Hey there, I’m Robby – your friendly neighborhood mechanic with over 20 years of experience repairing all types of cars. If your check engine light recently came on, don’t stress – I’m here to help explain what it means and what you should do next.
As a seasoned auto pro, I’ve seen my fair share of illuminated check engine lights, and I know how confusing and concerning they can be for drivers. But knowledge is power, so arm yourself with the facts in this comprehensive guide.
You’ll learn exactly what that ominous orange glow signifies, what the associated trouble codes mean, how urgently you should address it, and whether it’s safe to continue driving. I’ll also provide tips to avoid costly repairs and walk through your diagnostic and maintenance options.
By the end of this article, you’ll feel empowered to make the smartest decisions when your check engine light appears. And remember – I’m always here to answer your car questions! So let’s get started and decode that check engine light once and for all.
What is a Mobile Mechanic?
First let’s clarify – what exactly is a mobile mechanic? A mobile mechanic is an experienced, qualified auto technician who provides car repairs, maintenance, and inspections by travelling to your location.
Rather than you bringing your car to the garage, mobile mechanics come directly to your home or office for a call-out fee usually much smaller than the cost of you transporting your vehicle to a garage . They offer services ranging from MOT testing to brake pad replacements, battery replacements, diagnostics and more.
Many drivers appreciate the convenience of scheduling appointments outside normal business hours, like evenings and weekends. No need to take time off work or arrange transportation.
Can Mobile Mechanics Legally Perform MOTs?
The short answer is yes – mobile mechanics can definitely conduct MOT tests on your car, provided they are approved by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency).
All MOT examiners must be licensed and trained to perform inspections strictly adhering to the official MOT standards and procedures. These requirements are the same for tests done at garages or by mobile technicians.
However, there is one key difference – the inspection cannot actually be carried out at your home. This is because MOT testing stations must meet specific DVSA facility, equipment, and record keeping standards.
Instead, the mobile mechanic will collect your vehicle, transport it in their van to an approved MOT testing station to conduct the test, then return your car upon completion. They have access to local stations through partnerships.
After the inspection, the mechanic will go over the test results and any necessary repairs. If remedial work is needed before a retest, they may be able to perform minor repairs at your location before taking it for re-inspection.
Top Benefits of Mobile Mechanic MOT Testing
Why choose a mobile mechanic for your next MOT? Here are some of the biggest advantages:
The #1 benefit is convenience. Mobile MOTs can be scheduled whenever and wherever is most suitable for you – at home, at work, evenings, weekends. No need to take your car to the test center yourself.
Save Time and Money
Mobile technicians have lower overhead costs compared to garages so their MOT rates tend to be 10-20% cheaper on average. You also save on transport and time costs.
Avoid Waiting Around
Your mobile mechanic can complete minor repairs required to pass the MOT on-site before the retest. No wasting half a day at the garage for a failed inspection.
Develop a Trusted Relationship
Quality mobile mechanics take pride in building lasting relationships with customers. Once you find one you trust, rely on them annually.
Flexible Appointment Options
Book MOTs for evenings or weekends to fit your schedule. Mobile mechanics work around you.
What to Expect During a Mobile MOT
MOT tests are comprehensive vehicle inspections covering all aspects of your car to ensure it meets strict government safety and environmental standards. Here’s an overview of what happens:
- External Check – Bodywork, lights, glazing condition
- Interior Check – Seatbelts, mirrors, horn, speedometer
- Engine Bay – Fluid levels, battery, leaks
- Undercarriage: – Brakes, suspension, fuel system, structure
- Emissions Test – Exhaust smoke levels measured
- Road Test – Handling, brakes, seatbelts, speedometer function
The full inspection takes 45 minutes to an hour. If no issues are found, you immediately receive a VT20 pass certificate.
If your car fails, the mechanic provides a VT30 failure document listing any faults needing repair, plus advisories for non-critical problems. Common MOT failure points include worn brakes, defective lights, tire defects, and excessive emissions.
How to Prepare for Your Mobile MOT
Follow these tips to ensure smooth sailing when the mobile examiner arrives:
- Thoroughly clean your car inside and out so all components are visible
- Check fluid levels and tire pressures yourself beforehand
- Have your V5C log book and current MOT certificate ready
- Remove loose items and accessories from the vehicle
- Agree on a location with good access all around the car
- Exchange mobile contacts in case of delays
I suggest being present for the test if possible to discuss any questions that arise. Stay polite in case of failure; testers are just doing their job to uphold road safety standards.
Choosing the Right Mobile MOT Service
With many mobile mechanics to choose from, how do you pick the best one for your MOT? Here are my top tips:
- Search for licensed testers registered on the DVSA site
- Read reviews and compare ratings on trustworthy sites
- Verify they have permanent access to a certified MOT testing facility
- Check they can perform retests and minor repairs if your car fails
- Ensure transparent pricing – avoid hidden fees
Reputable mobile MOT technicians will have many 5 star reviews from satisfied repeat customers. This social proof, along with my evaluation criteria, will help you find a dependable mechanic.
When Should You Book Your MOT?
Plan ahead, as mobile mechanics tend to book up weeks in advance for MOT appointments. MOT certificates are valid for 12 months.
I recommend booking your next test around 4-6 weeks before the expiry date. Check your current MOT certificate to see when it runs out.
Cars over 3 years old need an annual test. New cars are exempt until year 3. You can renew an MOT up to one month before the existing one expires without losing days of validity.
If the MOT lapses, legally you cannot drive the uninsured vehicle until it passes the inspection. Avoid this headache by booking early.
How a Mobile Mechanic Can Extend Your Car’s Life
Beyond the annual MOT, regular professional maintenance provided by mobile technicians helps keep your vehicle running reliably for the long haul.
Based on mileage, I recommend the following service schedule:
- Oil and filter changes every 6 months or 6,000 miles
- Coolant fluid flush every 3 years or 30,000 miles
- Brake fluid renewal every 2 years or 20,000 miles
- New spark plugs every 30,000 miles
- Transmission fluid flush at 60,000 miles
Save your mobile mechanic’s contact details to call for any unexpected issues between services. Catching minor problems early prevents costly repairs down the road.
Convenient and Affordable Car Care
In summary, approved mobile mechanics can legally perform MOT tests by bringing your car to certified test centers, offering notable advantages in terms of convenience and cost savings for busy drivers.
In addition to MOTs, mobile technicians provide all general maintenance, diagnostics, and repairs at your location. Finding a trusted, DVSA-registered mobile MOT tester ensures you receive excellent inspections and outstanding service.
No more wasting half a day sitting at the garage for basic maintenance! As a seasoned auto pro, I highly recommend considering mobile MOT and car care for your needs. Contact me anytime if you have additional questions.
When to Call a Mobile Mechanic
Services like YourMechanic provide ultra-convenient MOT testing and car repair at your home or office. Their licensed techs bring expertise directly to you for competitive rates.
We recommend trying this service to connect with mobile mechanics in your area for a 5 star service experience tailored to your needs!
In summary, mobile MOT testing offers a fast, hassle-free alternative to meet this annual requirement. You should use a reputable mobile mechanic for maintenance needs and enjoy savings plus convenience for years to come. Your car will thank you!
I hope this guide has helped demystify the dreaded check engine light and given you confidence in how to handle it when it appears. While the light may seem concerning, in many cases it’s informing you of a minor issue and your car remains safe to drive.
Don’t panic if it comes on – instead, use your scanner tool or visit a mechanic to pull the codes. From there, you can make an informed decision on next steps based on the severity. With the right knowledge, you can avoid unnecessary trips to the shop and costly repairs.
As your experienced mechanic, I’m always happy to answer any other questions you have about your car’s check engine light or other maintenance concerns. Don’t hesitate to reach out! Ensuring your vehicle provides reliable transportation and peace of mind is my top priority. Safe travels
Can a Mobile Mechanic Do an MOT Frequently Asked Questions
Is there such thing as a mobile MOT?
Yes, some independent mechanics and garages in the UK offer mobile MOT testing services where they will come to your home or office location to inspect your vehicle. This convenience saves you the trip to the test center. Any issues or repairs identified can often be addressed on-site as well.
Can MOTs be done at home?
Getting your MOT test completed at home is possible with businesses providing mobile MOT services. The mechanic will arrive in a fully equipped van, perform the necessary inspections and tests on your vehicle at home, then provide certification if your car passes. Some mobile services can even carry out repairs needed for MOT compliance at your location.
How much does a mobile mechanic cost UK?
Mobile mechanics may charge around £35-£80 per hour for services. The hourly rate depends on the region and the type of repair work needed. Mobile MOT testing averages £40-£60 since it is generally an hour of labor. Additional repairs add cost. Inspecting the vehicle first aids in quoting an accurate fixed price.
Is it best to have service and MOT at the same time?
Yes, scheduling your MOT test and an annual service together maximizes efficiency. The mechanic can take care of inspection, testing, tune-ups, fluid changes, and any repairs at the same appointment. Combining MOT and service saves you time and money compared to separate visits.
Is it illegal to repair cars at home UK?
It is not illegal to service, maintain, and repair your own vehicle at home in the UK. However, conducting the MOT certification yourself is prohibited. Only approved test centers and mobile testers can legally perform MOT inspections and certify road-worthiness. DIY maintenance paired with professional mobile MOT testing is an optimal combination.