Jump to content

Courtesy Inspections

Recommended Posts

So, I feel like most shops on this forum are performing some sort of multi-point inspection on just about every car that comes in. I know we do. I'm curious though what everyone's inspection consists of. Are you having techs pull every cabin filter and air filter? Test drive every vehicle? Are you pulling wheels to check and measure brakes? 

Also, are you paying your techs for these inspections on top of other services? If so, how much?

Here is a copy of one of our digital inspections if anyone is curious.  http://2un.me/yssm 

Personally, I've struggled with checking cabin and air filters for 2 reasons. 1.) It is a bummer to pull out those filters, take pictures, make the recommendation, and the customer decline, just to turn around and put them back in. 2.) Some filters a real pain in the ass to check. I really struggle justifying pulling out a glove box assembly to find a clean cabin filter, or to find a dirty filter and the customer decline replacing it.

I've also struggled with with the following situation: We find a radiator leaking, build a quote, present to the customer, and they decline. I've toyed around with the idea of scrapping all component specific inspection points and simply informing the customer that we found a coolant leak on their vehicle and using that information to sell a '$49 cooling system inspection'... I haven't pulled the trigger on that yet.

It would be cool to see what kind of inspections you guys are doing on every vehicle and how you are handling different aspects of it. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

We don't diagnose leaks unless it is obvious.  So, a left front axle seal is obvious but a coolant leak always goes to pressure test to diagnose.  We average $4.77 in air filter sales/oil change and about 33% of my oil change customers do a rotation.  These are legit air filters and rotations.  In fact I could probably do more.  We don't check difficult air filters like in Chevy Ventures or some Caravans where there is a lot of work involved (but we check every Silverado and they suck).  But we mark them as "did not check."  As for brakes, we do our best to look with tires on.  If we don't know or can't see, we mark them as "difficult to estimate pad depth" and move on.  Then, if we feel like they might be less than 30%, we inform the customer that they should do a rotation so we can see them better.

The way I look at it is that a rotation is 100% gross profit and an air filter is over 50% gross profit, so if I can take $10 in gross profit from an oil change and make it $40 then I've 4x my gross profit for that hour.  It makes the oil changes more productive.  Same for batteries, wiper blades and belts.  Anything that I can do in the the allotted time slot is fair game as long as it's good for the customer and not just for sales sake.

You want that oil change time slot as profitable as possible because you're paying a guy for time, so any parts that can be sold should be.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Joe. Don't waste your time building an estimate for a radiator or valve cover leak or whatever. Sell the customer a cooling system pressure test, oil leak diagnosis etc. If it's super obvious, tell them you'll do the test for free if they decide to fix it. That way you're not wasting time bidding jobs that the customer doesn't care about.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I find that I really don't have trouble selling jobs full of the small things like air filters and cabin filters, bulbs and the major work like axles, brakes, valve cover gaskets. If a customer declines a service it usually because of a money issue and not because of doubt or distrust. I am still friendly in the event of a decline and give them the estimates on paper and many times they call back and schedule the remaining work. 

I have a pretty unique approach to selling and make the customer comfortable and part of it is being assertive in the approach and confident in the repair while praising the condition of the vehicle or the value of the vehicle and this gives them confidence that they aren't spending money just because I told them but they believe it is a wise investment. 

Although this would be difficult to explain in words it may be better if one day I made a short video showing how I approach this. 

Just yeasterday a guy came in and his electric seat wouldnt move, automatic lift tailgate doesnt work, and engine mount broken. He initially came in saying that if the seat track is a $700 part plus labor then he didn't want ro spend the money. I gave an estimate of over $1700 for all the items and he called me back after talking to his wife and said to do it all. 

Edited by [email protected]
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

    • By Joe Marconi in Joe's Blog
      Typically, when productivity suffers, the shop owner or manager directs their attention to the technicians. Are they doing all they can do to maintain high billable hours? Are they as efficient as they can be?  Is there time being wasted throughout the technician’s day? 
      All these reasons factor into production problems, but before we point fingers at the technicians, let’s consider a few other factors.
      Are estimates being written properly? Are labor testing and inspections being billed out correctly? Are you charging enough for testing and inspecting, especially for highly specialized electrical, on-board computer issues, and other complex drivability work?  Is there a clear workflow process everyone follows that details every step from the write-up to vehicle delivery? Do you track comebacks, and is that affecting production?  Is the shop layout not conducive to high production? For example, is it unorganized, where shop tools, technical information, and equipment are not easily accessible to every technician?  Are you charging the correct labor rate and allowing for variables such as rust, vehicle age, and the fact that most labor guides are wrong? Also, is there effective communication between the tech and the service advisor to ensure that extra labor time is accounted for and billed to the customer? These are a few of the top reasons for low productivity problems. There are others, but the main point is to look at the entire operation. Productivity is a team effort.  Blaming the techs or other staff members does not get to the root cause in most cases.
      Maintaining adequate production levels is the responsibility of management to create the processes that will lead to high production while holding everyone accountable. 
  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi
      You can't pick up a newspaper or watch the news on TV without reading or watching something about the state of the economy. No matter how this was caused, or whether we are in a recession now, or it is coming, will the state of the economy affect the Auto Repair business?
      Are we recession-proof as so many say we are? Or should we prepare ourselves for tough times ahead?  
    • By ASOG Podcast
      Auto Repair Shops Should All Be Doing This
    • By ASOG Podcast
      Maximizing Profits Or Happiness - Is There An Ideal Size For An Auto Repair Shop
    • By ASOG Podcast
      Do We Regret Starting Our Auto Repair Business?
    • By carmcapriotto
      With over 20 years in the hospitality industry, author and trainer Steve DiGioia shares some real world tips and tactics to improve your customer service, increase employee morale and provide the experience your customers desire. Steve has a detailed 57 individual steps for dinner service, what are your steps for customer service? Steve Digioia, Author and Trainer Show Notes
      How do I make you feel while I am providing this service? What can you do during the service part of the transaction to hook this customer in, hopefully for life? It has to be something more than just a mechanical aspect of it. There has to be something else that separates you from your competition more so than just the physical service you were providing, it's how I make you feel. It's how I make you feel appreciated. It's how I welcome you when you walk into my place of business. Many mechanics, they're focused so much on fixing that they don't realize that the waiting area has to be not only comfortable, and obviously clean, but it should be bright and welcoming. Use customer’s name 3 times. In a perfect world, you shouldn't receive less service because you are paying less. Versus getting extra service taken care of because you happen to be paying more, meaning, a higher-valued car.  If you want a consistent product, consistent service, a consistent experience, you have to have something like that because at a bare minimum, it reinforces the steps that the business believes is important to them to be able to service the client Standardized thank you note in every car
      Connect with the Podcast: Aftermarket Radio Network Subscribe on YouTube Visit us on the Web Follow on Facebook Become an Insider Buy me a coffee Important Books Check out today's partner: Learn more about NAPA AutoCare and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting www.NAPAAutoCare.com
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio

  • By nptrb, in Automotive Industry,

    By nptrb, in Automotive Industry,

  • Our Sponsors

  • Create New...