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November 7, 2016

Winter is coming… how to prepare your customers!

It’s easy enough to prepare for the winter, so why are UK drivers always so unprepared? We all know that as the temperature drops the number of batteries we work on or replace in our workshops increase. So rather than waiting for customers to breakdown this winter, workshops should be more proactive. If you have a great customer database, use it.  Don’t scare them, but contact your customers and inform them of the elevated risks of driving with vehicle faults during winter.

With batteries, tyres, brakes, lubricants and even lack of antifreeze fluids being significant causes of winter breakdowns, winter services can be highly profitable. So why not encourage your customers to visit your workshop for a winter checkup, before they find themselves stranded at the roadside?

The number of vehicles with battery issues doubles in the winter between November and February each year. Last winter UK mechanics saw a 100% increase of drivers with battery issues on the coldest days of the year. The top reasons for winter breakdowns in the UK range from insufficient fuel to frozen engines, and the most common cause of winter breakdowns is battery failure.

Disconnecting and reconnecting batteries are no longer as simple as pulling the old one out and replacing it with a new one. Vehicles are becoming more and more complex and so are the procedures for changing batteries. If your customer drives away from your workshop, only to find that an electrical component no longer works. They are unlikely to be happy with your service; are unlikely to return the next time their vehicle needs work, and are unlikely to recommend your workshop to family and friends.

There are no good reasons to lose return business, as disappointing your customers can easily be prevented. Equipping your workshop with the most accurate, up-to-date and time-saving tools ensures that the work you carry out is of the highest standard and that nothing is ever forgotten. Autodata’s dedicated battery disconnection and re-connection module has all the information technicians need to efficiently and successfully disconnect and reconnect batteries. Including, diagrams that show the locations and procedures for disconnecting batteries; instructions on preparing the battery for disconnection; and a list of electrical components that need to be reset after the battery has been reconnected.

As well as the battery disconnection and re-connection module, Autodata provides many more modules that are useful for winter servicing. Including Electrical Component Locations, Wiring Diagrams, Wheel Alignment, Tyre Pressures and Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems and Air Conditioning.

Customer relationship management tip

Building genuine relationships with your customers is of great value. Reassure them that not only do you know what you’re talking about but that you care. 

Most people believe that air conditioning is only for keeping cool in summer. In reality, air-conditioning can also have an important role during the winter months too.” “Switch on your vehicle’s heating and AC systems together speeds up the demisting process and warms up your vehicle quicker.Steve Durham, Technical Support Team at Autodata

Key checklist for winter services

  • Battery
  • Brakes
  • Engine coolant
  • Engine oil, brake/clutch fluid, PAS fluid
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Interior/exterior lamps
  • Tyre condition, pressures and tread depth
  • Windscreen wipers & washers
  • Screen wash level & strength
  • Lubricate door locks & seals (if required)
  • Driveshaft gaiters
  • Auxiliary drive belt(s)
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