Another six weeks of winter are coming, according to the least official weather predictor in the nation. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Tuesday, and that lore says that winter is going to stick around for another month and a half. The massive, majestic rodent might not indicate that Spring is around the corner, but nonetheless, dealership service departments should be preparing for Spring repairs and servicing. 

The timing for certain repairs and services tends to be seasonal, according to a YourMechanic study from 2018. As well, some drivers avoid taking their cars out on the roads until the Spring season arrives. And for dealers, some services are well-timed for just before summer is here.

These three areas can be excellent opportunities for social media campaigns to draw attention to the dealership’s services and offers insight into how best to interact with some car owners.

Common Spring repairs

The data from YourMechanic, a mobile auto service and repair provider, found that a handful of services skewed more toward repairs completed in the Springtime. 45% of window motors and regulators are replaced after the snow melts or the weather turns more pleasant, and 43% of timing chain repairs are completed during that time also. 

serviceAlso noteworthy is the tendency for wheel speed sensor repairs (36%), brake and suspension inspections (35%), and trunk latch repairs (35%) in the Spring, more heavily weighted during this season than any other.

Knowing that certain repairs tend to come in during a specific season can help dealers in two ways. First, it offers an opportunity to stock up on parts for common repairs, mitigating the number of customers who need to return for a repair after parts are ordered in. Secondly, it affords time in advance to tailor social media messaging campaigns or targeted offers. Timing chains, for example, are a high-ticket repair that dealers don’t want to miss out on whether retail or under warranty, and having the parts on hand ensures they capture that revenue.

Related: 5 simple ways to improve customer retention and satisfaction

Hesitant drivers emerge

For drivers who haven’t been out on the roads for weeks or months except in pressing circumstances, the first step is often to have their vehicle serviced. Oil changes are the common request, but questions of rusted brakes and squeaky suspension are prevalent, as any service advisor will attest to. Unfortunately for these car owners, replacing pitted rotors will tend to be a yearly endeavor. Education regarding the effects on a parked vehicle can help with the frustration these drivers feel over a yearly bill. 

Batteries often end up on the docket for seldom-driven cars too. Consider proactively selling and installing trickle chargers targeted to customers who park their cars for the winter months.

Pre-Summer services

Of course, the Summer months are often the ones with the most miles accumulated. Preparing customer cars for traveling can involve common services like wheel alignment and fluid changes, plus multipoint inspections remain the best way to discover issues and increase dollars per repair order. During the MPI, ensure air conditioning inspections are performed, especially on cars three years of age or older, to proactively detect issues that can frustrate drivers just weeks after they’ve been in for service. 

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