‘Our workshops littered with abandoned cars due to recession’
An automobile mechanic in Ilorin, Kwara State, Mr. Martins Michael, has lamented the rate at which car owners abandon their faulty cars at mechanic workshops, blaming the action on the current economic situation in the country.
He added that several cars were also being displayed for sale by the roadside nowadays because their owners could no longer afford the high costs of maintaining them.
The auto technician said the urge to sell or abandon those cars at mechanic workshops was because of the high costs of their spare parts and accessories, which many vehicle owners could no longer afford.
“The economic situation is really affecting our business, although, every car has different spare part, the prices of the parts vary and have become very expensive. A four-litre gallon of the cheapest brand of engine oil used to service a car now goes for N2,600 as compared to N1,500.
“The price of a Toyota Camry shock-absorber has risen from N4,000 to N7,000 for each of the four tyres. A new Toyota Camry engine costs N280,000 and N90,000 for “Tokunbo” and they used to be N180,000 and N55,000 respectively before.
“A 75 amps car-battery has increased from N13,000 to N26,000 while a 62 amps had gone from N10,000 to N18,000. I have mentioned the prices of these few items so that you will know the situation of things, and this is why people now abandon their cars with us because they cannot afford the cost of repairs,” Michael said.
He added that car owners have stopped doing the general repairs and maintenance of their vehicles, rather they only repair the very essential parts. “People no longer do maintenance or general repair again, they just ask us to fix the main problem so that the car can keep moving, and this is dangerous for safety on the roads.
“Every corner you go to now, you find cars displayed for sale, and people no longer have money to maintain two to three cars because maintaining only one is a problem. This situation is also affecting us because auto-mechanics only have little work to do; car owners prefer to buy spare parts to replace bad ones and promise to pay us for our workmanship later.
“And some of them do not believe when we say these parts have become expensive, so we ask them to buy. They will not come back to pick them; they will only abandon their cars at our workshops. Some of the cars have been here for months, we call the owners and they promise to come, but they have not come.
“I want the government to find a lasting solution to this problem of recession so that things can return to normal. If car owners continue to do piecemeal repairs on their faulty cars, this will be dangerous for the safety of lives and property, especially on the roads, ” he said.