Omaha car mechanics low on parts due to summer storms, supply chain crisis

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 5:46 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Another snag in the global supply chain crisis is impacting car dealerships and local mechanics, including those in the Omaha area.

Between this summer’s damaging storms and the supply chain issues, repair shops may not have all the parts they need to fix your car.

“Our domestics have had ups and downs the last few months as far as being able to get us parts or not get us parts.,” says Dirk Roeder, manager at Great Plains Auto Body at 42nd and Leavenworth streets.

“Cars can be here for a week’s repair normally but can take up to two months to repair because we don’t have the correct part here.”

For the last several months, working in the auto industry has been nothing short of frustrating.

“Sometimes we have to put the customer on hold and bring them in later once we know we have the parts in stock,” Roeder says.

However, Roeder says there are some short-term solutions while they wait.

“If we can make the vehicle drivable, it may not be perfect in sight because it’s an outside part, but if it’s mechanically sound and safe, we try to do that for them so they can come back at a later time and have those parts put in on them,” he says.

But not everyone is so lucky.

“Some of our foreign and Asian cars are giving us some issues as far as cars have been here for a couple months and we can’t get safety items like an airbag, so we cannot let that vehicle go technically since it would not be safe to drive even though technically it would be sound,” says Roeder.

For those customers who deal with this, it can leave them carless for weeks and cause a slew of other issues.

“Some customers are running out of what’s called rental coverage on their policies because a lot of them are only about 28 to 30 days and thus, two months...thus they have to start paying for their own rental car,” Roeder says.

His shop tries to get safe and certified used or aftermarket parts when they can and when different policies and customers allow them to.

But others may just need to be patient.

“Everything’s affecting us. Thank God we’ve not had a big hailstorm in this area, otherwise it’d be really bad.”

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