2CarPros.com, AutoMD.com, FreeAutoMechanic.com and AskAutoPete.com all offer free online tools for asking mechanics basic questions online. 2CarPros.com has numerous categories under which you can ask questions or view answers to other users' questions. AutoMD.com has a similar setup and also allows browsing questions by car brand, although it has fewer categories. FreeAutoMechanic.com has a free community-based system as well as a paid service with quicker response times. AskAutoPete.com is a simpler setup, with just one mechanic answering questions.
According to AskAutoPete.com, many car repairs are simple enough for amateurs to perform, but may require hundreds or thousands of dollars to fix at a repair shop. FreeAutoMechanic.com adds that diagnostic fees alone can cost upwards of $100. These sites promote themselves as a cost-effective alternative to visiting the repair shop.
Many free online mechanic services also provide other helpful features for car owners seeking to save some money. For example, AutoMD.com features an Insta-Quote feature which provides rough estimates of the cost to repair various issues. 2CarPros.com shares videos and articles on how to perform common, basic repairs and maintenance. FreeAutoMechanic.com has auto repair manuals available for a wide range of vehicles, as well as an estimate tool and repair guides.