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Spring Car Care - Top Technition Inspection Tips

Top Technician Inspection Tips for Spring Car Care

The Car Care Council and ACDelco offers the following Spring Car Care quiz to help prepare shop owners and technicians for spring vehicle inspections. David Wiebe, a technician at Crestview Auto Service in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and winner of ACDelco's Technician of the Millennium III competition, provides the answers.

What effect does winter driving have on a vehicle and what parts are most likely to need repair during Spring Car Care inspections?

Spring Car Care Inspection Tips
Collisions with potholes, curbs and hidden obstacles can cause concealed damage to a cars suspension

Wiebe: "Check the suspension, steering and drive train — collisions with potholes, curbs and hidden obstacles can cause concealed damage. Battery levels may be lower, especially after an extremely cold winter. Salt from the roads can eat away at the undercarriage, and windshield wipers can take a beating during the winter. The cooling system should be checked for leaks, hose connections and proper coolant mix."

What should technicians specifically look for while conducting a Spring Car Care inspection? What parts should be routinely replaced?

Wiebe: "The most common problems technicians see during vehicle inspections are low tire pressure, low or dirty oil, dirty air filters, worn belts and low fluid levels. The checklist should also include the battery, brakes, emissions, hoses, fuel system, lights, and steering and suspension. Most vehicles will need an oil change, which means a new oil filter. Air filters and windshield wipers usually need replacing every six months."

What do vehicle owners look for when seeking a reliable service center for vehicle inspections or repairs?

Wiebe: "One of the most common misconceptions is that vehicle owners are interested only in saving money. Research has shown that trust is the most important factor when choosing a repair facility. Customers want shop owners and technicians who will speak to them in a language they understand, and who are not too technical in their explanations. But most of all, they want assurance that their vehicles will be fixed right the first time."

What can a service center do ahead of time to prepare for Spring Car Care inspections?

Wiebe: "A service center's shelves should be fully stocked with the parts that most likely need replacing during the spring, such as oil filters, air filters, windshield wipers and belts and hoses. Since low fluid levels are common, there should be an ample supply of fluid replacements. Special promotional offers on oil changes, tire rotation and pick-up and drop-off services are likely to attract customers. And don't underestimate the importance of cleanliness when it comes to service bays, waiting rooms, rest rooms and even clothing. Things like that may make a difference in whether or not a customer returns. And once customers find a service center they are comfortable with, they are loyal to that center and will refer their friends and family."