In 1988, my dad started our company. As an ASE Master Technician, certified in 8 categories and diesel, he bought a trailer and loaded it with his tools and dreams. A. Anthony’s Mobile Vehicle Service Inc was born.
To Say that cars and trucks were different then is an understatement. I would venture to say that in that era, vehicles were more mechanical based than computer based. Sure, they still had their fair share of electronics and sensors. However, routine maintenance or a starting and charging system concern was a relatively easy roadside service.
Fast forward to modern vehicles and you have multiple on-board computers, modules, sensors and networks that control everything on top of the mechanical components that have to work in harmony. Being a mechanic in today’s automotive world means knowing whether a vehicle needs a computer-based repair or a mechanical-based repair and how one affects the other.
Let’s look at a common repair–brakes. Most modern vehicles are equipped with electronic brakes. It may not sound like a big deal, but there is a computer-based process to properly disengage the brake system before doing any disassembly. Or, stated another way, the mechanic has to use a computer before he or she can replace your brakes.
Here is another one that should seem simple–batteries. Pretty cut and dry right? Maybe not. Hybrids and EVs aside, you would be surprised at some of the oddest locations batteries are located. You can now find them in the trunk, under the rear seat, or in a wheel well just to name a few.
Recently, more and more vehicles require a system relearn or adaptation when the battery is disconnected or replaced. The relearn could be in systems like power windows, throttle position, and codes or PINs to unlock the media and entertainment system.
My point is this. Yes, roadside service is an amazing convenience. I should know–we built our business on it. With the evolution of our industry and my commitment to taking care of people, I take each roadside request individually. I consider several factors to determine if a mobile service is right for you.
- What type of vehicle do you have?
The type of vehicle matters. It will determine how accessible the components of your vehicle are to the mechanic. Have you ever opened your hood and seen nothing but plastic covers and shields? More and more vehicles have similar debris shields that cover the complete underside of the vehicle as well.
2. What concerns are you having?
There is a difference between what can be repaired or serviced roadside and what should be done roadside. We talked about battery locations and relearning above. There are other factors I take into consideration. Fuel system repairs, electrical or wiring tracing, and engine or transmission repairs are examples of things that really should be taken care of at the shop.
3. Where is the vehicle located?
Some neighborhoods, parking lots, and structures do not allow mechanical repairs. Some locations may not have an area where the mechanic can safely perform the repair that you request or need.
4. What are the weather conditions?
Inclement weather conditions like rain, snow or freezing temperatures will definitely affect roadside service. If “Fixing Cars Is What We Do” and “Taking Care of People Is Who We Are,” that means we look out for our clients and our team.
5. Best Benefit?
The goal is to address your car service, repair or maintenance needs in the most time and cost effective way possible. If you have ever had any other type of repair come to you–a plumber, an electrician, an HVAC technician; there is typically a service fee that does not include diagnosis or repair. It is no different with a mobile mechanic. What I have found is that a road service fee and a tow fee are pretty comparable in price. I have also found that most clients also have towing coverage through companies like AAA or their car insurance. If it makes more sense for your car to come to the shop and it saves you time and money…well you know what I am going to recommend.
I realize we live in a click-and-ship world where convenience truly is king. With the changes to the automotive world, I believe not everything is meant to be at your door. However, that does not mean we cannot redefine mobile service…
Let’s talk about redefining mobile service in my next article. See you there!