Winter storms keep auto body shops busy

Auto body shops busy during winter storms

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The stretch of winter weather we've had has meant more business for Active Auto Body in Northwest Portland.

“We were pretty busy before this storm so we still had a three to four-week backlog. As a result of the storms we're now about 4-5 weeks out with our workload,” said Joel Thornburg, Production Manager for Active Auto Body.

Thornburg said shops across town are seeing the same thing.

“From what my understanding is, all of the collision industry and tow yards are full. There really isn't a lot of room to be putting these vehicles right now,” said Thornburg.

Walk outside to their parking lot, and it's clear that “busy” doesn't even begin to describe it.

Usually cars waiting to be fixed take up one parking lot, but staff say they have two parking lots filled.

“Now we're double parking in our own lot,” said Thornburg.

Many of the cars they're getting in have weather-related front-end damage or suspension issues.

“We've got a few in here now that are approaching the $30,000-plus limit,” Thornburg said.

With more snow on the way, staff members said there are ways you can prevent damaging your car while you're driving in the elements.

“You want to clean your vehicle really well because of the chemicals and salt that they put on the roads,” he said.

That means wash your undercarriage. If you see those chains or bungee cords in the middle of the highway, steer clear!

“They can get wrapped around your axles and they do damage to your drive systems and your brakes,” explained Thornburg.

He also said if you have a crack in the windshield, think about getting that fixed. Fluctuating temperatures could cause it to spread.

In addition, take chains off if you don't need them. Driving on dry roads or driving too fast can cause them to break, act like a whip, and damage your car.

But the best tip he has is to be patient.

“Patience is the biggest thing. Don't get in a rush. You get in a rush, you're gonna come see me,” Thornburg said.


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