Openbay app fixes No. 1 car problem: Finding a mechanic you can trust

Will Kinton

Car trouble? Openbay has an app for that.

Imagine you're driving along like you do every day and your car starts to feel like it isn't running right. The engine starts to hiccup, the check engine light comes on, and you realize that your immediate future may end up being more expensive than you planned.

Say your car breaks down or needs repair. It's hard to make sure you're getting a good repair price. Moving a broken car from shop to shop for multiple opinions is difficult and time consuming, so most people just go with the first quote they get so they can get back on the road.

That's where Openbay comes in.

How Openbay books car repair

Openbay app

Openbay is an app for your phone that creates a whole new way to approach auto repair. When something goes wrong with your car or if you need routine maintenance, use Openbay to diagnose the problem and determine the services needed. Once that's done, Openbay will send you quotes from vetted repair shops in your area. Each quote will include part cost, labor rates and taxes, and you can compare each shop based on customer reviews, distance and price.

When you find the shop you want to use, you can book an appointment through Openbay. And when it comes time to pay, you can do it securely online through the app. Openbay will also keep track of your service history, which helps when it comes time to sell the car.

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Openbay has also introduced OpenbayConnect, which is a device that attaches to the OMBII port on your vehicle and connects with your mobile device via Bluetooth. When the check engine light comes on, it helps interpret the code, tell you what's wrong, and will allow you to set an appointment for repair quickly.

Rob Infantino, founder and CEO of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup, says OpenbayConnect would be especially good for people who aren't familiar with the operation of a vehicle, especially if they were on a road trip or far from home.

Infantino adds that a well-maintained car is a safe car, and a safe car has less liability to insurance companies. So there could be positive insurance implications as well in the future.

Personal experience hatched idea

Openbay is a company for everyday car owners, by everyday car owners. Infantino came up with the idea for Openbay after an automotive service center tried to overcharge him for unnecessary and costly repairs.

Infantino took his car to a shop for a typical wheel alignment service that should cost less than $200, but the service adviser recommended more than $4,000 in other repairs. With previous experience in car repair, Infantino knew the price was outrageous, so he declined the service. He went home and tried to find a place online to search for local mechanics who could provide quotes online.

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Nothing suited his taste, so he created Openbay, an online marketplace for customers to find and compare quotes, read reviews and schedule service.

Openbay aims to give people peace of mind and a new sense of comfort when it comes to car repair and services. In that way, it really does have the potential to be the future of car repair.

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