A mobile mechanic may not be a good idea for your next repair
Mobile Mechanic – Automobile dealerships nowadays have the entire after-sales process relatively streamlined to ensure a pleasing and convenient experience for their customers. Even car makers understand that most folks don’t want to deal with the hassle of keeping up with vehicle maintenance, hence the commonplace implementation of an integrated service reminder within instrument clusters.
That said, for a handful of people, even sending their car in for service might not be convenient, or possible at all. For those that can’t quite empty their schedule and find the time to drive to the dealer and wait for everything to be sorted out, there is a service that’s increasingly gaining traction as of late.
In fact, many automotive dealers today even offer this service – mobile mechanic. Or perhaps more colloquially referred to as door-to-door service. Basically, you book an appointment with your mobile mechanic service of choice, and they’ll send a technician to your designated location at a time that’s convenient for you. They will then perform whatever simple job that your car needs doing, from oil changes to no-start diagnostics. Of course, if it’s an exceedingly complex job they’ll then direct you to their associated workshops to carry out the job.
In terms of efficacy and convenience, having a mobile mechanic handy is unparalleled. It will especially appeal to those who yearn for hassle-free motoring since you don’t even have to leave your house to get whatever your car needs doing done for once and for all. You also skip the queue to get your car worked on. In most cases, these agencies will also keep track of your car’s maintenance and notify you whenever you should get something done.
From this point of view then, the advantages of a mobile mechanic over a conventional one is apparent. The biggest thing for most people is the fact that it’s a lot easier a process to go through, as you can get your car worked on in your driveway or even when you’re off at work. Since most people work strict office hours it’s tricky at times to empty out a few hours to spend at the dealer, and if they need to leave their car at the workshop it can cause an even bigger inconvenience.
Also, while this falls more on roadside assistance rather than mobile car repair, calling up a mobile mechanic can also save you in a pinch. Whether if you’ve run into a flat tire or failed alternator, calling up a mobile mechanic can generally help you get your car going long enough to drive to a workshop. Best case scenario, you can save on towing costs, worst case the mobile mechanic can sort you straight with getting a tow to a nearby workshop while offering a resolution for your transport issue.
That said, if that’s all there is to depend on a mobile mechanic, then there wouldn’t be a need for workshops to exist anymore. The disadvantages of a mobile mechanic are also rather eminent, and it will help you decide whether to ring up a mobile mechanic or just drive to a local workshop.
The main issue with mobile mechanics arises from the cost. Most dealers or workshops will charge an extra premium for their door-to-door service simply because of the overhead they have to bear, chiefly transportation of the mechanic. Also, because the mobile mechanic has to depend on hydraulic floor jacks and jack stands rather than a car lift, they may charge a bit more on labor costs.
Typically, a mobile repair vehicle also lacks the tools needed to carry out a complicated job, therefore you still have to visit a workshop. Moreover, since a mobile mechanic needs to emphasize on customer convenience above all, their solutions might not always be permanent. A flat tire, for example, needs replacing with tools that can’t be mobilized. They can, however, patch up your tire and fill it with air as a temporary measure, but you still have to go to a tire shop and get it changed sooner or later.
While a mobile mechanic is more convenient than a conventional one, it’s a longer and perhaps even arduous process to get your car fixed on the go. The lack of access to some workshop specific tools, car lift, and even extra hands can mean that it takes longer to get your car fixed. Needless to say that mobile mechanic services aren’t quite ubiquitous yet if you get yourself into trouble somewhere distant from urban areas, the closest mobile service available to you may be an hour away, and if your car still needs to visit the shop it’s time wasted.
It’s controversial, but finding a dependable and trustworthy mobile mechanic maybe even harder than a conventional one. The thing is that with mobile repairs, typically the scope of work is quite limited. Therefore, a mobile mechanic might not have that much experience at performing troubleshooting work or more complicated jobs. This may translate to replacing parts that don’t need changing, or unnecessary time spent on chasing the root of the trouble. Since the time of experienced senior technicians is more valued in the workshop, door-to-door services are generally handled by junior or maintenance technicians.
Finally, this might be a non-issue for some, but calling up a mobile mechanic also means telling the other party where you reside or where you work. If you’re living somewhere particularly dubious, then the idea of revealing important private information might not be all too thrilling. It also means handing your keys over or granting access to your house to someone you might not know, and particularly unscrupulous individuals may take advantage of that. Of course, it’s a bit of a stretch, but I certainly won’t put it past a possibility.
As a verdict, there are certainly plenty of pros and cons worth plenty of time pondering over when it comes to mobile mechanics. The biggest advantage a mobile mechanic can offer is also the one that weighs the most – convenience. When it comes to simple oil changes or brake jobs, there’s nothing else out there quite as easy as calling over a mobile mechanic to deal with it. That said, there are also a few disadvantages that might outweigh the convenience factor. As repair shops nowadays even offer a drop-and-go service, where all you have to do is to book an appointment and hand over your keys, maybe opting for that option might be the better way to approach your next car repair.