TPMS is mandated by the U.S. government for very important reasons; it helps keep drivers safe, increases fuel efficiency and increases tire life, to name a few. However, TPMS can also be confusing and difficult if a shop is not properly trained to service TPMS safely and efficiently. With that, here are three important steps to starting a successful TPMS program.
Step 1: Get Equipped
Buy-in to an inventory-friendly TPMS sensor program. The ability to stock as few SKUs as possible will optimize inventory levels and improve inventory turns. This will reduce your overall cost of servicing TPMS. It will also eliminate potential lost sales due to not having the right part when you need it.
Service pack components are intended for a one-time use only. Schrader recommends that these critical sealing components be replaced each and every time the tire is removed from the wheel; using a genuine OEM-validated TPMS service pack. This will help reduce costly comebacks!
Proper TPMS hand tools ensure the correct torque for the mounting nut, valve core and attachment screw is achieved for proper TPMS installation and sealing. Buy the appropriate tools to service TPMS correctly and consistently every time.
A quality diagnostic tool can test all sensors, program new sensors, capture test results, provide onscreen relearn procedures and includes OBDII connectivity. Investing in a good quality TPMS tool is vitally important to the success of your TPMS program.
Step 2: Get Educated
Ensure that both your technician professionals and service advisors are properly trained on everything TPMS. In-person training from your suppliers will help ensure that your TPMS services are being performed correctly and that your customers leave in a safe vehicle, satisfied with their service.
Don’t forget to educate your customer too! When the customer understands the importance of TPMS, how it works and the benefits of a functioning system, they will leave your shop with confidence and return for their next service.
Step 3: Turn a Profit
There are a few things you can do to accelerate the success of your TPMS program:
- Incorporate a standard operating procedure in your shop that requires your technicians to always test the system before they touch it (see the June issue of Tire Review, page 70). This will protect your shop against liability for any pre-existing system malfunctions.
- Charge for relearns and for replacing service kits every time that a tire is removed from the wheel.
- Use a rubber snap-in valve design for quick turnaround.
- In the case of a dead sensor battery, always offer to change all TPMS sensors during the service. If one battery died, the rest are likely to follow soon.
- Protect your profits by only using OE products and tools.
TPMS is an advanced technology with a lot of potential to greatly improve your bottom line. Follow these steps and watch your TPMS program quickly turn into a significant profit-builder for your business!
Jacki Lutz is head of global marketing and communications for Schrader Performance Sensors, the automotive aftermarket brand of Sensata Technologies. In addition to being a Certified TIA ATS Instructor, she is also vice president of the Automotive Communications Council and an active Member of the AASA Market Executive Council.