car repair

Starting a Small Car Repair Business: First Services You Can Offer

A car repair shop may look like it has an over-saturated market, but that might be far from the truth. In a survey involving 2,000 car owners, 68% drove cars that have at least one problem in them. What’s more, a quarter of those 2,000 participants reported taking a risk each time they drive their cars. Thirty-six percent don’t even know how to fix a flat tire.

You would think anyone who knows how to drive is maintenance-savvy too, but clearly, they’re not. If you notice a prevalence of faulty cars in your neighborhood, that’s all the proof you need that a car repair shop would be useful in your area. However, will you have a market if car owners themselves don’t even know basic car care?

Well, the Car Care Council has found that many motorists actually understand the importance of routine maintenance. The only problem is they’re not confident with their own maintenance skills. For example, if their auto is due for an oil change, they can’t even pick out the correct oil it needs. But if you offer to change their car’s oils and fluids for them, you can spare them from the trouble of doing the task on their own.

To ease their other maintenance troubles, here are the basic services your small car repair shop can offer:

1. Oil/Filter Change

Continuing from the example above, an oil change is an essential service in all car repair shops. In a vehicle, oils are responsible for keeping the parts moving. The lubrication they provide reduces friction, which lowers the likelihood of overheating. As a result, the parts can run longer without wearing each other down or being damaged by heat. If a vehicle doesn’t get an oil change, muck builds up in the oil, affecting its lubrication.

Traditionally, cars need an oil change every 3,000 miles. But today, engines can keep going much longer without an oil change. You can now wait until you reach 5,000 to 7,500 miles before getting the service.

But there are exceptions to this rule. Those who rarely drive more than ten miles at a time, and/or those who start their engines when the oil is still cold should change their oil at least twice a year. Even if they only accumulated 1,000 miles, changing the oil is crucial because their practices wear the engine faster.

2. Wiper Blades Replacement

If you notice wiper streaks to be common on the cars you see on the streets daily, those autos could use a wiper blade replacement. Streaks on the windshield can affect a driver’s view, potentially putting their safety at risk. Plus, wipers that create streaks are well on their way to getting damaged. Once that happens and the driver is caught in a hurricane in the middle of the road, their safety will no doubt be compromised.

Winter is a crucial season for wiper blades replacement as well. But regardless of the season, always remind your customers to change their wiper blades as soon as it’s needed.

3. Engine Air Filter Replacement

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Like an HVAC system, cars also have filters, and they need to be changed periodically. Roughly once each year, cars require a new engine air filter. The reason the frequency is just a rough estimate is that different factors are at play when determining an engine filter’s condition. If your customer complains of the following, their autos are likely in need of the service:

  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Reduced horsepower
  • Misfiring or rough-running engine
  • The smell of gasoline in the air when the engine starts
  • Black sooty smoke
  • Check engine light is on for no apparent reason

Dirty air filters are the most obvious sign, but unless a car owner knows how to check, they wouldn’t know. Release advertisements about these signs, so that your customers will be reminded to visit your shop periodically for new air filters.

4. Scheduled Maintenance

Scheduled or routine maintenance involves different services, including oil changes. This can cost car owners $1,000 to $10,000 every year, depending on the size and type of vehicle they own. The mileage they cover also influences the cost. Routine maintenance is the most expensive aspect of vehicle ownership, but the most important.

To be able to perform routine maintenance, you’d need heavy-duty equipment, such as a durable mobile column lift system, among others. That’s because you won’t just be changing oils, wipers, and filters. You’d also examine and repair/replace batteries, brake pads, and tires.

Offering these basic repairs and services can encourage car owners in your area to pay more attention to maintenance. They’re likely aware of its importance, but they need a nudge from an auto mechanic before they take it seriously. With your shop in the neighborhood, you may instill responsible car ownership among car owners in your entire community.

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