National Oil & Lube News

May 2017

Digital issues of National Oil & Lube News, the trade magazine for the preventive maintenance industry

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Page 75 of 83

74 NOLN | VIEWPOINT The Unique Difference The Additive Effect: Profits from Performance by Pat Burrow In this Internet-driven, instant information world, we sometimes take for granted that others in our service business understand all aspects of what we provide customers. Recent conversations with shop owners prompted me to start asking a simple question when products, services and potential for improved ticket totals came up — how do you market your additives? e general confusion and misinformation that often came with their answer made me realize many of us in this business are missing an opportunity due to lack of knowledge. Knowing what additives are, in context to, what they specifically do and how they can be used as a tool to solve and prevent problems, is essential to the ability to market the service technician needs. e best way is always to start at the beginning. e dictionary defines additives as: "A substance added to another substance in relatively small amounts to effect a desired change in properties." With the goal to produce an "additive effect" that is "when two substances used together effect the same as the sum of individu- al effects." In other words, you improve the original fluid by mixing small amounts of additive to improve perfor- mance of the origi- nal fluid. As simple as this seems when you think about it, there is huge confu- sion in the market place. ere is often a failure to realize the benefits addi- tives offer when customers consult with service tech- nicians to solve, or in many cases pre- vent, specific prob- lems that additives are targeted for. Here are a few ex- amples: • Fuel additives: One of the easiest sales today. Fuel systems suffer from a number of issues that can be solved with additives: improved performance, a clean- er fuel system, lower emissions for compliance and extending the storage life of fuel in a stored vehicle. All you need to do is figure out what the customer needs. • Engine oil additives: Many vehicle owners will use an addi- tive designed for their application. ey run from tackifiers that thicken oil (good for hot, heavy duty service) to friction modifiers that improve fuel economy or even one-time-treat products that reduce wear. ese all depend on what the customer is looking for. • Cooling system additives: Owners looking to reduce tempera- tures or extend a cooling system's life have products available to take care of these concerns. ese products are often used to delay service to a more convenient time of year. • Automatic transmission additives: ere are products for everything from leaks (seal swell products) to help get you home, improving shift quality or eliminating shudder or chatter prob- lems (friction modifiers) to fluid enhancers that extend the life of the fluid and lower operating temperatures (ATF protectants). • Power steering fluid additives: Power steering systems tend to get noisy as they age. Often, the problem is depleted power steering fluid needs a boost in lubricity to quiet it down and re- store performance. ere are power steering additives and pro- tectants designed for that application. • Differential additives: Many differentials contain limited slip units that require friction-modified gear fluids. When gear fluid is used during service, a friction modifier additive may be required. Gear fluid protectants that extend the life of the gear fluid and improve lubricity for manual transmission applications are also available. • Air conditioning additives: ere is a growing need for prod- ucts to remove smells and contamination from A/C and heating systems. ese products also qualify as additives, and knowing how to solve the problem of a smelly A/C can be a great generator of sales and satisfied customers. As you can see, the opportunities are there for service providers who become familiar with the additive products available to them and become comfortable using them as tools to solve or prevent problems. Because the counter guy at the auto store is no longer the guy to ask about what to buy when they have a problem an ad- ditive would fix, the burden of knowledge falls to the professional service technician. Know your additives! ere are problems to be fixed and money to be made. S PAT BURROW is the Technical Director for International Lubricants, Inc., the parent com- pany of Lubegard branded products. He can be reached at To learn more about Lubegard products, call 800.333.LUBE or visit: Over 1,500 Quick Lubes Sold! (800) 874-5793 x1010 Mike Baynes | Joe Thissen x1017 SOLD! Over 25 Years of Helping Quick Lube Owners Realize Their Goals. Please join us in congratu- lating Briggs Anderson on his recent 8 store Acquisition!

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