Online estimates can save on car repairs

UNIVERSITY CITY - December 13, 2010

But RepairPal is a website that can take some of the guesswork out of paying for car repairs, and may help you save money.

Wayne Fleishman, owner of Wayne's Garage in University City, says, "The reason I'm a member of RepairPal is so they can go and check prices, the highs and the lows, and see what they want to do."

Here's how the site works:
You enter your car's make and model and the type of repair you need.

I priced new brake pads and rotors for my minivan.

The site then gives you a range of prices -- in this case between $246 and $378 -- and breaks the prices into the costs for parts and labor.

It then gives you a list of garages near you that can do the repair.

Fleishman says the prices aren't always exact -- but knowing a ballpark figure can help you choose where to go.

"It all depends on the types of parts each garage uses," Fleishman explains. "Some use a higher quality than others. And it gives a range, it could be $100 to $200 and then it's up to the customer what they want to do."

In addition to comparing costs, Fleishman says you should check to see if the shop is ASE or AAA-approved and whether the mechanics are licensed.

To check out the RepairPal site, click here.

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