Maintaining your car can be expensive and inconvenient if you have to take it to the garage every time something needs to be done, but a mobile mechanic can save you the stress of getting it fixed. Mobile mechanics just come to your home or business to do car repairs and maintenance, but can they do the job as well as a mechanic at the dealership?
Mobile technicians offer convenience and reduced rates
Mobile mechanics have been around since the 1920s, when a few mechanics set up shop on a street corner with a sign. But these days, most mobile mechanics can be found online at sites like Craigslist, Otobots.com or Yourmechanic.com, most of which offer affordable prices and come to your home or office if you wish. But not all mechanics are cut from the same cloth.
Wherever you find a mobile mechanic working on your vehicle, it is important to get as much information about him as possible. Websites like YourMechanic, which are specifically designed for mobile car repairs, make sure that all the mechanics they hire have at least ten years of experience, have the proper certifications, and have the tools to do almost any job. Even better: You’ll know who is working on your car and what their qualifications are even before they open the hood, and you’ll even get a warranty on the work and parts used.
A car mechanic replaces the brake disc of a Range Rover Evoque in the workshop. | Marian Murat / photo alliance via Getty Images
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However, if you choose a mechanic from a website like Craigslist, it can be a nightmare to know if the person is certified or has the right equipment to do the job properly. While there are many reliable mobile mechanics out there, there are also those you cannot trust. As always, we encourage you to do your research to find out which mechanic best fits your needs and budget.
A mechanic repairs a 2008 Chevy Silverado | George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
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Dealer mechanics provide peace of mind and warranty.
On the other hand, taking your car to the dealer can give you peace of mind, especially if your car is newer. A mechanic at a dealership will certainly have all the tools and even the proper work space to do just about any job, and all of them should be ESA-certified and qualified to work there. To top it off, they guarantee their work and all the parts they use – which will be original parts – for at least a year and sometimes more.
However, the biggest disadvantage of visiting a mechanic is the cost and time you have to spend on your car. Of course, most dealerships have multiple lifts to work on multiple cars at once, but the amount of time you spend there can vary. Finally, most auto dealers have rates that are easily double that of an independent repair shop or a mobile mechanic. So you can expect to pay more, sometimes even twice as much, than if you went to a mobile technician.
Mechanics perform maintenance on Lexus cars at the dealership. | (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Mechanical – Mechanical
Ultimately, just like when you buy a car, there is no clear answer as to which mechanic should work on your car. If you are ever faced with a decision, you can follow Popular Mechanics’ advice: If your car is still under warranty, go to the dealer, but if not, go to an independent mechanic and save money.
However, always remember to do your research first and know what you are getting into. Mobile mechanic scams exist, but if you can find a certified one on a site like YourMechanic or Otobots, your car will likely be in better hands.
frequently asked questions
What can a mobile mechanic do?
A mobile mechanic drives around in a truck or van. They go to where they need to work on vehicles to repair them or provide services. They carry all the automotive tools needed to perform these repairs and maintenance tasks.
Is it better to go to a dealer or a mechanic?
If your car is still under warranty, the dealer is usually the right answer. But when the warranty expires, it gets a little darker. Independent mechanics have an advantage in terms of cost and customer service, and dealers have an advantage in terms of speed, experience and convenience.
How much should a mobile mechanic be paid?
Price list for mobile mechanics : Our mobile mechanics charge only $40 to $60 per hour plus parts. Most independent repair shops charge between $70 and $90 per hour, and most dealers between $80 and $125 per hour.
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