winter cars in parking lot

Winter is Coming! How to Help Your Customers Prepare


The first official day of winter is December 21st, however for much of the country, the wintery road conditions start earlier than that. According to the Federal Highway Administration, about 70% of US roads are located in snowy regions. Additionally, they say that more than 1300 people are killed annually on snowy or icy roads. So it's especially important for those of you with dealerships and service departments in these snowy areas to make sure your customers' vehicles and the ones on your lots are as safe as possible for the upcoming winter months.


Winter Vehicle Checklist

There are quite a few things that many dealerships recommend checking when getting any vehicle ready for the winter, so we've put together a little checklist for you. Feel free to pick and choose what you think will best serve your customers this season.

  • Alignment - Alignment should be checked and adjusted if needed. Proper alignment gives the driver better control of the vehicle and maximizes tire life and fuel range.
  • Antifreeze - This helps regulate engine temperature and is something that should be checked and flushed regularly, especially before the winter months.
  • Battery - The summer months can be tough on vehicle batteries so it's best to have it checked out during the fall before it gets too cold. The last thing someone needs is to have a dead car battery when it's freezing outside.
  • Brakes - Make sure the brakes on a vehicle are in good enough shape to handle the more treacherous winter conditions.
  • Heater and Defrost - Ensure that both are working properly for the safety and comfort of the driver and passengers.
  • Oil Change - Keeping up with regular maintenance will help keep a car running strong throughout the harsh winter months.
  • Tires - Tire pressure of course fluctuates with changing temperatures and an improperly inflated tire will not be able to grip the road as well. When there are snowy and icy conditions, it's imperative to have the right amount of grip.
    • Tire Tread - Making sure there is plenty of tread on tires is also crucial to ensuring safe drivability in snowy and icy conditions. Some people may even want to switch to snow tires for the remainder of the season.
    • Spare Tire - Don't forget about that spare! It also needs to be checked for treat wear and have its pressure adjusted.
  • Wipers - Wiper blades should be switched out to winter blades to ensure the best visibility possible.
    • Washer Fluid - This is also the time to check and refill the washer fluid to make sure it's a kind that won't freeze in cold temps.

snow broom

Winter Dealership Prep

car snow brooms

People buy cars all year long but they know that the end of the month is a good time to buy because dealership sales staff members are trying to meet their sales quotas. points out that the end of the year, specifically December, is kind of the perfect storm for car buyers because it's the end of the year, the end of the quarter, and someone could be shopping at the end of the month.

Before any test drive, before handing over the keys to a loaner car, and before returning a car to a customer, take a moment to remove any built-up snow from the car with a snow broom. Additionally, ensure proper visibility by using an ice scraper to remove any ice from windshields and side mirrors.

With as much as your sales and service staff members are going outside in the cold, be sure they're ready for any weather conditions with a variety of vests, fleece pull-overs, and jackets. Feel free to mix and match colors and sizes on many of these. And best of all, many of our styles can be custom-embroidered.

As people are getting in and out of dealership vehicles and customer vehicles, snow and slush are bound to be tracked in. Help limit the mess on the carpets with some disposable floor mats.

Winter Service Promotions

So how can you use this information to get more business? Start up a service department promotion for winterizing customer vehicles. Use the checklist above to choose which of the listed services you want to include in a service package. Maybe you offer a free or discounted inspection and then special pricing on bundles of various services.

You can also let sales and service customers know that the for-sale and loaner vehicles on your lot have gone through this same inspection to ensure they are safe for everyone involved. Customers will appreciate knowing that you take great care of your cars as well as theirs.

Be Safe Out There

In the end, winter prep is all about safety. Let your staff and customers know that you care for their safety and wellbeing by taking all necessary winter precautions. The holidays are a busy time with lots of travel and lots of money being spent on gifts. The last thing that people want to deal with at the holidays is the time and expense of a broken down car. Encourage them to plan ahead to help avoid any unexpected costs and to make sure their cars are as safe as possible on those wintery roads!



New Customer Promo
New Customer Promo