KANSAS CITY, Mo. – If you need something repaired or serviced on your car, expect to wait.
The supply chain crisis is fueling problems for auto repair shops and they cannot keep up with demand.
KC Complete Auto Service is one such store. Staff at the Main Street location are busy answering non-stop calls from people looking to get their car serviced.
“Their car is broken down and they need it fixed,” store manager Jessica Warren said. “The last thing they want to hear is that you can’t get their parts and you don’t have enough staff to work on their car.”
Warren said small jobs like brakes and suspension work now take days to fix.
Vendors are constantly running out of parts, which drives up the price you pay over the counter.
“Right now, a typical brake job for a passenger vehicle now costs between $400 and $485,” Warren said.
The store’s parking lot is currently filled with cars that need to be serviced, but COVID-19 is eliminating the store’s workforce.
Employees have to work overtime and longer days just to stay afloat.
“There aren’t enough people who want to work like this, so I’m constantly training new people,” Warren explained.
The winter weather doesn’t help either. Warren says that during extreme temperatures, more cars run into problems.
“It causes a lot of accidents, which we wouldn’t wish on anyone, but it does damage vehicles, and those need to be repaired,” Warren said.
KC Complete Auto Service said parts for Hyundai and Kia are harder to find compared to other manufacturers.
To make ends meet, some customers are turning to salvage yards for parts, but Warren says that opens the door to other problems.
People also try to sell their cars. Due to the shortage, they will be able to get more money but will have more difficulty finding a replacement vehicle.
KC Complete Auto Service’s advice is to take care of your car, monitor your fluids and tire pressure, and track your battery maintenance, especially in freezing weather.
“They’re upset and they don’t know what to do,” Warren said of customers seeking help. “They have this idea in mind, that they can go somewhere else, you have people trying to rig their cars, it’s not safe and you have people driving dangerous vehicles.”
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