Save money on car maintenanceI hate to say it, but I’m becoming really attached to my smartphone. It talks to me, it guides me, we spend most of the day together…hell, we’re even sleeping together.

    Okay, so I definitely need a digital detox. But one (healthy) reason I love my phone: it’s equipped with an arsenal of apps that help me save money. One of these days, I’ll have to post a round-up of these apps.

    In the meantime, let’s talk about a new one I’ve discovered to help save money on car maintenance: RepairPal.    

    It’s pretty simple to use. It estimates car maintenance prices, finds shops in your area, helps keep track of your repairs–it even offers roadside assistance. Personally, I’m a AAA gal. But if you’re not, this feature could be an added bonus.

    Get price estimates

    Save money on car maintenanceEnter in the details of your vehicle and whatever car maintenance you need done. The app automatically gives you a price range for the auto repair in your area. How do they know? I have no idea. I don’t wanna know how the sausage is made, I just wanna eat it.

    Seriously, though, it researches the cost of parts and labor in your area and offers its own estimate. According to CNET:

    “The data that goes into the generation of the this range is gathered from a number of sources, including one of the super-secret labor cost estimator tables that’s been available exclusively to mechanics up until now. (RepairPal has a five-year exclusive on this data.)”

    While you might be able to look up some of this info online, what I like about RepairPal is that it’s more customized for your car and location. So the prices are probably a little more accurate. Also, they’re using those super-secret estimates.

    Shop around

    Oh, and here’s an interesting thing. When the company was forming, they decided to conduct a little study on auto repair shop pricing. The result? Straight up sexism. Check it out:

    “50 calls were made to shops asking for a price quote on a given repair. Then, a short time later, the calls were made again to the same shops, but this time with women making the queries instead of men. The average price difference was 17 percent higher when women called. Sturtz thought he could level the playing field, and not just for women.”

    How dare these shops assume that, because I’m a woman, I know absolutely nothing about auto repair!?

    Now, I should probably mention that I know absolutely nothing about auto repair. But, come on; it’s not nice to take advantage of that. Fortunately, the app lets you find reputable car maintenance shops in your area.

    Track your repairs

    Another cool feature the app offers is a repair log. You can keep your vehicle up-to-date by entering in the maintenance and repairs you’ve had done. I usually keep my car maintenance history in my glove compartment, so this is a great way to digitize everything.

    Roadside help

    And, as mentioned, if you find yourself sh!t out of luck on the side of the road, you can use the app to save your butt. It offers 24/7 emergency roadside assistance.

    I’m not saying I’m looking forward to using this app, but next time my car starts making weird noises, I can see it coming in handy.