Auto repair

Global supply chain issues affecting local auto repair shop

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Christian Brothers Automotive on Plainfield Avenue opened a year ago amid the pandemic. Owner Tom MacInnes said the first year was good but difficult. But, over the past three to four months, they have felt the impact of global supply chain issues.

“Your day-to-day supplies: your spark plugs, your oil filters, your air filters, those were pretty easy to come by,” MacInnes said during an interview with FOX 17 on Wednesday. “But, when you get into more exotic, newer cars – control arms, driveshafts, things like that – it can be a challenge. We may end up waiting a while for those.

Three to four weeks to be exact, MacInnes said.

According to Association of Automotive Equipment Manufacturerswhich has an office in Michigan, global supply chain issues are affecting everything from steel to semiconductors, and it’s causing slowdowns at ports in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Seattle and elsewhere.

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“If you come across a more exotic vehicle – something in the Euro category like an Audi or a Mercedes – it can be a bit tricky to get some of the components,” MacInnes said. “Deeper components that fail less frequently are more difficult to penetrate. So if you have a problem that doesn’t show up much, it ends up being a challenge. But, while this is a very common maintenance item, we work hard with all of our various vendors to try to get genuine parts from across the state of Michigan.

MacInnes added that at this time of year they repair vehicles that have been in car crashes due to ice and snow. He therefore recommended that drivers check their brakes, tires and suspension components often, and have the oil changed if necessary.

This will keep vehicles out of repair shops so drivers don’t have to experience supply chain issues firsthand.

However, if help is needed, they are open.

“I think we’ve become pandemic-hardened, haven’t we,” MacInnes said. “We built during the pandemic. We opened during the pandemic and we did our first year during the pandemic. So we get pretty good at finding ways around most situations.

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