Automobile mechanics inspect, maintain, and repair cars and light trucks.
Auto mechanics examine belts, hoses, plugs, brakes, and fuel systems. They may install or repair accessories, such as heaters and windshield wipers. They inspect and lubricate engines and parts. They tune engines to use less fuel.
Auto mechanics talk to owners to find out what problems the car is having. They examine cars and try to eliminate simple things that could cause the problem. Sometimes they test drive cars to observe their performance. They use a variety of testing equipment, such as hand-held diagnostic computers and compression gauges.
Once the problem is identified, mechanics make adjustments or repairs. Sometimes they replace or rebuild damaged parts. For large repairs, mechanics estimate the cost and get the customer's approval before doing any work.
Auto mechanics use a variety of tools, including:
- Power tools
- Machine tools
- Welding and flame-cutting equipment
- Jacks and hoists
- Common hand tools
- Electronic equipment
Automobile mechanics are also called service technicians. Those in small shops must know about all areas of car repair. Those who work in large shops may specialize in one or more areas, such as:
Automatic transmission technicians work on gear trains, hydraulic pumps, and other parts of a transmission.
Bio-diesel technicians may remove old fuel tanks to install new fuel systems. They convert cars that use regular gasoline to use bio-diesel, ethanol, methane, or other fuels.
Tune-up technicians adjust timing and valves, and adjust or replace spark plugs and fuel systems.
Front-end mechanics align and balance wheels and repair steering and suspension systems.
Brake repairers adjust brakes and replace brake linings and pads. They also service regenerative braking systems in hybrid vehicles.