Performing front suspension work without a lift

A travelling mechanic says that he can perform front suspension work without a lift. Is this possible and if so, does it make it difficult to do a good job?

I do front suspension work all the time at home on the floor without a lift. Not a problem. Jack-stands on the floor work well.

You might need an alignment after that work. If so, that is also possible without a lift, just more difficult.

Melissa , is this mobile mechanic even going to have a warranty and how is he going to align the thing after the work. Seriously you are beating a dead horse. This vehicle is going to need replacing soon anyway so why not put your effort into finding a replacement instead of wasting money on this at the end of its life vehicle.

Just last year my father-in-law and I did rear control arm bushings with no lift. It’s definitely easier with a lift, but not impossible! Make sure you have a good jack AND jack stand if you do it yourself

Unless the mobile mechanic has a real shop and just happens to make housecalls, I don’t hire mobile mechanics. And even then, I’ll just drive or tow the car to the shop. There are a lot of ripoff artists out there driving around in vans who charge you almost as much as a normal mechanic would, and then do shoddy work. And you have no recourse because you can’t find them again.

There’s also the issue that if they are not properly insured, and they get injured while on your property, you could end up being found liable for the expenses.


@melissanative_142230 – Read Shadow’s post . That is a valid opinion about the insurance problem you could have.

I have watched 3 mobile mechanics come and go in my area and all of them went broke biting off more than they could chew. If well marketed and cooperating with many local shops the ‘road warriors’ might do well installing batteries and belts and changing tires but anything greater than a pit stop repair is neither profitable for the mechanic nor economical for the car owner.

I agree with @Rod_Knox. Almost anything underthecar and not in the wheel wells is best done on a lift. The time saved makes thelift worthwhile. Even work in the wheel wells (brakes, suspension) is a lot easier on a lift.

I have worked as a mobile mechanic without a lift, I use car ramps, the right jack stands, I would sometime find a job or two which did require a Lift those I turned down and or took the car or truckb to a shop which had one, body work I never did, would recommend a very good shop which does very low costs, fast work! What I have found is that people want cheap labor, they end up costing them more in redoing a project. I would offer example of some of my past job which where very happy with my work and their kind words. Only a few customers were bad that did not pay.

I’ll chime in . . .

If suspension work is going to do be done without a lift, you should be doing it YOURSELF, not paying somebody else, for the various reasons already mentioned

If you do it yourself and mess up, you can point that finger right back at yourself

But if you’re paying good money to somebody else, you should make sure they’ve been in business for awhile, have a physical presence . . . a street address, in other words . . . are insured, registered as a business, have the proper tools and experience, and so forth

You wouldn’t get a root canal performed by some guy working out of the back of his van, would you . . . ?! :tooth: :face_with_head_bandage:

Agreed. This guy has a professional van with company name but the insurance issue is what I’m most concerned about. I live in a patio a condo and he would be doing the work in the parking lot which is not owned by me but the condo association, right? If so, there is no need to worry about being sued. I hear he is really good buy charges the same amount per hour as a shop which is a 100 per hour in West Palm Beach, Florida. Not sure how he can stay in business charging so much when he has little overhead.

He does have some overhead. He owns the van and is driving to your door to do the work. I wouldn’t have any problem with this if the guy is reputable. Doing any front end work on the ground is not difficult. I’ve done it all in my gravel driveway with no problems.

I know that he has some but he shouldn’t be charging the same unless he is close to perfect. Thanks for responding :slight_smile:

I feel that you would work slower and it will take longer without a lift and will cost more.

Your homeowner’s association would almost certainly have a problem with this guy doing auto repairs on the premises

I’d be more worried about getting in trouble with the homeowner’s association. They may be legally allowed to fine YOU

If he gets hurt or damages something who do you think the HOA is going after . You. This is a bad idea and since he charges as much as a real shop then use a real shop.

I don’t know if there are children in your condo complex but if there are then having a vehicle on jack stands long enough to do this work is going to make a lot of people mad. And what if the mechanic has to leave to source more parts who is going to watch the vehicle . The HOA where I live would not allow something like this at all.

1 Like

Yes, it is possible, and yes, it will be more difficult to do the job. There would have to be a pretty good reason for me to hire someone to do a suspension job that way – 50-75% reduced price, a breakdown out in the boondocks for example – b/c there are so many in-town shops w/lifts to choose from.

I think you answered your own question as to why it costs the same…

Frankly, I don’t see how you can begrudge him charging the same. You get the same end result and if the condo association allows such things it’s actually more convenient for you.

Right and unless you know how to market and advertise your mobile business, it must be tough to keep a steady flow of customers.

Agree but I did have one good experience and he was the only one that could repair my car but he over-charged me. My car kept on stalling out and it was a vacuum leak. Two other mechanics said my car was on its last leg and I should get a better car. Unreal!!