A Guide To Air Conditioning Servicing for Independent Garages

During the upcoming months, vehicle owners will rely heavily on air conditioning systems to combat the heat, however, if there is a dip in performance or malfunction, they will undoubtedly seek a fix as quickly as possible. As an owner of an independent garage, you have the chance to boost your profits by providing air conditioning servicing to your customers, to get them back on the road in comfort.

To assist you in maximising this opportunity, we've compiled some strategies independent garages can use to enhance their earnings from air conditioning servicing. This article will delve into how the latest air conditioning service equipment from Sun® can help your technicians work more efficiently, earn more money, and elevate customer satisfaction.

What independent garages should consider before investing in AC equipment

Independent garages can boost their regular revenue and distinguish themselves from local competitors by providing exceptional air conditioning servicing to their customers. The availability of suitable equipment not only guarantees successful outcomes but also saves time and increases the overall efficiency of the entire process. 

With the right equipment, independent garages can offer their customers a fast and reliable air conditioning service to keep their vehicles' air conditioning systems in perfect working order. 

Air conditioning refrigerant recovery machines are essential for removing refrigerant from a vehicle's air conditioning system before any maintenance or repairs can be performed. Leak detection tools can help identify any leaks in the system, and modern air conditioning service units can recharge the system with refrigerant once the maintenance or repairs have been completed.

Why an Air-Con service is important to your customers?

The air conditioning systems in your customers' vehicles needs to be serviced for a number of reasons which include:  

Improved Comfort: A well-functioning air-conditioning system is crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior temperature of a vehicle, especially in hot summers. Regular servicing can optimise the system's efficiency, ensuring a pleasant driving experience for all occupants.  

Improved Air Quality: A dirty or malfunctioning air-conditioning system can lead to poor air quality inside the vehicle, which can cause health problems for passengers. Regular servicing helps eliminate any potential health hazards by cleaning the system and checking for leaks or other malfunctions.

Improved Fuel Efficiency: A well-maintained air-conditioning system consumes less power and requires less energy, which can help improve fuel efficiency and reduce fuel costs. 

Longevity: Routine air-conditioning system maintenance can prevent costly repairs or replacements in the future and extend its lifespan. Early detection and repair of problems can prevent larger and costlier issues from developing down the line.

Prevents Odours: Air conditioning systems that have been inactive for a while tend to emit an unpleasant odour when activated. This is caused by the accumulation of odour-producing bacteria and mould during prolonged periods of inactivity typically through the winter or if only occasionally used in warmer conditions. Performing regular interim cleaning of the AC system can prevent the build-up and keep the system smelling fresh. Consider using an AC servicing machine that includes AC system cleaning to provide this extra service.

In summary: 

Regular servicing of a vehicle's air conditioning system can lead to improved comfort and air quality, prevent odours, improve fuel efficiency, and it helps to prolong the life of system components. It is recommended to have the system serviced at least once a year to ensure optimal performance and prevent any potential issues from developing down the line.

The Advantages for Independent Garages 

Air conditioning is no longer a luxury item in a vehicle, it's a standard feature in the vast majority of new cars today. In fact, air-conditioning has become a crucial aspect of driving comfort and safety, especially during the hot summer months. The increasing importance of air-conditioning systems in vehicles has opened up new opportunities for independent garages to expand their services and attract more customers. In this article, we'll discuss why independent garages should consider offering air-conditioning servicing as a part of their regular services.

Increased demand for air-conditioning services: With the rising temperatures, the demand for air-conditioning services has increased significantly. Customers are now more aware of the importance of air-conditioning systems in their vehicles, and they are looking for reliable and cost-effective services. Independent garages that offer air-conditioning services can tap into this growing demand and expand their customer base.

Improved customer satisfaction: By offering air-conditioning services, independent garages can improve customer satisfaction. Customers appreciate garages that provide comprehensive services and can meet all their vehicle maintenance needs in one place. Air-conditioning services, in particular, can help customers stay comfortable during the hot summer months, and this can translate into increased customer loyalty and repeat business.

Greater revenue potential: Offering air-conditioning services can also help independent garages generate additional revenue. Air-conditioning services can be more profitable than other vehicle maintenance services, as they require specialised equipment and knowledge. By investing in air-conditioning equipment and training, independent garages can increase their revenue potential and grow their business.

Competitive advantage: Independent garages should strive to offer comprehensive AC service to their customers. This means going beyond simple recharges and repairs and offering services such as system inspections and preventative maintenance. 

Regular AC inspections can help identify potential issues before they become more significant problems, while preventative maintenance can help to extend the life of the system and improve overall performance. By offering a full range of AC services, independent garages can build trust with their customers and establish themselves as a reliable source for all of their AC needs.

Offering air-conditioning services is a smart move for independent garages. With the increasing demand for air-conditioning services, improved customer satisfaction, better revenue potential, and a competitive advantage, independent garages can grow their business and provide comprehensive services to their customers. By investing in air-conditioning equipment and training, independent garages can stay ahead of the curve and meet the changing needs of their customers.

A quick guide to vehicle AC gasses

One of the key components of a vehicles AC system is the refrigerant gas, which is responsible for cooling the air inside the vehicle. 

R-12 (Freon) - R-12, also known as Freon, was one of the first refrigerant gasses used in car air-conditioning systems. It was commonly used in vehicles manufactured before the mid-1990s. However, due to its ozone-depleting properties, R-12 was phased out and replaced with more environmentally friendly refrigerant gasses.

R-134a - R-134a is a commonly used refrigerant gas in modern vehicles. It is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) and does not have the ozone-depleting properties of R-12. R-134a is considered to be a safe and efficient refrigerant gas for car air-conditioning systems, and it is widely used in vehicles manufactured after the mid-1990s.

R-1234yf - R-1234yf is a newer refrigerant gas that has gained popularity in recent years. It is a hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) and is considered to be even more environmentally friendly than R-134a. R-1234yf has a low global warming potential and does not contribute to climate change. It is used in many newer vehicles, particularly luxury and high-performance vehicles.

In summary: Car air conditioning systems use a variety of refrigerant gasses, each with its own unique properties and benefits. R-12, R-134a, R-1234yf are some of the gasses used in these systems, and each has its own role to play in keeping vehicles cool and comfortable. By understanding the gasses used in car air-conditioning systems, independent garages can better serve their customers and ensure that their vehicles are running at their best.

Today, we see the majority of independent garages investing in a dual-gas AC service system to give them the best of both worlds in one machine. This not only saves space but also saves garages money in the long run, to invest in one machine instead of two.

What does this mean for your workshop?

Putting it simply, an opportunity to offer your customers an additional service to quickly address common issues with air conditioning systems, plus it can make a substantial difference to your weekly revenue figures. Most garages will charge between £60-£200 for an air con check-up and re-gas (depending on vehicle and gas type).   

There is also the opportunity for repair jobs where preventative maintenance and system recharging does not fix the issue within the system. Typically, these will be repairing jobs that include the replacement of components such as; AC compressors, condensers, evaporators or hose lines and connections, to name a few. Depending on the vehicle and underlying fault these will vary in labour time but opportunities to offer a complete solution to customers.   

Increase technician efficiency

Sun KoolKare air conditioning service machines are fully automatic, so once a technician has set up the job up, they can leave the system to run and work on another job at the same time. This massively improves productivity and increases earning potential.  

When the temperature rises, customers will try to use the garage's systems and discover a problem; as a result, bookings will rise. However, don't wait for your customers to contact you after the system has failed. Garages that include interim air conditioning health checks in their regular maintenance work generate more revenue from their air conditioning service equipment 

Tips for Boosting Revenue from Air Con Servicing

Simply investing in an air conditioning servicing system alone will not boost revenue streams overnight, but here are a few strategies that Independent Garages can adopt to increase awareness and generate demand for air conditioning services.

Provide educational materials: Many customers may not be aware of the importance of regular air conditioning maintenance or the signs that indicate their system needs attention. Independent garages can create brochures or flyers that explain the benefits of proper air conditioning maintenance and include information on the most common problems that can occur. By providing educational materials, customers can become more informed and understand the value of these services. Having resources available on our website is essential, new customers will actively do their research before making a decision, and they'll use your website when they are weighing up their options and considering the other local alternatives.

Offer seasonal promotions: Customers may not think about their air conditioning until the weather starts to warm up. Independent garages can capitalise on this by offering seasonal promotions or discounts during the spring and summer months. These promotions can encourage customers to schedule maintenance or repairs and help generate additional business.

Make it easy to book online: Customers like convenience, and this is where Independent Garages can really capitalise on the opportunity, having a website with the functionality to book online will help busy customers take action and book then and there. Combine this with a promotion, coupon code or combination purchase with interim vehicle servicing are great ways to provide added customer value, and ultimately increase your revenue streams. Creating banners for your website, content for your social media or email newsletters that link to your bookings page will generate more interest and ultimately drive an increase in bookings.

Highlight expertise: Independent garages that specialise in air conditioning services can differentiate themselves from general repair garages by highlighting their expertise in this area. These businesses can use their website and social media accounts to showcase their knowledge of air conditioning systems and the types of services they offer.

Emphasise the importance of regular maintenance: Regular maintenance is key to keeping air conditioning systems running efficiently and preventing costly repairs. Independent garages can emphasise this to their customers by offering service packages or maintenance plans that provide regular inspections and tune-ups.

Product Spotlight: SUN® KoolKare Dual Gas 12 

The Dual Gas 12 is the most popular model in the KoolKare range of air conditioning service machines. It is a fully automatic unit for the recovery, recycling and recharging of both R134a and HFO1234yf refrigerants. 

Two different circuits and separate components for each gas ensure the purity of the refrigerant. An intuitive and user-friendly interface guides technicians of all experience levels safely through a professional air conditioning service.

So no matter if you are new to working with vehicle air conditioning systems, or you work in an experienced workshop looking to move up to the next level of servicing technology, SUN®  Dual Gas 12 is the ideal solution for you.  

Meet the SUN® KoolKare Air-Con Service Equipment Series

SUN® Air Conditioning Service Systems are designed to streamline the work of technicians, helping them save valuable time and boost productivity. 

By investing in these systems, you can enhance operational efficiency, potentially leading to increased revenue generation for your business.

Latest Air Condition Promotion

We're rewinding prices on all SUN® KoolKare Air Conditioning Machines purchased between now and the end of June 2024*

The SUN® Series of Air Conditioning Service Machines includes the KoolKare QTech III Plus which is available in two gas configurations, R134a and HFO1234yf as well as our best-selling Koolkare Dual Gas 12 which takes care of both R134a and HFO1234yf in one machine.

SUN® KoolKare Dual Gas 12 

R134a and HFO1234yf

List Price £5,419

Promo Price: £3,896

You Save: £1,523

SUN® QTech III Plus

For R134a or HFO1234yf

List Price £4,028

Promo: £2,896

You Save: £1,132

*Qualifying customer only, terms and conditions apply. All promotions end on midnight 30th June 2024. Subject to VAT rate and stock availability. Snap-on® reserves the right to change, modify or cancel promotions any time without notice. Business Purpose Credit Only. Only available to qualified Companies acquiring products through Snap-on® Finance UK Ltd. through Snap-on Diagnostics. Terms and conditions apply subject to status. Not everyone will be approved. Guarantees may be required. Offer until 30th June 2024 for approved customers. Price, availability and specifications may change without notice. Errors and omissions excepted. Trademarks are the property of their respective registered proprietors. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Speak to your Snap-on® Franchisee or Technical Sales Representative for more information.

Air Conditioning Quick Tips: Providing air conditioning servicing can be a lucrative opportunity for independent garages that are looking to increase their revenue. 

In this article: we dive into some strategies that independent garages can implement to boost the number of air conditioning jobs and optimise the return on investment on their air conditioning service equipment.

Discover the Snap-on® Difference

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