WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) — After a car accident, one of the first places you'll head to is the auto shop. However, getting extra parts or a quick fix may be tough with over 40 Big 3 facilities now on strike. Auto shop owners are now turning to third party suppliers to get you out on the roads faster.
“Sometimes the cars stack up. They sit there waiting for parts and there’s not much you can do. You just have to sit there and hope for the best," Kesho Collision manager Dave Keene said.
Keene has been working on cars since he was 16 years old. He's seen the fluctuation in the auto parts market over the years, but nothing quite to this scale.
"There’s always been a parts problem," he said. “We’ll put your parts order in and we’ll run out through, cross our fingers and hope you get them."
Keene and the rest of the staff of Kesho use an online hub to get the parts they need. Right now those original parts from the manufacturers are hard to find.
“Even if they do have them in stock, the hub is closed so they’re not gonna send them to you anyways," Keene said.
Keene adds that Kesho is still in a relatively good place for parts, but in a few weeks things could look a lot different, and customers could be waiting a lot longer for a fix.
“That car’s just gonna sit until those parts are available. That could be months," Keene said.
They're now turning to aftermarket parts from places like junk yards to get the used parts that they need. But that comes with its own set of headaches.
“You’re not gonna see a difference just by looking at the part. It’s when you go to assemble it and you see a little gap more on one side, a little bit less on that side," Keene said.
Advanced Auto Recyclers are helping fill that supply gap, even though it may not always be a perfect fix.
“Sometimes if he didn’t find a dealer or it’s back ordered for a couple weeks, they order from us and you try on it," Owner Ali Chamas said. "So you lose money sometimes but you have to. The customer cannot wait.”
Safety will never be compromised, so if there's a part that's not available on any market, your car may be sitting idle for a while. That puts frustrated car owners and auto shops both in a tough spot.
“It all comes down to the bottom line. If you’re not fixing cars and pushing them out the door, it's a problem," Keene said.