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Expect repair delays as mechanics balance new and old service requests

Many parts needed for repairs are still on backorder due to supply chain disruptions from the pandemic.

PLYMOUTH, Minn. — Over a 10-hour span Monday, Minnesota State Patrol said it responded to 244 crashes and 104 vehicle spinouts statewide. 

"Most of those crashes could have been avoided by simply slowing down, increasing stopping distance and putting distractions away," the department tweeted Tuesday. "Don’t forget how to drive in the winter weather. Drive Smart."

If you were involved in a crash, you may have to wait a long time to get your car back from the mechanic. Minnetonka Collision Center owner Joe Ebenhoh says since Monday's snowfall, about a dozen cars arrived by tow and many others pulled up on their own.

"The phones are ringing off the hook," Ebenhoh said. "The parking lot is plenty full … A lot of it's sliding through intersections. That's what we're hearing."

Golden Valley Tire & Service also said it was busy Tuesday. The new service requests join an already long list of cars waiting for repairs, Ebenhoh explained, as many parts needed for repairs are still on backorder due to supply chain disruptions from the pandemic.

"We're trying to get as many as we can in because we feel for the people that can't drive them," he said. "Today is worse because yesterday people got in accidents. They don't want to deal with it. They just want to go home. Now today, they're calling. They got in an accident yesterday. Now they're ready to deal with the stuff today."

"We're booking out until beginning of January right now and a lot of shops are until, like, March," Ebenhoh continued. "Black Chevrolet truck back there? We have all the parts but no grill."

So, what to do?

"If you get in an accident and you can drive your car, keep driving it until we have all the parts," Ebenhoh said. "I don't want you to bring your car in, take it apart, and then it sits … If it's non-drivable then we just — we've got to figure that out."

You can also expect delays if you need a tow. Ebenhoh says he had a customer who requested a tow Monday morning and the car didn't show up at the shop until Tuesday afternoon. 

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