Auto repair

Shortages plague busy auto repair shops

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — With limited supply and skyrocketing prices for new and used vehicles, some drivers are choosing to have their car repaired rather than replaced.

“We’re definitely fixing cars that we never would’ve fixed before and it’s not a safety issue or that, it’s completely a dollar amount,” Steve Sawicki, the owner of CARSTAR Cascade Bearingnoted.

After an accident, a vehicle is considered destroyed or a total loss if the insurance company deems it not worth repairing. But given the limited supply of new and used vehicles, Sawicki said the average market value of a car has skyrocketed.

“You’ll typically go to 70% of the value of the vehicle, so now you’ve increased that value and you can now continue to make repairs to it,” Sawicki said.

To put it simply, coachbuilder Andy Ondrajka said it takes a lot more to total a car today than it did two years ago.

“I just finished doing a Subaru that probably should have totaled, but we ended up putting two quarter panels…and part of the floor in it,” Ondrajka said.

Given the option, Sawicki said some drivers choose to repair instead of replace their vehicle after an accident.

“Trying to find something to replace it, that’s the problem,” Sawicki said. “So they get more for their total loss, but then they try to find another one that’s in the same condition and they struggle.”

He said some customers even bought their vehicle back from the insurance company after it was deemed a total loss.

Anyone bringing in their car for major repairs should expect longer than usual wait times.

“My biggest problem right now is (getting) parts,” Sawicki said.

Supply chain issues affect virtually every automaker. Sawicki said he had countless parts out of stock for months.

In some cases, the repair shop will get creative and temporarily repair a vehicle with old parts or miscellaneous materials.

“We’re sort of stitching up cars to get them back on the road until we have parts,” Ondrajka said. “We have to tie things together until we can get them.”

Sawicki said that as long as the car is safe to drive, they will get it back on the road as soon as possible.

` ) ); // Embed Facebook script (function (d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src=”″; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); // Twitter script integration (function (d, s, id) { var js, tjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.setAttribute(‘async’, ”); js.src=””; tjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, tjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-js’)); } // Simplify some things iframe var iframes = $(‘iframe’); iframes .filter( ‘.responsive’ ) .each( function( _, frame ) { // 16×9 ratio responsive iframes var $frame = $(frame); $( frame ).css({ position: ‘absolute’, top: 0, left: 0, right: 0, width: ‘100%’, height: ‘100%’, }).parent().addClass( ‘wood-responsive-container wood-responsive-container-16×9’ ); } ); var lazyFrames = iframes.filter(‘[data-lazy-src]’); function woodMakeLazyFrame( selector ) { var observer; var options = { root: null, rootMargin: ‘0px’, threshold: 0, }; function handler(inputs, observer) { inputs.forEach(function(input) { var ioR = entry.intersectionRatio; if(ioR > 0) { =; observer.unobserve( input .target); } }); } observer = new IntersectionObserver( handler, options ); observe. observe( selector ); } lazyFrames. each( ( _, frame ) => woodMakeLazyFrame( frame ) ); }); }(jQuery))