Americans Are Delaying Auto Repairs More Than Ever — And Why It May Surprise You

A growing number of Americans are delaying vehicle repairs — and the move is unintentional.

Ongoing issues in the auto parts supply chain are increasing wait times for auto services across the country.


Automotive technician working on the carCredit: Getty

Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said: “Shortage of technicians is limiting capacity, and at the same time ongoing supply chain issues are impacting the delivery of some parts.” MarketWatch reports.

This lack of supply increases auto repair costs on two fronts.

Higher service demand and lower supply will naturally increase repair prices, as will the wait for parts.

If your car is still running despite needed repairs, extending maintenance increases the likelihood that one or more problems will escalate and hurt your wallet.

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If you are lucky enough to schedule a service appointment, you may have to search longer than usual for a loan model.

Limited automotive supplies are contributing to a shortage of vehicle inventory that is affecting manufacturers across the board.

Many car rental companies have sold large portions of their fleet to make up for lost revenue during the pandemic, Kelley’s Blue Book reports.

Retaining the vehicles would make no sense given the low pandemic market demand and the cost of maintaining idle cars.

A car cannot collect dust in a parking space if you want it to run reliably.

Erie Insurance reports problems resulting from the lack of use of a car such as:

  • degraded fuel
  • A dead battery
  • Rust
  • Tire punctures
  • Parasitic infection

When the COVID vaccines came out, high-profile car rental companies couldn’t buy back enough cars to replenish their fleets, KBB reports.

Car rental agencies responded to their inventory shortage by:

  • Buying used cars
  • Keep inventory longer
  • Refill
  • Buy vehicles from lesser-known manufacturers.
A shortage of auto parts supply has disrupted Americans' ability to plan timely repairs


A shortage of auto parts supply has disrupted Americans’ ability to plan timely repairsCredit: Getty

Most auto dealership service centers sponsored by one or more vehicle brands will offer OEM [original equipment manufacturer] parts to their customers.

OEM parts come directly from the manufacturer and are designed specifically for your model.

Replacement parts are designed to fit as many models as possible.

Most corner garages sell spare parts to attract a larger customer base.

If you book your repair appointment at an independent garage, ask if your service will be carried out with genuine spare parts.

Aftermarket parts can be used in most cases, but they will not work as well as the original parts.

About Dwight E. McCray

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