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Industry Intelligence: Optimizing the Oil Change

Oil changes are an essential part of your business model. If you look at the selling price, the cost of parts and labor, and most importantly the value of that bay to your business in a day, it only makes sense to look for additional vehicle needs when an oil change customer comes into your shop.

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Would you rather make $16.21 an hour or $114.12?

In the choice between $16.21 an hour versus $114.12, I think all of us would choose to make more, which is the basis for why we all need to inspect vehicles when doing an oil change. The $114 is an estimated hourly average of what can be made in a bay when performing basic maintenance and repair services on a vehicle. These numbers might not be exact for your location, but they won’t be far off.

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Oil changes are an essential part of your business model. It’s basic maintenance for every vehicle on the road, and most drivers will choose to have the service done for them versus crawling under their vehicle in the driveway. If you look at the selling price, the cost of parts and labor, and most importantly the value of that bay to your business in a day, it only makes sense to look for additional vehicle needs when an oil change customer comes into your shop.

It all starts with performing a courtesy check on every vehicle. Now, I do NOT suggest promoting work that isn’t needed, but we all know that vehicles need to be maintained to provide the driver with trouble-free driving. If you have a busy shop that does a lot of oil changes, it may be an abbreviated check of the basic elements (filters, belts and hoses, wiper blades, tires, lights and fluids). If you don’t have vehicles lined up waiting, ask the customer up front if they would like a tire rotation and air pressure check. This gives your tech open access to look at the brakes, suspension and pretty much every part of the vehicle. Standard courtesy check sheets are available from numerous sources to make things easier, and to make sure your techs are checking all the vehicles.

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You probably went into business to make money – the choice of making more per oil change through inspections is up to you.

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