Add-On Sales: More Valuable than Ever

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Add-on sales have always been a staple in the quick lube business. Routine oil and filter changes afford technicians the opportunity to inspect other vehicle parts and systems and point out service needs to motorists.

In today’s busy world, car owners are reluctant to make multiple appointments for various services. Their time is just too precious to spend on repeated and time-consuming automotive service appointments. Furthermore, more and more motorists are coming to view their vehicles as largely maintenance-free due to extended service intervals and parts that don’t need the routine checking and replacement that were required of cars of a previous generation.

This is especially true of millenials — younger folks whose vocabularies probably don’t include words like tune-up, carburetor, points and distributor caps. They’ve grown up with cars that seemingly require little routine service, and we’ve even come to the point where talk of self-driving cars is commonplace.

In addition, in the absence of a Check Engine light, too many motorists assume all is well, unless their vehicle tells them otherwise. So it’s more important than ever for quick lube technicians and operators to educate all of their customers on the need to inspect and service parts and systems the customer may not even be aware of.

For example, fuel systems can benefit from cleaners and additives that keep precision-made fuel injectors clear of debris and can help purge contaminants from the fuel supply in the tank and lines. They can also help prevent carbon buildup on the back of engine valves that can compromise engine performance and fuel economy. Reducing vehicle emissions is also a story that will play well with young people who tend to be more conscious of environmental issues and are willing to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

The cooling systems in today’s vehicles are comprised of a variety of materials: aluminum, plastic, steel and cast iron. Electrochemical interaction of dissimilar metals in cooling systems and improper antifreeze maintenance warrant the use of cooling system additives. This premise is further supported by recommendations in owners’ manuals for periodic flushing and re-filling the cooling system in their vehicle.

The growing number of owners of diesel-powered vehicles should recognize the issues specific to their powerplants, not the least of which is the need for anti-gel additives in cold weather environments. The savvy quick lube technician will query owners of diesel-powered vehicles as to whether they’ve encountered hard starting in cold weather. Given the likely answer in the affirmative, the up-sell to a diesel fuel additive can be an easy one.

Finally, the availability of professional service kits can prove to be of great value to lube shops and motorists. Designed for professional use, the kits provide multiple solutions designed to address various problems in specific vehicular systems. Kits provide cleaning and re-fortification of systems including fuel, oil and cooling systems, and even for cleaning and restoring catalytic converters. The idea of complete system servicing should appeal to most motorists and help prevent the appearance of the dreaded Check Engine light.

The complexity of today’s cars has reduced the number of owner-serviceable components and systems. As such, motorists must rely on professionals for competent service and also advice as to how best to maintain their vehicle. Quick lube shops are uniquely positioned to provide these services and counsel. Add-on sales are an opportunity to help turn customers into repeat customers, while increasing revenue for the shop.

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