As the average price of a new vehicle continues to climb with a possible recession looming, many people are choosing to get their vehicles fixed instead of replacing them.
But a backlogged global supply chain is causing a delay for some auto parts to come in and in some cases, parts are taking more than a year-and-a-half to arrive.
“Never in 42 years I’ve been here, I’ve never seen this,” said Marc Marier, owner of Marcel’s Collision. “If we can’t get the part, we can’t put it on your car.”
Marier said in many cases, the cost to have parts shipped exceeds the price to make the repair and forces a lengthy waiting period for the vehicle owner.
“The parts sometimes are extremely hard to get. It started with COVID, especially computer chips and stuff like that, electrical equipment,” he explained. “We have one car that the job was here 127 days waiting for one part, like the rental bill exceeded the car repair.”
Marier told CTV News Windsor there have been occasions where it’s easier to have a part shipped from Germany than it is the United States, but that comes with a price on top of a car rental fee.
“Oh yeah, like I said that one job I had 127 days rental, the rental was $10,500 and the car repair was $6,000. It’s crazy.”
Marc Marier, owner of Marcel’s Collision on Tecumseh Road East in Windsor, Ont. is seen on Jan. 20, 2023. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor)
Marier continued, “Chips, stuff like that. That’s where it’s the electrical problem. That’s where the delays come in, and the dealerships can’t even give us an exact date. And then when that date comes in, they say, ‘Well, no, it’s backordered again,’ so they’re guessing again too and when it comes in the door, we’ll call you.”
Other auto repair shops in Windsor, Ont. are also contending with part delays or shortages.
“They say ‘Oh, it’s going to be about a month, a month or two,’ you know, but then it shows up two weeks later type thing,” said Marc Thibert, manager at Kipping Tire and Automotive.
“It all depends on the part,” Thibert explained. “There are some parts that are backordered for a while but most of the time it’s because cars are kind of obsolete through the dealer or the parts are hard to find because they’re older vehicles.”
Thibert said some customers are coming in for repairs after trying to take matters into their own hands.
“I’ve seen some people try to do it on their own and some things they can do and some things it’s like, ‘Wow, you should have let us do it,’” Thibert said.
Thibert suggested with advanced technology and electric components, it’s best to let professionals make automotive repairs.
“Bring it to a garage to get it done because it’s a little more advanced than back in the day because now a lot of things they have to get reprogrammed, or they have to get the engine light cleared or the code cleared out of the system before they can actually make it work,” he explained.
“The older the vehicle the harder it starts taking to get to get the parts. It’s not as easy as it used to be when it was carbureted vehicles or the early stages of the fuel injection,” he added. “The sensors, computers, everything’s all electronic now, and they all kind of coincide all different things. You wouldn’t think that that would affect this but it does.”