SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Scheduling appointments weeks or even months ahead as supply-chain issues globally are making mechanics busier than ever.
“Smart Buy Tire. Can you hold please,” Doug Smart, the owner of Smart Buy Tire said?
It’s been a constant sound at Smart’s shop for weeks.
“I mean it’s ‘ring ring ring ring,'” Smart said.
And drivers like G.E. Holland are noticing.
“Oh I used to be able to call Doug and say I’ve got something going on with one of my vehicles,” Holland said. “He would say ‘bring it on in we’ll take a look at it.’ Now he says ‘ehhh don’t have anything open this week, I can get you in next week.'”
Instead of looking into other options, he stays patient with his older car.
“You don’t know what the economy is going to do, and I don’t want a lot of bills over my head,” Holland said.
Tommy Mason acts the same way.
“I got an old truck, and I just keep them going,” Mason said. “And the only way you can do that is when something happens, take it to the shop. Get it done.”
While drivers are trying to keep their cars in tip-top shape, repair shops, like Smart’s shop, say they’re actually having trouble getting parts in.
“I have a supplier and I’ve asked several times on certain things,” Smart said. “They’ve been on orders since last year, July.”
Smart says his family-owned business has a disadvantage when waiting for tires.
“We’re seeing a lot of our tires being distributed to more main hub-style warehouses in bigger cities and trickle down to us, which we can get. It may take a day or two,” Smart said.
It’s yet another challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want to try to get everybody in as quick as we can,” Smart said. “So, just be patient with people out there, as far as your other shops out there because these guys are working really hard. It’s been hot out. They’re trying to get everybody’s car’s fixed.
Smart says used car prices are skyrocketing and some drivers are now opting to sell their car instead of trading it in.