Pour-In Performance

Jan 25, 2012

Whether it’s racers, hot rodders or speed shops, everyone in the performance game is looking for an edge.

So, when you’ve done all you can to build the best vehicle, how can a driver add even more power-or a shop add more profits? By pouring it in, of course.

Specialty performance fluids offer an add-on sales segment for retailers and builders looking to provide the total package. The products attract customers anxious to solve a specific problem, or hoping to gain even the slightest advantage in power, speed or cool factor.

By doing a little homework, professionals will discover that many of these easy additives offer proven performance benefits. Then, when clients come looking for expert advice, shops can steer them in the right direction with confidence.

To learn a little bit more about just a sampling of the specialty fluids available to the performance aftermarket, we checked in with the suppliers who fill the bottles. What you’ll learn is that the road to upsell opportunities in this exciting niche can be as easy as opening a cap.

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Cool-X LLC
Amherst, Mass.
David Leith
President

Our hottest specialty fluid is…

…Cool-X nanotechnology cooling product. It is made with the highest-quality synthetic base oil and currently available for ATF, 75W90 gear oil and manual transmission fluids.

Its best features include…

…the nanoparticles enhance the heat transfer between the oil and the block, case or pan, reducing oil temperatures by up to 40 degrees. The easiest way to describe it is as the equivalent of a water wetter for oil. Who doesn’t have heat issues if they are racing?

Also, adding Cool-X to the transmission and rear-end of a truck used for hauling will not only prevent it from overheating, but will also double or triple oil life and reduce wear on the gearbox. The product is reasonably priced, so it offers a good payback by saving an oil change in addition to being insurance.

Specialty fluids fit well into a speed shop’s overall product mix because…

-¦ customers look to shops as the experts, and expect them to be on the cutting-edge of the latest technology. Right now, with Cool-X being a new product, shops can be the first to offer this new nanotechnology and, with some good word of mouth, attract new customers.

The biggest challenge shops face when selling specialty fluids is…

… being able to field technical questions. Customers need more than “it’s the good stuff” or “it’ll give you more horsepower, reduce friction, prevent wear, etc.” To be an expert, you really have to know the products inside and out.

The most important thing for shops to remember when dealing with specialty fluids is…

… it’s an upsell opportunity. In our case, someone buying ATF or gear oil for an oil service can be told about Cool-X as a new product, and for the shop it represents a $30 to $60 add-on sale-or more if they do service work. The same applies to anyone buying transmission or differential parts, etc.

Shops can immediately increase profits in the specialty fluid market by…

…upselling!

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Evans Cooling Systems Inc.
Sharon, Conn.
Cathy Wright
General Manager, Performance Sales and Distribution

Our hottest specialty fluid is…

…Evans Waterless Coolant, High-Performance blend.

Its best features include…

…Evans offers cooling protection beyond the normal operating temperature range of conventional coolants. It does not contain water, is non-corrosive, doesn’t support electrolysis and won’t boil over. It protects engines in extreme conditions.

The biggest challenge shops face when selling specialty fluids is…

…for our product, it’s breaking away from the norm that water is the best cooling product. But once customers use the waterless coolant and can finish races with no overheating DNFs, they will see the benefit of using it in all their vehicles-including motorcycles, ATVs and light- and heavy-duty diesels.

The most important thing for shops to remember when dealing with specialty fluids is…

…Evans waterless coolants are different from all other water-based coolants on the market. The conversion has to be water-free for the best results.

When a conversion is completed correctly and all the water is removed before installing, Evans coolant is a lifetime coolant.

Shops can immediately increase profits in the specialty fluid market by…

…providing a service of being an installation facility, and having cases of coolant available for the DIY market and for racers when they need it at the track.

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Joe Gibbs Racing Oil
Huntersville, N.C.
Lake Speed, Jr.
Certified Lubrication Specialist

Our hottest specialty fluid is…

…LS30, our new high-zinc, full-synthetic 5W-30 performance motor oil for LS-based street/strip engines.

Its best features include…

…it is designed for higher outputs and higher rpms. LS30 delivers increased shear stability for stable oil pressure and better protection.

Specialty fluids fit well into a speed shop’s overall product mix because…

…when you sell a new camshaft or lifters to a customer, a break-in oil and a high-performance oil are add-on sale items that provide insurance against the customer having problems with their new camshaft.

Even roller cams benefit from proper break-in oils, and especially LS engines. These engines need high-quality lubes to help the valve train components live. BR30 and LS30 provide high-zinc protection for break-in and street/strip use.

The biggest challenge shops face when selling specialty fluids is…

…overcoming major oil company brands and price points. Major oil companies spend lots of money on national advertising, and the API-licensed oils they sell are optimized for emissions.

Specialty oils like Joe Gibbs Racing Oil are optimized for performance, which comes with a higher price. The increased rust protection from Ethanol-blended fuels, increased shear stability and increased anti-wear protection delivers greater value compared to API-licensed oils.

The key is showing the added benefits of the specialty oils. Also, the cost of a regular API-licensed oil plus an aftermarket additive is roughly the same as buying a fully formulated oil like LS30 that does not need any additional additives.

The most important thing for shops to remember when dealing with specialty fluids is…

…specialty oils are application-specific. Racing oil should not be used in a street hot rod. Just because an oil says it is high-zinc doesn’t mean it’s a racing oil.

Recommend racing oils for racing applications. Recommend hot rod oils for street hot rods. These oils use special chemistry to make more horsepower or provide additional storage protection.

As a result, you get the maximum benefit if you use the oil in the application for which the oil was designed. We are happy to provide guidance on which oils to use in different applications.

Shops can immediately increase profits in the specialty fluid market by…

…recommending specialty oils when you are selling engine parts. Break-in oil is a natural add-on sale with new engine parts. When customers make modifications to their engine, now they need higher-performance oil. This is the time to recommend a specialty oil.

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Red Line Synthetic Oil Corp.
Benicia, Calif.
Cameron Evans

Our hottest specialty fluid is…

…MT-90, used in manual transmissions. Even though it’s been on the market for many years, racers and enthusiasts are still blown away by its balanced friction to make the synchros work.

Its best features include…

…MT-90 offers improved cold- and hot-shifting, better gear and synchro life, and compatibility with brass, paper and carbon synchros.

Many oil companies are trying to sell off GL-5 fluids as a backwards-compatible option when a GL-4 fluid is called for. Compromise doesn’t work in this case. We nail it with the specific and correct fluid.

Its cousins, MTL and MT-85, have similar chemistry and are matched to situations when the OEM calls for lower viscosities.

Specialty fluids fit well into a speed shop’s overall product mix because…

…they offer the additional profit that so many shops are losing to mail-order. When you stock the correct Red Line products and get on our dealer directory, the foot traffic we create leads customers to learning all the other cool stuff that you carry.

The biggest challenge shops face when selling specialty fluids is…

…education, by far. These fluids are very easy to figure out and our online Year/Make/Model application guide makes it simple to figure out what you should stock when you run the most popular vehicles through it.

Some salesmen assume that just because one fluid worked great in a certain application that it’s right for the next one. By doing just a bit more homework, they can show the customer that their shop knows its stuff and makes sure a customer is getting the perfect product.

The most important thing for shops to remember when dealing with specialty fluids is…

…learning the viscosity difference between automatic transmission fluids. Red Line blends seven different ATFs with different viscosity and additive packages. A quick look-up online will help to nail the application and leads to a far happier customer.

Shops can immediately increase profits in the specialty fluid market by…

…thinking about what are the most popular vehicles within their customer base, and making sure they stock the right products for that market. It’s not a one-size-fits-all, but it also doesn’t take up a lot of inventory.

For example, nearly every Ford F-150 pickup takes 75W140 synthetic gear oil, but that fluid can also be sold to Mustang customers and GM guys looking for more protection. The same MTL that works in a Honda transaxle is also the gear oil for many muscle car gearboxes.