If you want to run a successful limo business, you have to make certain your fleet is properly maintained. Just like with any other car, taking your limousines in to the shop is crucial for reliable driving. After all, what kind of impression will you make if one of your vehicles breaks down and needs to be pulled over with clients in the back seat? Avoid the embarrassment and potential loss of business by keeping your fleet in top shape. Here are seven routine maintenance services you can't avoid:
1. Changing the tires
Because your business solely relies on driving clients around, you need to make sure your tires are always in great shape. Typically, you can wait about 80,000 miles to change limo tires, but there are a number of contributing factors that could lead you to need new tires sooner, according to Limousine, Chart and Tour magazine. Those include road temperature, driving patterns, load factors, tire inflation and poor road condition. Be mindful of the obstacles your limousines are going through and take them into the shop for an inspection every 50,000 miles just to be safe.
2. Replacing the battery
Your drivers might find themselves stranded on the side of the road if you don't replace the batteries in your vehicles. Because batteries wear down regardless of use, Angie's List said it's crucial to replace them every three to six years. And don't overlook this maintenance task – it often won't give your driver a sign that it's about to die, according to what shop owner Lynn Beckwith told Angie's List.
"These days, most batteries don't give you much or any warning before they fail," she said. "They work one day and don't the next."
3. Getting the oil changed
Much like replacing the tires and battery, getting the oil changed in your limousines on a regular basis is crucial. It's typically the same as taking care of your own car, as Royale Limo's Scheduled Maintenance Guide suggested changing the oil at 7,500 miles or every six months, depending on which occurs first. Proper oil maintenance will ensure your engine works its best, improving the fuel economy and protecting the hardware against wear and tear.
4. Checking the belts and hoses
While it's a maintenance service that's often overlooked, checking on your limos' belts and hoses is necessary. After all, they are the mechanisms that help your vehicles operate on a daily basis, especially the engine and cooling system. MotorWeek recommended replacing the belts and hoses every 75,000 miles or five years, depending on whichever milestone comes first. If you neglect to repair and replace these parts, you could find yourself replacing the engine or limo completely.
"A compromised coolant circulation system could leave your drivers stranded."
5. Check the engine coolant
If your engine coolant is leaking, a number of things could go wrong. According to LCT magazine, coolant circulates through the engine and is carried back to the radiator to cool off and circulate again. If this system is compromised, it could stop the power steering, alternator, water pump and air-conditioner compressor from working properly. Ultimately, this could leave your drivers stranded on the side of the road or your passengers feeling uncomfortable in extreme temperatures.
6. Keeping the interior clean
This one's a no-brainer, but it's worth the mention. If you don't pay attention to the way your drivers are taking care of the cabin, there's a chance you won't be getting much return business – especially if the limo's interior is a disaster. Your entire fleet deserves detailing every few days, or once a week at the very least. And that's not just vacuuming and dusting – steaming the carpet and polishing the leather makes a great finishing touch that's likely to bring your customers back for more service.
7. Washing the exterior
What kind of impression will your fleet make on your business if the vehicles arrive on the job covered in dirt and grime? Taking care of the outside of each limo is just as crucial as cleaning up the interior. By scheduling a routine wash, wax and rust proofing for each one of your limousines, you can extend the life of the body and improve the overall appearance. Depending on the weather, your limos should receive a thorough wash at least once a week.
Providing your drivers with a well-maintained, working fleet is essential for running your limo business. Be sure you're always keeping up with these routine services for success.