DIY Auto Maintenance at the C-Store
C-stores can help customers take the health and well-being of cars into their own hands
The retail petroleum industry was once synonymous with automotive repair, but in the 1970s and 1980s, that began to change. There were a number of reasons for this, but overall, the shift from auto repair to convenience stores allowed gas stations to adapt to changing consumer preferences and remain profitable in a changing market.
That isn’t to say that the ties between car repair and retail petroleum have been severed. For example, many of SSCS’s c-store customers boast thriving mechanical service departments.
However, c-stores have evolved in another way that supports vehicle owners, do-it-yourselfers in particular: they provide many items that help consumers take essential, often overlooked automotive maintenance tasks into their own hands.
Checking your oil level seems fundamental, but there is no shortage of stories about people who overlooked the task and ended up throwing an engine rod as a result. Getting into the habit is essential—you can do it every time you visit the c-store! Check your car’s owner’s manual for the specifics including what oil grade should be used, and then, if you need to buy a few quarts . . . but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Check your tire pressure. Has there ever been a basic car maintenance task more neglected than checking your tire pressure? Yet the effects of low tire pressure are uniformly negative. Insufficient inflation can cause your tires to wear unevenly, reduce your fuel efficiency, and even lead to a blowout. Check your vehicle’s user guide for the proper tire pressure in PSI, and then use the use the air compressor at your local gas station to fill the tires to the recommended pressure (most modern ones have easy-to-read PSI monitors).
Clean Your Windshield. A dirty windshield looks bad and impairs vision. While pumping gas, make sure to take a few minutes to clean your windshield with a squeegee and some windshield cleaner from the gas station. Clean inside and out for maximum visibility.
Check your washer fluid. Having enough washer fluid means clean, clear windshields, an essential for safe driving. Locate the washer fluid reservoir under the hood of your car while you’re shopping or pumping gas. If the level is low, fill it up with washer fluid from the gas station.
Buy car maintenance merchandise. You can find motor oil, windshield wiper fluid, even tire pressure gauges at many of today’s modern convenience stores. You may also be able to find cleaning supplies such as car wash soap, glass cleaner, and microfiber towels. Additionally, some convenience stores may have basic tools such as pliers, screwdrivers, and wrenches. While a convenience store won’t help you with complex repairs, it is a convenient option for the basics.
While we at SSCS are definitely fans of entrepreneurs and their DIY work ethic, we also recognize that there are probably some tasks you’re better off not attempting by yourself. Like writing software for your c-store. And engineering it to work flawlessly with your devices and POS systems. And providing personal and effective training and support on its every aspect. That kind of stuff is better left to experts, like us. Call us at (800) 972-7727 and we’ll show you how we can complement your DIY business instincts with outstanding software and support solutions.