RepairPal Blog

You love that new car smell! You're so freaked out about your new baby getting its first scratch that you somehow manage to take up 3 parking spaces trying to keep it safe. You adore the fact that your ride has never had a problem. But you know it's inevitable: your car will have its first "event"—hopefully later rather than sooner. To help you prepare you for that first issue, check out RepairPal's Common Problems With Your Car section. Select the make, model, and year of your car, and our exclusive database will tell you if there are any problems that commonly crop up on your specific vehicle. These can include issues with the brakes, drive train, electrical system, lights, engine, exhaust system, heating, AC, suspension, or steering. If there are common issues, some may be avoidable by a preventive visit to your mechanic (Repairpal can even help you find one).

BMW 335i, 335xi, 328i, 328xi (2008 Models) Chevrolet G-Series Vans, Express Vans, Metro, Impala SS (1994-1996) and the Celebrity

This week's trivia question: What automobile manufacturer sold the last V4 engine available in the U.S.?

After many suggestions from our users and a lot work by the entire RepairPal team, we're please to announce new features and information to better help you understand and manage your car care. Our new Cars section combines the ever-expanding Common Problems information we collect with an all-new feature that allows owners to share reliability ratings and reviews for their cars. Owners and potential buyers can see what our experts and other owners say about specific models. We also have a new Encyclopedia section that features our expansive explanation of automotive systems and repair, which will now also feature Auto Care Helpful Hints to help with anything from understanding the dreaded check engine light to buying new tires.

RepairPal is a nominee for the SXSW (that's the South by Southwest Conference) Interactive Web Awards. This competition uncovers the best new websites and celebrates those who are building tomorrow's online trends. To enter your vote and review, simply click on the following link:

You asked. We delivered. Buick LaCrosse, Riviera, Roadmaster, and Skylark; Cadillac XLR, XLR V, and Eldorado; Chevrolet G Series Van (G10), Caprice, Impala, Beretta, and Corsica; Ford Aerostar, Lincoln Continental and Town Car; Mercury Capri and Cougar; and finally, Nissan Versa.

We heard some great answers to our last question, Which vehicle has one of the most expensive regular maintenance services? They included an oil change on a Ferrari Enzo and any service for a Bugatti Veyron. If you've had any of these services performed, please let us know how much you paid. The answer to our last quiz, which no one came up with, is changing the spark plugs on a Mercedes MacLaren SLR. A Mercedes technician blew us away when he told us that the warranty time for this service was 25.5 hours! Our local Mercedes dealer charges $175 an hour for labor—that's $4,500 plus parts for new spark plugs.

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.