Mobile Mechanic vs. Garage – which repairs can be done mobile?

If your car needs a repair, you have a few options. You can take it to a brick-and-mortar garage, or you can arrange for a mobile mechanic. Generally, if you need a quick and convenient option, a mobile mechanic may be your best bet. A garage is probably a better option if you need a more comprehensive repair.

Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the option that’s best suited to you and your car.

What does a mobile mechanic do?

A mobile mechanic is a mechanic who provides on-site repair and maintenance services for vehicles, often travelling directly to the customer’s location such as their home or workplace. They typically carry a wide range of tools and equipment in their vans to complete repairs on the driveway, and they can sometimes provide services more quickly than traditional auto repair shops.

Similar to a garage, the mobile mechanic will need access to your vehicle preferably on a flat surface and a prefixed time slot to carry out the work needed.

How to find a mobile mechanic?

The best way to find a mobile mechanic is by doing a search on Google. There are hundreds of mechanics providing mobile services in the UK. However, if you want a reliable and trusted source, you can simply enter your postcode and car registration number on ClickMechanic and get an instant price before booking a mobile mechanic for your vehicle.

In addition to the benefit of getting a fixed upfront price, you can rest assured that every mechanic on the ClickMechanic platform has been thoroughly vetted by a dedicated team. We also include free collection and delivery in case the vehicle needs to be taken to a garage for complicated repairs.

How do I know what repairs can be done mobile or when I need to go to a garage?

The world of car repairs can often be relatively complex, however from a mechanic’s perspective, there are certain jobs that are simple enough to be done at the roadside or on your drive. Alongside this, there are a number of jobs that are complex and therefore would be best suited to a garage. We put together a list of major car repairs that can be done by a mobile mechanic and ones that require a garage facility for an optimal outcome:

Repairs for mobile mechanics

  1. Brake pads replacement – this job is one of the more simple ones for a mechanic to take on, and involves taking the old brake pads off the caliper and replacing them. In this case, mobile mechanics would jack the vehicle up and, provided the vehicle is on a level surface, would be able to get this job done at your location of choice.
  2. Fuel filter replacement – is another easy one that can be done at your home or at your place of work. The fuel lines run on the driver’s side under the bonnet, and your mechanic will remove the fuel pump relay or fuse, and then crank the vehicle to relieve fuel pressure. The mechanic will then simply remove the fuel filter and change it, close the bonnet, and you are on your way!
  3. Suspension springs (coil springs) – the suspension system is vital on your vehicle to be able to manage a huge amount of weight and allow you to smoothly go over bumps. Coil spring replacement can be done  mobile as it simply requires a jack to get the vehicle elevated and the springs removed. Again, a flat, clear surface would be required to give your mechanic enough space to get the job done.
  4. Brake Fluid Change – a simple job for mobile mechanics who, in most cases, have brake flushing facilities available to them to bring to your location. The simplicity of this job is such that this is one you can technically do yourself, but to ensure the best possible outcome, get in touch with a trusted professional.
  5. Alternator belt replacement – the alternator belt drives automotive engine devices such as the alternator and power steering pump. It can be located under the bonnet, meaning this job can be done very easily wherever you need it.
  6. Car Servicing – servicing your vehicle is something that should be scheduled once a year, and involves work such as changing the oil and filter, inspecting any other fluid levels and ensuring that other aspects of your vehicle are running smoothly. Again, this is all work that can be done at a location convenient to you.

Repairs that are more suited to be done by a garage

  1. Steering geometry check – uneven roads and potholes mean that your steering can often be pushed out of line. Unfortunately, the machinery required to do the geometry check is only present in garages due to the size and complexity of it, so any checks and potential alignments will have to be done at a garage, or at a specialist that provides the service.
  2. Clutch replacement – typically cars with smaller engines can be done mobile, but anything with a 1.7-litre engine or above would be best served in a garage. This is due to the weight of the engine and the fact that having more than one person doing the job would be ideal.
  3. Timing chain replacement – getting your timing chain replaced is a job that sees the engine come out in order for it to be completed – a process best served in the confines of a garage. This is to ensure that mechanics can do the job in the best possible fashion, and do not put themselves at risk when removing the engine.
  4. Cylinder head gasket replacement – this job is particularly complex, and a failure of this nature is one of the bigger jobs that a mechanic or garage will have to repair. In many cases, many parts of the car’s engine need to be replaced to complete this job, so this is best served with a professional garage.
  5. Wheel alignment – similar to steering alignment, your wheels can take a beating when exposed to bumps and potholes, and driver safety can be compromised. Wheel alignment services are available nationwide, but as with steering alignment, the equipment required can only be located at a specialist garage.
  6. Transfer box replacement – this is the gear system that divides the power between the front and rear axle of a four-wheel-drive system. A job like this would need to be up on a ramp due to the size of these vehicles, and are safer done in a garage.

Mobile mechanics offer a convenient way to get your car fixed while you get on with your day. For a lot of work, you do not necessarily have to arrange an appointment with a garage. However, for any repair that requires your car to be lifted up on a platform, a garage will always be the best place to go.

You can book both, mobile mechanics and garages on ClickMechanic. And if you are unsure, contact our in-house expert team, who will help to book the right repair for your car.

Can brake repairs and replacements be done by mobile mechanics?

Yes, most mobile mechanics can perform a variety of brake services, including replacing brake pads and brake discs replacements. They can also inspect and adjust the brake system to ensure it is functioning properly and diagnose and repair any brake-related problems. Many drivers prefer to have a mobile mechanic come to their location as it may sometimes be challenging and dangerous to drive a car with a compromised braking system to the garage.

Can mobile mechanics do suspension repairs?

Yes, typically most suspension-related repairs can be done mobile. Mobile mechanics often have the necessary tools and equipment to perform these types of repairs on any flat surface without requiring the vehicle to be taken to the garage. Suspension repairs that can be done mobile include jobs such as replacing worn-out shock absorbers, fixing bent or damaged control arms, replacing ball joints, etc. In some cases, if the repair is complicated and needs the vehicle to be lifted up, then the mechanic may suggest taking it to a traditional repair shop.

Can a mobile mechanic do an MOT test at my home?

No, a mobile mechanic cannot perform an MOT test if not done in an approved garage. An MOT (Ministry of Transport) test is a legally required annual test that must be carried out at an approved MOT testing station. The test involves a comprehensive inspection of a vehicle’s safety, roadworthiness, and exhaust emissions. MOT technicians have specialised equipment and training to perform the test accurately and efficiently. However, if you need servicing done prior to the MOT, then a mobile mechanic can perform this job at a location convenient to you.