Mechanics in the Ozarks see rise in demand for repairs & delays in the supply chain

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 4:39 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - If your car needs a repair, you might see some delays in making an appointment with your mechanic. This comes as supply chain issues continue to impact businesses across the country.

Rick’s Automotive in Springfield started stocking up on parts expecting to see those delays. However, fleet service manager Micah Blake says parts are taking longer to get in stock.

“We try to give the options out and try to work with their schedule as best as possible to get them back in to get things put on whether it’s tires or brakes or alternator or a belt or something like that,” Blake says.

Blake says alternators and brakes have been harder to find, creating backorders. It most likely won’t make a huge impact on customers’ bills, but parts are getting more expensive.

If you need a repair, Blake recommends calling ahead of time and explaining the issue. That allows them to diagnose the problem ahead of time, check availability, and schedule you accordingly.

“We can call you whenever the part arrives and then get the part installed, replace it, and get the car right back to you. There are things that we can do to kind of help simplify it for the customer,” Blake says.

Customer Ann Eimer did that, making the appointment last week to get her husband’s car repaired.

“They did some diagnostic over the phone first to find out what it was to make sure they had everything in,” Eimer says.

Because of that, Eimer’s car was able to be repaired and returned to the same day as her appointment.

“I can’t imagine not having a vehicle,” Eimer says. “It’s an inconvenience if you live in town but if you live out of town you’re literally stuck. We’re in that situation which is why we try and coordinate everything so it’s in the shop as short of time as possible.”

There’s also been an increased demand for cars to be repaired.

Blake says that’s partly because people are keeping their cars longer than usual.

“There are no new vehicles,” Blake says. “There’s a short supply for those as well so they don’t have a huge option to just go out and buy something. The prices on used vehicles have gone up so much to where it’s cheaper to keep your old ones.”

Customers can expect to wait about a week before they’re able to get in and get those repairs done.

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