FAQ

  • Frequently Asked Questions



    • What's the best way to learn about the 1-800-Radiator & A/C® franchise business?

      Visit our media center and watch the videos as well as take a few virtual tour. If you would like additional information you can always fill out our rapid request form.

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    • Is this business right for me?

      Owning a successful 1-800-Radiator & A/C® franchise is all about building and sustaining customer relationships. Our model is very simple; we use our buying-power, technology, sales and marketing experience to grow each protected territory. However, our strongest performing franchisees are the ones who actively visit all of their wholesale customers multiple times a year. If you have a background in sales and are comfortable getting out in front of your customers, this is a perfect business for you and can be fun. If you are more of a "back office" kind of person and prefer being inside, this business may not be a good fit.

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    • Do I need automotive experience or knowledge about radiators?

      No. To become a franchisee you do not need any prior knowledge or experience. 1-800-Radiator & A/C has spent millions of dollars developing software around purchasing and marketing support that gives 1-800-Radiator & A/C® franchisees a huge competitive advantage.

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    • What's it like being a 1-800-Radiator & A/C® franchisee?

      It's a lot different than you think! It's all about high quality service and sales. Shops buy from suppliers who deliver a quality part fast. 1-800-Radiator & A/C® has the best suppliers at great pricing. 1-800-Radiator & A/C® has a lifetime warranty. You will be set up with the correct inventory so you will almost always have the exact part for every request. You will have the leading and "state of the art" marketing system in the automotive aftermarket business. Your marketing tools will tell you which shops to contact and what to say to get them buying from you. 1-800-Radiator & A/C® also has a robust internet presence; www.radiator.com sells more radiators on the internet than any other web site. Day in and day out internet sales will happen in your area. Your printer will spring to life and you'll have another radiator to go deliver!

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    • Are the franchise opportunities New Startups?

      Most 1-800-Radiator & A/C® opportunities are not startups. They are existing businesses in need of strong sales and marketing owners who wish to expand. 1-800-Radiator & A/C® is the best known name in radiators and has been selling radiators throughout the United States for over twenty five years. During the past 12 months 1-800-Radiator & A/C® has sold almost 1,000,000 radiators (over $100 million) to 80,000 different automotive shops in nearly every city in the nation. Every new franchise will have many shops that have done business with 1-800-Radiator & A/C®. These shops have been receiving their radiators by UPS or Fed-Ex from a 1-800-Radiator & A/C® distribution center, usually one or two days after they ordered their part.

      The first thing 1-800-Radiator & A/C® does, when a new franchise opens, is send in a "blitz crew" who calls on all the existing customers and tells them the good news that there is now a new location nearby which will be able to deliver their radiators in the same day. This is the main reason why new franchisees experience an immediate boost in sales when they open their new locations. Shops much prefer receiving their radiators the same day they order their parts.

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    • Do I buy my inventory from 1-800-Radiator & A/C®?

      Except for certain co-branded products, which currently include fuel pumps, you do not purchase your inventory from us or our affiliates  - and this is one of the key reasons why 1-800-Radiator & A/C® is such a unique franchise. A new 1-800-Radiator & A/C® franchise will start with $150,000 in inventory which will constitute radiators and a/c condensers. Established locations or franchises that have acquired competition may require a greater inventory amount based on the existing product line carried and established sales. The current 1-800-Radiator & A/C® model does not hinge on making additional money from its franchisees by selling product or materials to them although we have the right to do so. 1-800-Radiator & A/C® has competitive buying power and strong vendor relationships that help us negotiate with the major manufacturers, benefiting our franchisees and allowing us to remain competitively priced.  Inventory purchases must be made through our Network, which handles inventory management, purchasing, customer ordering, pricing, delivery, reporting and accounting.  Our parent will process payments for your inventory purchases through the Network.  With 1-800-Radiator & A/C's® huge buying volume, this makes the franchisees extremely competitive

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    • Who supplies the radiators?

      1-800-Radiator & A/C® works with 40 major manufacturers, some of whom are large public companies. Delphi and Visteon, the original equipment suppliers to GM and Ford, are the two largest suppliers, each with sales in excess of $10 billion. Behr and Nissens supply many of the European parts. Koyo, CSF and Samsung handle most of the Asian parts. Many parts are also sourced from other manufacturers with direct connections to both high quality and low cost countries.

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    • Are there opportunities available to purchase existing corporate locations?

      There are about a dozen available territories left for sale. Contact us today to discuss what areas remain.

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    • Why are radiators being replaced instead of repaired? Is there a strong demand for new radiators?

      Several years ago, most auto makers began installing plastic/aluminum radiators instead of copper/brass. Plastic/aluminum is much more difficult to repair. Labor costs have also risen significantly. Both of these factors have given 1-800-Radiator & A/C® the opportunity to be the leading replacement radiator supplier in the country.

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    • What about Hybrids?

      Hybrids need radiators too. Early hybrids, such as the Prius, have small radiators, but more recently, much larger radiators are appearing in hybrid SUVs, as the car makers are using hybrid technology to gain power in addition to fuel efficiency.

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    • What are the typical hours of operation?

      8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday and 4 to 8 hours on Saturday.  Being available to the customer is a critical component of the franchised system and we specify the hours that must be covered in our Operations Manual.

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    • What size and type of warehouse is needed?

      A significant advantage a 1-800-Radiator & A/C® franchise has over other types of franchises is the minimal real estate risk entailed. In your area there are many locations with 2,500 and 10,000 square feet in industrial areas which would be totally adequate. Depending on the real estate market in your area, 1-800-Radiator & A/C® is usually successful in assisting franchisees in finding rents between fifty cents and one dollar per square foot and the ideal lease term is 2-5 years.

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    • How much inventory is recommended?

      A new 1-800-Radiator & A/C® franchise will start with $150,000 in inventory which will constitute radiators, compressors and a/c condensers. Established locations or franchises that have acquired competition may require a greater inventory amount based on the existing product line carried and established sales.

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    • How many employees are needed to run the business?

      A larger location generally will have 4 to 5 employees (including owner), although some franchisees may choose to have more employees in order to grow their business faster. Larger locations will need more employees. While you may determine best practices and recommendations from existing franchisees directly as well as information provided to us by existing franchisee, ultimately as an independently owned and operated business that licenses the right to use our brand and our operating system, you must make the final decisions regarding the number of employees, hiring and firing practices as well as compensation plans.  We encourage you to seek advice from a local employment law expert as the laws vary state to state.

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    • Is training provided?

      Yes. Typically three weeks of training is provided. One or two weeks are at the corporate headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is followed by more personalized training at your location. You are taught all about how radiators work and why they fail. Most of your training is on how to use 1-800-Radiator & A/C's® marketing systems to grow your business quickly. You are taught how to talk to different types of automotive shops. For example, you will learn that radiators for body shops tend to be for late model cars and radiators for repair shops tend to be for older model cars.

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    • Can I observe a typical operation before I commit my funds?

      Yes - we encourage you to talk to and visit other franchisees as part of your research. There are now franchise locations in mostly every state and we provide to you a list of all franchisees throughout the country and their contact information.  We strongly encourage you to meet with or at least talk to as many franchisees as possible about this franchise opportunity.

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    • How long will it take to become operational?

      Depending on financing and training, it takes at least 60 days after approval of your franchise application, but is usually a 6-12 month process. We will help generate business during your grand opening as we route the calls in your territory directly to you and visit existing and potential buyers during the marketing blitz.

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    • Do new franchisees have access to the database of 1-800-Radiator & A/C® local customers?

      Yes. The current database for the franchisee's territory is made available along with support ideas to effectively market to customers within the territory.

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    • What kinds of computer systems are needed?

      Any typical PC will connect to the main computer at the company's headquarters. Our IT Staff will specify your computer requirements to assure your equipment will match the needs of your business. A broadband connection such as DSL is essential. All operational software used to run the business (excluding accounting functions) is licensed by 1-800-Radiator & A/C® as part of the franchise program.

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    • What kind of sales growth per year can I expect?

      As with any business venture sales can go up or down, depending on a variety of factors. You may obtain specific sales information from our large network of franchisees.  Also our Franchise Disclosure Document contains specific information regarding fees and costs required to become a 1-800 Radiator & A/C® franchisee so that you will have the data you need to make your decision.  We do not prepare business plans or projections, nor can we validate or review any business plan you prepare.  However, if you are purchasing an existing 1-800 Radiator & A/C® business, you may obtain the financial information related to that particular business.  After you become a franchisee we work closely with you to develop a detailed business plan.

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    • Do you offer a secure territory?

      The cities and all geographic area included within the territory will be the franchisee's exclusive territory for all radiators sold by 1-800-Radiator & A/C and neither we nor any other franchisee will sell in the territory subject to certain exceptions contained in the franchise agreement. Territories range in size from 500 to 3,000 auto repair shops.

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    • What kind of marketing support is provided for my local advertising?

      The marketing department is constantly developing new programs for corporate owned and franchise territories. These programs will be available to the franchisee. Local advertising will be comprised of direct mailings, yellow pages advertising, and other special promotions.

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    • What is the royalty and advertising fee?

      8% Royalty and 2% advertising, which includes 0.5% that will be used to assist you with local store marketing in the franchise territory assigned to you. Currently, the remaining 1.5% of the advertising funds are allocated to national marketing such as the Internet and new product development.

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    • How is inventory handled?

      Once a week 1-800-Radiator & A/C's® proprietary "Auto Generator" program scans and compares the in-stock inventory level with the rate of parts moved and automatically places orders with the appropriate vendors. The orders arrive five to seven days later at the warehouse.

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    • How much are shipping costs for inventory?

      Most suppliers provide free shipping with a minimum order of 10 to 25 parts. The Auto Generator automatically maximizes the free shipping parameters.

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    • How are Accounts-Receivable handled?

      Approximately 70% of sales are C.O.D. Creditworthy customers are given 25 day terms, at your discretion. Most credit customers will be local car dealers, large body shops, and parts stores such as Auto Zone and Napa. The 1-800-Radiator & A/C® "Account Collector" helps the franchisee collect on those accounts efficiently. National accounts like Auto Zone and Pep Boys are collected by 1-800-Radiator & A/C® and remitted to you subject to billing and collection fees.

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    • What is the warranty allowance?

      Each supplier has a different warranty policy. The policies range from an allowance of 2% of purchases to a 100% return policy on defective parts. 1-800-Radiator & A/C's® corporate-wide warranty and scrap cost approximates 1.7% of sales.

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    • Does 1-800-Radiator & A/C® have any regional or national market growth analysis?

      Yes. The 1-800-Radiator & A/C® "Customer Relationship Management" (CRM) system has historical growth rates by zip code, city, county, state, region, and customer type.

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    • Does 1-800-Radiator & A/C® offer financing?

      We do not offer financing; however there are a number of resources available to prospective owners seeking this option. A thorough evaluation of a business you are interested in buying is obviously a must. However, if you would like to finance the purchase, you will need to document this evaluation in a business plan.  Our parent company in its sole discretion may finance a portion of the initial costs and fees related to the acquisition of a 1-800 Radiator & A/C® franchise.  If financing is offered by our parent company a security interest will be obtained from you as well as personal guarantees.

      We provide a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), which contains relevant information about us as well as the franchise you would purchase from us We invite you to review our FDD which we will provide to you after you submit an application, including requested financial data. We will look at several factors to determine whether you are qualified to become a franchisee and we do run background and credit checks as part of the process. 

      1-800-Radiator & A/C ® is a data driven company and we will provide market reports in fine detail. Reading the FDD and reviewing our reports are the first steps towards properly evaluating this enterprise.

      In addition to the information contained in the FDD and market data, we have located several resources which have proved very helpful to our current franchisees. The first resource is business software used to create a sound business plan for our existing franchisees. Our franchisees have found success using this kind of software to create comprehensive and professional business plans. It's easy to use and is also very inexpensive.  If you prepare a business plan prior to making your decision to purchase a franchise from us, we encourage you to review it with your financial advisor and other existing franchisees in the system.

      The second financing resource for you may be retirement funds which can be used to start your business without premature distribution penalties or any interest payments. The ERISA Act of 1974 and EGTRRA in 2001, allowed taxpayers the use of 401(k) and IRA monies to fund their own businesses. There are companies who provide financial components that enable small business funding, while fulfilling the requirements to insure full compliance with applicable IRS, ERISA, and Department of Labor code sections and rulings.  Of course you should consult with your own financial advisor to verify all potential sources of financing for the purchase of a 1-800 Radiator franchise and to ensure that you have adequate capitalization during the ramp up periodPlease call the Franchise Sales Team for details and references at 866-780-9392

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    • I'm interested, what are the next steps?

      1. Contact 1-800-Radiator® franchise sales at 1-866-780-9392 or email to FranchiseSales@1800radiator.com
      2. Complete the “Confidential Personal & Financial Statement” form and submit the form and required financial information to 1-800-Radiator®. If available, fax or email your resumes and personal financial statements. Also provide information on the best times to contact you.
      3. A 1-800-Radiator® representative will contact you once we receive your information.
      4. The next step is a phone or in-person interview with a 1-800-Radiator® representative.

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This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for information purposes only. Currently, the following states regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of or want to locate a franchise in one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements in your state.