Service and oil change data is by many considered as the most valuable parameters of telematics data. And you can understand why since this gives you as a Service Advisor an excellent opportunity to engage with the customer and increase the customer retention with your workshop.
At the same time, service and oil change data is by far the most complicated parameter to handle because:
- Every vehicle is unique since it is composed of a lot of different computers (ECUs) that all speak a different language. It requires extensive insight into the CAN bus communication protocol in order to extract the data in a sensible way
- Not all vehicles are designed in a way that allows us to extract the information that is shown to the driver
- The factory has not standardized the service interval rules across all vehicles and they have changed them over time
The good thing is, that we have some of the worlds brightest heads working together to engineer a solution that handles these many unique cases in a scalable way. 🚀
What data is extracted?
From Volkswagen Group vehicles, around 22 different service and oil change parameters are extracted and depending on availability, they are converted into 4 data points which are shown to the workshop and the customers:
- Km to next oil change
- Days to next oil change
- Km to next service
- Days to next service
These 4 data points reflects what is shown in the vehicle. For older vehicles (≤ 2013) only oil change data is shown in the vehicle and therefore also in our system.
What service intervals do the vehicles use?
In general there's two modes of interval: Variable or fixed.
Variable oil change
Most vehicles are born with variable oil change, which means that depending on your driving style (short trips, cold starts, harsh acceleration etc.) the km to next oil change will drop faster than the actual number of km you drive. Certain driving styles simply messes up the oil quality and therefore needs more often changes.
This is calculated in the vehicle computer and not easily accessible.
Fixed oil change and service
If the vehicle is older it changes to fixed oil change, typically every 15.000 km or 1 year. Some smaller vehicles apply this interval from birth, e.g. VW Up!, SKODA Citigo and SEAT Mii, this is also applicable on some hybrids, like the GTE´s, and also if the customer or fleet owner have chosen to have the vehicle reprogrammed to fixed interval.
Commercial vehicles typically have a longer interval, e.g. Crafter has 50.000 km or 4 years.
These intervals are different across all models and years, see exception below.
Automatic service reminders
A key component in improving customer loyalty is our automatic service reminders.
In order to understand when such a reminder is sent out we need to introduce what we call "Predicted dates".
In order to make sure that everyone gets a reminder in due time, we estimate how many km each vehicle drives across a 14 day period. With that information, we easily calculate or predict a date in the future where the service and oil change data would hit 0. Whatever date is the nearest decides what the vehicle is being called in for.
- The first service reminder is sent out 30 days before this predicted date.
- The second reminder around 14 days before, and
- The third reminder is sent at 0 days meaning the vehicle is overdue.
By taking km into account, we make sure that all customers get a reminder 30 days before even if they drive 500 km per day. That way, there's no excuse for not booking time early and workshops with 3 weeks of waiting time also stand a chance.
Exceptions to the rules
Of course there's no rule without exception. This is true for service and oil change data as well. Here is a list:
- All VAG vehicles model year 2013 and earlier only sends the oil change interval, and not the remaining km/days to next oil change. The only consequence is, that there might be even fewer km to next oil change than what the data shows which is an even better excuse to take care of it.
We show the following in that case:
The variable interval changes to fixed interval if the service is reset manually in the cockpit, or might be changed if a non-original tester is used to perform the reset.
Data quality control
In order to make sure that you decision making is based on accurate data, we have several control measures:
- We only show relevant information. If a car can't or shouldn't send service data, we tell you
- Every car is in a quarantine once added to the platform, before we can calculate service and oil change dates (I. e. must have at least 1000 km on the odometer and have been on the platform for at least 7 days)
- We have around 300 different data quality checks that flags data as Invalid if it behaves irregularly, e.g. jumping 10.000 km up and down
- We flag if data is outdated meaning that we received other data points but not service data as expected
If you have any further questions, please write our support team by clicking the headset and using the chat that pops open in the lower right hand corner or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.