Using a Mobile Mechanic Comes With a Few Big Drawbacks

There are plenty of advantages to using a mobile mechanic. However, there are a few situations when you are probably better going off to a traditional repair shop.
Written by Jason Crosby
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jun 8, 2021
Maybe you’ve never heard the term "
mobile mechanic
" before. But even if it’s unfamiliar to you, the concept is pretty self-explanatory: a mechanic that’s able to travel to meet you and work on your vehicle, wherever you need service. And that sounds pretty sweet, right?
It’s actually not quite that simple. If you’re debating whether you’d rather use a mobile individual/ service over a conventional
car maintenance
shop, there are several key benefits—but some major drawbacks to consider, as well.

What exactly is a mobile mechanic?

As we stated before, it’s an automotive repair service that can travel to meet you where you’re at; and that’s pretty awesome on its own. According to
BA Auto Care
, mobile mechanics have grown in popularity over the past decade, as our mobile devices and technology have increased the ways we can pay and offer services.
Some of the biggest and most popular mobile mechanic companies include:
  • YourMechanic
  • Mechanican
  • Wrench
This tech-savvy facet of the automotive repair industry is growing quickly. This trend in mobile mechanics is due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely affected business for conventional shops.

The pros of a mobile mechanic

If your vehicle breaks down on the side of the road and leaves you stranded,
a towing service
might be offered by a conventional shop. The downside? It can cost you hundreds of dollars to have your vehicle transported via tow truck, especially if you’re a long distance from the shop. With a mobile mechanic, you could potentially save a good chunk of change.
Mobile mechanics can be up to 40% cheaper than conventional shops, according to
Mechanical Advisor
. This is because these types of repair companies aren’t charging extra to pay their utilities,or for expensive in-house tools.
For small, light-duty repairs, it makes more sense to have a mobile mechanic fix the problem. There’s less time and hassle involved—you might even be able to use your car shortly afterward without waiting on a shop to get back to you. For those with busy schedules that rely on their personal transportation, mobile mechanics make a lot of sense.

The cons of a mobile mechanic

A mobile mechanic isn’t likely to have a lift with them, and this is one of their drawbacks. A lift is a large piece of equipment that brick-and-mortar repair services can use to raise your car and work on issues that might be occurring underneath.
While it’s possible that your truck or SUV might have enough ground clearance for a technician to access what they need to underneath the vehicle, conventional shops will be better equipped for these types of repairs. Mobile mechanics also won’t be able to travel with balancing equipment, which is used to balance tires and align the steering column.
Mobile mechanics might not have the same level of skill or training as technicians at a conventional shop. With fewer resources and limited options regarding getting a second opinion, you could be rolling the dice by utilizing a mobile service.
Most cars made in or after the year 1996 will have computer chips in them. Mechanics use diagnostic systems in tandem with these chips to help figure out what’s wrong with your vehicle. It’s possible that a mobile mechanic may be ill-equipped to deal with a technical error occurring in your car’s computer system.

The best choice is still up to you

The takeaway? While there are a few drawbacks, mobile mechanics are still handy, quick, and convenient for those in pinch or looking to save some extra cash. And if you know that the problem your vehicle is facing isn’t serious or is easily accessible, then it’s worthwhile to utilize a mobile service.
For complex mechanical issues, or for auto repair mysteries, consider a normal shop. But at the end of the day, it’s still your decision.
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National General
Allstate
AAA
Aig
Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West

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