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Car repairs, part shipments impacted by COVID-19

Posted at 12:00 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 07:43:31-04

TULSA, Okla. — If you haven't had to have the family car repaired lately, you may not understand what some folks are going through. Waiting days, weeks, even months to get their vehicles repaired. Some wonder if it's a scam or a way to increase the cost of a repair

The 2News Oklahoma Problem Solvers found out: mechanics blame COVID-19.

An empty driveway, month after month, has been driving Marcus Haynes to his wit's end.

"I left my car on the 26th of May, and I haven't seen my car since."

His car has been at the shop, instead of in his driveway, for a long time.

Marcus says he had his car for just four months when he found out it needed repairs. But what was expected to be a few days' fix, covered by his extended warranty, would turn into a long road ahead.

More than four months, so far, with no vehicle, as his sits in that shop, waiting for parts. At one point, Marcus thought the parts were finally in but found out only a cooling unit had arrived at the shop.

And since then, there's been no stop to the waiting game.

"Every time it's been put back, the dates been pushed back, the date's been pushed back, and they keep putting the date back."

"They checked it and said it was in, now they're telling me they have to order the turbo part. I said you should have ordered that first, that's the first thing you should have ordered."

And since then, there's been no stop to the waiting game.

"Every time it's been put back, the dates been pushed back, the date's been pushed back, and they keep putting the date back."

It's a frustration shared by a lot of folks these days. And no, consumer experts say, it's not a scam just to jack up prices.

While there could be some limited cases of unscrupulous mechanics taking advantage, auto parts are in the same boat as many other items most people are hunting for every day, like groceries and other household necessities.

"All of it vanished from the shelf."

Bryce Marshall, with the Tulsa Better Business Bureau, like most of us, has seen the shortages firsthand. Everyday items caught up in the worldwide pandemic.

COVID-19 caused labor and material shortages, manufacturing and shipping delays, and backlogs as ships sit off the California coast, waiting to be unloaded. Among the cargo, auto parts.

"It can cause a huge drag on that as well."

It explains the delay for Marcus but doesn't relieve that frustration, of his empty driveway.

"I need my car."

To keep from landing in the same situation, mechanics say it's now more important than ever, to get under the hood of your vehicle yourself or have a mechanic do it.

Remember those oil changes, make sure filters are cleaned and replaced, and don't forget the radiator fluid.

Mechanics say it's critical to keep your vehicle maintained and running properly since there's no telling when those supply and shipping shortages will be resolved.

WATCH the full story on Monday at 6:30 a.m. with 2 News Oklahoma.

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