Starting a Mobile Oil Change Service

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  • michaelgarbermichaelgarber subscriber Posts: 0
    Thanks for the replies guys! I really appreciate it! What I meant on does anyone have suggesions on "scheduling" I mean say for example you are servicing a 40 mile radius from your house. It obviously isn`t feasible to drive 40 miles from your home to service one vehicle, then another 40 for another, etc, etc. Do you try and be in certain areas on certain days of the weeks so potential customers know when to expect you??
     
    Also, I was wanting to start out trying to get in with businesses like outlet malls, government buildings, etc. Have you all had any experience trying to get permission to work in parking lots?? How about parking lots such as Wal-Mart, Target, Macy`s, etc.?? Do you ever run into problems with security for using their parking lots or do you always have to okay it with the manager first??
     
    Sean,
    You said you have set up in parking lots to receive business. You haven`t had very good luck with this to at least start a client base?
     
    Thanks again guys!
     
    Mike
  • michaelgarbermichaelgarber subscriber Posts: 0
    I had another question. Does anyone know where to get the catalogs that have what oil filters, air filters and how much oil capacity is required for certain kinds of vehicles??
  • jithieljithiel subscriber Posts: 0
    Do you know of anyone who has purchased a sage oil vac system or a lube and go system  with pumps and do you have any recommendations on which system is the best? Which would be best an open trailor or an enclosed trailor?
    [/QUOTEjithiel]Tell me what seem to work best when it come to serving the same customer over again? Is it the same as the lube shop?Do u just put a reminder in the window and wait for a phone call?How can u tell when they have gone 3000 miles or do u just call every two or three months? Thanks.
     
    jithiel3/31/2009 12:06 AM
  • OilgutOilgut subscriber Posts: 0

    Thanks for the replies guys! I really appreciate it! What I meant on does anyone have suggesions on "scheduling" I mean say for example you are servicing a 40 mile radius from your house. It obviously isn`t feasible to drive 40 miles from your home to service one vehicle, then another 40 for another, etc, etc. Do you try and be in certain areas on certain days of the weeks so potential customers know when to expect you?? Also, I was wanting to start out trying to get in with businesses like outlet malls, government buildings, etc. Have you all had any experience trying to get permission to work in parking lots?? How about parking lots such as Wal-Mart, Target, Macy`s, etc.?? Do you ever run into problems with security for using their parking lots or do you always have to okay it with the manager first?? Sean,You said you have set up in parking lots to receive business. You haven`t had very good luck with this to at least start a client base?  Thanks again guys! Mike

    Hey Mike...
    For Scheduling... Here is how I do it >> I have a 11 county contract for the State Highway dept so I am headed out in one direction or another to start out my day... Then I design my schedule so that I am picking up appointments between them on the way there and on the way back (making sure to explain to them that I am on a "VERY" tight schedule and I don`t have time to wait or talk)
    When I get back to town I start on the side that I enter on and make a route to pick up anyone that has called in from the previous day or earlier that day on the way back to the warehouse... If I get a call that is out of the way that day but will fit sometime the next couple of days I just stick them in that days route and let them know I will call them if anything changes... Everything stays pretty fluid throughout the day but I make sure that I have everyones phone # so that I can stay in touch if I fall behind or I am running ahead of schedule...
    One thing to keep in mind is that oil changes are not emergencies >> They can wait until tomorrow.... It is not like a flat tire .... Most people you schedule will be at work today... tomorrow... and the next day... so scheduling them shouldn`t be to big of a deal....
    As for getting permission...
    Honestly... I have never really asked for permission to operate anywhere but I try to stay invisible and unobtrusive.. I don`t block traffic... I set up as far as possible from any traffic flow and I try to get finished and move on as quickly as possible.
    Security usually stops by to see what is going on and then sits and talks about your business concept and how they thought about doing the same thing years ago and didn`t.... They usually end up being a client also unless they do it them selves. If you stop by to talk with the manager to ask permission... It always seems like a big scary possibly disasterous situation having you running around pulling oil drain plugs in their parking lot >> But if they see you doing business in a professional manner and talk to you while you are at work and they see a nice clean... professional operation >> It ins`t as scary for them any more... Just a thought.
    You asked about Filter books... Your supplier will give you all the books you need... I like to have the supplier on speed dail so you can call in to see what is needed and order it at the same time in most cases... Capasity is going to come to you... The supplier will have a real stupid look if you ask them how many quarts a Toyota Prius holds...  Just take it easy and check the dipstick... You will pick it up as you go >> Just be cool about it and don`t react if you have a "situation"... If you over fill >> Just simply pull the plug... drain a bit out and check it again...
    This really is a very simple business as far as businesses go... Drain bolt and a filter... Refill and collect a check... that is all.
    OG
  • OilgutOilgut subscriber Posts: 0


    Tell me what seem to work best when it come to serving the same customer over again? Is it the same as the lube shop?Do u just put a reminder in the window and wait for a phone call?How can u tell when they have gone 3000 miles or do u just call every two or three months? Thanks.

    NO!!!!
    Don`t do business that way they do.... Or you will go broke...
    Yes you put a window sticker as a reminder... But I find most people only call when they run out of washer fluid and oh... by the way... I need an oil change also!! LOL
    Don`t wait for them to call you >> Call them after about 3 months and schedule their next change... They will let you know if it is ready yet or not .... Most of the time if they are not ready they will tell you to call back in 2 weeks... or a month >> But they will ask you to call them back!
    After you have serviced their vehicle 2 times >> It will give you a time table to call them for their next service... get a data base program that has a built in scheduler (I like "Time & Chaos" but you can find one that suits your needs) so you can flag clients to pop up when you need to call them >> Then actually CALL them! This is a part of your service that you can NOT afford to skip unless you are looking for a slow painful death.... This is also where you pick up referrals... How??
    "Hello Bob, This is Jack with Jacks Mobile Oil change service... I was calling to schedule your next oil change in the Yukon... I have spots open Tuesday morning or Thursday morning... which will be better for you?? IS there anyone else at the office that might need our service while we are going to be there Tuesday? Great! Pass the word that I will be there at 10:00... I will call if anything comes up! Thank you Bob!"
    Bob will never again look for a place to service his car besides you! You have taken that worry away and he does not want it back >> Dealerships can offer him FREE service and he will turn them down because that is one thing that he has already taken care of thanks to YOU!
    OG
  • shoemakerspshoemakersp subscriber Posts: 0
    On the filters,
     
    I have the check chart disc and use it when I have know what I am going to be servicing ahead of time, have a conflict in books, or need deeper info like oil change reminder lights or light bulbs.
     
    Day to day I use the books that my suppliers gave me. If you sit down with them, especially at their office, they will start handing you all kinds of stuff. If you don`t feel like you are in the driver`s seat when talking to the supplier, try to find another. My town has 100-200k people depending on your radius and I have four suppliers to choose from. Just indicating to one that I had talked to the other got the flood gates open. Let them compete for your business.
     
    I am just now looking to have bulk tanks installed and both of the ones I use have offered to give me one of their tanks, saving me a few hundred dollars. They have also thrown in hand pumps and a ton of books. When you start adding up all of the junk you buy from them you will see why. Also try to find one that can serve you "cradle to grave." Most here will also pick up your used oil and credit your account.
     
    If you know anyone at a dealership or service station just ask what they do. I have found a great resource is local mechanics. If you start the relationship right and find the right shop you could set up a very beneficial relationship. Many break even on oil changes and do them so that they keep their customers coming back for the big stuff. A shop that is paying an ASE cert. mechanic that is capable of rebuilding the space shuttle does not like paying him to, "Drain bolt and a filter... Refill and collect a (small) check," as Oilguy says. You may be able to set up a cross referral system as you don`t want to do the work he specializes in either.
    -shoe
  • TurkTurk subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi Everyone...
    I am in the UK,trying to start a mobile oil business which is non-existant here at present!
    I have been a self-taught  car mechanic for 30 years but never a professional one yet  have done most things on a car ,including taking engines out,modifying them and putting them back..on my own and without the help of a winch either!-no I am not the next Herculese but
    know about using leverage!
    Anyway,I  have been very impressed and pleasantly surprised by the honest and keen advice given by the wonderful people here on this forum and would like to post ideas as well as questions whenever  possible and the first q is already here;
    Why,instead of spending a lot of money on machinised equipment to start this oil change business,don`t you people use basic tools; a jack,a couple of stands,a set of steel car ramps and the ususal handtools to undo the sump bolt,and filter wrench???After all a long as you have an industrial size oil collection tray,there won`t be any spillages,the oil will drain a lot better and not be left much of it in the sump,and within 20 mins tops you are done!
    I find the whole discussion to be far too complicated  and expensive to implement using all sorts of gadgets that surely one doesn`t need for a simple oil and filter change.
    Instead , I want to simplify the matter by the" old fashioned-way" of simple elbow-grease!
    Please revert with all your thoughts as one needs it all to have a healthy and viable business. 
     
    once again,thank you all for a wonderful forum.
    Turk.
  • shoemakerspshoemakersp subscriber Posts: 0
    Turk,
    Nice to have voice from the other side of the pond. Last summer I spent a day with a father and son that own a body shop in Dublin and had a blast talking about European cars.
    I will admit I have some "fancy" equipment, but most of it is for the movement of the oil itself. This can even be economical if you look at the rig that oilguy describes. I use a jack and crawl under the car to drain through the plug (as I believe most of us do). The big advantage is being able to buy and carry oil in bulk. That alone can make up for a cost difference over a few years. As far as the actual oil change, it is an "old-fashioned" oil change with just a few hand tools. I also do tire rotations partly because it is needed and partly because I wanted an excuse to buy and use an impact gun:-).
     
    Please join us over at www.mocog.com. We have a forum all to ourselves now.
    -shoe
    shoemakersp4/3/2009 12:18 AM
  • TurkTurk subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi Shoemakersp,
    tks for yr response..i know who is really on the ball now!!lol..
    i`ll join you over the other forum soon.
    yeaqh,i   m your guy if you need any info on the eu cars-although i do love the 50s gas guzzlers from the good old usa specailly 56 chevy belair-two tone green and white..wow..my father owned a few of these chevies from 56 to 65..good old days..
    anyway see you soon.
    turk. 
  • shoemakerspshoemakersp subscriber Posts: 0
    First I would suggest that you check us out at www.mocog.com. Most of the readers and contributers in this thread have moved over there. I will continue to work on improving the forum so that it serves the industry effectively.
     
    Sounds like you have been thinking it through. I would think that the two businesses you are looking at could co-exist. You stand to introduce your product to more people and I would imagine that most Amsoil users are the type that are willing to talk about a product they like and they may serve you well. I would not expect that many of your mobile oil change customers would choose the Amsoil, they stand to be very satisfied customers. I wonder if you could also offer a "check up" service where you top off fluids, set tire pressure and take an oil sample. This would allow non DIYer`s to feel comfortable with longer drain intervals.
    -shoe
    shoemakersp5/7/2009 5:27 PM
  • vanakenvanaken subscriber Posts: 0
    great its a wonderful idea.my friend has opened mobile oil change service and has succeeded in it and the remaining detail i will ask from my friend and then iwill get back to u as soon as possible
    vanaken
    The lemonade diet recipe 
  • vanakenvanaken subscriber Posts: 0
    great its a wonderful idea.my friend has opened mobile oil change
    service and has succeeded in it and the remaining detail i will ask
    from my friend and then iwill get back to u as soon as possible
    vanaken
    <a href.="http://themastercleanse.org/the-lemonade-diet">The lemonade diet recipe</a>
  • vanakenvanaken subscriber Posts: 0
    great its a wonderful idea.my friend has opened mobile oil change
    service and has succeeded in it and the remaining detail i will ask
    from my friend and then iwill get back to u as soon as possible
    vanaken
    The recipe for the lemonade diet is simple. Lemons, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water
     
    The lemonade diet recipe
  • vanakenvanaken subscriber Posts: 0
    great its a wonderful idea.my friend has opened mobile oil change
    service and has succeeded in it and the remaining detail i will ask
    from my friend and then iwill get back to u as soon as possible
    vanaken
    The recipe for the lemonade diet is simple. Lemons, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water
     
    <a href="http://themastercleanse.org/the-lemonade-diet">The lemonade diet recipe</a>
  • Randall64Randall64 subscriber Posts: 0
     Thanks excellent advice and help. I  am considering starting a mobile oil change service. I could use any advice anyone would be willing to offer.
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