Sunday, November 29, 2015

Car Parts Available Despite Auto Industry Turmoil

This year six to seven million of us who typically buy a new car will be skipping the showrooms and squeezing a few more years out of our current vehicles in order to make ends meet. As we decide to keep our cars longer, the typical vehicle on the road is almost nine and a half years old.

So, with all the changes going on in the auto industry and our aging cars, the big question many of us have is: Will I be able to get the parts I need to keep my car on the road?

Well, a bit of good news—you can breathe easy because the car part suppliers are doing OK. In fact, by keeping our cars longer, we need more repairs and parts— making repair shops and part suppliers one of the bright spots in our economy.

In the short term, there may be some delays in getting car-company brand parts, because repair shops usually get them through car dealers and more dealers are shutting their doors. On the other hand, there is a robust aftermarket that supplies high-quality alternative parts. In fact, the companies that supply auto parts to the repair market—names like AutoZone, NAPA, Pep Boys, and Advance Auto Parts—are all doing quite well.

Your credit union can help with vehicle financing.

Another reason not to worry? With fewer cars being built, the companies that make parts for the assembly line are looking for new places to sell their parts.

So, don't fear holding on to your car a bit longer or worry about whether the new car you may be considering will have the parts needed to fix it down the road.

In fact, the same goes for warranties. If your vehicle model is discontinued, the manufacturer will make good on the warranty. If the whole company folds, which is unlikely, then the government likely will step in and guarantee the warranties. While the reduction of car dealers may mean longer trips for warranty work, there's no question you'll be welcomed with open arms.

Companies that make parts for the assembly line are looking for new places to sell their parts.

The bottom line—keeping your car longer can be a great way to keep your family finances under control. As to the parts you'll need to keep it going, they'll be there!

Jack Gillis is a consumer expert on cars and author of the annual "The Car Book," now in its 29th year of publication.

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