By John Lauritsen

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (WCCO) — Friday’s cold start meant some icy conditions on our roadways. MnDOT cameras caught several vehicles that had spun out or crashed during rush hour.

It wasn’t immediately clear if it was just ice on the roads or possibly some black ice issues as well, but either way body shops are very busy as of late. From crashes to cars that won’t start, demand for help is high.

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At Maple Grove Midas, a deep freeze means an uptick in business. Cold weather leads to bad tires, bad batteries, and a lot of work.

Their bays are full right now with technicians putting in full days to keep up with the workload. And because of supply issues, some parts can be a little harder to come by.

But if you need to get in Friday, they said they can get you in. Some auto body shops are weeks behind, much of that related to slippery roads leading to accidents. At Midas, they are doing their best to be as efficient as possible during this cold snap.

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“If you take a look at our parking lot, our parking lot is full and our shop is also full,” Midas worker Emily Taylor said. “We are doing a lot of heating and cooling and a lot of batteries. A lot of batteries like to fail in the extreme cold.”

“Yesterday at 4 we had three or four tow trucks lined up outside waiting to take their turn to get in here. So, it got busy,” lead technician Phil Towns said.

Due to a lack of inventory for used cars, a lot of customers are choosing to do spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on repairs rather than search for a new vehicle.

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Staffing has been a bit of an issue too. Midas is open weekdays, but not weekends right now. They are hoping to re-open on weekends when they get a full staff.

John Lauritsen