How to Choose Mobile Auto Repair Services

December 15, 2010

When does on-site car repair make sense, and when does it invite fraud and environmental damage?

Some types of repair can be safely and conveniently performed at your home or workplace, while others just beg for problems. Knowing which services can be done responsibly can make the difference between a convenient service call and unwitting support of an irresponsible business.

Dead Battery

Battery trucks are an efficient way to handle a no-start condition. Major auto clubs and larger independent auto repair facilities have trucks that are outfitted with everything that is needed to get you back on the road quickly. The operator has the testing equipment, inventory and installation tools needed to diagnose and replace a dead car battery. Should the starter be the problem the same company can dispatch one of its wreckers to tow the vehicle back to the facility to replace the failed starter. The old battery is transported back to the company’s base for recycling.

Glass Work

Broken windshields or side glass can be reliably replaced on-site. However, depending on the weather, the job may have to done in a sheltered or heated area, since the adhesives can be temperature sensitive. Of course, glass replacement cannot be done in the rain for obvious reasons. Well-equipped mobile glass companies have adequate equipment to handle both the clean up and the disposal of the cracked windshield.

Paintless Dent Repair

Experienced technicians have no problem doing this type of repair wherever the damaged car is located. Utilizing an array of specialized tools, small dents and dings can be removed without cracking the paint, thus avoiding the need for repainting. This is also an environmentally friendly method of body work since the goal is to avoid a part replacement and repainting.

Auto Body Work

Mobile auto body work cannot be done at the curbside for a number of reasons. This type of work is both noisy and dirty and would be a major disturbance to residential or office settings. Painting responsibly is impossible without protecting adjacent property or persons form the affects of overspray. Automotive paint must be applied under controlled conditions for it to succeed aesthetically and without harming the environment.

General Auto Repair

A lot of questions arise when looking at the advisability of having auto repairs done at your home by a mobile service. How well-equipped is the service to capture fluids drained in the course of the repair? What is the prevailing insurance protecting you from liability, his garage keeper’s policy or your homeowner’s policy? How will your neighbors react to having your car worked on in the driveway? And what happens if the completion of the job is delayed because of the unavailability of replacement parts, for instance?

One final word about the need to support the brick and mortar auto repair shops, whether they are run by independents or auto dealers. These businesses have invested huge sums in equipment and personnel to reliably repair vehicles. They pay taxes and employ your neighbors and are subject to employee health and safety standards as well as environmental regulations. When choosing between their service and the mobile service, the decision should be based on more than just convenience.
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