Doctors have been praising the benefits of preventive medicine for decades. Now Tunex is taking this philosophy out of the health clinic and bringing it to car owners who understand the value of keeping their vehicles fit.
The new concept was launched this month with the grand opening of a Tunex Complete Car Care store in South Jordan, Utah. The new store puts traditional Tunex car repair on one side of the building and a full-service Oil Express center on the other. Going forward, all Tunex franchises will follow this model—giving customers access to reliable professionals who not only fix car problems, but also help prevent them.
“We are taking the expertise and equipment we use for diagnostics on the car repair side and moving them over to the Oil Express side,” says Boyd Ennis, Tunex vice president of franchise sales.
This new approach offers real benefits for both customers and the franchise owners.
DIAGNOSTICS HELP CUSTOMERS PLAN AND SAVE
“When customers know what is happening with their cars, they can budget, prepare and plan,” Ennis says.
To help customers plan their car care, Tunex centers now offer the Delphi diagnostic platform, which allows technicians to link wirelessly to a car and retrieve key performance data. Customers receive a color printout with green text for “good” findings and red for “warning” issues—things they should handle now or in the future. With these printouts, customers can build a health file for their vehicle similar to what they might receive from a doctor’s office. They can track performance over time and plan to make repairs before problems become critical and costly.
“It’s like going to the hospital for a blood test, but it’s a test on your vehicle, and it’s free,” says Tunex Franchise Representative Steve Sillitoe.
Nick Butterfield, Tunex president and CEO, says his stores are the only ones in Utah offering the Delphi platform. This service gives both them and their customers a competitive advantage: Using the Delphi codes, Tunex can help customers monitor gas mileage and fuel injection—often delivering two to three more miles per gallon.
In addition to the Delphi print out, customers receive a first-hand look at the health of their vehicle’s fluids. On a white plastic tray they see drops of everything from brake fluid to antifreeze, along with a color code showing what each type of fluid ought to look like. With this tool, technicians can tell customers, for instance, that the alkaline level of their antifreeze is getting high before it corrodes the vehicle’s system.
Another significant benefit for customers is convenience.
“Say you are having an oil change, and they discover you have a cracked CV boot, bad alternator or squeaky brakes,” Ennis says. “At most places, the customers are on their own. Here, they don’t even have to change chairs in the waiting room.”
According to Clay Liston, president of Performance Auto Ltd, which runs the Tunex in Orem, Utah, customers care more about convenience than ever before.
“Time is everything, more and more, every year, for people,” Liston says. “Having two services in one location is a real benefit.”
Liston should know; he has been in this business for 32 years and is currently working on financing to create a Super Tunex right off I-15 in Orem.
“One of the biggest things I see is that everything is going to convenience,” he says. “Rather than driving across town and fighting the stoplights, people will prefer to get on the freeway and go somewhere close to an exit. Drive time is becoming very important to people, especially when it’s their car they are working on.”