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Springtime Supply: Auto maintenance shops see surge in traffic and repairs

London, Ontario — Spring tends to be a busy time for the auto shops—even amid a global pandemic—as drivers switch from Winter to Summer tires. 

However, according to a CBC article some London, Ont., auto shops are beginning to notice an increase in battery issues and brake work, on top of the tire change demand. 

Amid Ontario’s provincewide stay-at-home order and throughout the entirety of the pandemic less automobiles have been hitting the road, which means fewer customers for auto repair shops. 

However, Michael Paris, service manager at the Village Auto repair in London’s Wortley Village, told CBC his shop has been particularly busy this season. He says he is booking clients up to three weeks in advance.

“The biggest challenge for us is because we’re a small shop. Just a big garage with only two technicians, there’s only so much work that we can do each day,” he told CBC, adding that he has had to cap appointments so technicians don’t get stretched to thin.

Despite this increase, he says many clients are in no rush to get their vehicles back because many are working from home. 

However, since many drivers are working remotely, their vehicles are being used less, which often means more work for auto repairers. 

“That’s actually becoming a problem for cars because [they] need to be driven, and the more they’re sitting around, the more problems tend to happen with them.”

Another reason behind the uptick in repairs is with more free time people are wanting to get more work done to their vehicles, says Paris. 

“We’re finding the same with automobiles as well. People just have some extra disposable cash, so it’s time to invest in what they really want to do, or if they put a service off on their car for some time now, they’ve got that extra cash flow and they’re making that investment.”

Similarly, Mike Assaf, the owner of London Auto Source Repairs and Tires, said his shop has been exceptionally busy almost all year. 

“The traffic that has been coming in is not normal,” Assaf told CBC.”We’ve been non-stop since the pandemic started. We slowed down actually for one week in March, but other than that, it’s been non-stop, five days a week. If I want to open six days a week, I’d be busy for six days a week.”

The family-run business is currently fully booked for the next couple of days, Assaf said, and customers are continuing to roll in. 

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