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Why Do Some Cars Spend Months At The Mechanics?

While you may not have experienced it yourself, we've all heard stories of cars that go into a workshop for a repair that don't come out until months later. But, why does this happen?

Well, there's actually a couple of potential reasons but it usually comes down to either overbooking in a workshop or parts availability.

While the first one is very much a problem at the moment (and something we might talk about later), the second one is the real kicker for workshops and vehicle owners.

Any reasonable person would hear that and think it's kind of insane. With the advent of overnight freight and same day shipping, what is happening in the automotive world that means parts can still take months to arrive?

It's actually quite simple. Because many car parts are either really heavy or considered dangerous goods, air-freight is almost immediately off the table.

Whether it be the explosive devices used to set off airbags or lead-acid filled batteries, the risk is often too high to put car parts on a plane.

This leaves road and sea travel as the main carriers of automotive parts. Meaning a part that is readily available in Japan or Europe now has a minimum of a 8-12 week journey to land on our shores.

Believe us, if you think it's ridiculous, mechanics are 100% in agreeance. While it is definitely an inconvenience for the vehicle owner, it's actually a nightmare for a mechanic to have a vehicle stored on site as well.

First and foremost, if that vehicle isn't able to be taken off the hoist, that's a complete work-bay shut down until that car is fixed again; A massive loss of income. Secondly, unless there is secure storage on site, that car will usually be pushed in and out of the workshop (by hand) until it's able to run again.

Now this is already a pretty ridiculous situation but, there's another parts related factor that is much worse and much more annoying. Nil supply and obsolete.

Though it's not as common with new cars, as vehicles age manufacturers slowly phase out production of certain parts. Whether it be that they don't sell as well or that they had a planned coverage date, as soon as a part is obsolete (no longer available), our job becomes much more difficult.

The worst scenario we've ever seen was a Jaguar that wasn't starting due to a failed security module. As far as we know, it sat in the dealership for over 18 months with no parts available new, second hand or refurbished.

It's a difficult pill to swallow but, it's something that just tends to be the case in our market. Because we're a tiny island in the middle of the sea, getting parts can sometime just be a nightmare.


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