Brake fluid is a crucial part of the braking system that keeps cars safe on the road, but it’s often one of the elements that customers don’t understand. This can mean when you inform them their brake fluid needs replacing, they may not feel like paying for the service because they don’t understand why it matters (or think that they can just top-up the fluid themselves).
However, if you can explain the problems that poor brake fluid can cause, you will reassure them that a brake fluid replacement is good for their vehicle and let them know that yours is a workshop to trust, bringing repeat business to your workshop for any other mechanical problems they might have.
Here are some key points you can make when talking to customers that will explain to them just why brake fluid is so important to the safe and economical running of their vehicles:
Why brake fluid is important
Explain to your customers that brake fluid is crucial to safe and efficient braking because it transfers the force created when you press the brake pedal onto the wheel hub.
Ask them to think about how many times they brake on a typical journey, such as their daily commute or school run. Even during a five-minute drive they may push the brake pedal dozens of times, not only to stop the car at traffic lights or at their final destination but also throughout the journey to adjust the speed of the vehicle. Explain that braking is a regular, repetitious part of daily driving and that’s why it’s crucial that the braking system, including the brake fluid, is in good condition.
When to change their brake fluid
Educating customers on what to look out for and alerting them to the tell-tale signs that their brake fluid needs replacing will encourage them to come back to you when they need their brake fluid replacing, and also make them more likely to return to your workshop for the recommended two-year replacement of brake fluid (and other work and general servicing they may need too). You may also encounter customers who think its ok to top up their own brake fluid. Whilst regular top ups are advised, it’s important to stress the importance of a two-year professional flush of brake fluid to help remove impurities in the braking system and keep their brakes functioning optimally.
Five Warning Signs
Highlight the five following signs to let your customer know the signs that their brake fluid might need replacing:
1 Low brake fluid warning light
Explain to the customer that brake fluid urgently needs to be changed if they see a ‘low brake fluid’ warning light on the dashboard. Point out that this is important not just for efficiency but for safety because it can mean that their brake pads are worn or that brake fluid is leaking.
2 ABS Light
Explain to your customer that in newer vehicles they might see their ABS light come on. A functioning ABS system helps reduce stopping distance and that low brake fluid is a main cause of ABS failure.
3 Problems pushing the brake pedal
Explain to your customer that if pushing down on the brake pedal is proving more difficult than usual, they could have a problem with their brake fluid, pointing out that it’s the brake fluid that transfers pedal pressure to the brake pad.
4 Leak under the vehicle
One of the easiest signs for a customer to look out for is a dark, slick spot on their driveway. Any type of fluid leak should be looked at, as even if it’s not brake fluid it could be power steering fluid or something else essential to safe driving.
5 Regular maintenance
You can give your customer reassuring, helpful advice by explaining that, in the interest of safety, they should change their brake fluid before it becomes urgent. This is a good opportunity to recommend that they replace their brake fluid every 2 years even if they haven’t experienced any of the above issues.
Quality brake fluid
You’ve built trust with the customer and so it’s important you have the best quality brake fluid to complete the job. TRW’s range of brake fluids provide specialist brake care for a wide selection of vehicles and exceed all international DOT specifications so you can provide a safer and more efficient performance for your customer.
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