Tips, Tricks & Trends

Is a Mobile Mechanic Just As Capable As a Dealership Mechanic?

Maintaining your car can be expensive and inconvenient if you have to take it to the dealership every time you need something done, but a mobile mechanic can take the stress out of getting it repaired. Mobile mechanics simply come to your house or place of work to perform car repairs and maintenance, but are they just as capable of getting the job done right like a dealership mechanic can?

Mobile mechanics provide convenience and cheaper rates

Mobile mechanics have been around since the 1920s, back when some mechanics would set up a make-shift shop on a street corner with a sign. But nowadays, you can find most mobile mechanics online through sites like Craigslist, Otobots.com, or Yourmechanic.com, most of which offer affordable pricing and will come to your house or office at your convenience. However, not every mechanic is cut from the same cloth.

No matter where you find a mobile mechanic to do work on your car, it’s important to find out as much information about them as possible. For example, websites like YourMechanic — which was built specifically to provide mobile auto repair – ensure that all of the mechanics they hire have at least 10 years of experience, have the proper certifications, and the proper tools to get almost any job done. What’s even better is that you’ll know who is working on your car and what their qualifications are before they even lift the hood and in the end, you’ll even get a warranty for their work and the parts used.

 A car mechanic changes the brake disc of a Range Rover Evoque in a garage.
A car mechanic changes the brake disc of a Range Rover Evoque in a garage. | Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images

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However, if you end up picking a mechanic from a site like Craigslist, it could be a crapshoot as to whether or not the person is certified or has the proper equipment to do the job correctly. While there are plenty of trustworthy mobile mechanics out there, there are also those that you might not be able to trust. As always, we recommend doing your research to figure out which mechanic could best suit your needs and your budget.

A mechanic inspecting the engine of a Chevy Silverado
A mechanic repairing a 2008 Chevy Silverado | George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Dealership mechanics provide peace of mind and a warranty

On the other side of the coin, taking your car to a dealership could give you some peace of mind, especially if your car is newer. A dealership mechanic will certainly have all of the correct tools and even the proper workspace to get almost any job done, and they must all be ASE certified and have the right qualifications to work there. To top it all off, their work and all of the parts used – which will be OEM parts – are warrantied for at least a year or sometimes more.

However, the main downside to going to a dealership mechanic is the cost and time that you’ll need to spend in order to bring your car to them. Sure, most dealership shops have multiple lift bays to work on many cars at a time, however, the time that you spend there can vary. And in the end, most dealership shop rates are easily twice as much as an independent shop or mobile mechanic, so you can expect to pay more, or sometimes double, than you would if you were to go to a mobile mechanic.

Mechanics perform maintenance on Lexus autos at a dealership.
Mechanics perform maintenance on Lexus autos at a dealership. | (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A mechanic is a mechanic

Ultimately, just like with car buying, there is no clear-cut right or wrong answer as to which type of mechanic should work on your car. If you’re ever stuck on deciding, then you can follow what Popular Mechanics noted: If your car is still under warranty, then go to a dealer, and if it isn’t then go with an independent mechanic and save yourself some money.

However, just remember to always do your research first and know what you’re getting into. Mobile mechanic scams do exist, but if you can find a certified one through a site like YourMechanic or Otobots, then your car will most likely be in better hands.