Pennsylvania Mechanic Gives Perspective on Industry Challenges

June 2, 2022

Mike Kirsch of Brunner's Garage reflects on the chip shortage, the technician shortage, and the increase in overall vehicle technology.

June 2, 2022—The chip shortage felt throughout the aftermarket right now is not breaking news to anyone, but it is still having quite the lasting impact. Demand continues to go up for auto repairs as new cars prove to be an unworthy endeavor for customers.

According to WITF, many mechanics are seeing this impact firsthand. One such individual is Mike Kirsch, who is the head mechanic at Brunner's Garage in Pennsylvania.

“[We’ll] look at their car and say, ‘Well, your car is going to be, I don’t know, $500, $700, $1,000 to repair,’ whatever the number is. And they will look at it and say, ‘Well, it’s an older car. Maybe I’m going to go buy a new car,’” Kirsch said in the article. “But there’s just no new car out there right now to buy. I have customers that want new cars. It’s just, what they want is not available, or it’s a year behind.”

He has seen an increase in wait times as well as customers ultimately investing greater amounts of money in rather routine maintenance such as brakes and tires due to the age of the vehicle. 

Even though Brunner's Garage is fully staffed at the moment, Kirsch also understands the effects of the current technician shortage.

“All the technicians are all my age: They’re all old people now. They’re all getting ready to retire. And a few of the garages around here … they retired [and] closed up,” Kirsch said in the article.

However, Kirsch firmly believes that despite all of the changes taking place across the industry, people should still be encouraged to pursue a career in the field because things will still ultimately need fixing. 

“People will always need vehicles fixed regardless of the technology involved with them.” Kirsch said. 

About the Author

Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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