LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – More than 100 million people will travel by car for the holidays, but if those who have been pushing off car repairs may need to come up with a backup plan.
Car parts are harder and harder to get these days, and drivers wanting to get their cars fixed could see it take weeks, sometimes months, longer than it should. This problem is yet another effect of the supply chain disruption because of the pandemic.
Business is booming at Red River Auto Group in Cabot, but owner Mitch Ward says the lack of car parts is causing headaches for his customers.
“We can’t satisfy the customer, we’re just trying to appease them at this moment,” he explained.
Ward says some parts take six to eight weeks to get to the shop, and sometimes he has to tell customers he has no idea when they’ll arrive.
“So, if a customer says, ‘When will you have my parts?’ It says we really don’t know when,” he said.
To make matters worse. Ward noted that when some parts do finally arrive, they’re damaged.
“Absolutely destroyed, which is frustrating for the technician, the service advisor and then, of course, the customers,” Ward said.
Across the river at Taylor’s Truck and Trailer service in Little Rock, parts ordered months ago won’t arrive until the new year.
“So, when the truck, you know, it sits here, we don’t make no money and the customer don’t make no money,” shop owner Tim Taylor said.
The problem is affecting business owners and their customers, but also just the average consumer of goods.
“Lord knows that everything we get comes by truck,” Taylor said. “Not only me and my customer suffer, but the whole country suffers.”
Taylor wishes he knew when things will get better.
“That’s a crystal ball that I don’t have,” he said.
Not only is it a headache for everyone to have to wait so long for parts, but the scarcity of parts is also driving up the cost of doing business.
The advice from the shops for drivers needing repairs on their vehicles, get it scheduled now and have a Plan B just in case it’s not ready in time for holiday travel.