The convenience of mobile car repair is hard to beat. But, did you know about the wide range of services that mobile mechanics offer? Our mobile mechanics can do just about everything an auto shop or dealership can do. The best part? They can do it all right in your driveway. To help you plan for future repairs, here are 10 common services that RepairSmith mobile mechanics offer.
Basic Maintenance (Oil change, Air Filters, Fluids)
A basic oil change and filter replacement are among the most important maintenance services a car needs. An oil change is essential to keeping your engine running smoothly. Neglecting it can cause further car problems down the road. Keep in mind, car maintenance is always cheaper than car repair.
You don’t need to know what’s under the hood to keep up-to-date on your car maintenance. Each car has a specific maintenance schedule located in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
Our mobile mechanics can take the stress out of maintaining your vehicle and help prevent premature wear and tear.
An engine tune-up is a set of inspections to ensure your vehicle’s engine is working at the highest standard. It typically involves your vehicle’s fuel injection, ignition, and emissions systems. It may also include inspection of all seals, belts, hoses, and wiring.
If your dashboard warning lights are lit up like a Christmas tree, your vehicle is stalling or making unusual noises, your engine is misfiring, or your car is slow to accelerate, it may simply need an engine tune-up.
RepairSmith vans are equipped with all the tools needed to perform an engine tune-up to improve its efficiency and fuel economy.
Tires affect your vehicle’s steering, suspension, and stopping ability. Simply put, when your tires are worn out, your vehicle has less grip. On wet winter roads, worn tires increase the likelihood of sliding or hydroplaning in the rain. As tires wear, your braking distance decreases, making your car more dangerous for yourself and those on the road.
When it comes to tires, tread depth is one of the key indicators of wear and tear. Tires must have enough tread to form effective contact between your car and the road. It is recommended that you replace your tires when they reach 2/32” tread depth during regular road conditions, 4/32” on wet roads, and 5/32” in snowy conditions. Additionally, tread wear should be even, and tires should be free from cracks, scratches, and bulges.
If you suspect your tires might be worn, have noticed a change in how your car handles, or feel excessive vibration through your steering wheel, we can arrange to have a technician come to you and check your tires for excessive wear. We can also rotate the wheels and check if your tires need balancing or a wheel alignment*.
Spark plugs are small, but they have a very important job. After the fuel/air mixture is compressed inside the engine cylinders, it’s the spark plug’s job to ignite it. The sparks cause a small explosion that gives the engine the energy needed to propel the car forward.
Every time the spark plug ignites, it erodes by a minute amount. Eventually, the gap between the electrodes is so large the spark can’t jump between them. Poor quality fuel can also contaminate them. When either of these scenarios happen, your car can suffer from poor gas mileage, sluggish acceleration, and engine misfires.
The condition of a spark plug can give a trained mechanic a snapshot of your engine’s health. Our technicians can inspect the condition of your spark plugs and replace them if need be.
Perhaps even more important than the battery is the starter motor and alternator. The battery provides power to the starter motor, so it can turn over your vehicle’s engine when you turn the key or press the start button. The alternator provides power to the battery and is responsible for keeping the electrical system running and charged.
A starter motor can stop working without any warning. However, more commonly the car will struggle to start before the starter motor engages and the engine finally starts. It may also make a screeching or grinding noise, indicating that it’s on the way out.
A struggling alternator is easier to detect and signs that it’s about to fail include a squealing noise from the engine, electrical components that only work intermittently, and headlights that pulsate or appear dim at night.
When the alternator goes bad, your vehicle’s electronic components will try to draw all of their power off the battery, which can cause the battery to die as well. If your car is struggling to start or is displaying any of the above mentioned warning signs, our technicians can inspect your battery, alternator, and electrical system.
Maintaining effective brakes is important for avoiding unsafe driving conditions and pricey repairs. As brake pads wear, they cause additional wear to other brake components such as the discs, rotors, and calipers.
Every time you engage your vehicle’s brakes, you cause minute amounts of wear and tear on your brake pads. This friction causes small amounts of protective coating to wear away from the pad. Over time, your brake pads become thinner and will eventually get to the point where they should be replaced.
Here are some signs to look for to know when to replace brake pads:
- Squealing or screeching noises when the brakes are applied
- Deep metallic grinding and growling
- Vibration or wobbling when braking
- Grooves are worn into the rotors
We can inspect your vehicle’s brake system and replace your brake pads and rotors at the convenience of your home or work place.
Virtually every car owner is familiar with the sinking feeling of their vehicle refusing to start. A good portion of calls we receive are from car owners who have dead batteries.
A car battery can go flat for several reasons such as a faulty alternator, hot weather, cold weather, parasitic drain, old age, and even human error (left the headlights on). It’s not a serious problem, just an inconvenience. You may even be able to get your vehicle started again if you have a set of jumper cables in the car or a portable jump starter. Be sure you refresh your memory of how to properly connect the cables.
Our mobile technicians can provide a thorough battery report and replace your battery if needed. Car batteries contain toxic fluids that should not be put thrown into your normal household recycling bin. The good news is that we’ll safely dispose of your old battery for you.
The timing belt is responsible for keeping the engine’s crank and camshaft in perfect synch, ensuring the engine runs optimally.
When a timing belt wears, it can throw the engine’s timing out, causing it to run rough or misfire. If the timing belt snaps, the car simply cannot be driven. If the timing belt breaks while the car is being driven, it can cause complications like bent valves or damage to the camshaft.
The timing belt is usually inspected during your vehicle’s regular oil change. Signs that the timing belt is worn include damage from engine oil, cracks, cuts, a stretched belt, or other signs of excessive wear.
Changing a timing belt and setting the timing of the engine correctly is a job best left to a trained technician. If your engine is running less than optimally, our technicians can check the condition of your timing belt and engine timing and replace the belt if needed. They will also check for further damage to the engine to ensure your car is safe to drive and running at its best.
Whenever an engine is running, it generates heat. To keep the temperature under control and prevent the engine from overheating, a water pump circulates coolant from the radiator through the engine’s cooling system.
Modern water pumps can last a long time, but they are not indestructible. They eventually do wear out and occasionally fail. A failed or leaking water pump will not supply the engine with engine coolant to keep the temperature at a safe level, causing the engine to overheat. This can mean serious (and expensive) engine damage such as a blown head gasket or warped head.
Signs that a water pump needs replacing include a loud, high pitched whining sound, a water leak, or an overheating engine. Any time you notice one of these signs, it’s important to not drive the vehicle until the water pump has been repaired. Call us for an appointment and our technicians will come to you and repair your cooling system, so you can be safe on the road.
Check Engine Light Diagnosis
Of all the warning lights on your vehicle’s dashboard, nothing is as panic-inducing as a check engine light. Is something is about to go wrong? Is the car safe to drive? And more importantly, how much will it cost to repair?
Although scary, the check engine light is a key element of your vehicle’s diagnostic system. When the system detects a problem or a part that is not functioning correctly, it logs a diagnostic fault code and triggers the check engine light. The code is stored in your vehicle’s computer and can be read by your mechanic using a special scanner. This code provides a starting point for the mechanic to diagnose the problem.
Common causes of a check engine light can include:
- Failing oxygen sensor
- Fouled spark plugs
- Bad spark plug leads
- Faulty mass airflow sensor
- Failed catalytic convertor
Although you may not understand what has triggered a check engine light, you should refrain from driving your vehicle to avoid causing further damage. All our technicians carry the equipment needed to retrieve the diagnostic code and troubleshoot the issue, meaning you don’t have to risk further engine damage by driving your vehicle to the mechanic.
*Our tire service is currently available in select regions only. Please give us a call at 877-907-6484 or visit www.repairsmith.com to confirm your appointment and service.