I’ve come across a number of interesting websites thanks to the Wall Street Journal podcast, the Tech News Briefing, including the E-Report with Tom Dziubek and and Paul Herrmann. (Note: Tom has interviewed me three times for the E-Report.) Most recently, the podcast informed me about RepairPal, a website that helps you find a local mechanic including reviews, get your car questions answered by other community members (or by experts for a fee), and keep track of your own car’s service records.
The tool I find most interesting is a survey of the actual costs paid to have maintenance performed on any make and model. For example, I wanted to compare my recent oil and filter change for a Honda Civic with the prices paid by those living near me. I paid $25 after rebate.
Here are the results. The prices paid for an oil change range from $22 to $40 in my area, with the low end of this range paid at independent shops and the high end paid at dealerships.
The search results also include links to location information, phone numbers, and reviews for local shops. If the site can attract enough people to write reviews, this will be a handy resource. As of now, the site is new, so the list of shops is use but not as good as word of mouth for recommendations.