How many times have you experienced that check-engine warning indicator while driving on the road?
Then comes the pressure: Should you pull over immediately? Will the car just die on the road? For sure, a visit to the dealer or a repair shop will cost you a bundle just to scope it.
Now imagine plugging in to your car’s diagnostic port to get an immediate triage via a green, yellow or red light. Then imagine unplugging and linking the handheld device to your computer and the internet to further get a readout in report form, along with a projection on how much the repair should cost.
That’s a powerful tool for any driver, but it’s even more powerful for the used car buyer.
At first it’s easy to confuse CarMD.com with AutoMD.com, the wholly-owned subsidiary of US Auto Parts (Nasdaq:PRTS) that uses technology and the internet to get information into the hands of consumers when it comes to auto repair. Well, so does CarMD, but in a whole new way.
According to the CarMD website and the latest infomercial on Channel 7, ABC television in Detroit, the company offers a diagnostic device for about $120 that physically plugs into the diagnostic port of a any vehicle built post 1996. Within a minute you will get feedback and the code for what may be wrong.
Solutions include a “real world” fix with estimated costs for your particular year, make and model. CarMD does not give a broad fix with a wide price range, but a specific solution with the parts and pricing to purchase and repair the problem, if they are so inclined.
For the record, CarMD Corp. is a privately held company based in Fountain Valley, California. So, there is no public stock offering here. Still, the company is charting a new pathway as the first company ever to offer consumers the products and information needed for a total car repair solution.
Fact is, their website is evolving into a lucrative automotive portal. This past year alone, it garnered over 2 million hits each month and continues to grow. You may hope that it lives up to the hype, but a video from Jay Leno’s Jay‘s Garage says other wise.
For sure, the potential for consumers to be forewarned and prepared before they go into a repair shop is there.
CarMD’s mission is to make their website THE portal where consumers go for “all things automotive”. It is their intent to develop mutually rewarding relationships with investors, employees, partners, suppliers and – most importantly, customers.
The company is also working on several new products and ventures, including the CarMD® Vehicle Health Station™ Kiosk and several other exciting new ventures.
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