Myrtle Beach area auto repair workers battle shortage of auto parts

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A shortage of auto parts could impact wait times and repair bills for customers in the Grand Strand.

Autoworkers said Wednesday customers could wait months for repairs at auto shops as a result. Bob Danella, service manager at Turn Key Auto Repair, said he started seeing the shortage when coronavirus hit the U.S.

With decades of experience, he said he’s never seen prices for auto repair needs like they are now.

“You just know it went up and now you got to give the bad news to all of the customers coming in,” Danella said.

He said price tags are higher than ever and it’s reflecting on customers’ bills.

“Some of it we’re absorbing. Some of the oil went up almost $2 a quart,” Danella said. “We decided not to raise it that much just because we don’t want to lose [customers],” he said.

Danella said a lack of workers at auto manufacturers is hitting dealerships the hardest. At Beach Automotive, backorders for parts usually sit at 30. As of Wednesday, there are over 300 parts on backorder.

“Normally before we would just order from Ford, Mazda, or Volvo. Now we’re having to order from dealers – independent part stores,” Marshall Baker said. He said he spends half of his day searching for auto parts.

He said, in some cases, manufacturers may have the parts but without workers to ship them out they’re sitting on shelves.

Some customers, Baker said, are waiting weeks to months for repairs. It’s an issue that’s impacting several auto shops across the Grand Strand.

“Everything’s in such short supply,” Baker said. “It’s stressful. Everybody becomes agitated because you know you’re working so much harder to try to do the same amount of work you were doing before,” Baker said.

Autoworkers are asking for patience as the shortage and increased prices could last through the end of next year.

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