Although the world as we know it might be headed in a different direction with the automobile, it’s likely not going to happen for some time to come. Our dreams of electric, natural gas or even oxygen fueled cars aren’t going to be coming true anytime soon. Although we are much closer then we were 10 years ago.
The gasoline powered combustion engine is really an engineering marvel. The thousands of parts that go into one single automobile still stands to this day as one of the greatest inventions on the planet.
Having said that however, we can’t deny that it doesn’t go without its flaws. Fuel costs, replacement parts and flat tires can put a severe dent in your paycheck. And that incredible joy of owning your first sports car can come quickly crashing to reality. Fortunately for us though, there are thousands of car enthusiasts out there willing to offer up their knowledge through blogs, forums, and creative web applications. I thought I would share several of the best that the web has to offer.
NOTE: A majority of these sites apply to those only located in the United States.
Cost2Drive is a simple fuel calculation application that displays how much it is going to cost you to get you from one location to another. It’s all based upon the make and model of your vehicle, along with the average gas price in your starting county. It will also display the quickest route, the total number of miles, the number of gas gallons and even your carbon footprint. It’s a very handy tool for your next road trip.
Drive Pricing calculates gas costs from one location to another, with a few additional search options. After specifying your two locations of travel, you can select your grade of gasoline, your miles/gallon and whether you’re going to be making a round trip or not. Drive Pricing then displays your quickest route, total number of miles and of course total cost as well.
GasBuddy has been the go to place for finding the latest up to date gas prices in your geographical area. While gas prices were rising in the United States, GasBuddy was one of the most popular places to find the lowest gas prices within your area.
The majority of data is user generated so even you can add your own prices and earn “points”. There are also fuel saving tips and tricks.
FuelFrog is a simple online application that tracks gas mileage based upon your fill-up entries that can be entered through their website or through your Twitter account. After you’ve begun adding your fill-ups, they will provide with charts and graphs on the amount you are spending over time, and where you are headed.
Service and Repair
DriverSide is your all-in-one location for tracking recalls, services, value and more on your car. One of the nicest features about DriverSide is the ability to provide you with estimated repair costs on something that has broken down in your vehicle. So it can actually give a price on “What you SHOULD pay”, as opposed to what your mechanic is saying.
It’s a great place to keep track of your vehicles over time and see how their value is affected with each and every repair you place on them.
RepairPal is your local mechanics worst nightmare. They provide independent prices on repairs and services for your vehicle. The site also offers common problems you’ll run into with your make of car, maintenance scheduling and tracking, and a huge 260,000+ service shop database. They even provide you a paid service to ask a live mechanic any question you like on the spot.
VehicleFixer is a DIY vehicle repair video site for beginners. It gives you step-by-step videos on simple things like checking and changing fluids, tire pressure and changing your battery. These easy video tutorials can save you lots of money in expensive labor costs that mechanics will charge you for in the shop.
VehicleFixer also includes the ability to enter your maintenance schedule and gas mileage as well.
FrugalMechanic is similar to price comparison sites you’ve seen before, but only searches through various online parts vendors. If you’re looking to replace something small in your car and you don’t want to pay the higher amounts you’ll pay at your local NAPA, FrugalMechanic is a great place to look.
As you can see, many different kinds of sites have been developed for those looking to take better care of their car, and make it run more efficiently. Whether you are just looking to track your gas spending, maintenance and repairs, or simply want to save some money and do some repair work on your own, you have several different options to choose from.
Having said that, I know there several additional options out there. Whether it be a blog, or just a general auto website, we’d like to hear about them.
What blogs, sites or web applications do you use to keep up on your car?