Reuters recently reported that steel prices in the Persian Gulf rose 10 percent in a week. Because steel is now a global commodity, sustained price movements on the other side of the globe will eventually affect prices in the U.S. According to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, from January through May of this year, metal auto parts prices rose about 10 percent, so they are likely to rise further.
Why, you may ask, is this important? Car repair prices—including labor and parts—have historically risen at a very slow rate, usually 2 to 3 percent per year. With the U.S. economy struggling, the amount your mechanic or technician charges for his or her time is unlikely to rise much; it may even drop a bit. However, the higher prices of the parts s/he installs on your car are likely to keep overall car repair costs rising. This time of year, car dealers are eager to cut deals to reduce bloated inventories, so the decision to buy a new car (rather than keep your current rust bucket running a bit longer) may be getting easier.
Kudos and a big congratulations to Troubleshooter and Ron M. Both correctly answered the question "What's the most complex car at RepairPal?" The BMW 7 series, the Mercedes-Benz S class, and the Lexus LS600h Hybrid are in a dead heat to be the most complex vehicle we've encountered. All these cars have in the neighborhood of 100 CPUs on board. That's the equivalent of some 100 laptop computers! Thank you to all the good sports who played and their thoughtful answers.
Are you ready for the next question? Here it is.
We've heard a lot of feedback from our users who wanted more features in the My Car section of the site. Thanks for all your input! Today we've released some updates that allow you to customize My Car and make it a more useful place to manage your car's maintenance.
First, you can now upload your car's service records to your My Car page. Just scan or take photos of your service receipts, and upload them using the new tool. This will be the last time you'll rummage through shoe boxes of papers trying to determine when your last major service was performed. Everything is there, nice and neat, all in one place on your personalized My Car page. Check it out.
In modern vehicles, it seems as though most auto-repair stories start with the check engine light. The check engine light illuminates when there's a problem with your emissions control system. It also mean it's time to see a technician who can read a trouble code off your car's computer. You'll need to see a good diagnostician, but our article gets you started.
Understanding the Check Engine Light. What should you do when the big dreaded light on the dash goes on? Our easy-to-read guide gives you the 4 most common scenarios and tells you how to deal with them.
It may cost 6 million bucks to sponsor a Sprint Cup car—but not when you're racing on an Xbox. After a recent RepairPal victory at Daytona, we were all treated to some smoking burnouts. Take a look.
Although we can't fix race cars quite yet, we can help keep the trucks towing them to the track running beautifully.
We are thrilled to have a world-class team of ASE-certified, factory-trained and certified, and state-licensed master technicians here at RepairPal. Over the last year, we’ve assembled a group of individuals with extensive background in the automotive world. These professionals not only have experience repairing automobiles, but many of these folks have run their own shops and worked in the auto parts industry. We recently took an informal survey and were delightfully surprised to learn that our team, collectively, has more than 500 years of experience in the trade. Pretty amazing.
What’s an ASE-certified technician and what does it mean to you? As car owners and drivers, we benefit from ASE certification. It’s a way to measure the knowledge and skills of individual technicians as well as the commitment to quality of the repair shop that employs these professionals.
Now that RepairPal covers 94 percent of the cars on the road, we’ve discovered some interesting data that we’ll be sharing with you. But instead of just telling you about our findings, we thought you might like a game of trivia. It's a bit like Jeopardy for our auto enthusiasts.
Question: What’s the most complex vehicle on the road? Hint: it has more than 100 Intel processors on board.
"Really think the site is great. How bout extending it to Canada, any plans?"
While RepairPal isn't yet available north of the 49th parallel, the number of Canadians asking for it suggests we might accelerate our launch there.
We’re hearing praise and accolades from drivers all over the country. You can read some of the highlights here.
In fact, Rita DeAngelis, a RepairPal customer, recently had a transformative experience which saved her, literally, thousands of dollars.
Our team has written some fantastic articles to help with common issues we all face as drivers. I encourage you to take a read, bookmark those that interest you—and if you find them valuable, please send them on to a friend.
Prepare for Changing Seasons. If it’s not spring rain, then it’s the summer heat or winter sleet. In this guide, we show you how to make sure your car is ready for Mother Nature. We’ll show you how a good ol’ penny can quickly show you if your tires are fit for the road. It’s important to keep your vehicle in weather-appropriate shape—to keep you and your family safe.