders that show the high cost of repairs, failed components and fluid samples.

Emphasize the benefits. You’ll need to know the key benefits of every service you offer by heart. You’ll need to know, in very specific terms that your customers will understand, how they will win by authorizing the maintenance services that you recommend. You’ll need to make sure they know it can maximize their fuel economies, protect the value of their vehicles, protect their warranties, help them avoid unexpected and costly repairs, and provide them with peace of mind in knowing that they’ll have good, safe transportation.

Let the customer know you have great news. When you call your customers, make sure you begin your presentation by telling them that you have some really great news. This will not only set the tone for your presentation and put your customers at ease, but it will send a strong message that as a professional, you feel the service you are about to recommend is truly a great value.

How Auto Mechanics Can Rip You Off, and How to Avoid Being Taken for a Ride

Have you ever gone to an auto repair shop for an oil change, only to have the mechanic say your car needs a new transmission? Has the “check engine” light come on, and suddenly the mechanic says you need expensive new engine parts?

One seasoned auto mechanic is warning consumers to be well-versed in how a car works to avoid being ripped off at the auto repair shop.

some mechanics may try to squeeze more money out of customers by doing unnecessary repairs. What drives mechanics to cheat or push unnecessary repairs, said, is the tiny profit margin at many repair shops. Most mechanics are honest, he said, but many are pressured by their bosses to perform unnecessary work.

“The shop has to stay in business,” said. “There are pressures to do things that maybe you wouldn’t do normally.” admitted that he has used shady tactics, himself, in the past.

“I’m ashamed a bit to admit it, but when your boss tells you … ‘Either you do it here or the door’s right there,’ what are you going to do?” he asked. The Automotive Service Association says the majority of the service repair industry is ethical and only charges the consumer for necessary work.

How to find a good garage

Finding a good, trustworthy garage that’ll charge you a fair price is crucial to keeping your car roadworthy and your bills in check. These tips will help you choose wisely.

Looking after your car properly is vital. Your wellbeing (and perhaps life) depends on it – as does the safety of your passengers, fellow road-users and even pedestrians. Yet all too often, our main concern is how we can get our car fixed as cheaply and conveniently as possible.

Find a good garage As with most buying decisions, it pays to do a little homework before taking your car to be repaired or serviced. First, search online to create a shortlist of garages near you – if you need to leave your car at the garage, which is highly likely, you’ll be glad it’s not too far away.

Check prices in advance Continuing the research theme, it’s now possible to get an idea of how much a service or repair is likely to cost before a mechanic even looks at your car.

What to do at the garage Before the mechanic gets started on your service or repair, ask for a written quote and make sure it includes parts, labour and VAT. Check that the garage will use approved or equivalent parts, so you don’t invalidate any remaining warranty on your car. You may like to enquire about a courtesy car for the duration of the work, but be wary of steep insurance excesses on such vehicles.

BRAKES & BRAKE REPAIR

Anti-Lock Brake System

Anti-lock Brake Systems (ABS) ensure that the wheels don’t stop rotating during braking, preventing the car from skidding and offering greater control. If your ABS light comes on, visit Auto Repair Services where will be happy to diagnose and fix the problem.

Brake Fluid Flushes

Brake fluid will absorb water from the air over time, causing the brake system to become less effective and the fluid to become corrosive, possibly damaging the system. It is important to perform a brake fluid flush regularly to ensure that your vehicle is using fresh fluid. Talk to technicians at Auto Repair Services about when it’s time for a brake fluid flush.

Brake Hoses

A brake hose is a tube carrying pressurized brake fluid from the master cylinder to the brakes. A crushed hose can cause a lagged or slow brake, and a leak in the hose can cause the brake, or the entire brake system, to fail. These don’t need to be replaced often, but should be replaced at the first sign of cracking or wear.

Brake Pad & Shoe Replacement

Brake pad problems can usually be identified by squealing brakes. If your brake pads deteriorate completely, you’ll hear a grinding metal-on-metal sound when braking, meaning that it’s too late and you’re ruining your rotors or drums! Those with knowledge of auto repair may be able to fix this at home, but you should always see an auto repair professional immediately if you have brake problems.

Caliper Replacement

The brake caliper houses your brake pads and fits around the rotor like a clamp, pressing the pads against the rotor when you brake. A brake caliper problem could cause uneven braking, making your car slide forward when you brake. Uneven braking can also cause your vehicle to slide out of control in bad weather conditions, so contact Auto Repair Services as soon as possible.

Feel Safe With The Right Truck Tires

How To Pick The Right Tires For Your Truck

Different tires can yield completely different outcomes in terms of truck characteristics, performance, and limitations. The variety of truck tires available means that there’s definitely a set out there that fits your priorities and the way you use your truck or SUV – it’s just a matter of finding ‘em.

All-season (on-road performance focus)

While there are exceptions to the rule, the vast majority of original equipment (OE) truck tires are all-season tires, which focus on on-road performance. If your truck was equipped with all-season tires from the factory, then you probably have plenty of miles to reflect on. From a performance standpoint, have you been satisfied with the experience? Or did the tires fall short off-road, through wintertime, or in any of your other driving contexts? Were they a hauling or towing limitation?

All-terrain (balanced on/off-road performance focus)

All-terrain truck tires are for people who use their truck to work and/or adventure. All-terrain tires are ideal for drivers who split their time on- and off-road, or in other driving contexts where extra durability and higher performance limitations are advantageous.

Mud-terrain (off-road performance focus)

For maximum off-road performance and the most aggressive look, mud-terrain tires are the way to go. Though they’re sometimes used on-road by everyday drivers, mud-terrain tires are engineered to accumulate the majority of miles in challenging off-road environments. Therefore, the ideal mud-terrain tire user spends up to 80% of the time off-road, and about 20% on-road.

The on-road drawbacks of all-terrain tires detailed above are typically amplified with mud-terrains. See All-terrain tires vs mud-terrain tires for an in-depth analysis. However, recent progress with noise-canceling tread pattern technologies has made mud-terrain tires more livable on an everyday basis than ever before. The comfort advancements have given rise to “hybrid” tires like the Nitto Ridge Grappler and Toyo Open Country R/T, which combine the best of all-terrain and mud-terrain tire technology.

Choosing the Right Tire

Having the right tire on your pickup can improve performance and be one of the best safety strategies you can employ; having the wrong tire on a pickup truck can ruin a good day. Not to overstate it, but tires are one of the most important components on your vehicle, and knowing a few basics will ease the tire selection process. Choosing the right tire can be a daunting task as there are so many options and pieces of information to keep in mind

Tire Markings

All tires are marked with the width, sidewall height ratio or overall height, rim size and load range. An example of what you might see on the sidewall is LT315/70R17 121/118O

Load Ratings

Tires get several load ratings; here’s what those letters on the tires mean:

P stands for passenger in a P-metric tire. These tires are great for lighter loads and highway use. Generally, they weigh less and cost less than a light truck tire and provide the vehicle with a smoother ride and better gas mileage. The downsides are that P-rated tires can’t handle as much of a load as LT tires and they are more easily punctured.

LT stands for light truck tires. Terminology is a little confusing in the truck market because many manufacturers label their pickup trucks as heavy duty. Class 3 trucks such as the Ford F-350, GMC 3500 and Ram 3500, and smaller, are all considered light trucks. Medium duty refers to Class 4, 5 and 6 trucks such as the Ram 5500 or Ford F-650. That leaves heavy duty for the 18 wheelers and big rigs. That means LT tires are made for HD pickup trucks.

Tire Tread Types

HT (highway terrain): HT tires are designed primarily for paved roads. They have shallow tread depths and very little or no shoulder and sidewall blocking. HT tires are typically fuel efficient and quiet. Since they don’t need to offer high traction for off-road use, they can be made with harder compounds, decreasing rolling resistance, to last a long time. These are usually the most cost-effective tires because they have a lower purchase price, get better gas mileage and last longer than any other truck tire type.

AT (all terrain): AT tires are just what their name implies, tires designed to be good in as many conditions as possible. AT tires have deeper tread depths and significant shoulder and sidewall blocking. The tread has larger spaces or voids than an HT to allow mud and snow to clear out of the tire. If the vehicle spends time driving on logging and forest service roads, then an AT tire would be a good option. AT tires are a little louder than HT tires. They weigh a little more and get a little worse gas mileage as well. AT tires cost more than HT tires, but provide better all-around performance in bad weather and on dirt or gravel roads.

Tire Buying Tips

Perhaps the biggest mistake a consumer can make when replacing tires is not using the correct size. On the sidewall of your tire, you’ll find a code that tells the tire’s size and capabilities

Here’s a sample code:

P195/60R16 63H M+S

P – Type of tire

195 – Width of the tire across the tread in millimeters

60 – Aspect ratio of the sidewall compared to the width

R – Radial construction

16 – Diameter of the rim in inches

63 – Tire’s load rating

H – Tire’s speed rating

M+S – Tire is suitable for all-season driving

If the tire-size code starts with LT instead of P, it means the tire is a light-truck tire. Light-truck tires are designed to have higher-load carrying capacities and are usually found on pickups and SUVs. These vehicles are not required to have LT tires, and in many cases, the original-equipment specification calls for passenger-car tires.

The speed rating translates into the tire’s ability to dissipate heat, or prevent heat build-up. Heat is a tire’s enemy. The more heat, the faster the tire wears, and the faster a tire might break down. A tire with a higher speed rating can dissipate more heat on long highway trips. If a consumer were to spend little time on the highway, the speed rating might not be an important factor in choosing a replacement tire.

Tires are speed rated from 99 to 186 miles per hour (159.3 to 299.3 kilometers per hour). The most common speed ratings are T (118 miles per hour or 189.9 kilometers per hour) and H (130 miles per hour or 209.2 kilometers per hour). Both of those ratings clearly exceed the nationally posted speed limits and would make excellent long-distance highway tires. If a consumer were to drive only in urban situations at low speeds, a tire with an S (112 miles per hour or 180.2 kilometers per hour) speed rating might be completely acceptable.

How to Choose the Right Truck Tire

Choosing the right tires for your vehicle is an important decision. When you drive a light truck, SUV, or crossover, the tires you choose can have a direct impact on traction, comfort, road noise, tread life, and durability. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide what truck tires are the right fit for your on- and off-road needs.

H/T (Highway Terrain) Tires for Daily Commute and Highway Driving

Chances are your SUV, crossover, or light truck came standard with a set of H/T tires built for highway driving. If you don’t plan on going off-road, and want a tire that’s great for dry and wet road conditions, then an H/T tire is probably a good option

A/T (All-Terrain) Tires for On- and Off-Road Performance

Drivers who regularly find themselves taking dirt and gravel roads in between long stretches of highway driving, should look at A/T tires. This includes folks who like to take the road less traveled on their way to a great camping spot or other outdoor activity

M/T (Mud Terrain) Tires for Off-road Enthusiasts

You know who you are. You drive a rig that is either lifted or already offers plenty of clearance for your favorite pastime: driving in extreme off-road conditions, including mud, dirt, gravel, and rock. Or maybe you just like the way a set of rugged, aggressive tires looks on your vehicle, even if they never leave the blacktop. Either way, M/T tires are for you.

Choosing the Right Truck Tires

If you are looking for a way to increase the performance and economy of your vehicle, then perhaps the best way is to buy new truck tires. However, selecting the right truck tires can sometimes get difficult, as there are a huge variety of options available and budget can be an issue.

MANUFACTURER’S RATINGS

Take a look at the manufacturer’s ratings, before actually buying new truck tires. This is because the ratings of these tires are made to suit the performance of your vehicle. The ratings are usually shown in metric on the side of your original truck tire. You can see all the information regarding the size and width of the tires suitable for your truck.

DRIVING CONDITIONS

Similar to buying new tires for ordinary cars, the driving conditions of your truck hold great importance when buying new tires. It is recommended to buy all-weather year-round tires for trucks, as they last for years. However, if you usually drive off-road or in wet weather conditions, the best option is to go for off-road truck tires

TRUCK TIRES SPEED RATINGS

When it comes to buying truck tires, it is necessary to take a look at the speed ratings. If you usually drive at speeds of 150mph, the best option is to go for “V” category truck tires. But since there are few chances of you to driving at speeds so high, it is best to go for tires which offer a speed rating of up to 130mph. These tires are cheaper as compared to the truck tires which have higher speed ratings

So, now that you are familiar with the tips mentioned above, choosing the right tires for your truck won’t be a problem at all.