Monday, September 13, 2010

Environmentally friendly tool for motorist

My son is a car enthusiast who says that when he drive a car, he feels like the car is a part of him. I was amazed when he on his own stripped out the old wiring of his antique Mini Minor are rewired it all by himself. He had also overhauled the engine of that old car although in this major job he had to use other workshops for impossible which are impossible to do without expensive machineries and equipment. All this without any formal training in auto mechanics.

He had long dreamed of starting his own car repair workshop. So when I received an email alerting me to this RepairPal dealing with auto repair, I brought it to his attention at the earliest moment possible.

So what does he think of RepairPal? We tried going through the motion of a stranded motorist with a stalled car, namely
1. Get an estimate
2. Find a shop
3. Get car information
4. Track your service

First, getting an estimate. Apparently before one can get an estimate, one need to answer a series of questions in what looks like some kind of expert system. According to my son, the questions were too technical for a layman who would find difficulties in answering accurately the questions.

In any case, my personal opinion of RepairPal is that they are providing an extremely useful service which unfortunately is limited to only the United States at the moment. Such a service will come in handy especially when one get stranded in a remote place with a stalled car. This is where my son's Android Phone comes in handy as then use RepairPal "Find a Shop" which even will provide a map with the location of the repair shops all marked on the map. If you are located in the Chicago area, you can also look up Chicago auto repair.

RepairPay seem to go beyond just getting estimates and finding repair shops. It also provides a wealth of information including information on Toyota Camry which happened to be a very popular car where I live. The reputation of Toyota for reliability is such that people tend to ask "Have you ever seen a Toyota car breakdown?" expecting of course an answer in the negative.

RepairPay is also highly educational. For example, if you see the "Check engine light" comes on, you can surf over to check engine light for a comprehensive description of what is involved.

So who or what is RepairPal? From their "About RepairPal" 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.

I just wish they would extend their service to cover the country where I live, for then we will get a very environmentally friendly tool for motorists