Winter weather keeping local auto repair shops busy - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Winter weather keeping local auto repair shops busy

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You may be surprised to learn that the winter months are actually the slowest months for car crashes, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation. You are more likely to get into a wreck during the summer when more people are out and about.

This week's spike in car crashes equals cash for body shops during a time when fewer wrecks happen.  

"Dumped a lot of traffic onto the streets real fast, and it was mayhem," Teter & Company's Mark Tetor said.

When the snow hit Tuesday, thousands of parents slid their way to schools dismissing kids early. It landed many cars into ditches, or each other, and now into local body shops.

Damaged cars are already lining up for Ringgold's father-daughter team Teter & Company to repair.

"Helping people that's what's fun and we make a couple bucks doing it," Tetor said.

They spent Tuesday driving people to safety, and since, towing damaged cars to their shop to be put back together.

"We're seeing bumper covers, front and rear bumper covers from hitting the ditch," Tetor & Company's Lindsay Tetor said.

But it's not just dents, scrapes and busted lights causing extra work.

"It doesn't matter if you've got a four-wheel drive or a two-wheel drive when you're on ice," Gobble's Automotive Repair Owner Tony Gobble said.

In Cleveland, mechanics say they're replacing parts bent up when cars slid into curbs and other structures.

"Mainly what we've seen is cars like this one that slid off the road and damaged the under carriage," Gobble said.

Gobble says it's been a busier winter than usual, not just because of snow and ice-related wrecks, but also just due to the effects of single digit temperatures on cars.

"With the weather being as cold as it has been we've seen several vehicles that have frozen due to lack or antifreeze and lack of proper maintenance," he said.
Drivers can't control the weather, but he says a lot of these pricey repairs could've been prevented.

"A lot of people are driving on tires that need to be replaced, and you can't get traction," Gobble said.

The roads are starting to clear up now, but winter's not over. In addition to keeping an eye on your tires and anti-freeze, they say to inspect your engine's belts and hoses. Gobble says he's seen recent costly, repairs due to belts freezing, slinging off when the car starts, and then damaging other parts, like a domino effect.

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