How to save money on car repairs

June 3, 2010 4:04:00 PM PDT
For all of you car owners out there who have taken your car in to be repaired and left wondering if you were overcharged, we have the details on a new website that gives you the power of knowledge before you walk into an auto shop. The website is called repairpal.com, and this free site gives you estimates on costs of car parts and different types of repairs. One Houston woman actually saved several hundred dollars in parts and labor by using repairpal.com.

When Melinda Dancoe's car did not start one morning, she was in a panic, so she took her car to a local dealership.

"They suggested I needed to have the most expensive part replaced, which was the fuel pump," said Dancoe.

The estimate for her repair including parts and labor was $1,070.

"I immediately got online and did some shopping and found the Repair Pal," she said.

Repairpal.com is an independent, unbiased resource for consumers. The idea is to give car owners estimated repair prices and expert information before they walk into an auto mechanic shop.

"I just simply input my car, make, and model, and what type of repair I was looking for," Dancoe said.

From there, Dancoe types in her ZIP code so she can find a shop near her work.

"They also gave me an estimate of what the low labor would be, the high cost of labor, the low part and the high part," she said.

Dancoe chose to call Master Car Care.

"They gave me an estimate of between $700 and $750," said Dancoe.

The auto shop guarantees their work, and Dancoe got a bonus car wash with complete detail thrown in.

"So it was a really good experience for me," said Dancoe.

Byron Rusk, owner of Master Car Care, is a Repair Pal business.

"Any time you don't know what's wrong with your car, you are concerned that it might be too expensive or take too long to get repaired," said Rusk.

He likes the idea that price estimates and information is easily accessible to consumers.

"It prevents gross overcharging," Rusk said. "It allows for reputable shops to be competitive and to support more and more clients through the Repair Pal referral."

For Dancoe, repairpal.com is a resource she can arm herself with the next time she heads to the repair shop.

"I can bluff my way pretty well, but when you come around guys that know cars and mechanics, and they've got way more knowledge than you do, it's a comforting thought to have a piece of material that can guide you through that," Dancoe said.

In addition to repair estimates, you'll also find reviews from customers who have rated their experience. We've got a link to the Repair Pal website here.

If you don't know what is wrong with your car, repairpal.com will guide you through the different problems that could be wrong with your car. It also has a real-time service representative to answer your questions.


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