A transmission repair business offers a specialist service within the general automotive repair sector. While transmissions are now extremely reliable, the complexity of modern systems makes transmission repair a growth business, according to Highbeam Business. To start a business, you need suitable premises to inspect and repair vehicles, and a team with the skills to diagnose and repair complex components.
Set Up a Repair Shop
To carry out transmission repairs, you need a building that has the space to accommodate several vehicles and an area for inspecting and working on transmissions. An inspection pit or a lift is essential for technicians working under vehicles, so an existing automotive workshop may be the most suitable choice. Depending on your initial demand forecasts, choose a building that has a number of bays for parking vehicles at different stages of repair, as well as storage for parts and equipment and a small office area.
Equip the Shop
At the start of your business, you can reduce costs by buying second-hand equipment. You will need lifting equipment to remove engines and transmission components, plus specialist tools and diagnostic equipment to work on transmission electronics. Supply technicians with system information from manufacturers’ data sheets and workshop manuals. Build initial stocks of common replacement parts and lubricants. Identify distributors that can supply manufacturers’ replacement parts or quality aftermarket components.
Build a Skilled Team
Skilled technicians are a key factor in running a successful automotive repair business. Hire technicians with qualifications and experience in diagnosing manual and automatic transmission systems. The technicians should have qualifications from an organization such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. As well as technicians, you will also need administrative staff to buy and manage a parts inventory, take bookings, work with customers and manage estimating and invoicing. An experienced parts or service manager would be suitable for that role.
Develop a Service Menu
Depending on the skills of your technicians, you can offer a range of services, including repair or replacement of clutches, manual and automatic transmissions, differentials, driveshafts, drive axles, and transfer cases. You can also offer scheduled servicing of transmission components, such as fluid level checks, adjustments and system health checks. For customers who cannot drive their vehicles as a result of transmission failure, offer a breakdown recovery service.
Promote Your Business
To build a customer base, promote your business to vehicle owners and to service workshops that do not have the skills or facilities to handle transmission repairs. The Denver Business Journal reported that a local transmission repair shop earned around half its revenue from repairs for other shops. You can enhance the credentials of your business by joining an industry association such as the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association.
- Western Washington University: Auto Repair Shops -- Industry Snapshot
- National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence: Auto Maintenance and Light Repair Certification Test
- Denver Business Journal: Transmission Repair Shop Gears Up for More Business
- Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association: Why Pick An ATRA Shop
Based in the United Kingdom, Ian Linton has been a professional writer since 1990. His articles on marketing, technology and distance running have appeared in magazines such as “Marketing” and “Runner's World.” Linton has also authored more than 20 published books and is a copywriter for global companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from Bristol University.