Dealership and Auto Repair Shops Use Winter's Onset as a Chance to Market to Customers, Prospects

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Dealership supplies distributor AutoShop Express offers winterizing tips that repair shops can recommend to their customers.

This time of year is full of preparations: people buying presents, stocking up on college bowl game snacks, and cleaning the house for holiday parties.

It's so busy, in fact, that people often forget an important preparation task: getting their cars ready for tough winter conditions.

Auto dealerships and repair shops can capitalize on this simple fact by sending out a list of helpful maintenance to their customers and prospects, said Paul Brown, president of AutoShop Express, an Ohio-based dealership supplies distributor.

Dealers can start by recommending an inside-out approach as a way owners can make sure their cars are wintery-ready, Brown said.

“They should start with the floor mats. Vacuum and store lightweight summer mats and replace them with durable, thick rubber mats that will contain the slush and salt and protect the car floor,” Brown said.

Car owners also should give the inside windows a good wash. “It’s bad enough trying to see through a snow-pelted, grit-covered windshield,” Brown said. “Don’t make it worse with blurry, dirty interior glass.”

Next, vehicle owners take a peek under the hood to make sure everything is good to go:

  •     Belts and hoses – should be properly tightened, without any cracks or splits
  •     Fluids – particular attention is required for anti-freeze and windshield wiper fluid
  •     Oil – the owners manual will note whether the manufacturer recommends a different viscosity for winter
  •     Battery – checking batteries now and replacing as needed will help decrease the chance of getting stranded without power

Car owners also need to consider their vehicles’ exterior, Brown said.

“A good wash and wax before the snow flies will protect the paint job through the winter,” he noted.

Tires also need a careful review – bald patches, slow leaks or frayed sidewalls can spell disaster on bad winter roads. Investing in new tires is a small price to pay for a family’s safety, Brown said.

While these preparations are important, they don’t have to be time consuming, he said. “A quick trip to an auto dealer or local car repair shop can take care of all the essentials in one simple visit.”

Lastly, Brown recommended stocking the trunk with necessities, including:

  •     Ice scraper
  •     Snow brush
  •     Jumper cables
  •     Flashlight
  •     First aid kit
  •     Blanket
  •     Flares

A small shovel and some traction pads (or carpet samples) are also useful in case your car gets stuck, he said.

“Keeping a couple small bottles of water and a few energy or granola bars in the car is another good precaution, especially for drivers who are regularly out at night on unlit, infrequently traveled roads,” Brown suggested.

“When it comes to winter driving safety, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.”

Based in Green, Ohio, AutoShop Express is a trusted distributor of a wide variety of dealership supplies, including Versa tags, interior protection products and oil change reminder stickers. Visit their website to learn more.

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