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Global supply chain issues impacting local auto repair shop

Christian Brothers Automotive perseveres despite global supply chain issues
Posted at 6:20 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 19:22:08-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Christian Brothers Automotive on Plainfield Avenue opened a year ago in the middle of the pandemic. Owner Tom MacInnes said it’s been a good yet challenging first year. But, within the last three to four months they’ve been feeling the impact of the global supply chain issues.

“Your run-of-the-mill supplies: your spark plugs, your oil filters, your air filters, those have been pretty easy to come by,” MacInnes said during an interview with FOX 17 on Wednesday. “But, when you get into the more exotic and newer car things — control arms, drive shafts, things like that — those can be a challenge. We can end up waiting quite a bit of time on those.”

Three to four weeks to be exact, MacInnes said.

According to The Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association, which has an office in Michigan, snags in the global supply chain are impacting everything from steel to semiconductors, and it's causing slowdowns at ports in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Seattle and elsewhere.

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“If you run into more of an exotic vehicle — something in the Euro category like an Audi or Mercedes — those can be a little bit of a challenge to get some of the components for,” MacInnes said. “Deeper components that don’t fail as frequently are harder to get into. So, if you’ve got an issue that doesn’t pop up much, this ends up being a challenge. But, if it’s a very common maintenance item, we work hard with all of our different vendors to try to get in source parts from all over the state of Michigan.”

MacInnes added that during this time of year they’re repairing vehicles that have been in auto accidents due to ice and snow. So, he recommended that drivers check their brakes, tires and suspension components often, and get oil changes when needed.

It’ll keep vehicles out of repair shops so drivers don’t have to experience firsthand the supply chain issues.

However, if help is needed, they’re open.

“I think we’ve become pandemic hardened, right,” MacInnes said. “We built during the pandemic. We opened during the pandemic and we’ve done our first year during the pandemic. So, we’re getting pretty good at finding ways around most of the situations.”

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