Auto Service World
News   April 7, 2020   by Allan Janssen

The question everyone’s asking: What kind of work are you still doing?

What kind of business is still coming through your door?  Is it emergency mechanical only? Or are people using the extra time they have on their hand to have maintenance and seasonal work done? What percentage of normal traffic are you getting through this pandemic?

This is an Industry Bulletin Board — monitoring the state of our industry during this pandemic. We want to hear from you!

Please scroll to the very bottom of this page to where it says HAVE YOUR SAY, and leave us your update. We want to track how the repair and service industry is coping. Leave us us your news, observations, or advice if you have any. Or feel free to send me an email —

Stay safe!

-Allan Janssen, editor








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14 Comments » for The question everyone’s asking: What kind of work are you still doing?
  1. At this time we are still busy. Town is shutting down but there are still a lot of people out and about and cars that need attention. Just taking precautions, gloves, extra cleaning, taking in only regular customers. One staff is self quarantined due to having to look after her sister.
    Salmon Arm BC

  2. shawn storms says:

    storms auto service inc belleville ontario we are still going we have implemented strict cleaning protocols on all vehicles we work on and are keeping close tabs on part suppliers as to their operating protocol we have uv medical gem lights spray hand sanitizer gloves and temperature readers at front counter all surfaces are cleaned regularly all day as is cash from payments with uv light vehicles are very dirty capsules and the battle is real starting march 20 or door will be locked with call number to get service as cleaning after walk in customers has become time consuming and safety is number one for everyone

  3. Duane says:

    Closed office, no customer interaction.

    All contact is over the phone, or email, or text.

    All payment is over the phone, or etransfer.

    Drop off vehicles keys in box. Sanitization measures in place, techs wearing gloves. Extreme hand washing and sanitizing steering wheels, shifters keys door handles etc.

    We are going down with the ship. As long as the parts supply chain is in place we are here for our clients !

    Duane Black, Duncan’s Auto Service, Bobcaygeon, Ont.

  4. Jamie says:

    Hughson Automotive Dresden, we are still open for business, the building has been restricted to employees only. We have implemented new policies for vehicle drop offs, customers are instructed to call into the shop when the vehicle arrives, leave the keys in the vehicle, and ensure that the blower for heat / A/C is off. A staff member will go out and disinfect the outside door handles, and interior of the vehicle with a complete wipe down with disinfectant followed with a spray of disinfectant over the interior. The vehicle then sits for at least 15 min before staff bring it in. All Staff arrive in the morning and start the day by washing their hands and continue to do so several time though out the day especially between vehicles, and any time they are returning from our side. there is disinfectant solution on every tool box and tools are wiped down between use. All common touched surfaces in the building are wiped down 4 times a day, all key pad surfaces and phones are wiped down after each use. We have had great success with our customers understanding and cooperating with this new way of doing business. New invoice payment options have been implemented with a lot of customers opting for e transfers. Additional measure we have taken, all parts deliveries are left out side the office door, we have suspended our uniform delivery service due to the communal cleaning and delivery process, staff felt more comfortable maintaining their own clothing for now. Reusable roll towels in the washrooms have been replaced with disposable roll towels, and wash rooms are sprayed after every use. Stay safe everyone!

  5. We are an alternator / starter manufacturer as well as parts distributor. Altough our exposure to general public is very limited our touch pads, keyboards, screens and phones are wiped down with disinfectant numerous times a day. The shop is spacious so the workers are not in close proximity and are always required to clean their stations upon arrival and departure. As of today, we are reducing the work week though, we have no choice. Many garages auto repair in the Montreal area are still operating but our phones are quiet. We have obligations towards our industrial/transport industry. Basically they are keeping us going . Be safe and sound. Good Luck to us all , we will come out of this stronger than before.

  6. Brian Browning says:

    Just an update for us. Bookings dropped off a lot. I decided to go to a three day week, Mainly to keep the guys going. We may or may not have enough work for that even. Doing all the cleaning, counters, car touch points, gloves… Personally, I was feeling the start of some type of cold so I isolated myself just to be safe. In a small shop environment it is hard to social distance! Unfortunately, I could have been infectious for a week or two already. Be safe out there, if you can!
    Center Point Automotive
    Salmon Arm

  7. March 26th ,2020 11:19 am

    We are open for ”essential services” and anybody related to those providing essential services, as prescribed by the government. Not enough to keep us going, but we are doing our part. 6 out of 8 employees laid off. One customer came in to pick up his wheels we had in storage for the winter. He is having new tires installed at Costco, although we are supposed to provide urgent services only. The rules and common sense does not apply to Costco.

    Stephane Belisle

    Point S- B2C Auto inc
    Laval, QC

  8. March 26 2020

    We are still open, we have a number of large projects that have been keeping us going, at least two of us, those will be finished next week and I will have to send my last Tech home. We are also implementing majour cleaning routines, asking any customers coming in to drop keys in the night drop box, which we sanitize immediately along with their vehicles. We are asking to be paid over the phone, anyone who pays at the shop their cards are sanitized prior to putting into the machine, debit cards can’t be used to pay remotely, and it is surprising how many people don’t know how to do electronic transfers. The phones have stopped wringing as of last week other than one or two per day, mostly military who are still on call and need their vehicles. I am going to hang on as long as possible. Good luck everyone, stay safe.
    Glenn’s Import & Domestic Auto Service
    Courtenay BC

  9. Daren Hodgson says:

    We had no choice but to shut down as of the 13th.
    I tried implementing preventive measures such as gloves/ wipes and disinfectants and sanitizers along with instructions for wiping down vehicles , telling customers and staff to keep their respective distances.
    Telling clients to drop off cars only and electrinoic payment only (no cash or cheques).
    About 1/2 of people took it seriously and the other 1/2 didn’t get it or care.
    Not worth the risk to everyone’s health which left me no choice.
    Most people understand why.

    Daren Hodgson
    Atelier Techpro inc.
    Ste-Marthe, Quebec

  10. Jason Arsenault says:

    We are open with reduced hours. Vehicles are to be dropped off and we call when work is finished. Payment is made over phone by credit card and then car keys are left in car for pick up.
    Customers are being very understanding and we are all just trying to do our part to slow the spread of Covid 19.

    Jason Arsenault

    Paul’s Muffler Centre
    Bloomfield P.E.I.

  11. Rick says:

    To me it looks like the new norm is going to have to be zero to minimal client contact for several months after the curve is flattened . I’m shut down right now and only doing emergency services for cars that have stopped moving When they leave out front of my building and communicate by text or phone or email . Would like to start up slowly but am concerned that I wouldn’t be doing my part to allow social distancing by having staff indoors in same work areas . The staff have told me even the common cold gets passed throughout them in normal times .

  12. We are open during regular business hours with a reduced staff to help with physical distancing in the office and shop. We are no longer offering pick-up and delivery services, and asking all our customers to drop their vehicles off ahead of time. We are not allowing anyone to stay and wait while we work, so we removed our chairs and coffee maker from the waiting room. We take extra precautions during the check-in process, cleaning keys, door handles, steering wheels, shifters, etc. If a customer drops a vehicle off during regular hours, we have a special drop box in the office for keys until we sanitize them and assign a key tag. The technicians are taking extra precautions while working on the vehicle. Now is especially a great time to utilize Digital Inspections and Text Messaging features within our software to help limit contact points with the customers.
    Here in Ontario, we anxiously await details regarding the 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses. There is a lot of confusion about this right now due to the fact that businesses are only eligible if their revenue has dropped by 30%. There are more questions each day as this continues to develop and new information arises.

  13. Slowing down quite a bit. Seems the small maintenance items are being put off but larger repairs are being performed. We are being meticulous in our efforts to sanitize vehicles in and out. We wear masks and gloves. Wash hands many times a day.

  14. Kirby LANINGA says:

    We saw a large drop in service appointments 2 weeks ago, lasted about 4 days, laid off 1 service writer and 1 shop hand, then we got flooded with work, cant keep up, working 12 hour days so we dont get behind in appointments. All keys are immediately cleaned when dropped off, all techs are using a new pair of nitrile glove when entering a car and it is wiped upon entry, another tech is required to open one of the bay doors, when the tech gets out of the car in the shop, they then wash thier nitrile gloves with Spray Nine for 30 seconds. When the service is done the car is put in the front lot and wiped down again, keys are return in office and sanitized again and wrapped in paper towel so they have not been touched by anyone except when the customer unwraps the paper towel, everything in office is repeatedly sanitized all day long and after anyone enters the office. We are using chlorine bleach on the debit terminal, door handles, washrooms, counter tops, we use Quat Sanitizer and spary all funiture in the office after a customer has sat on our leather couches. We will likely need new couches and a debit terminal soon but were still open.
    Kirby Laninga
    Kirbside Auto And Fleet Repair
    WPG MB

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