Cold January Keeping Auto Repair Shops Extra Busy Across the Metro

Updated: 01/31/2014 6:37 PM By: Josh Rosenthal

The cold weather is tough on our cars, and that's especially true this month. The National Weather Service says this has been the second coldest January in Minnesota in the last 30 years. With the record cold, we called repair shops all over the region to find out how much busier they are this month.

Lake Elmo Repair says business is up 15 to 20 percent. Edina Tire and Auto says they're working on 30 more cars per week compared to a normal winter. Heading North to the Maple Grove Midas, business is up 20 percent. Out West in St. Cloud, Miller Auto Plaza is getting a 10 to 15 percent boost.

At Bobby & Steve's Auto World in Minneapolis, they typically repair 60 to 70 cars per week during the winter. This winter, they're repairing more than 100 cars per week.

"A lot of flooded vehicles, a lot of accident vehicles, a lot of tire repairs," explained technician Darin Williams.

One repair shop even told us they've had to turn customers away. At Bobby & Steve's they've had so much business, some people have left just because the wait's too long.

"We'll get to you as fast as we can," said Williams. We asked how fast that would be. His response, with a big grin: "depends on the weather."

So what should you do to stay out of the shop? Williams says above all else, check your tire pressure and your battery. Those are the two most common winter weather problems they see.

Otherwise, if you've got car issues this winter, like Zachary Grochowski, who told us, "my car doesn't have heat so that's, I mean I would consider that a huge problem," be prepared to be patient.

Get winter car care tips here.