With the rise of the use of anti-locking brake systems in cars, the way vehicle maintainers buy and install brake system parts in the future is bound to change. However, the change will be slow, as cars leave the protection of warranties which cover for longer and longer periods, and enter the group of vehicles which are repaired by professional and shade-tree mechanics. So, for the near future, the 37% of vehicle maintainers who bought ‘brake system parts during the past year still accurately represent brake system buyers and installers.
Those who do at least some maintenance on their own vehicles buy brake system parts in significantly greater percentages than those who do nothing themselves. The average percentage of DIYers who buy these parts runs around 40%, while only 24% of non-DIYers bought brake system parts. There is relatively little difference, however, between light, medium, and dedicated DIYers in terms of what percentage of them bought brake system parts. And the percentage of brake system buyers compared to all vehicle maintainers is the roughly same, e.g., 39% of brake system parts buyers were light DIYers, while 38% of all maintainers said they were light DIYers.
Dedicated DIYers overwhelmingly buy brake system parts, with little attention to brand name, in an auto parts store and then install the parts themselves to save money. A significant quarter appear not to trust professional technician, saying they installed their own parts “to see that the job was done right.” Only 20% said they didn’t know how to install their vehicle’s brake parts.
A third of all medium DIYers bought brake system parts in an auto parts store, a slightly higher percentage than those who also installed them themselves. Among other outlets, the independent garage was the most popular both in terms of where they bought the parts and where they had them installed. Over half of the medium DIYers didn’t install their own parts, they said, because they didn’t know how to.
The pattern for light DIYers was virtually the same as for medium DIYers, with the expected slightly smaller percentages buying the parts at auto parts stores, installing them themselves, specifying a brand, and knowing how to install their own parts.
Among non-DIYers, almost a quarter went to a specialty installer, such as Midas. And, almost three quarters said they didn’t do the job because they didn’t know how to.
So, in selling brake parts, it would appear to take no special effort to reach the dedicated DIYer: Just tell him that you’ve got the parts for his vehicle at a price that will save him money compared to professional installation. For all other maintainers, the effort should be at reaching the independent garage with a full line and technical information.