Add To Your Shop’s Bottom Line By Offering A Transmission Tune Up Package

Posted by on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

With this down economy dragging on longer and longer, it is important for shops to consider new services and sources of revenue. If you haven’t yet considered offering a transmission tune up service, now may be the time to do so. With the average age of a car on the road approaching 11 years old, people are doing everything they can to make that vehicle last a little longer.  Offering a transmission tune up is a great way for your customer to extend the life of their vehicle a little longer. So what should a transmission tune up include?  Here is my idea of what a transmission tune up should include, along with a list of up-sell items.

Offering your customers a transmission tune up package can increase your shops bottom line


Fluid change: What would a transmission tune up be without a fluid change? Take extra care and research the correct fluid for each application. Today’s modern transmissions are much more sensitive to the wrong type of fluid. Putting the wrong fluid into a transmission can quickly lead to many problems, including the complete failure of the transmission. I would also recommend that you encourage your customers to have the fluid changed every 20,000 miles, even though the factory usually says they can go much longer in between fluid changes.

Filter: Many times the fluid is changed without installing a new filter. That’s a big no-no. The filter is designed to trap the small particles that result from normal transmission wear. Over time, the filter will get clogged up and eventually starve the transmission of fluid, leading to the death of the transmission. The filter should be changed every time the fluid is changed.

Flush cooler and lines. Draining the pan does not remove the fluid from the cooler lines or the cooler. Both should be flushed with a flushing solution applied at a light pressure. This will help remove the old fluid and any debris that may be in the cooler or the cooler lines.

Be sure to flush the cooler and cooler lines


Drain the torque converter. The torque converter can hold 2 – 3 quarts of fluid. This fluid will not drain with the simple removal of the transmission pan. While you could remove the torque converter to drain it, that would be both expensive and time consuming. Instead, install a drain plug into the converter. Doing so will involve the drilling of a hole in the converter and tapping that hole to make threads for a plug. Take extra care where you drill the converter. You want to avoid drilling into one of the fins located inside the converter.

You might have to drill a hole in the converter to drain the fluid


Adjust bands. Automatic transmissions have bands that need to be adjusted. Unlike the clutches in the transmission, the bands cannot automatically compensate for normal wear.  Some bands can be adjusted from outside the transmission case, while others involve making the adjustments with the pan removed. The adjustment instructions vary widely based on the make and model of the transmission. Please refer to the shop manual for proper adjusting instructions.

Up selling: When selling a transmission tune up, this is a perfect opening to up-sell some great products to your customers. This includes deep sump aluminum pans, coolers, synthetic fluid, temperature gauges and external coolers. All these items will contribute to the longevity of your customer’s transmission as well as to the bottom line of your business. Don’t forget to advertise your tune-up special on your social media pages. You should make sure that your rates are competitive. How does your price point compare to other transmission shop? The time to do your mobile market research is before offering your tune-up special.

Don’t miss the money boat. Offer your customers a transmission tune up service and watch your bottom line grow.

If your customer comes to you with a transmission that is worn out, don’t waste their money selling them a transmission tune up. Instead do the smart thing and sell them a re-manufactured transmission. A re-manufactured transmission will include modifications to make it last longer and handle heat better. A rebuilt transmission will not. A re-manufactured transmission also usually comes with a much better warranty, too. Three years compared to an average 90 days for a rebuilt transmission.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.