What Does a Car Mechanic Do?

A car mechanic performs a variety of tasks that are vital to keeping vehicles on the road and running smoothly. A good mechanic can be relied upon to diagnose problems, determine the best repair options, and execute the work quickly and efficiently. Mechanics are in demand no matter the state of the economy, as people rely on their cars to get them where they need to go. This career offers flexibility to those who choose it. Many mechanics work full-time and some even pick up a part-time weekend job to make extra money on the side.

A good auto mechanic needs to possess a wide range of skills to keep up with the ever-changing technology of automobiles. Mechanics must be knowledgeable about both mechanical and electrical systems of cars, from engines to the brakes to the air conditioning. They must also understand the proper maintenance of a vehicle, including oil changes and tire rotations.

It is a good idea for car mechanics to obtain formal training through an automotive program, either at a vocational school or at a community college. Depending on the program, some may also have to pass an exam to be certified by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). This certification is important to have, because it shows employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to do the job.

One of the main responsibilities of a mechanic is to inspect vehicles for damage and other issues, such as leaking fluids or broken windshield wipers. Using ramps and other equipment to access parts of the vehicle that are otherwise inaccessible, they can assess the condition of a vehicle’s components. Mechanics then recommend repairs to the vehicle owner and provide cost estimates. Mechanics also use computers to read error codes and diagnose problems with the vehicle’s electronic systems.

In addition to diagnostics and repair, a mechanic must have good communication skills to discuss problems with customers and explain the process of fixing the vehicle. This is especially important in customer service roles, where the mechanic acts as a liaison between the customer and the dealership or repair shop. Mechanics must also be knowledgeable about the warranty and service contracts on the vehicle they are working on so they can answer any questions that arise.

As more vehicles come on the market with complex electronics, it becomes more important for mechanics to have a strong background in electronics and computer science. The mechanic’s job is also becoming more challenging, because it requires more technical training to keep up with the changing technology of cars. Unlike the human body, which is relatively unchanged for millennia, the automobile has been evolving at an incredible rate over the past decades.

In order to be a successful car mechanic, you must have excellent troubleshooting skills and be able to think on your feet. In addition, you must be comfortable bending over, stretching and squatting to work on the underside of a vehicle or inside the engine. Mechanics also need to have physical strength, as they sometimes need to lift heavy parts.