Tire Inspections: Have You Invited The Customer to Participate?

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By Ted Ings, Executive Director

A service walk-around should be performed on every vehicle in the service drive.

The customer should be asked to participate, but how do you know when you’re doing it right? When the customer kneels with you during the tire inspection.

It’s a discovery stage where vehicle information is obtained and potential repair order add-ons may be noticed. Some dealers do a decent job on the walk-around while others do it as a formality or, worse yet, not at all.

Have the Customer Inspect Their Tires WITH You

An often-overlooked opportunity exists in the service walkaround. More effective selling, higher customer loyalty, and earned customer trust can all be the result at the tire inspection.

Wondering how that works? It’s quite simple, really. And it has nothing at all to do with the tire itself.

Why the Tire Inspection is So Important

You’ve verified the VIN number and obtained the mileage. You’ve asked the customer to start the engine and turn the wheels all the way to one side. The customer is now out of their car, and you’re beginning your brief vehicle inspection.


As you kneel to take the tread depth measurement, those three things – effective selling, loyalty, and trust – all hinge on one thing. Have you invited the customer to participate in the walk-around?

The tire itself isn’t important, but the inspection is. Your goal is to engage the customer to build trust, and you know you’ve accomplished their buy-in when they crouch alongside you at the tire.

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At the moment the customer joins you at the tire inspection, crouching to check the tread depth and condition, you can be assured of three things:

• They know you care. If you were inclined to blast through the walkaround without their involvement, you wouldn’t have shown you care yet. Instead, you’ve let them know you care with your actions.

• You have their trust. Because you’re showing the customer something indisputable on their car – they see it with their own eyes – you’re establishing your trustworthiness.

• Your odds of earning their business have grown exponentially. They’re engaged, not disinterested. They see the proof for themselves. They trust you. When you make a service or repair recommendation, they’re more inclined to agree quickly.


When you’re performing the service walk-around, you know you’ve succeeded when the customer crouches by the tire with you.

Make it your goal on every vehicle, every time.