What's driving the spike in costs for car repairs?

Posted at 11:16 AM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 18:19:48-04

We're diving into a major increase in the cost of upkeep for vehicles, a national trend that's more than 20% higher in the last year.

Metro Detroiters are feeling that added expense every time they go to get their car fixed.

Jonathan Montgomery, a college student studying broadcasting, has been hit hard by this. He said a lot of times, he just goes without the fixes because he can't afford it.

“You have this cold weather and sometimes you don’t have heat. That may cost a lot. Brake lines fluid issues cost me like $400. There’s been a couple issues," Montgomery said.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows motor vehicle repair costs have jumped 23% nationally in the last year.

Driver Michelle Mitchell said she's grateful to Bloomfield Car Care at Telegraph and Long Lake for keeping her on the road without breaking the bank.

She said Owner Jim Yaldoo has spent decades building a great reputation for outstanding repair work while keeping pricing affordable.

“What he says he’s going to do he does. He’s a fair price and quality job," Mitchell said.

The owner of the busy repair facility tells us there are at least two major reasons for seeing the cost of brake jobs, tune-ups and other maintenance up more than 20% in the last year.

“A lot of places don’t have the qualified people to look over the car, and you call to order parts and they’ve gone up drastically," Yaldoo said.

Sometimes, he also runs promotions and puts out coupons.

“I don’t think any of these shops are trying to rip somebody off, the cost of keeping their business going and doors open is making the price go up," he said.

We asked Oakland University Economics Professor Michael Greiner about the impact of inflation on auto repair prices, along with fewer repairs shops open.

“It does concern me and shows what people have been struggling with a lot. They’ve had to make certain decisions, balancing what am I going to spend money on this month versus what do I not have the money available for?" he said.

Looking ahead, Montgomery hopes more technicians and the availability of parts will eventually bring down costs in the U.S.

“Parts are always like $100 more than what they used to be," he said.