'It could get worse': Supply chain shortages impacting local auto repair shops

Posted at 3:34 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 19:23:40-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Business is still brisk at Auto Tech. The Lexington vehicle repair and service shop near Whitaker Bank Ball Park had several customers waiting for their service work to be completed. Many others were scheduled to pick up their cars later in the day. But business has been somewhat slowed by supply chain issues.

“We’ve seen shortages entirely across the board in auto parts, especially brake parts,” said Ed Tackett with Auto Tech.

Tackett, and Auto Tech’s owner, Robert Lindsey, said the wait time for many parts to arrive is up to a week, if not longer. And though it’s no fault of Auto Tech’s, or other businesses like it, it adds to customer frustration.

“Absolutely,” Tackett said when asked if it’s becoming difficult to keep customers happy and their vehicles running safely and smoothly.

Lindsey says the auto sales business is also adding to the problems at repair shops. Used car inventory is very low, and new cars aren’t rolling out as quickly due to supply chain issues, so people are hanging on to their vehicles more than ever.

“It’s a known entity to you,” Lindsey said of your own vehicle. “Even if it has 100,000 or 200,000 miles, we see that all the time,” he continued.

That’s not a bad thing, but it does increase the need for more repair work. And that’s where we’re running into problems.

“Things (parts) are scarce to a degree now, but it could get worse. So if you want to get your vehicle back to its best possible condition, it’s best to do it now,” Lindsey said.

But if you have to wait for parts and don’t have the luxury of not using your vehicle while waiting, it could create hazardous situations on the roads.

“Can’t drive with faulty parts without certain risk, but people have to get to and from,” Tackett said.

It’s a problem that will persist, and while it is somewhat manageable now, it might be harder to cope with soon.

“It seems to take longer every week, and I can see in the future, if it continues down that road without an abatement, it will get bad,” Lindsey said.

Tackett said it’s already as bad as he’s ever seen it, and he’s been around the business for 35 years.