As a golf car dealer, you are well aware that the title of this article is a rhetorical question. You understand the value in keeping a golf car properly maintained to ensure the best performance of a car. The real question is have you educated your customer on the importance of routine maintenance? And reminded them that spending a little now can save them big bucks in the long run?
A successful golf car dealer knows that the sale is never “final” even after a customer has happily loaded their new customized golf car on the trailer and driven off the lot. In all honesty, the work has really just begun. You‘re almost guaranteed to get a call on a Friday from a customer saying the car isn’t running properly and it’s needed for a party or a camping trip that weekend. In your head, you probably know that this could have easily been avoided if the customer would have performed some basic care and maintenance. But if you haven’t communicated this with the customer it’s hard to hold them responsible.
It’s your responsibility to work with your customers at the time of the sale, creating a basic maintenance checklist of what kind of tasks they can complete on their own, and how often those should be done.
• Check oil level weekly
• Change oil after every 125 hours
• Replace air filter semi-annually
• Use a fuel stabilizer before storage to eliminate problems from ethanol in fuel
• Remove any dirt on or near the wiring
• Check the water level in each battery cell
• Make sure all cable connections are tightened
• Charge batteries fully after each use to get
optimum life span
• Check and inflate tires as necessary. Usually around 19-22 psi
• Check tires for wear and replace as needed
• When storing the car, try to move the car a ½ roll forward or backward to avoid flat spots
• Look over brakes and adjust as needed
Your “gearhead,” or mechanically savvy customers will be able to do much more maintenance on their own, but this is a good starting point for your basic customer. For those customers with little to no mechanical background, it is key that you create a maintenance schedule with them and make sure they bring the car back to the dealership for those appointments.
Performing this type of maintenance at your shop can be a great way to generate revenue during a time when most customers may not be thinking of buying a new car. Send out post cards to customers who have purchased cars from you or those whose cars you have worked on is to remind them about the yearly service.
Though these may seem like common sense techniques to golf car dealers, they often times are lost on those who don’t understand the nuances of the car and what keeps them running at peak performance. Helping your customers be proactive will go a long way to helping get repeat business and will also help you gain a great reputation in your area for bringing in new business.