Stores Give Customers a Clean, Green Experience

One of the first things any customer will notice at the new Tunex stores is their immaculate, doctor’s office feel. The customer waiting area is positioned strategically between the repair and oil change sides of the business, where it is quiet, clean and complete with a television set that shows auto care programming and with a variety of magazines (and not just about cars!) to help pass the time.

The experience is kept pleasant and grease-free by a few smart design features: separate restrooms for employees and customers and a comfortable employee break room upstairs with a refrigerator and lockers so that technicians don’t have to eat their lunch in the customer waiting room.

On the “green” side, Tunex is taking every step possible to protect the environment. The new stores capture and re-burn used oil to heat the building—even crushing used oil filters to extract and re-burn every last drop. They also recycle antifreeze and use a hose system to suck up waste oil so that none is spilled on the ground.

But what about leaks or spills in the lube bays? Those seem somewhat inevitable, but Butterfield thought of that, too, by designing bays with no drains.

“That way if there is a leak, it doesn’t get into the storm drains,” he says. “It’s contained so it can be cleaned up.”

“This is a hostile environment, with chemicals and oils,” Ennis adds, “so whatever we can do to try to help is a good thing. Good for everybody.”

Rx for Your Auto Tunex Complete Car Care Blends Express Oil Change with Traditional Car Repair

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.”