Did you know that next month is National Car Care Month (NCCM)? Do you have any activities or an event planned to take part in this campaign? If not, it’s not too late ‹ there’s still time to plan something for your shop. You can produce a small event with a vehicle check lane in one of your shop’s bays or a larger event with sponsors and many promotions.
NCCM, a vital part of the “Be Car Care Aware” (BCCA) consumer education campaign, is designed to increase public awareness about the benefits of good vehicle maintenance and repair.
“One of the reasons for consumer vehicle neglect is a lack of awareness and knowledge,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council.
“The first step to reversing unperformed maintenance is understanding what vehicle systems need to be routinely inspected and when service or repair should be performed.”
NCCM events can help educate consumers on preventive maintenance for their vehicles.
The Car Care Council wants to help get you started, so it is offering a variety of free services on its website, www.carcare.org, including the official NCCM check-up forms (which also can be ordered by calling 240-333-1088).
A number of shops around the country are holding events such as Bertolli’s Auto Body Repair, Inc. in San Rafael, CA, which is hosting the shop’s second annual event. “This year’s event will be at the local mall parking lot,” said Laura Bertolli, owner. “We are having the auto students from our local junior college do the vehicle inspections. We will have a new car and a classic car display area. Sponsors will have the opportunity to have a booth of their own, and we will have a contest for the best booth. The local law enforcement agencies are participating with fingerprinting, child car seat checks and other fun stuff. We plan to have a Œjumpy’ for the kids and each vehicle inspected will receive a goody bag full of stuff from the event sponsors.”
Morin Bros. Automotive of San Luis Obispo, CA, is hosting a Saturday charity event offering a 22-point inspection for $22, which will be given to the local women’s shelter. The techs are even donating their time for the event.
Lavallee’s Transmission and Auto Service Center in Methuen, MA, is offering a Ladies Car Care Clinic that will benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
The clinic will include a presentation and discussion on the fundamentals of car care and maintenance, followed by a hands-on demonstration. ASE- and ATRA-certified technicians will be available to discuss questions and concerns.
Dr. Automotive in Abingdon, VA, will be offering “a free, detailed vehicle inspection including lights, belts, fluids, tires, braking system and much more during the month of April in hopes of educating consumers on the importance of vehicle maintenance,” said Dr. Automotive’s Shane Roark. A special oil change price of $15.99 will be offered during these inspections, as well.
These are just a few ideas to get you started on your own event. It’s also a good idea to have someone who is assigned to documenting your shop’s events. This person can take pictures of customers and activities at your event, clip any related ads you’ve run in local media and include any flyers or postcards that were sent as part of the promotion of the event. Creating a “scrapbook” can be a priceless resource for next year’s event planners, and a great way to interest sponsors the following year.
The Car Care Council also offers a customizable quarterly newsletter, Car Care Chronicles, that can be downloaded and printed in-house or at your local print shop. The newsletter is posted on www.carcare.org approximately six weeks prior to the upcoming season. Your new customer newsletter could be in the mail in plenty of time to take advantage of National Car Care Month momentum. Also remember, that while April is National Car Care Month, a check lane event can be held any time of the year.