Automotive shops and car dealerships both across the country and in Tulsa say they are experiencing car part shortages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With labor shortages happening all across the board due to the pandemic, the impacts have now trickled into the automotive world as basic car parts are nowhere to be found.
Local mechanics like Randy Stringer with Randy’s Automotive say the issue begins at the root with there being a lack of employees at the manufacturing companies. He said there aren’t enough people to make the parts, then there comes the snag of not having enough people who can ship the parts and distribute them across the world. Stringer said typically he can order a part and it will already be available in the United States, but now the parts are having to come from across the world on backorder.
“There just aren’t any employees, finding enough people to make and then ship something all the way to Oklahoma is a huge process,” Stringer said.
The mechanics said the issue is mostly with electronic parts, but the impacts are felt with every car make and model.
Stringer said this all comes back to the labor shortage creating a backorder list and it’s costing them business because a job that would normally take them a few hours is taking weeks or even months.
“It can be really frustrating,” Stringer said. “Especially if you’ve got one stuck in a bay, it eats up profit where another vehicle could go, so it has its days where it’s more frustrating than others.”
Stringer said he expects the problem to get worse before it gets better but hopes the necessary parts for everyday fixes start becoming more common soon.