For nearly everyone, car repair is one of those things out there in the cloudy land of priviledged information that we aren’t privy to. Mechanics and repairs are something that require specific knowledge and most of us aren’t, well, mechanics. This puts us at a real disadvantage when our vehicles break down and we need repairs done. Most mechanics, of course, are honest and aren’t out to rip us off, but we always suspect they are cheating us regardless. As Jerry Seinfeld said: finding a good mechanic is more important than a good doctor. Doctors are a dime a dozen; honest, competent mechanics, though… priceless.
Well, now there’s RepairPal.com, which began back in 2008. Since then, it’s grown considerably and is one of the most useful apps we here at sCommerce have seen in a long time. Now, it has an iPhone app too. Perfect.
Both the website and the iPhone app work in the same way. While RepairPal can’t diagnose your car’s problem (unless it’s common), it can provide you with expert analysis and estimates when you do know what the problem is. So once your tow truck or mechanic has told you the issue, you can get a second opinion on that price tag and its components.
For instance, if you have a 1996 Saab 900 in the 94114 ZIP code that requires a new clutch, it will give you a price range for repairs of $1,138 to $2,458 depending on the total parts required. It breaks down the average parts cost for you, so you know if one is needed, what it will take and the upper range of the price estimate is usually a dealer repair versus an independent shop.
It also lists local repair garages in your area along with a 1-5 star rating, given by people who use the app who have rated those garages. That’s a definite bonus.
Overall, the app is a great tool and definitely worth using. If your car is out of warranty and in potential need of some TLC, you might find this app to be priceless.