Local mechanics say VW, Audi parts may be hard to find

By Joe Moskowitz
VW Parts Inc. owner William Hrazanek’s well-publicized recent troubles may also cause financial problems for area drivers. Hrazanek’s financial and legal battles, along with difficulties he blames on damage from Hurricane Irene, have prompted him to close his Fleischmanns based auto salvage business. As a result, local owners of older Volkswagens and Audis, who need parts, could be in for cases of sticker shock. And, because of the lack of a local source for used parts, it may take longer for shops to complete repairs. Now that VW Parts Inc. is out of business, these cars may become far more expensive to repair.

Espensive proposition
VWs and their higher-priced sibling, Audis, have reputations as being among the most expensive cars to maintain repair. The first of two cars CBS Market watch says not to buy used are VWs. It’s not mechanics that drive up the cost of maintenance, it’s the parts.
Despite this, there are many used VWs and Audis on the road in the Central Catskills, in part because VW Parts sold used parts cheap and made them readily available.

Tom Shamro of Halcott Center repairs all makes and models, including VWs and Audis. He says a small grille piece, which an Audi dealer might charge several hundred dollars for, would sell at VW Parts for $10 or $15. Shamro says the demise of VW Parts is going to make driving more expensive for local drivers.

Sees an impact
Cory Johnson is a mechanic at H&H Motors in Arkville. He says there has already been an impact from VW Parts closing. Johnson says H&H used to get many parts from VW Parts and they could get almost anything very quickly. Now it may take two or three days to get the same part. Johnson says there is a salvage shop on Ashokan, which does have some parts.

Brian Sanford of Arkville’s Sanford Auto Body says it was handy to be able to tell people where they could get parts locally. He sells new parts, but he says some, especially for Audis, can be very expensive and aren’t even available to him at any cost. They are sold exclusively by Audi dealers.
Johnson says many drivers love their older VWs and Audis and will keep them, but when it comes to maintenance, they may have to pay the price.