Helping customers to ‘brake’ their risky maintenance habits

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Helping customers to ‘brake’ their risky maintenance habits

Helping customers to ‘brake’ their risky maintenance habits

As a garage owner, operator or team member, you’ll know how hard it can be to convince customers to be proactive with vehicle maintenance. In most cases, drivers seek your counsel (and services) when something has gone wrong, rather than trying to stop it failing in the first place.


To a certain extent, that approach is understandable. Not every motorist has an in-depth technical knowledge of their car, motorbike or van, so it can be hard to appreciate the benefits that predictive maintenance can bring.


There are, however, a number of key safety-related components that drivers, mechanically aware or not, should seek to service regardless of perceived condition. Arguably, the most significant of those is the braking system.


It doesn’t take a professor of physics to work out why regular brake servicing is a good idea. If the brakes aren’t up to the job, it jeopardises the safety of those in the vehicle. And that’s before you consider the knock-on risk to pedestrians and other road users.


So how can garages help? Customer education has big part to play in ensuring braking systems are regularly maintained. While there will be some drivers who don’t give their vehicle’s brakes a second thought, there will also be some that believe common maintenance misconceptions, and some that aren’t aware that safety and driver assistance systems are using the brakes without their knowledge.


The growing number of electric vehicles (EVs) on our roads poses another challenge. Many EVs make use of regenerative braking, harvesting electricity to recharge the battery. This means that select electric vehicles can be driven safely and efficiently with little use of the standard friction brakes. Unhelpfully, however, it can lead to plug-in motorists failing to understand the need to service their brakes.


By taking the time to chat to and with your customers, you can heighten their braking awareness of and demonstrate some of the issues that can arise if they aren’t properly maintained. It’s a time investment that could prove worthwhile, not only with greater road safety, but with increased customer loyalty and additional booked work, too.