How a Mechanic Can Turn a Discussion About Gasoline Into a Sale

If you are a mechanic and someone asks you about gasoline, they are actually laying out a route for you to make a sale. Here’s what you need to do — and to know — to close the deal.

Confusion About Gasoline Ratings

Anyone who drives is aware there are three gasoline ratings. However, you’d be surprised at how many people aren’t really clear on what those ratings mean. 

Like many drivers, they may think that they can get their car to last longer if they switch from regular to high octane gas. They may think it will burn cleaner and help maintain their engine longer. Most of all, they may think that more expensive gasoline is better simply because it costs more money.

As you discuss why vehicles need a specific gasoline, you can pinpoint why they are concerned. Usually, they want to improve their car’s performance. Plus they’ll be glad to know they can enjoy their without overpaying for gasoline. 

The Federal Trade Commission studied this issue and concluded that high octane gas doesn’t improve fuel efficiency or reduce emissions in normal engines. This means you are wasting money if you are pumping 91 or 93 octane into a tank that only requires 87 octane. 

It helps people to understand all of this if they understand that the engines that require high octane fuel were specifically made for that gasoline. The engine expects the gas to withstand more heat, holding detonation until a higher compression rate has been achieved.  

Speaking to Their Concerns

Once you have established why they are concerned about which fuel to use, you have the perfect opening to suggest ways to shore up their engine’s lifespan and to improve their performance. 

Regular Octane Cars and SUVs

Instead of a higher octane fuel, you’ll recommend some basic measures and some exciting enhancements. Declining performance is often due to worn-out spark plugs. You can recommend an engine tune-up to make sure that every component is working properly.  

Perhaps the vehicle’s suspension has been declining with age. You can offer to replace the rubber bushings with polyurethane bushings. Stronger and energy absorbent, this upgrade has been shown to improve handling.

Beyond restorative measures, you can recommend upgrades. A cold air intake kit can reduce the natural heat of an engine. You’ll install it, and they’ll enjoy its benefits.

Likewise, you can add a stiffer sway bar, which can correct for understeer or oversteer. Another option is a strut tower brace, which improves cornering by stiffening the front suspension.  

Another option is a whole new exhaust system. Instead of the stock muffler and exhaust pile, they’d have a high-performance cat back system to improve performance. 

Luxury Cars and Other High Octane Users

If an owner admits to using 87 octane in a car that requires 91 or 93 octane, it’s the perfect time to bring up an engine inspection. After all, lower octane fuel, in this case, will tax the engine, decrease performance, and potentially shorten the vehicle’s road life. The electronic control unit must work harder to manage the gas flow through the system. 

An engine inspection and some general maintenance can find and replace parts that have worn out due to using low octane. Replacing parts before they break completely can protect the engine from leaking oil and other dangers.

When you tune in to customers talking about the right octane, you may be tuning into a way to make a sale. You can be ready the next time the opportunity arises.

What do you think?

Written by Liviu Marcus

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