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

The world of car mechanics 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 enough and would be best suited to a garage. We put together a list of major jobs that can be done mobile, and ones that require a garage facility for an optimal outcome:

Repairs done by 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 – another easy one that can be done at your home or at your place of work. The fuel lines run on the drivers’ 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) – your suspension is vital on your vehicle to be able to manage a huge amount of weight and allow you to smoothly go over bumps. This one that 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.
  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 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 more 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 needs 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, any repair that requires your car being lifted up on a platform, a garage will always the best place to go to.

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.

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More Than Half of UK Adults Believe That Young Girls Are Discouraged from a Career in Mechanics Due to Its Being a Male-Dominated Industry

Our latest research has revealed that more than half of UK adults believe that young girls are discouraged from a career in mechanics, as a result of its being a male-dominated industry.

In fact, 58% argue that the gender imbalance will have a negative influence on a young girl’s decision to enter into this profession. Looking at other factors; 50% feel that the stereotype of a mechanic will put young girls off, whilst 40% believe that the lack of role models has a significant influence. 34% blame a lack of exposure to the opportunity, after which 21% believe that a fear of the opinions of friends’ plays a noteworthy role. 21% also assume that the physical labour involved in the work discourages young girls and 20% feel that young girls are concerned with their family’s opinions, which dissuades them from this career. 20% also believe that a mechanic’s lack of opportunity to progress as a career path will have an impact. Factors which receive the least amount of blame include school, of which 14% feel has a negative influence, and at the end of the table, wage, which only 6% argue will discourage the decision.

As such, there is a sense that the current imbalance of gender in the industry as well as the position’s dated reputation of being a ‘man’s job’, is believed to put off more young girls than its potential as a career path. Indeed, almost 3x as many people believe that its being a male-dominated industry will put-off the decision, compared to the physical labour involved or the lack of opportunity to progress in it as a career. In addition, there are almost 10x more people which believe that gender imbalance is likely to discourage, compared to the wage.

Comparing the results between men and women produces some interesting insights. On the whole, women feel that the majority of the factors have more of a negative influence on young girls than men do. The most obvious difference of opinion is in the lack of exposure to the opportunity, of which 41% of women argue compared to 27% of men. There’s also a 9% difference between men and women on whether the industry’s male-domination has a negative effect; 62% of women versus 53% of men. However, men do single out some factors more than women including friends’ opinions (23% of men vs. 19% of women) and the physical labour involved (23% of men vs. 20% of women).

Interestingly, in terms of age, the results show some division. Whilst those aged over 55 feel the most popular factors have more of a negative influence, those aged 18-34 argue that the opinions of others have a more significant effect on the career prospect. Indeed, 26% of those aged between 18-34 admit that friends’ opinions may have an effect, compared to a smaller 18% of 35-54s and 19% of those aged over 55. There’s a similar pattern in the results for the parent/family’s opinions as well; a greater 24% of those aged between 18-34 blame this, compared to 17% of 35-54s and 20% of those over 55. The factors with the highest percentile difference include it being a male-dominated industry (52% for 18-34s vs. 58% for 35-54s vs. 62% for over 55s) and a lack of exposure to the opportunity (29% for 18-34s vs. 33% for 35-54s vs. 39% for over 55s), both of which have a 10% difference between the age groups with those over 55 having the greater percentage. The only factor which all three age groups agree upon evenly is the lack of role models, with 40% each.

Location-wise, Plymouth has the highest percentage arguing that the listed factors do have a negative effect on young girls, as 93% felt that at least one factor made a difference. In contrast, Edinburgh has the lowest percentage, with 74% admitting that the circumstances have some kind of an impact. Looking at London, the results are fairly reflective of the total average, however, there is a 6% increase in the physical labour involved, with 27%, as well as a 5% increase in the impact of school, with 19% blaming this factor.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “It is sad to see a number of industries, such as car repair, still being dominated by one gender. Whilst there has been some improvement over the years for mechanics, there is still an obvious imbalance which needs to change. There is no reason a woman cannot excel in this career and as such, young girls should not be negatively influenced if they show an interest.”

July’s Mechanic Of The Month: John

It’s the end of another month, time for us to choose another mechanic of the month. We thought long and hard about who next to treat with one of our popular hampers. This month we’ve made the decision to award our mechanic John from Colchester with this special honour. John has been with us since 2015 and in that time has done over 200 jobs. Taking his almost perfect 4.9 out of 5.0 review score into account it’s safe to say he’s one of our most reliable mechanics in the area.

How are you finding the ClickMechanic experience?

It’s been really really good for me. It kickstarted my career as a mobile mechanic, I was only doing it part-time before. With ClickMechanic it’s easy to accept jobs as it’s all pre-quoted, so you just click accept or decline. With other platforms there’s a lot of labour involved to get the jobs, as you need to do all the quoting yourself. Also, with ClickMechanic you definitely get paid for the job.

When did you become a mechanic?

It really started when I took my first car to garage when I was 17. They messed up the car, so I decided that next time I’ll do it myself. From then on I slowly started to work on other cars, but that was beside my day job working in a lab, doing genetics in Cambridge, I sequenced the mouse genome and played with stem cells. Around 7 years ago I started my own business, doing mobile mechanic work part-time initially, but went full time 4-5 years ago.

You have awesome reviews, is there anything in particular you do to accommodate customers?

Main thing I do is that I talk to customers. I discuss the job, but also talk about general stuff whilst I am doing my diagnostics. And people appreciate this.

Communication is a key part of the job. I always text customers shortly after accepting the job just saying who I am and when I will come, and then I text them on the morning of the job as well to say when I will be arriving.

What made you join Clickmechanic?

I think it was via a Facebook ad that I first noticed ClickMechanic, I hadn’t heard of the service before. At that time I wanted to go full time, so I gave ClickMechanic a ring to see what’s what. The fact that there was no initial outlay was great. It’s free to join, so I joined as I of course like anything free. It worked out smashing for me, and have been taking jobs ever since.

What do you like most about your job?

I really like the aspect of getting out and meeting interesting people. It’s great to hear so many different stories. Some time ago I did some work for an Apache helicopter pilot and the other week I worked on the car of an Apache mechanic!

I also really like the driving to and from jobs. There’s some smashing countryside where I have to travel through. I even get out of the van from time to time and take some pictures.

Of the cars you have owned, do you have a favourite one?

To be honest, I was very much into cars around 20-30 years ago, but now I really just like fixing them as a job. I’ve got around 6 cars at the moment but it’s mostly cars I’m not planning to keep, but rather to do up. In terms of a hobby I’m really more into motorbikes than cars. That said I quite like owning Land Rovers, they’re a bit quirky, fixing them is another thing! Most of them are just not very well put together, and will be rusty.