GREENSBORO, N.C. — When budgets get squeezed it usually means something you normally pay for is getting squeezed out. It could be a vacation, eating out, or routine car maintenance like oil changes.
Let me give you a warning about that. Mechanics say you need to keep that maintenance up because if your car breaks down, it’s going to cost you in several different ways.
“You are going to wait weeks for them. Bigger items like transmissions, engines, weeks,” said Demetri Kamar, owner & mechanic of two repair shops.
Basic things like tires and brakes aren't being impacted too much, but those bigger ticket items, like transmissions, won't only cost you more money, but more time without your car.
“It's my daily driver, my car it is not like I have backup cars or anything like that and what makes it even worse is they have a shortage of loaners,” said driver Anthony Lawson.
COVID-related challenges to the auto industry are being felt from top to bottom, starting with the new car shortage.
Consumer Reports just talked with experts about the chip shortage: Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Guidehouse Insights, which tracks the automotive industry, says the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), one of the larger chip manufacturers, will be able to increase production capacity by the end of 2023. But efforts by other companies to beef up manufacturing may take longer, even stretching into 2024 and 2025.
Auto experts say with fewer new car options, more people are keeping their cars. The production of parts is struggling to keep up.
“It is probably going to take at least a year to two years to go to pre-pandemic,” said Kamar.
Auto experts say the price of parts is up 20% from last year.
Whether it's new wiper blades or tires, you're going to be paying more for it.
Reporter: Jessica Danowski