Car dealer service departments have done a lot to make their experience a lot better lately.
First of all, you can schedule your appointment on an app or even on an app in the dashboard these days.
And once you get this as a nice waiting room, big screen TV, espresso machine doughnuts, and loaner cars and shuttle services Well, they're sort of yesterday's idea of convenience.
But they haven't solved for the real problem of going to the service department, going to the service department, I just don't wanna do that, I got my own TV, and espresso machine, and doughnuts at home, and that's exactly where I want my car serviced.
Which is why companies like Wrench formerly called Autobots and your mechanic bring the service lane to you.
Unlike some local mechanics that have long done local mobile work, these services aim to normalize the idea, approaching national coverage with pre quoted pricing and a modern online booking experience.
We tried your mechanic to do an oil change, air filter change, tire rotation, and general inspection of our sexy '06 Chevy van.
Exactly the kind of routine service most of us hate to make time to book and take our car in for.
And a great test to see if our technician would fall asleep from sheer boredom.
Now, it's gonna get pretty loud.
We like sound.
Our technician, Leo, showed up on time and got to work.
He's a master certified ASC Tech with 39 years of experience.
So we weren't dealing with a shade tree mechanic.
Typically, I always review a job the day before.
As to what I'm gonna need for it, this is my bone creeper.
That's all the fun stuff.
As far as wrenches, I'm gonna need this electric impact gun.
We have master technicians on staff that review their skills.
We review their tools.
We set what they're skilled for, then our platform instantly matches the best mechanic For your particular job.
Today's air filter, oil change and tyre rotation came to $134, a good price in San Francisco.
And preset when I booked, not like an Uber ride.
And the payment is handled automatically as well.
Now, there were no critical parts to judge the quality of on this particular job, but I did see brand name oil go in We use cash flow and we only use cash flow.
We like this stuff
And the services will use a combination of new OEM and aftermarket as well as reconditioned parts sometimes to make the appointment and get the job done.
You should see a parts description when you book your appointment.
Customer satisfaction with auto repair has been pretty low, cuz it's a very opaque experience.
You take your car to a shop, they call you later and tell you how much it's gonna cost.
Your car's already there, so it's a very hard experience to get it out of that shop, take it somewhere else if you don't like the price.
Now the mobile repair services say they can pretty much fix your car anywhere, except here.
You've got to be on a flat surface when the tech arrives for both jacking safety as well as for accurate fluid fill and check and getting your car fixed while it's sitting here idly wasting its day while you're in there working.
Sounds great, right?
Except you might run into some problems with the corporate landlord.
A lot of them don't like their parking lot being turned into an ad hoc car repair pop up We try to limit it to what your neighbors would tolerate.
So way that I think about it, your neighbors are can be happy if you're pulling the block out of, out of your car and it's sitting out there for six, seven hours while we're fixing your car.
So we generally end at timing belts, serpentine belts, jobs to take two to three hours.
We see a transmission needs to be done.
If we see that we need to pull the block out we'll tell the customer they need to take it into a shop.
Your mechanic says they can do some 600 jobs in the field.
Wrench says it can handle 80% of what a shop can do.
Both warranty their text work and parts for 12 months or 12,000 miles.
With their option to either fix it again on the house or just refund you your money.
And you might think any tech who works in a shop can throw his tools in a truck, take out a Craigslist ad and be in the mobile repair business.
Yes and no what these new services are really doing.
Like so many things these days is solving a data problem.
Getting you in the right appointment matched up with the right tech who's available at that time, making sure the price is quoted and everybody does okay on that and getting the parts ready just in time for the tech to pick up so he's not screwing up Run around chasing those all day.
It's a lot of efficiencies in orchestration.
We're essentially talking about a mashup of Uber, an airline, and UPS with some grease thrown in.