Birmingham mechanic says drivers are delaying auto maintenance because of inflation

Checking in on the car part shortage
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 8:59 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2022 at 10:35 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Some people are now skipping out on car maintenance because they simply don’t have the funds, according to an auto mechanic in Birmingham.

Jerry Daw, who works at Auto and Truck Services said because they are dealing with price increases, so are their customers.

Daw says lately, he is noticing that people are skipping out on changing their oil and coolant regularly, which can cause major engine problems down the road. Unfortunately, he says some people just don’t have the extra cash to properly maintain their vehicle.

“It’s gotten worse,” said Daw. “A lot of people can’t fix their cars right now. Everything’s so high, they’re barely buying groceries. Had a couple people take cars out of here this morning because they couldn’t afford to fix them. They have to save up money so they can do basic stuff to their car.”

Meanwhile, some vehicles are stuck in the shop for weeks or months as mechanics continue to wait on certain parts shipped from overseas.

Daw says he noticed the part shortage around a year and a half ago, and he’s still waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel.

While he mentioned finding almost any vehicle part can be difficult depending on the week, vehicle belts in particular are one of their big issues. He says the main reason is because most aren’t made here in the United States.

In addition to shipping problems, Daw says almost everything has increased in price by around 30-40%. All of these issues result in drivers waiting quite a long time for their vehicle to get fixed.

“We had a truck here for almost a year waiting on an engine because they couldn’t get parts for it,” said Daw. “Eventually, the customer just sold the vehicle because they couldn’t get an engine for it.”

So while some parts are back-ordered for a year, others are for a few weeks. Daw said a part that he ordered two weeks before arrived on August 19.

He’s asking for patience from customers right now.

Inflation causing some people to skip car repairs

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