As a repair shop owner, you know giving your customers repair estimates is a part of the business. One of the high-ticket items is that of catalytic converter replacement, a job that can run over $2,000; you would rather money was applied toward preventative maintenance since these hot-running emission-control parts could last for the life of the car. To that end, try offering the following suggestions for how to keep this important exhaust-system part functioning so your customers stay cool.
Inspect the Emission System
The first piece of advice to lay out for your customers is that they include testing and inspection of other emission-control parts during routine-maintenance stops. Checking the exhaust gas recirculation valve is especially critical. Explain that this device serves two functions when it works properly: First, it captures unspent fuel, a function that improves efficiency. Second, the EGR valve operates to keeps temperatures low enough to prevent damaging the catalytic converter. Though you can find a reliable catalytic converter scrap center to recycle a spent converter, that move should be a last resort.
Pay Attention to Dash Lights and Gauges
You are probably amazed at how often your customers ignore flashing lights and rising dials on the dash. Educate them on the signs of engine malfunctions and the meaning of these warning gauges. Stress that an excessively hot-running engine will not only destroy itself, but it can take the catalytic converter down with it.
Skip the Silicone
Over the years. silicone has proven to be an excellent leak sealant. You likely have used it in a number of auto applications. You may not be aware that this compound gives off caustic gasses when heated, which can damage both the engine and emission-control parts. Avoid using it in any hot engine areas, and pass this information along to customers who like to perform some of their own car repairs.
Watch the Exhaust
Have your customers look at the tailpipe of a well-running, warmed-up car. They should note that nothing visible comes out, unless the day is cold, where they will see vapors. Black or blue smoke from their own car, by comparison, will clog up the catalytic converter; they need to know to bring the car in for service at that point.
Preventative maintenance will keep your customers’ cars running efficiently and save them money by reducing the chances of costly repairs. By educating your new customers on how to care for expensive, crucial emission parts, you can convert them into lifelong consumers.