How’s Biz?: Precision Auto Service busy as ever
A decrease in commuting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t slow down business for Precision Auto Service. In fact, the shop was busier than before, and business hasn’t slowed down yet.
Nikki McLeslie, one of the owners of Precision Auto Service, said that many people simply had more time to send their cars to the shop for routine care during the peak of the pandemic.
“We were really blessed,” she said. “If anything, our business boomed. I think more people were working from home, so they weren’t commuting. They had time to do the repairs that they’ve been putting off. I don’t know if stimulus money helped. I don’t know if it’s people moving into town. We’ve just been extremely busy and staying that way.”
Currently, Precision Auto Service has six staff members, including McLeslie and her husband, Chris. McLeslie said that their business can offer a variety of auto care needs — from tire alignments to oil changes to transmission work — and there is not a most common problem that comes into the shop. They’ve seen everything.
“You know, it truly varies,” McLeslie said. “We have some customers where we do everything, so we change their oil (and) service everything. We let them know when we see something going wrong. A lot of times things happen in threes, but as far as one thing, it just varies. It’s just all over the place.”
While they have customers all year, McLeslie added that when temperatures hit the extremes, the shop tends to see more clients.
“Summer for us is really crazy,” she said. “Summer and then probably late winter when we see the influx of the temperature, it kind of causes parts to fail more easily.”
In subzero temperatures, diesel-fueled engines especially take a hit, McLeslie said. Often, these vehicles fail to start or “gum up,” when diesel solidifies into a waxy or gel-like substance.
“The hardest part is trying to squeeze everybody in, especially when we’re as busy as we are right now,” she said. “You want to help everyone and you can’t. And that gets difficult.”
Another current difficulty for the shop is access to parts. Across the country, mechanics and body shops are experiencing long delays for certain parts, and McLeslie said her business is no different.
“We are definitely starting to see an issue with stuff just being on backorder or taking longer to be available,” she said. “It’s definitely getting much harder, and that’s probably been within the last couple months. Tires are especially really difficult right now for us.”
Despite shortages, McLeslie said Precision Auto Service is working diligently to provide services to as many customers as possible. Store hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 1294 W 4th St #2906.
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