A Tribute to the Car Mechanic

by Don Elliott on September 6, 2011

There are an estimated 205 million cars and light trucks in the United States. In a perfect world, our vehicles would never break down and only need minimal auto repair maintenance. However, in the real world, we drive our cars and trucks in all kinds of weather. We drive our cars on smooth and rough roads. Many of us provide our vehicles with less automotive maintenance than is suggested.

The individual automotive repair mechanics that work on all these cars and trucks have a daunting responsibility. They have to be familiar with all types of mechanical problems spread over hundreds of car makes and models with thousands of different parts. Computers have made tracking potential solutions to an unfamiliar problem much easier. However, many mechanical parts in a car have an impact on other portions of a car. A great deal of logic and common sense is necessary to diagnose car problems.

At franchised car dealerships, auto repair mechanics or automotive repair technicians receive regular training from new car manufacturers. Newer and lower mileage cars often have predictable or recurring problems that help with diagnosis. Alerts are published to reflect the experience of multiple warranty claims. Auto repair technicians in a new car service shop cannot afford to make mistakes that involve very expensive, original equipment parts installed at a significant labor rate.

For the most part, auto repair mechanics provide their own tools. It is not unusual for a fully certified Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) mechanic to have $20,000 or more tied up in the tools of their trade. Mechanics who work in small, independent service shops need to make an additional investment in diagnostic tools. Smaller shops may not be able to complete some automotive repairs because they require special tools or diagnostic programming that is only available from the new car manufacturer.

Independent car shops often work on older and higher mileage cars. The problems they see are different than those seen in a new car service facility. Many car parts wear out after years of use. Options for auto repair include used or rebuilt parts and repair of existing parts.

Here is where the tribute to the automobile mechanic originates. Thousands of cars, millions of car problems, constant training, expensive tools, and hard work make the auto repair mechanics’ job worthy of respect. How can you get the most out of your automotive mechanic?

Find a car mechanic that you like and trust. Take your car back to that same auto mechanic and/or auto shop for regular car maintenance and auto repair diagnosis. Your auto mechanic will have a record of the work done to your car and recognize persistent problems. You can trust the recommendation of a good car mechanic who knows your car. From the mechanic’s perspective, working on a familiar car speeds up the work process. A regular car mechanic can also spot potential problems without seeming to campaign for extra work.

You probably have a family doctor, a regular dentist, an accountant that you visit at least once a year, and even a restaurant that gets most of your business. Why not choose a favorite car mechanic or automobile technician? Their regular auto repairs will pay off in the long run.

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