Posted by Brandon Weaver on Tue, Jul 07, 2015 @ 12:00 PM
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March of 2014
and has been updated on July 7, 2015 to reflect new information.
Driver’s cringe when they see it, start flipping through their car’s manual to determine its meaning and maybe even panic because they’re not quite sure just how serious the problem may be. The “check engine” light – it’s kind of like your own sales assistant, suggesting that the driver bring their vehicle into your shop as soon as possible for proper maintenance.
But we now know, thanks to The Big Bang Theory, that the check engine light is both troubling and annoying for drivers – especially for the ones who don’t know there’s a computer inside the car collecting data that causes the light to illuminate for a reason.
From 2006-2014, the U.S. National average cost for check engine light-related repairs was $390.38. Fortunately for drivers in 2014, this average cost went down to $259.30. That may not sound exorbitant, but to a lot of people, it is: 62% of drivers do not have any money saved up for auto repairs.
In fact, pretty much anything other than routine fill-ups catches many drivers without the financial resources to handle the problem. You can help in multiple ways.
Tires Hit Drivers’ Wallets Hard
According to the Citi ThankYou Premier Commuter Index, drivers commute an average of 45 minutes and gas, tolls and other expenses cost about $10 per day ($2,600 annually). Gasoline (79%) is the largest contributing factor — but as you know, vehicle parts take a beating on America’s roadways and that’s an additional, hidden cost.
You might make this clear to people when they buy tires. Drivers may not have to purchase them very often – only every 50,000 – 75,000 miles – but when they do, the price tag can be quite a shock to their check book. Aside from a single tire exploding on the highway, few customers buy individual tires. Drivers most likely buy in multiples of two and four, and you probably do, too.
But the most common item auto repair and service departments sell in multiples are tires. Tires are the 4th priciest car repair – anywhere from $50 - $350 per tire depending on the vehicle’s make, model, and tire specifications.
Multiple Failures: Small Problems Can Explode to Bigger Problems
CarMD’s 2015 Vehicle Health Index shows the most common type of check engine failure is due to a failing oxygen sensor.
Based on 2014 regional repair costs for oxygen sensors, the average cost was $258.50.
Multiple factors can cause a sensor to fail including contamination from lead in gasoline, excessive oil and dirt build up, etc. If a dead sensor is not replaced, consumers will experience poor gas mileage and can cause the catalytic converter to fail. Replacing a catalytic converter is a pretty penny as well, with repair estimates ranging from a few hundred dollars to $1,000 or more!
Moral of the story: Encourage customers to fix the smaller problems early to avoid the multiplying effect of paying even more in the long run.
Auto Repair Case Study: Multiple Check Increases Sales
As the manager of an auto repair shop or dealer service department, since you’re purchasing inventory and supplies in multiple quantities for efficiency and savings, doesn’t it make sense to offer a payment service that allows consumers to pay in multiple installments? Multiple Check allows your customers to write up to four checks that you deposit over 30 days, and payment is guaranteed to you. Auto repair businesses commonly know this payment service as “hold check.”
[Multiple Check] “can lead to more vehicles service orders -- and more profit…[helping provide]
work that would have been denied because our customers didn’t have the funds.”
And then there is Genuine Car Care in Kernersville, North Carolina. They have been using Multiple Check to close more sales – and keep customers returning when their car needs work:
“Having the three payments option [Multiple Check] makes expensive car repairs affordable
for me...I drive [long distance] for all my repair needs and do not think of going anywhere else…"
That’s the kind of feedback and customer review you want published. Customer satisfaction increases because they can get the work performed without having to neglect the necessary vehicle repairs or break their bank.
Take the first step now and read the free insider’s guide here to learn more.