Chips are down if you need repairs
When asked whether Hillsboro Ford had any vehicle computer chips in stock, Randy Hagen responded, “Does anybody?”
A worldwide chip shortage has delayed car manufacturing and repair.
“These chips are used in a lot of different things — computers, appliances, and agricultural equipment,” Hagen said. “In a Ford F-150, there are a total of 150 electronic chips. This one chip coordinates all of the accessories.”
According to Tim Ligwiller, who runs Tim’s Computer Repair in Hillsboro, chips can wear out.
“Electrons are passing through these things constantly,” he said. “There can be no moving parts, but there are still electrons in there, and the connectors are so fine these days that they wear out.”
The only way to get new chips is by ordering new equipment with them installed, Hagan and Ligwiller say.
According to Hagen, a major microprocessor plant in Japan burned down.
Brent Abrahams at Abraham’s Engine Service outside Goessel offered another reason related to the global pandemic.
“What happened was the electronic manufacturers who were selling a lot of product during that time — PlayStations were selling like crazy — bought the manufacturers for the chips,” he said.
Transitioning back to producing chips for the automotive industries isn’t going well, he said.