When we breakdown and our vehicles needs full scale repairs; my experience of late.
I am the first to confess this article has little if anything to do with video cameras or film making. What it does have though, is reference to something us in this industry all have — some form of personal/business transport or another. And this transport is vital to do what we do; getting to and from gigs primarily.
I also like to give credit where credit is due, and in this case, this is firmly the situation.
Let me explain.
A few months ago, my car started for the first time in its life to use water. Not a lot initially, just a cup full every few weeks but it gradually got worse and worse to the point a 30Km journey would use 3–4 liters. The weird thing was thought, that the car was not overheating, and there was no evident sign of a leak anywhere.
2 years ago, the cooling system had been overhauled, and my memory told me that all hoses had been replaced as well as belts and pulleys, plus the radiator itself, so this had me stumped. My initial suspect was a cracked expansion tank, but no pools of water on the ground seemed to dismiss that idea.
Eventually, 2 weeks ago when at the local shopping Centre, after coming out of the supermarket, a fellow shopper stopped me and said my car had a large pool of water underneath it. Initially I thought as it was a stinking humid day this was just from the air-conditioning, but on the way home, a short 500 meters away, the temperature gauge rose alarmingly.
Time to park the car and get some third party assistance. I weighed up getting it towed using my RAC benefits, but in the end decided to use one of the many mobile mechanics’ services. Being Easter Saturday, this meant waiting until the following Tuesday, and the only ones available were Lube mobile. A callout fee of $114 or so was mooted for an initial 15 minute diagnosis which seemed reasonable against losing my towing ration.
Sure enough, bang on time, the mechanic — Jed — showed up and within minutes had determined a crack in the radiator. Thinking this was under warranty from the previous repairer, I thanked Jed, paid the bill, and thought that phase at least was over.
However, despite searching high and low, and finding receipts for everything BUT the radiator, I contacted the dealer directly and he ascertained he had not replaced the radiator at that previous service.
Back to square one.
I contacted Lube mobile again online and got a quote that came in at $457. As there wasn’t much choice, I rang Jed direct as I had his mobile number, and asked him to organize the repair for the following day. Unfortunately, the necessary parts were not available locally, and so after Jed had a second look at my car to make sure his original diagnosis was correct, we arranged for the next day.
In that second diagnosis, Jed also discovered the main drive belt was hundreds of kilometers within snapping, and that something called a heater tap was also damaged and leaking. All parts were subsequently ordered, and at 8am sharp, as promised, Jed was on the doorstep next day ready to go.
And this is where the reason for this piece really starts. Never in my life, and I have been around cars and motor sport for longer than I care to remember, have I seen someone doing repairs with such diligence. Everything was checked and double checked and then checked again to make sure. Removed parts were carefully laid out in order, bolts and screws etc placed into a special container so they were not lost, and even things not related to the original repair checked in case there were other faults.
For example, Jed noticed a plug lead had been damaged, and so during the course of the repair, this was also rectified. Some missing plastic plugs holding the radiator cover in place were sourced from a tin full of bits ’n’ pieces in Jed’s van and even a stray cable that had done a runner from its holding clip was carefully returned to its rightful place.
When the radiator had been replaced, and the hoses put back on — after checking all the hose clips were still fully operational, the cooling system was pressure checked and all joints and connected and again double checked for any possible leakage.
Only then were all the ancillary panels and things put back in place.
But the job didn’t stop there. The engine bay and all covers etc were then wiped down and cleaned and sprayed with some sort of fluid to bring them back to shining life. The car was left running for 15 minutes to bring it up to temperature so the thermostat would open letting the coolant levels be checked again.
During this time, all of the tools Jed has used were wiped down and checked for any damage and then carefully put back into their own special location in the myriads of drawers in the back of the lube mobile van.
Now up until this point, I assumed that lube mobile was a franchise operation, and therefore this was a man proud of his business and its relationship with clients, something often sadly lacking in this day and age. But no, I discovered Jed was an employee of the lube mobile company which has over 200 mobile vans on the road in Australia I understand, and so this attitude, attention to details and the strive to do the best job possible to me, was highly reflective of the training lube mobile obviously give and of Jed’s own pride in his work.
The long and short of it is that no matter you have a basic car, a van for carrying video gear to and from gigs, or a full on outside broadcast van I have no hesitation in recommending the services of Lube mobile to anyone in this industry, and if on the Gold Coast, particularly Jed.