Automotive Mechanics are responsible for repairing and maintaining all types of motor vehicles, such as motorcycles, small passenger cars, large diesel buses and trucks or tractors. The automobile is made up of many parts that some mechanics so that some of them choose to specialize in specific repair works like auto body repair, engine work, or electronic systems. General automotive mechanics usually do preventive maintenance like rotating tires, changing oil filters, replenishing fluids, and diagnosing engine problems. They troubleshoot automobiles that don’t run properly, following guidelines formulated by the manufacturers, diagnosing, repairing or replacing defective parts.
The job of automotive mechanics used to be simple but because of the high level of technology involved in modern transportation, their job has also evolved. Vehicles today use computers and integrated electronic systems to regulate almost all aspects of vehicle operations, from fuel supply system to climate control within the vehicle. Because of this, in addition to traditional skills and tools that they need to practice their profession, they now need to know how to use computers in computerized shops, working with the vehicles’ electronic and computerized system. On board computers tell the automotive mechanics whether the vehicle is performing well or not. They use sophisticated diagnostic tools and equipment to tell them what is causing the problem and how to correct it, or replace the defective part when found. They follow a checklist of items to inspect to ensure that every part that is essential to the vehicle’s operation is functioning properly. Parts include hoses, belts, plugs, and fuel and brake systems.
Automotive mechanics must undergo special certification process so they can learn new technologies in maintaining and repairing not only engines but every part of the automobile that can break down. There are mechanics who choose to be certified on specific brands or makes of vehicles.
Automotive mechanics are responsible for servicing and repairing motor vehicles. At various times, their work may involve inspection of problems, routine or preventive maintenance, replacement of parts, diagnostic troubleshooting, performance testing, and/or vehicle repair.
Mechanics make use of a wide variety of tools, ranging from traditional hand tools to larger power tools to the computerized shop equipment needed for interfacing with the integrated electronic systems and complex computers which regulate most of today’s vehicles. During routine service inspections, mechanics will test and if necessary, repair or replace worn parts using a checklist to ensure that they examine every critical part. To handle more intensive repair jobs, mechanics may need to replace or overhaul major systems or components of the vehicle. Troubleshooting problems on many of today’s vehicles often requires a mechanic to compare readouts from a computerized diagnostic testing device with benchmarked standards provided by the manufacturer.
Education, Certification, Licensing
Strictly speaking, there are no mandated educational requirements for becoming an automotive mechanic. Some mechanics still learn the trade by assisting and learning from experienced workers. However, successful completion of a vocational training program in automotive service technology in high school or in a postsecondary vocational school or community college is highly recommended.
Courses in math, physics, and to an increasingly important degree, electronics and computer science, will be extremely helpful. Even those who graduate from a formal automotive training program will still need a year or two of experience to become a fully qualified automotive mechanic. Complex specialties, such as air conditioning or transmission repair, normally require another year or two of training and/or experience.A standard credential for automotive mechanics is the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. While not mandatory for automotive service work, certification is becoming increasingly common to the point where today there are about 400,000 certified professionals.
Certification can be earned in one or more of 8 different areas of automotive service (e.g., engine repair, brake systems, electrical systems, etc.) and is based on a combination of education/experience and the ability to pass a certification exam. Those who are skilled in multiple auto repair services and would like to increase their marketability as an all-around mechanic can pursue ASE certification in all eight areas, which will earn them the designation of Master Automobile Technician.
The automotive mechanics inspect, service, and repair the engines, brakes, and other parts of cars, buses, and trucks. They even perform routine maintenance to prevent future breakdowns.
The Automotive Mechanics must be able to do the following job functions:
• The automotive mechanics job description entails diagnosing problems quickly and accurately having analytical ability.
• They require a thorough knowledge of cars’ mechanical and electronic systems and competence with a variety of electronic tools, such as infrared engine analyzers and computers.
• They diagnose hard-to-find problems to be one of their most challenging and satisfying duties.
• They replace or repair faulty parts after locating the source of the malfunctions.
• They repair such as electrical or transmission problems and work in special service shops.
• They work in automobile dealerships, automobile repair shops, and gasoline service stations.
• They may repair cars and trucks.
• They make adjustments and repairs after cars come off the assembly line.
• They work for large department stores that have facilities for servicing automobiles.
• The automotive mechanics must be at least high school graduates. High school courses in metal work, mechanical drawing, science, mathematics, computer skills, and automobile maintenance are helpful.
• They may also have advanced high school programs are part of the Automotive Youth Education Service, a certification program that prepares students for entry-level jobs. Participants often train under experienced mechanics for up to four years.
• They should undergo programs that last from six months to two years and combine classroom instruction and hands-on practical experience. Some trade schools partner with automotive dealerships, which allow students to work in their service departments.
• They may also have certification but not mandatory in this field. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification, the nationally recognized standard, can be awarded in eight different areas of automotive service.
Majority of men and a few women are passionate about cars, which is why some choose to embark on a profession that entails repairing, overhauling and even modifying specific or all car type.
But definitely, aside from the enthusiasm, there are other requirements in order to become an automotive mechanic. First it would be a good idea for anyone who aspires a career on automotive repair to understand the duties and tasks of this craft. When a car malfunctions, an automotive mechanic makes a diagnosis of what have caused such failure in the equipment. After which the mechanic executes appropriate repair works depending on the car make or model. In exact, here are the possible tasks that an auto mechanic may perform:
patching up various automobiles that may be powered by gasoline, diesel or electricity (these vehicles are cars, light-medium-heavy trucks, vans, scooters, utility vehicles, power sweepers, garden equipments, forklifts, etc)
working on internal ignition engines and relating repair tasks such as valves grinding, piston and piston ring installations, bearings and bushings fittings, rod aligning, components dismantling and reassembling.
fine-tuning other components of the automotive such as clutches, transmissions, single and multiple speed differentials, hydraulic loading and accessory systems and controls, mechanical vacuum boosters, hydraulic and air brake systems, suspension systems, steering assemblies, and carburetion, ignition and electrical systems
tuning up, changing of oil, wheel and tire balancing, mufflers and smog control devices inspecting and fixing
proper utilization of shop equipments like hand-set grinders, drill and hydraulic presses, hydraulic lifts, engine analyzers, welding equipment, and electrical system testing equipment.
some welding of electrical and oxygen acetylene, matching tires on dual wheel vehicles
Aside from these, the auto mechanic may be the one to order the parts and supplies needed for the repair, keep inventories in certain projects, estimate costs and price for the automotive repair, recommend other services provided by other contractors if the automotive malfunction is out of his field, and other duties assigned.
To be able to perform well on the duties mentioned for an automotive mechanic, he or she should possess the following qualities and knowledge:
how a certain type and model of an automotive operates
principles and concepts of mechanical and electrical systems, Hydraulic and power take-off accessory systems in gasoline and diesel internal combustion engines
proper use as well as maintenance of tools and equipments in automotive machinery
safety measures, precautions and practices
basic record-keeping processes and computer skills
Different countries have different regulations on how an aspirant may become a licensed and qualified mechanic. As early as high school, there are some curriculum which provides early preparation or vocational elective courses including that of car repairing. Also, apprenticeships and training programs may be availed to add to the list of credentials. Formal training and education may come from various technical schools and colleges.
Automotive Repairing may also encompass some lifting or carrying of heavy motors and equipments so a mechanic’s body must be fit to carry out such task. He should also possess or have even the basic tools like pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers and gauges.