When we think of people who are lacking computer skills, we can’t help but also think of people who are lacking car repair skills. Both groups of people can be at an extreme disadvantage because of their lack of knowledge if something were to go wrong with their computer or their car. Our instincts tell us that more of you are lacking in the car repair skills than computer skills, so today’s Weekend Website will be valuable to you. The site we’re looking at is called RepairPal and their goal is to take the mystery out of auto repair.
If you feel inadequate when it comes to vehicle repairs, you”ll want to take note of all that RepairPal offers…
What is RepairPal?
As mentioned, RepairPal aims to help vehicle owners feel confident about the care of their cars. Their slogan is, “We take the mystery out of auto repair” and they do this by providing independent repair estimates, user ratings and reviews of repair shops, and expert advice about repairs and common problems you might have with your car.
Need your fuel filter changed? Or maybe you need new breaks or a fuel pump replacement? RepairPal lists out all of the different services you might need done on your car and provides you with a list of estimates based upon the make, model, year, service type, and zip code.
I know that my car needs the fuel filter changed, so I entered the make and model along with the zip code and the service I needed done, and it estimated that I’d spend between $79-$103 depending on whether I went to a dealership or an independent shop. Several shops were listed near me, and if someone rated the shop already based upon their five-star scale, I’d be able to see the rating they gave it.
They also provide information about the repair you’re seeking estimate information on and explain why you need the repair and provide recommendations for the part. For my fuel filter example, they recommended that I use a high-quality filter to keep contaminants out of the fuel system.
Find a Shop
One of the biggest problems people run into when they can’t repair their vehicles themselves is finding an honest repair shop. There’s a stereotype that mechanics can’t be trusted which in some cases they probably can’t, but others out there are good honest people. RepairPal tried to make finding a shop in your zip code easy by allowing you to search your zip code, and then you can refine the search by make, shop specialty, or distance. They’ll pinpoint all of the locations on a Google Map and then provide you with the ratings of each shop if they’re available.
Just as you may have people that come to you for “expert” advice on computers, everybody wants an expert to turn to for advice on their cars. Under the Expert Advice section, you can see some of the common problems with your vehicle and see what the experts say about it. If you have what they consider a “tough” question, you can pay a fee of anything between $9-$40 and get a certified mechanic to answer you by email.
If you decide to use their free expert advice and just view the common problems your vehicle is known to have, just enter in the year, make, and model, and it will list out common problems in each of the categories including brakes, drive train, engine, exhaust and emissions, electrical and lights, suspension and steering, and heating and air conditioning.
They allow automotive technicians and/or shop owners to submit information if they see something is wrong, incomplete, or should be improved, and then RepairPal will look into it and make changes as necessary. This means information is generally kept up-to-date, or they at least make an effort to do-so.
For those who want to look up more information on various aspects of their car, they also offer an Auto Repair Encyclopedia so you can learn more about any part imaginable.
We seem to manage everything online these days, so why not manage your car records online too? The section on RepairPal called “My Car” is dedicated to making it easy for people to manage their cars online. You can get service reminders as well as safety alerts and recall info. Nice, huh? You can add multiple cars too so if you want to manage your family’s vehicles, it’s not a problem.
Wrapping it up
If fixing cars is not your forte, check out RepairPal. It’ll help you find the information about the repairs your vehicle may need, and will give you confidence about the price you pay and the service you receive when you go to a repair shop to get something done. By no means is RepairPal going to be able to give you all of the information you need about a repair or how much something will cost, but it does provide you with the basics, and any information you can get helps.