Fitting vehicle repairs into our busy schedules can be difficult, and the idea of having a mobile mechanic come to our home or office represents a convenient alternative to dropping off your car for the day. While most repairs can be done by well-equipped, professional mechanics in your driveway, there are a few jobs that need specialist equipment or a hoist. But there are other limitations for mobile mechanics as well.
Can a mobile mechanic still work in the rain?
Weather can often be a factor if the only place available for the mechanic to work is exposed to nature. Mobile mechanics typically reschedule if this occurs, and they are often proactive with this. You will need to make sure the mechanic is able to access your car, and have adequate space to operate while completing the job. Underground garages, common for inner-city workplaces, can work, but be sure to consider the surroundings before the mechanic arrives.
What space does a mobile mechanic need?
In addition to providing a covered space for the mechanic to work, many jobs require the mechanic to jack your car. To do this the car will need to be on flat ground. This can rule out working on your car in a lot of driveways or on the side of the street (especially in Wellington).
Can a mobile mechanic do big repairs too?
Many bigger jobs require excessive amounts of space as they dismantle your car or can take a long time, so mobile mechanics tend to avoid these jobs. Examples of jobs they tend to avoid include:
- Cambelt (timing belt) replacements;
- A full engine replacement, or
- Transmission replacements.
Other jobs require the car to be lifted by a hoist high enough for the mechanic to work underneath. This includes a lot of exhaust or catalytic converter jobs.
There are also some jobs that require special tools. Many mobile mechanics carry sophisticated diagnostic tooling nowadays, but there are still jobs that require parts to be sent to specialties for repairs, and this can result in the car being out of action for a few days.
The good news is that mobile mechanics are usually aware of their limitations, and offer workshop services for the bigger repairs. This is often in partnership with other mechanics, or in their own workshops. Alternatively, you can book with hundreds of fully tooled-up mechanics throughout New Zealand on My Auto Shop.
So, what jobs can mobile mechanics do?
In practice, mobile mechanics can still do most of the common repairs people need mechanics for. General servicing, mobile WOF checks, brake pad replacements, spark plugs, bulbs, batteries, and most suspension works fall well within the remit of decent mobile mechanics. Some mobile mechanics are also qualified auto electricians and offer breakdown services.
Are mobile mechanics more expensive?
In practice, mobile mechanics should have lower overheads (operating costs) without the need for premises, power, water, etc, and they should therefore be able to provide customers with cheaper servicing and repairs. Unfortunately, this doesn’t play out in the real world, and mobile mechanics are usually a little more expensive than taking your car to the local garage.