4 Best Sites for Car Repair Estimates Online

April 8th, 2015 by

When you’re in need of auto services like costly car repairs, you want to make sure that you get the best possible deal and that the work gets done by a skilled professional.

Just choosing a local shop can be a shot in the dark. But if you do your research ahead of time online, you can track down the best rate and find a reputable mechanic to take care of the fix.

Here’s a list of the top sites that can help you diagnose a car problem, get estimates for the repair, and identify a trained automotive expert to do it.

RepairPal.com

This site has it all. You can start with advice, looking up the most recent pieces of information about your vehicle or posing a question to the Q & A forum.

To find common answers to your car’s problem, check out the most reported issues and look up relevant recalls that may be affecting your vehicle.

There’s also an encyclopedia so you can get up to speed on important automotive terms, and there’s a whole section dedicated to car care advice so you can prevent vehicle problems before they even happen.

In addition, the site stores reviews from owners, allowing you to find out what other people think of a particular vehicle. If you already own it, you can see if others are experiencing similar issues.

And if you’re looking at used cars, it’s a great resource when it comes to figuring out whether a model is a good buy or not.

Already know what problem your vehicle is experiencing? RepairPal can give you an estimate of what the repair should cost. You can also find out the national average for maintenance and repairs or look at model specific costs.

Once you have a grasp on how much you’re expecting to spend, the site can help you locate an auto repair shop to meet your needs.

Organized by state and town, RepairPal’s listings provide names and contact information for shops that are certified by the site. In order to be certified, shops must:

  • Deliver quality work that’s backed by a 12-month/12,000-mile guarantee
  • Have guaranteed fair prices
  • Have a reputation for making customers happy and satisfied

Any listed auto shop must be evaluated annually and certified through a 42-point screening process. Now that’s how you find a reliable mechanic.

AutoMD

Admit it…you definitely go to WebMD any time you’re faced with a physical health conundrum. So what could be better than having the same kind of resource for your car right at your fingertips?

AutoMD is ready to help you determine what the cause of your car’s problem is. Their vehicle-specific references provide lists of pertinent service bulletins and recalls right off the bat so you can see if one applies to the issue you’re dealing with.

Or you can use their intuitive “question tree” to diagnose by system. Input what you’re feeling, seeing, smelling, or hearing to get started. Or you can choose the “ugh” option if your car just won’t start.

If you already know what’s happening, select the affected component, choose the appropriate symptom, and give AutoMD just a sec to load up its troubleshooting screen.

You’ll see a series of possible causes with explanations, how-to guides, and cost and time estimates. Not satisfied with the results? No problem. You can post your dilemma up on the site’s community forum to see if anyone else can help you narrow down a solution.

Like RepairPal, AutoMD also gives you the ability to find fair repair estimates and shops that can help. With over 400,000 auto repair businesses in their system, you can find the right one by browsing through the available pictures, descriptions, and pricing details.

AutoMD also allows users to enter reviews, so you can check out firsthand feedback from other people’s experiences. You never have to guess again. Find the right place with the right price and get your car fixed correctly the first time.

Cars.com

Cars.com has recently added a Service and Repair feature to their well-known site. They now offer fair-price estimates, regular maintenance schedules, recall alerts, and service center listings that are backed by RepairPal.

Simply select the kind of service you think you need, and Cars.com will show you an estimate for labor and parts. They base their numbers on multiple repair shops in the area, as well as the price of both the work and mechanical components.

They do ask that you keep in mind that part prices might vary slightly based on warranty coverage, and the overall estimate doesn’t include taxes or disposal fees.

Just looking for more info about an issue? When you search for a specific problem, the site will also provide tips about related car maintenance and articles that you might find useful.

And should you decide that it’s going to cost more to fix the problem than you’re willing to spend on your current vehicle, Cars.com has the advantage of offering buying and selling options right within the site.

There are tools to help you choose the best vehicle for your lifestyle, research the best models, and figure out financing. This website has everything you need put together in one convenient spot.

Autobytel

Autobytel is another site worth visiting when your vehicle is exhibiting signs of distress. Just enter the year, make, model, and trim, and you’ll be given a list of the most common fixes for your car.

Is the issue you’re dealing with not on the list? You can browse all repair options to pick out the one you’re trying to remedy.

Once you’ve selected the problem in question, Autobytel will offer you a repair estimate that’s broken down into labor and parts via a handy little pie chart complete with percentages.

Want to proceed with getting the issue taken care of? The site allows you to search for local repair centers, ask advice from an automotive professional, or browse for coupons that can help you shave some digits off your bill.

Autobytel is another good site to visit if you decide to upgrade instead of repairing your current vehicle. You’ll find information about both new and used cars, as well as valuable buying tips that can help you find the right vehicle at the lowest price.

Posted in Auto Services