Tuesday, 13 July 2021 16:19

Ozarks Auto Shops Seeing Uptick in Customers Amid Increased Travel and Car Part Shortages

Written by Michael Van Schoik, KY3 News


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If you have needed work done on your car recently, you may have noticed some delays.

Auto shops across the Ozarks in Missouri say they are noticing a boom in business. Shops say this time of year is always busy, but there are a couple additional things they are having to deal with.


Those factors include a lack of new vehicles, part shortages and increased travel. An uptick in customers these days comes right along with a rise in travel, something repair shops say has an impact.


"There’s definitely a fear of flying and a fear of traveling to other places, so a lot of people are doing what we like to call ‘stay-cations’ or smaller weekend trips locally,” said Tim Fess, Rick’s Automotive general manager.


Shops are seeing the usual wear and tear a bit more, especially after a year where many did not travel all that much.


"The fact of the matter is, we get busy,” Fess said. “A lot of people are going out of town. A lot of people are using their vehicles more so than they did in the last six to eight months. And therefore some of the maintenance that hasn’t been done, we are kind of playing catch up in some ways.”


In some cases you could be in the shop in just a few days; other cases, it could be a week or two depending on the job. Parts shortages are a big issue these days, which is why Rick’s Automotive has stocked up on items like tires. The business also services emergency vehicles, which is why Fess said having spare parts is also a priority.


One of the biggest hot ticket items these days is catalytic converters, partly because there has been such an uptick in demand for them. Fess said that could possibly be connected to recent thefts.


"The materials in catalytic converters are quite valuable,” he said. “Fact of the matter is...

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