Friday, June 20, 2008

Car Repairs

My dad was great at dragging me under the car and showing me how to fix his cars.  We did everything from changing oil, spark plugs, brakes, radiator, etc.  My job back then was really to hold the flashlight on that area he was working on.  I was pretty good at that job!  However, that "work on my own car bug" never really stuck with me.  Out of necessity in the past I've changed my own oil, changed brake pads, and other small minor repairs, but these days, I rely on others to maintain my cars.

repairpalThe problem is... do I really know if the estimate that I received is a good honest estimate?  Also, do I know if the mechanic is reputable as well?  I've found a website that will hopefully answer these questions.  RepairPal is a website that provides auto repair estimates based on your vehicle and where you live.  It also lists known reputable mechanics.

Ursula recently took our Dodge Durango in to have the air conditioning looked at since it's not working.  Yes, we're driving around in Texas with AC and we're surviving.  However, we only drive at 2am in the morning.

Anyway, she received an estimate of $1,200 to have the AC Compressor replaced.  Going to RepairPal, I found out that the range of this repair should be between $562 and $907.  Hmmmm... makes you wonder, huh?

Here's some more information about RepairPal from their About Us page:

Located in Emeryville, California, RepairPal was founded in 2007 by a group of automobile enthusiasts and entrepreneurs who were frustrated by the expensive and tedious process of fixing and maintaining their vehicles. They created RepairPal to provide drivers with the most accurate, unbiased, and useful car ownership information available. RepairPal is not affiliated with any automobile manufacturer, dealership, auto parts provider, or auto repair facility.

RepairPal offers a stress-free, time-saving method of obtaining all the relevant information conscientious consumers need. Unlike any other online resource, RepairPal provides impartial, fair price estimates, the most comprehensive auto shop directory, and expert insights and advice from certified mechanics. RepairPal’s unique, patent-pending system relies on multiple sources of difficult-to-acquire proprietary data that has never before been available to consumers.

1 comment:

Milanasdad said...

Hi Mark-
David Sturtz here, co-founder and CEO of RepairPal. I'm glad you like what we're doing and you've got lots of company. I'm a long-time car guy who couldn't determine if I was getting a reasonable price when I brought one of my cars in for service. I started working on a way to solve this problem 1.5 years ago and am very proud of what we've created. Please let me know how we can improve it.

Regarding the AC on your Durango, our prices have been tested for accuracy and are rarely off by much (when they're off at all). I suspect the shop your wife took it to is capitalizing on your weather-driven desire to get it fixed and fast. You will likely be able to find a local shop (with our directory) to do it for much less. Please let me know what you learn (team@repairpal.com).

And thanks for sharing RepairPal with your friends!
David