DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – If the pandemic has made you think twice about getting a new car and instead, opting to keep the one you have, experts say you might want to start getting proactive about the repairs.
“What we’re finding is parts are taking longer to get to us,” said Simon Ward, owner of A Dayton Automotive. Shipping is costing a little bit more and availability is becoming more and more scarce. So parts that I would normally get in two to three days is sometimes now taking two to three weeks.”
Ward explained that just like other sectors, the auto industry is struggling with logistics and employment issues following a year of COVID protocols that are now slowing down the vehicle repair process.
“The shortage of manpower is affecting our business as well as any other business in the automotive industry,” he said. “Finding people who are qualified to do this job is getting harder and harder.”
Sales associate at NAPA Auto Parts in West Carrollton, Nathan Burzynski, said this is the same reason vehicle production across the country has dwindled, creating difficulties even for those who are looking to purchase a new vehicle.
“It comes down to some of the same issues that we’ve talked about — raw materials, not being able to have the parts to build the cars, not being able to have the manpower staff to build these parts or to build the cars.”
Both Ward and Burzynski said the delays within the supply chain and increased prices for parts are prompting drivers to keep their current cars longer, and as a result paying more for highly sought after parts that include filters, rotors, and air conditioning-related products, such as refrigerant.
Ward said the best way to save money and keep your current set of wheels in tip-top condition is to, “Be proactive. When [drivers] think they have a problem, get into the shop as soon as possible. Understand that the shop might need a little time with it to get it diagnosed, and then get the parts ordered up and get them delivered.”