new car buyingIt’s easy to think of millennials as a non driving generation that prefers the ease of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft over the commitment and financial responsibilities of car ownership. But consumer data and research studies show that this is far from true. In fact, according to recent surveys, 80 percent of millennials currently own a car, and of those that don’t, 75 percent intend to buy one in the near future. Understanding millennials’ car purchasing habits and desires can help your auto repair shop secure their patronage for many years to come.

Habit #1: Millennials would rather buy than lease.

Owned vehicles are treated much better than leased vehicles, so you can bet that millennials will do their best to keep up with routine maintenance and inspections. These oil and filter changes, tire rotations, coolant flushes, and similar services are the lifeblood of most auto repair shops, and since millennials are known as loyal customers, forging a connection with this generation as early in their driving career as possible can help you net lifelong customers.

Habit #2: Millennials want onboard infotainment.

Millennials are a plugged-in bunch, and don’t want to give up that connectivity when they’re on the road. So add-ons and aftermarket upgrades such as satellite radio, navigation systems, Bluetooth capability, smartphone integration, DVD players, and other onboard infotainment systems are in high demand these days. Giving your techs the necessary training on how to install and troubleshoot these types of products will allow your repair shop to score major points with millennial drivers.

Habit #3: Millennials want high-tech vehicles.

From all-electric vehicles to parking assist, collision warning systems, lane departure alerts, and touchscreen displays, millennials want their vehicles to be as high-tech as their homes or offices. But these high-tech extras are just as subject to malfunction and failure as analog components, which means your auto repair garage must have the right equipment to service these newer vehicles. If you don’t have the latest diagnostic tools and equipment, it’s time to take a look at and begin modernizing your shop.

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Fleet vehicles operate under tough conditions all year round. But there’s no question that winter brings a whole host of additional challenges that threaten to sideline your vehicles and cause delays or lost productivity. Preventive maintenance and timely inspections can help you avoid costly repairs and schedule interruptions, so take note of the following tips to keep your fleet in top shape this winter.

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  • Change to snow tires (if applicable for the vehicle) and be sure to inflate them to the manufacturer recommended levels for winter.
  • Inspect and clean the battery terminals, leads, and connections. Cold temperatures make it more difficult for batteries to start, so it would be a good idea to charge the battery before overnight temperatures begin to dip into freezing territory.
  • Check the spark plugs and clean or replace as needed.
  • If your vehicles run on diesel fuel, consider using a winter blend during the coldest months of the year. Winter blends often have a higher cetane rating, which helps make diesel engines easier to start.
  • Use an engine block heater overnight on all vehicles with diesel engines to further ease starting in the morning.
  • Check vital fluids, including engine oil and antifreeze, and change or top off if necessary.
  • Inspect the windshield wipers for wear and top off the washer fluid. Visibility is quickly compromised in snowstorms, so make sure these tools are in top condition for your drivers.
  • Check and maintain the brakes at regular intervals throughout the winter.
  • Inspect all belts and hoses for fraying or other obvious signs of wear.
  • Keep a winter emergency kit containing an emergency blanket, flashlight, foldable shovel, gloves, basic first aid items, and similar supplies in the cabin of all fleet vehicles.
  • Train long-haul drivers on how to recognize fatigue and drowsiness, and encourage them to pull off the road and take breaks whenever necessary. A short delay is always preferable to the many risks involved in driving while fatigued.
  • Prepare a daily pre-run inspection checklist for your drivers to consult prior to hitting the road. This will help catch minor problems before they turn into major ones—and may help prevent accidents as well.

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Tips on How Auto Techs and DIY Mechanics Can Keep Warm in Winter

November 11, 2017

Auto repair shops and home garages are notorious for turning into virtual iceboxes in winter. Thanks to a combination of large open spaces, big bay doors, and poor insulation, repair shops and garages can become so cold that it’s difficult for auto techs and home mechanics to stay focused on the job and work comfortably. […]

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Keep Auto Shop Busy in Winter

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Winter can be a dead period for auto shops. Customers are put off from all but the most pressing car repairs not only by cold temperatures, heavy snows, and icy roads, but also by holiday spending that drains their ready cash and credit. As a result, many service garages struggle to meet rent, payroll, and […]

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Storing Vehicles for Winter with Auto Parking Lifts

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Car Lifts: New or Used?

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When shopping for a car lift, you might be tempted to buy a used model over a brand new one in order to save some extra bucks. This is a natural inclination, and it likely wouldn’t be very difficult to find equipment auctions in your city or state. But is this a risk you should […]

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5 Reasons Why Motorcycle Enthusiasts Need a Motorcycle Lift

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At today’s prices, motorcycle lifts aren’t just for professional service garages and repair shops anymore. Motorcycle lifts are a must-have piece of equipment for all riders out there, whether they own a dirt bike or a Ducati. In fact, here is a list of 5 reasons why every motorcycle enthusiast needs a motorcycle lift in […]

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When to Change Your Car’s Air Filter

September 28, 2017

The air filter in a car performs the crucial function of removing dirt, dust, and other particulates from air before it reaches the intake valve and combustion chambers of the engine. Without an air filter, there would be no barrier between contaminants and the inner components of the engine, leaving your vehicle vulnerable to a […]

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Don’t Forget These Auto Lift Accessories

September 12, 2017

If you’ve purchased an auto lift or storage lift for your home garage, then you’re well on your way to being able to maintain and repair your own vehicles or work on the rebuild projects you’ve always dreamed of doing. But while an auto lift is incredibly useful and versatile by itself, the addition of […]

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