Prefer to listen? Use the player to listen or read below.

As I write this article it’s March of 2022 and Russia has invaded Ukraine. You’re probably already asking yourself what this has to do with marketing an auto repair shop. Well, there are a couple of things you need to be talking about in your marketing right now, and we’ll talk about both below.

Topic # 1: Fuel Mileage

First let me say, I’m not going to get into the politics of #BidensPriceHike, so I’ll leave the debate of whether or not it actually has anything to do with Russia to Fox News and CNN.

With that out of the way, today on March 14th, 2022 the average gas price in the U.S. is $4.32/gallon for regular unleaded and $5.13/gallon for diesel. The pain at the pump is real!

If you’re an auto repair shop owner, you and I both know that most of the cars on the road aren’t running at peak efficiency. The top 5 issues causing excessive fuel consumption are:

  • Underinflated tires
  • Dirty air filters
  • Improper wheel alignment
  • Dirty fuel injectors
  • Worn spark plugs

The most common of these is underinflated tires. Unless tires are filled with nitrogen, when it gets cold out tire pressure goes down. At my shop, we adjusted tire pressure with every oil change. They almost ALWAYS needed air.

Simply bringing tires from 25psi to 33psi can have a noticeable impact on fuel consumption.

I recommend putting together a package that includes checking all of these known causes of excessive fuel consumption and promoting it to your client base.

See below for an example video I created about the topic.

Topic #2: Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention

Ok, so this one actually does have to do with sanctions on Russia.

Russia is the world’s largest producer of palladium, which is one of the precious metals used in catalytic converters.

Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, catalytic converter theft was already on the rise. Now that manufacturers can’t get Russian palladium, the value of stolen catalytic converters has gone up even more.

There are multiple options available to help prevent theft. These options include:

catalytic converter on vehicle with shield to protect from being stolen

Put Identifying Marks On Your Client’s Catalytic Converter

This may or may not prevent theft, but it can help prove ownership of a catalytic converter if it is recovered by the police. And if the thief does happen to see the markings before they cut it off of the vehicle, they may stop and move on because it’s illegal for a recycler to purchase a marked catalytic converter.

Common ways of marking a catalytic converter include painting it with hi-temperature paint and/or etching the vehicle’s VIN number and license plate number into the converter.

Install a Catalytic Converter Shield

Many companies make bolt-on catalytic converter shields, especially for the most commonly stolen catalytic converters such as the Toyota Prius or diesel pickup trucks.

There are also universal converter shields made from cable that will make it nearly impossible to quickly cut out of the vehicle.

Install a Vehicle Security Camera

Dashcams have evolved and can do so much more than just record the road in front of your car. Models such as the BlackVue DR900X-2CH can record completely around your vehicle when placed in a 360 view location. They work whether the car is on or off, and can be triggered by sound or movement.

gas prices; close up image of man pumping gas with red nozzle

As Gas Prices Go Up, Car Count Goes Down

For those of us who were shop owners in 2008, this isn’t our first rodeo. When people feel pain at the pump, they will look for other ways to save money. Unfortunately, those ways include delaying vehicle maintenance and living with needed repairs that don’t affect the driveability of their cars.

When you have a product or service that makes your clients’ lives better, you are morally obligated to share it with them.

Increasing their vehicle’s fuel mileage and preventing catalytic converter theft are two undeniable ways that you can make their lives better, and neither have ever been more important than now.

What To Do Next

In the connected world we live in today, getting the word out is easier than ever.

That video I posted above of me talking about the top 5 things that cause excessive fuel consumption – rip it off! You have my permission.
Take your phone out of your pocket and go make your own. You can plagiarize it word for word or you can make your own version of it.
Just do it!

Share the video on social media and load it up on YouTube.

Boost the video on Facebook. Put however much money you feel comfortable behind promoting it. I’d suggest at least $20, but don’t be afraid to put A LOT more into it.

Send an email to your entire database that includes the video.

Choose your preferred method of catalytic converter theft prevention. Make a video about it and do all of the same things to promote the video.

Want a tutorial on how to do video? Watch our playlist here.

Like I said above, if you have a product or service that improves people’s lives, you are morally obligated to sell it to them. I love seeing people take the things we teach and put them into action in their business. But marketing isn’t a talent that everyone has. If you need help with marketing your shop, I have an amazing team that would love to serve you.

We’re not the “same old thing” you’re used to seeing in auto repair marketing. Our work moves the needle. Want to see how? Schedule a discovery call!

About The Author

Brian Walker

Brian Walker is the Owner and CEO of Shop Marketing Pros, a marketing agency specializing in marketing independently owned auto repair shops. Brian is a Mercedes Benz Master Technician and has owned multiple shops and served as the Mechanical Division Director for ASA-NC.

He's a mechanic at heart who loves fixing things that are broken, which is why he loves marketing so much.

"Digging in and figuring out why a business' marketing isn't working is a lot like it was when he was elbows deep into a car that no one else could fix. When you figure it out, there's nothing else like it."

To get to do this for auto repair shop owners combines his passions, and he couldn't be more excited about helping shop owners.