20 S hop owners already know that cold temperatures change how fluids act during the winter season, thus stocking shelves so their customers have a wide variety of options to see them through those freezing cold months. But for every shopper who has a healthy understanding of how the winter will affect his or her vehicle, there are two more who have no idea. What’s worse, many of them would rather rely on the wisdom of Almighty Google, then dare ask for advice. As an industry professional, you already know the science behind winterizing fluid storage. The trick now is to pass that knowledge onto the unenlightened masses. Oil While some drivers know that their vehicle’s oil has a limited life span, there are many who know very little else when it comes to this fluid. They may not even know what oil viscosity their car requires and therefore often reach for the cheapest one they can find on the shelf. This results in several issues, but in the wintertime it’s particularly problematic. It’s crucial to steer customers in the right direction before they walk out your front door. Take the initiative and ask if they’d like some recommendations for a product that will serve them better in the upcoming coldmonths. Explain how oil flows differently depending on the temperature, and that they may want to consider at least running a synthetic blend designed to combat the obstacles Old Man Winter plans to throw at them. Antifreeze If you have a customer who is unsure of their oil situation, then make a point to ask about their cooling system as well. A lot of people may be told they can run water as a coolant without ever being informed of the dangers of it freezing inside their block. And others still may have no idea what purpose antifreeze actually serves. Do they know it prevents corrosion?Do they know that winter calls for a different ratio of glycol and water than summer does? If you’re being met with crickets and blank stares, it’s safe to assume they need more guidance. Even regular customers who are familiar with cars may forget about swapping out their antifreeze beforewinter. It costs your business nothing to give thema gentle reminder before checkout. Fuel Additives Diesel trucks are all the rage right now, but you already know this because it seems like once a week a store regular pops in to talk about the new diesel-powered rig he just picked up. As that cold weather creeps in though, be sure to remind him about the importance of a winter fuel additive. Explain that the paraffin wax in the diesel can turn to gel in low temperatures, clogging the fuel system. Coldmornings are rough enough, no one wants to add in a truck that won’t start. As for traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, fuel additives may not be top of mind if they’re operated in an area where pump fuel is treated with ethanol. However, it’s worth mentioning to customers, particularly if they’re stingy with topping off that tank. Diesel owners also need to pay particular attention to the condition of their filters during the winter months, so it’s wise to mention purchasing new ones while you’re closing the sale. Gas drivers can benefit from this conversation as well, especially DIY-ers. During the winter months, vehicles may get less maintenance, simply because owners want to stay out of the cold. By setting your customers up with a fresh filter before winter hits, they can take responsible time off that routine maintenance. Washer Fluid Even if a customer is a complete novice when it comes to car fluids, chances are they do know that they can’t run summer washer fluid in the cold months. But just in case they missed that lesson at Driving 101, make a point to remind them before checkout. Explain that summer fluid can freeze in those cold temps, damaging the wiper pump or turning the windshield into a sheet of ice. Stress that they don’t want to be “that guy” attempting to drive down the road with only a tiny circle of visible windshield—it’s not something they want to try and explain to their claims adjuster when they inevitably cause an accident. Discussing proper fluid prep for the winter is about more than just making a sale; it’s about taking care of your customers. As professionals, giving your customers helpful guidance and the right tools they need to handle upcoming obstacles is all part of the job. This establishes trust and lets your customers know they have a source to turn to when a question arises, giving you the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with helping others—and not to mention, the increased business. A true win-win situation. Winter Fluid Prep 101 … For Your Customers OIL