Auto repair

Amid persistent COVID issues, auto repair shops expect typical increase in winter activity

As the area has seen quite a bit of snow lately, auto repair shops have been busier than ever.

However, like many industries, repair shops face product shortages and increased wait time for their items to arrive.

The state saw a lot of snow over the holiday weekend and Jerome Collision Center owner Jay Lundeen says this time of year means more vehicles need repairs.

“It’s usually our busiest time of the year,” he said.

It’s no different at Rod’s Quality Collision Center.

“When winter rolls around it’s the snags, the deer, and yes that’s an increase in customer volume for sure,” Rod Hanna said.

Supply chain issues also affected the workload, with parts not arriving at all, or other issues.

“It’s definitely become a big deal in the industry,” Hanna said. “The parts aren’t displaying correctly, the wrong car part in the box, all kinds of things are happening with the parts.”

Hanna and Lundeen both add that parts issues can affect the speed of repairs for days or sometimes even weeks.

“It’s a challenge to get parts for the cars,” Lundeen said. “We’ve been fortunate to be able to support 95% of our customers, but there are parts that we just can’t get and it’s frustrating. “

Another thing that is impacted by the supply chain – the paint.

“I was told that at the beginning of January, somewhere in the beginning of January, my products like paint, paint supplies, were going to increase by 25%.”

Hanna says he expects the cost of other repair items to rise and he may even have to increase the rates customers pay.

“Unfortunately, the consumer takes the hit. COVID has not been good for anyone, ”Hanna said.

As always, in order to limit the risks, drivers are reminded to drive slowly and to leave sufficient space between their vehicle and the one in front.