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Website Allows Users To Visit Mechanic Armed With Knowledge

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – CBS4 has help for people who feel lost taking their car in for repairs and are confused by whether the mechanic is charging a fair price.

CBS4 Money Saver Suzanne McCarroll found a way for people to arm themselves with knowledge.

“So many of us know nothing about what is under the hood of a car and what it should cost to fix what doesn’t work,” McCarroll said.

Need new spark plugs? Perhaps a fan belt is broken. Or worse yet, front brake pads and rotors need resurfacing. RepairPal.com allows users to put in the make model and year of a car, the repair needed and the user’s zip code. It then it tabulates what that repair should realistically cost.

“A red flag is anything that is way too low or anything that is way too high,” Dana TePoel with Lake Arbor Automotive and Truck said. “An example of too low; it would be an opportunity for a shop to low ball you to get you in the door.”

RepairPal.com is the creation of Art Shaw.

“People own their cars longer than they ever have,” Shaw said in a Skype interview with McCarroll.

Shaw says two-thirds of drivers plan to keep their cars until they have $150,000 miles or more.

“We have an exhaustive database that covers 20 years for almost all makes and models for almost all fixes,” Shaw said. “So you know what a fair price is.”

The site also helps diagnose the car’s problem. Researchers are in the process of reviewing shops and recommending fair and reputable ones around the country.

“If a repair shop is off the scale to the high side it’s a good idea to ask them to explain it,” TePoel said. “If they can’t explain it their prices are too high.”

The site allows the consumer to be a lot more educated when they talk to the mechanic working on the car.

LINK: RepairPal.com

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