Shalom Life | March 15, 2015

New Israeli App Takes the Stress Out of Car Repairs

The new car maintenance app that detects car problems – and the exact cost to repair them – could save car owners hundreds of dollars

By: NoCamels Team

Published: March 13th, 2015 in Business » Israel

Have you ever suspected, like most of us do, that you might be overcharged by your car repair shop? A new car maintenance app that detects car problems – and the exact cost to repair them – could save car owners hundreds of dollars. Engie, a smartphone application launched in Israel last year, is hoping to disrupt an industry that has barely changed over the past century: auto repair shops.

According to a customer survey conducted by research firm Harris Interactive, a whopping 66 percent of car owners believe they’ve been ripped off by a repair shop; overall, 72 percent of car owners said they get anxious about the cost of repair.

The app is connected to the on-board car computer, and sends the owner notifications about issues and problems. The owner can then get price quotes from mechanics in his or her area. After identifying the problem, the application invites nearby auto repair shops to bid for the repair job. CEO Yarden Gross tells NoCamels that Engie’s app can detect 60-70 percent of auto problems. Ultimately, Engie founders want to create an empowered driving community, one that would shop around for the best price through their app.

17,000 users within 6 weeks

Launched in December 2014, six weeks later the app had over 17,000 users. Engie’s service, which works with a bluetooth-enabled, on-board diagnostics device (which is separate from the app), interprets the codes from the car computer to inform the driver about everything from engine problems to maintenance updates to their true gas mileage. Engie provides users with the device for free, charging $5 for the shipping

Waze founder provides seed money, mentorship

Gross, CMO Gal Aharon and CTO Alon Hendelman met at a boot camp-like summer program at the Zell Entrepreneurship Program at the IDC in Israel in 2014. They brainstormed for months with mentor Uri Levine – co-founder of navigation app Waze (which sold to Google for $1.1 billion in 2013), until one morning the check-engine light in Gross’ car turned on. He dutifully headed to a nearby auto shop and by the time he arrived at the meeting with his team, he was frustrated and angry. Then, the idea for Engie was finally born. Soon after, Levine provided seed money for the young company.

This article was first published on NoCamels - Israeli Innovation News and was re-posted with permission. To continue reading this article on the site, click here.

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