Help your customers understand the cost between repair and replacement

Special thanks to Eddie Symonds of Powertrain Products in Upper Marlboro, Maryland for submitting this tip!

One of the things that my guys are trained to do is to actually help customers analyze the cost between the repair or the replacement of both engines and transmissions. Often in our industry, guys are afraid to help the customer make the correct decision for fear of losing that sale. But I feel that if you talk the customer into something they did not need, then ultimately they will not be happy and you will be the root cause.

For instance: A customer has a 1995 Toyota Corolla with 200K miles and the car needs a transmission. We all know that the car is not worth the $2500 that it will take to replace the transmission. But we try to help the customer consider whether that $2500 is worth it in their specific situation. Maybe they just did new axles, tires, or brakes. Maybe their replacement budget would only be $5000…so what exactly would they get for that, and what is the history on the new vehicle? Now the $2500 for a replacement transmission doesn’t sound so bad.

In most cases the customer can justify spending the money because they are comfortable with their current car. But let’s face it – if it is a 200K mile ’95 Corolla that needs tires and brakes, and is rusted in half, then nobody should be steered to fix that. If instead you advise your customer to purchase another car, you do lose the transmission sale. But, you also ensured the future return of that customer with more loyalty then you ever had from them before.

Eddie SymondsEddie Symonds

President, Powertrain Products, Inc.
Auto enthusiast, father, husband, boater, business owner, and mentor…not necessarily in that order
Visit Eddie at

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