Tires 101: New Year, New Service Opportunities
The landscape of the quick lube industry is changing rapidly. With extended oil drain intervals on the rise and car dealerships trying harder than ever to hold on to customers, many in the industry have started providing extra tire services to position themselves as a true one stop shop. “In this competitive market where automotive service outlets vie for every maintenance and repair dollar, it’s important for you to consider adding incremental service capabilities to your shop,” said Kevin
Keefe with Baseline by Coats tire service equipment. Last year, the Rubber Manufacturers Association found that only 18 percent of vehicles had four properly inflated tires, 52 percent of drivers mistakenly think inflation pressure is listed on the tire itself and only 17 percent of drivers know how to properly check a tire. Statistics like this show there is a significant opportunity for operators to educate customers and drive additional revenue along with cars into their bays. Here are a few service options to consider:
Tire rotation is one service that’s fairly easy to implement. It doesn’t require a lot of equipment and can be done while the car is over the bay. Most tire manufacturers recommend rotating tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles unless otherwise specified by the vehicle manufacturer. This is an easy add-on because it falls close to the standard oil change recommendation.
According to the 2013 National Oil & Lube News’ Operator Survey, “miles a customer drives between oil changes,” was 4,601 miles on average. Explain to your customers that regular rotations reduce wear patterns on their tires and extend tire life, and offer a tire rotation with at least every other oil change. Be careful to not reverse the rolling direction of directional tires.
TPMS, Sensors and Service Kits In 2008, tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) became a mandatory safety item. This means that over 80 million vehicles (transla- tion: 320 million sensors) are now on US roads. According to Continental Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket, over 15 million sensors are expected to fail in 2014 due to sensor battery wear out, providing a service opportunity for shops across the country. The widespread use of TPMS comes out of tire safety and vehicle rollover concerns and needs to be serviced properly. “TPMS is a mandated safety system in the US and other parts of the world, and should not be compromised with anything other than OE validated products,” said Steve Landis, Senior Product Manager at Continental Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket. TPMS service kits, comprised of the hardware components, should also be replaced at each tire service interval as part of preventive maintenance.
Landis further mentioned that “TPMS is a supplemental safety system and is not intended to replace regular tire inflation pressure checks.”