How Auto Parts Hoarding for Toyota and Other Cars Could Become a Thing in 2022
The Long Wait for Parts
This past Christmas, the best gift I received came to me on the second week of December while on a road trip and a phone call alerted me that my Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold for a 1973 Ford F-100 had arrived. What made this so especial? I had waited a little over one year filled with repeated revised delivery dates that became less meaningful every few months, before I could possess this treasure.
The long delay had been explained by a combination of Edelbrock’s acquisition of Comp Cams, relocating a plant from California to Mississippi, a possible problem with their foundries and hiring of machinists, and of course…COVID.
Last year, I had a similar long wait for the parts needed to install a trailer hitch on my wife’s car---we had COVID-induced dreams of remote traveling the U.S. safely until this madness came to an end. Long story short, I had to wait 4 months on the trailer hitch all because of a single specialized bolt that was outsourced by another company undergoing COVID-related problems. Using any other bolt would have voided any warranty protections.
I Am Not Alone
I knew that this was a problem for others per discussions in one garage where I had ordered cylinder heads for a particular vehicle. I was lucky on this buy in two ways: (1) Apparently, I had bought the last name-brand new set available anywhere for this model and (2) the shop owner resisted the offer by another customer to pay twice the price for my pre-ordered set! The shop owner could have easily pocketed several hundred dollars and left me in a COVID parts purgatory, which goes to show that there are honest mechanics out there.
All of this prompted today’s article about the growing problem of acquiring needed auto parts and other related hardware. In fact, in a recent Toyota Maintenance YouTube channel episode, Peter talks about the rise in prices of common OEM parts needed for typical maintenance jobs like brake shoes, brake pads, caliper, brake discs, oil and air filters. The gist of the article is that the costs of these parts have jumped dramatically---resulting in higher costs for car owners needing repairs.
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Automotive parts prices are soaring!
It’s Not Just About the Costs, But the Availability as Well
Here’s a second video posted not long ago by Erick the Car Guy YouTube channel where Eric discusses and bemoans the shared frustration of finding parts and how he has made-do until new parts arrive.
Waiting For Parts Sucks
Will Auto Parts Hoarding Happen?
Whether or not we will see auto parts hoarding in 2022 remains to be seen. However, based on past human behavior history---it does not seem like a far-fetched possibility. Imagine if you will, a social media message that Toyota will run out of OEM brake pads due to COVID. Whether or not this is true, does not matter as we have seen in the past.
However, one aspect of it that makes sense is when it comes to common maintenance auto parts—stocking-up (not hoarding) on the parts you know you will eventually need, actually makes good economic sense. For example, oil and air filters, brake shoes, pads, calipers and discs, fuel injectors, spark plugs and coils, and possibly even a starter. Keep an eye peeled for sales and discounts to add to your stock will save you even more money.
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If prices and availability on common parts continue to rise as per the videos, buying the forementioned OEM parts now is a reasonable precaution. Of course, there will always be the cheaper after-market and nearly original online parts from Asia, but these often have problems not seen in OEM parts.
Alternatives to Parts Stocking
• Plan ahead with your normal maintenance auto parts needs to cover your car for the next two years.
• Watch the internet for reviews about recommended after-market or non-OEM replacement parts that have proven dependable.
• Keep your eye out for a wrecked model that could be scavenged for parts should things get worse. (I believe the days of inexpensive junkyard diving are over, there are now a number of organized venues for buying junked vehicle parts---but they are pricy)
• Find a trusted mechanic, buy him or her an occasional cup of coffee (or beer) and stay in the loop for trends he or she may be observing when it comes to parts and repair costs.
• Most important of all---Don’t Panic.
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We would like to hear from you! Have you had any auto parts pricing or availability problems? Tell us about it in the comments section below. What is the longest you had to wait for a new part since the beginning of COVID?
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Timothy Boyer is Torque News Tesla and EV reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.
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