Wouldn’t it be cool if there was an app that told you, based on local rates in your area, just how much a specific repair should cost? Wouldn’t it be even better if it broke things down separately by parts and labor? How about if it gave you steep by step directions, compiled by mechanics and complete with photos, on how to do the repair yourself?
You’re in luck, because AutoMD does all of the above. The free app uses data from US Auto Parts Network (creator of the app) and labor rates based upon your location. Sure, the AutoMD website does the same thing, but the iPhone app lets you price repairs on the go. Put a rod through the side of your block when you money shift your Acura RSX, and you can know exactly how long you’ll be living on ramen and tap water before the tow truck even arrives.
It’s not foolproof, since it crashed a few times on my iPhone 3G running iOS 4.1. I finally did get it to work, and the costs it gave me seemed to be right on the money. Even the do-it-yourself repair advice was pretty good, but if you’ve never turned a wrench it probably won’t be detailed enough to help you with cam belt replacement in your Ferrari 308. It’s a free app, and definitely worth downloading for reference.