Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vehicle Maintenance And Repairs

Our Dodge Dakota - Best Vehicle Ever!

Since we bought our Dodge Dakota truck in 2006 we haven't had to worry about repairs so much. This is the very best vehicle I have ever had in my whole life. It has never broke down since we got it. That is the honest to God truth! Not having to spend money on repairs has made it more affordable to have preventative maintenance done on it. One of the biggest obstacles is finding repair shops that you can trust. My friend's boyfriend was at a shop that was inspecting his truck and he was outside smoking. As he stood there in front of the window he watched the worker break something on his truck. He lost his temper with them. They threatened him that he could not drive his truck out of there due to whatever it was that they broke! He drove it out anyway and he did not pay for any repair by them either. It was a well known shop that has lots of customers. You'd think they would not have the time, or need to do such a thing to a customer. Needless to say, my friend works for NY state and she knew how to turn them in.

But what to do if you want to find a reputable place to get work done on your costly vehicles? There is a website called Repair Pal that does just that! You put your zip code or city in their search box to find repair shops in whatever area you live or work in. For instance say you need a  Houston auto repair shop. You would come to the Houston page and it lists every repair shop with a map. If your particular shop isn't in there (which they aren't all in their data base.......yet), you can add it. On that page it also tells a little something about Houston and traveling there. I didn't see that on my small town of Oxford, NY page, but I only had two pages of shops and Houston had 16+ pages.

It has a search engine for whatever kind of vehicle you have. Lets say you have an  Acura Integra. Repair Pal will have everything you need to know about your car, including comments from other owners. You can add your own comments good or bad. Lets you keep an online record of all your vehicle repairs and maintenance  for the future. It gives you a list of all the recalls for your vehicle, which I spent a good part of my day reading. This is a very handy thing to have such easy access to! There is also a list of common problems which gives you pertinent information for your vehicle.

The encyclopedia is what got my attention! I like this feature a lot. You can look up what might be wrong with your vehicle and it gives you ideas of what to do or how to prevent it from happening again. If you are considering getting an oil change, it explains to you the basis of the oil change and what you need to do.  Also the  common misdiagnose feature explains facts that could be mistaken for other things faulty. It will also give you estimates of what the repair you are looking at may run. They of course, can not tell you exactly the cost, but a ball park figure.

I know we always get notices from the dealer we bought our truck from telling us we need a tune-up. On Repair Pal they explain the mystery of the tune-up to me! It also explains details about tune-ups and how they have changed over the years due to the changes in the automotive industry. My father was an automobile mechanic for many years and he worked in various dealerships. Of course, the vehicles kept changing becoming safer and now more environmentally friendly. I know most people do not understand the simplest most basic things their vehicles need or how they operate. Turn the key on and that is about the extent of many people's knowledge. Now with Repair Pal you now have an option when looking for repair shops or information. It is just a click away!
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