Damper function is a critical component of a vehicle that is often overlooked, making it challenging to sell replacements. Typically, the degradation of shocks happens slowly and over time, making it less likely for consumers to be proactive in replacing parts-not to mention that shocks are tucked behind wheels and brakes, making them easy to forget.
Offering replacement shocks to customers is a quick and easy way to add another profit center. Here are some important things to note before adding shocks to a product line:
Explaining Shocks to the Customer
Oftentimes, customers may believe there is no reason to change their shocks because they don’t understand the impact it has on their vehicle. It’s imperative to address the safety benefits of a needed replacement, while asking the right questions to pinpoint any symptoms.
If a car comes to the shop suffering from poor steering response, a boat-like or bouncy ride, or irregular tire wear and poor alignment, here are some points to review with your customer:
- A shock’s job is to control the spring and keep you from, quite literally, bouncing down the road
- Vehicle stability and alignment is compromised with worn shock bushings
- A poor alignment results in a premature need to replace tires
- Poor steering and handling impact the overall safety of the vehicle
Eibach’s stringent quality control standards stem from decades of working hand-in-hand with the leading vehicle manufacturers like Mercedes, Toyota and Ford, to name a few.
Validating Shock Replacements
Many customers feel more comfortable replacing car parts when there is some sort of physical validation. Here are some visual tools to help strengthen the recommendation for a shock replacement:
- Damage to the shock body (scuffs, dings, bends). There are many seals inside a shock, and If there is damage to the body, it compromises the function of the seals allowing oil or gas to bypass
- A chipped or corroded coating on piston rod. Again, the seal-head will be damaged by rough surfaces allowing oil to leak out of the top of the shock
- Leaking (due to a damaged seal). Once oil has passed the seals the shock does not have enough force to control the springs energy, thus causing a wallow or bouncy ride
- Feathered or cupped tread
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Eibach production technology is recognized worldwide as leading its field, from our high-strength spring-steel alloys, our advanced CNC winding process, our high-quality corrosion protection and the legendary longevity of our components. To learn more, visit eibach.com.
What Makes a “Premium” Replacement
There are hundreds of options on the market today, but what makes an upgraded premium replacement the right choice?
The aftermarket gets its strength from improving upon original equipment. This means there are a number of factors that will, in fact, have your customer leaving with a better product than they came with. This also means they will experience the difference, solidifying your recommendation and earning their trust. Some features and benefits worth looking for in a premium replacement shock range from the surface coating to the ride quality. Here are some examples of available aftermarket upgrades:
- Urethane or hard rubber bushings improve steering response and function by reducing unwanted compliance in the system. Look for a manufacturer who cycle-tests their bushings to ensure they exceed the OE longevity standards
- Hardened steel piston rods protect against the scoring, chipping and corrosion commonly found on chrome coated variants
- Monotube construction offers increased performance by way of a larger piston size and more consistent function due to its pressurized gas system
- A matched pair of shocks ensure optimal ride quality from left to right and front to back. Look for a manufacturer who dyno tests each production shock
- A strong warranty gives your customer peace of mind and a reputable manufacturer who stands by their product gives you peace of mind. Look for a lifetime warranty
Most drivers bring in their vehicles to a shop to tackle safety and reliability concerns. An easy way to ease any customer apprehension is by offering shock replacements.
By following these simple guidelines and spending time to educate consumers on shock functionality, replacement benefits, and various upgrade options, shops can provide quick and affordable solutions for their customers.