More vehicles needing repairs, inflation isn’t making it easier

A service advisor at a Waco auto repair shop says repair costs is up 30 to 50 percent higher than it was two years ago.

WACO, Texas — As the prices of new and used cars continue to rise, auto repair shops are taking on more responsibilities as consumers look for other solutions when it comes to their vehicles.

Business is busy at Jesse Britt’s Automotive in Waco. Thomas Whelchel, the service advisor at the shop, says they’re feeling the pressure.

“About 15 to 20 percent busier in the last two years,” he said.

Inflation hasn’t thrown a wrench in the business, but it has in just about everything else.

“The average cost of doing vehicle repairs has gone up drastically pretty much in the last six months because of parts availability and also because of inflation,” Whelchel explained.

He says repair costs is up 30 percent to 50 percent higher than it was two years ago.

It’s forced the shop to temporarily adjust prices, specifically for oil and alignments. Whelchel says prices of tires have increased, too.

One of the biggest problems the Waco auto repair shop is dealing with is finding parts.

“We’re having to go outside of the box to find parts to fix people’s vehicles simply because none of your aftermarket stores or even the dealers can get parts and parts and just not available,” Whelchel added. “So, we’re having to try to find other resources.”

The high prices aren’t keeping the customers away as it’s cheaper than buying a new or used car from a dealership.

“People are wanting to keep what they’ve got on the road longer,” Whelchel said.

The average age of vehicles on the road has reached an all time high at 12.2 years, that’s according to S&P Global Mobility.

Whelchel says simple maintenance may be key to avoiding hefty repair costs.

“Look at the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual and follow that maintenance schedule,” he explained. “Doing preventative maintenance will cost you from having long term expensive repairs.”

Jesse Britt’s Automotive knows customers are feeling the pressure of inflation all around them, that’s why they help when they can.

“We’re trying to offset some of the costs of the prices with some discounts that we’re able to offer,” Whelchel added.

That way they’ll keep getting the stack of customers they’ve recently had, the one type of pressure they’re accepting.

Whelchel also recommends to have your vehicle checked at least twice a year. 

Also, if you are needing repairs get in early because with parts on backorder and lots of customers, there are longer turnaround times on vehicles.


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