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What Does a Mechanic Do?

Mechanics typically are employed by an auto care facility.
A mechanic working.
A mechanic may work for a shop that does tune ups and general maintenance.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 April 2014
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Mechanics are trained professionals who deal with the creation, structuring, and maintenance of mechanical equipment. The range of devices that a mechanic may work with include automobiles, trucks, production machinery, and a wide scope of mechanical systems that help to create many of the goods and services that are enjoyed by consumers.

Perhaps the most commonly recognized type of mechanic is the auto mechanic. Auto mechanics may receive their training through an apprenticeship with an experienced car mechanic, or through formal training at a technical or vocational school. In some instances, car mechanics may train for work with a wide variety of vehicles, or specialize in dealing with a limited type of engine. Thus, a mechanic who works with automobiles may choose to focus on working with large road equipment, diesel engines, passenger cars, or trucks.

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One growing sector of the mechanic profession is working with diesel powered engines. Diesel mechanics have long been in demand in the transportation industry, providing service to long haul truck lines and other companies that handle the moving of products from one location to another. As the demand for diesel powered automobiles for private use has expanded, it is not unusual for at least one diesel mechanic to be associated with a long auto repair facility. Often, the mechanic who is trained to work on diesel engines also can work with engines that are configured to work with unleaded gas as well. A few are also beginning to receive training in the repair of engines that work with alternative fuels as well.

The mechanic usually is associated with a particular auto repair facility, or is an employee of a company that utilizes vehicles in the course of its daily operations. Generally, a mechanic will engage in providing maintenance to the vehicles under his or her charge, as well as making repairs or enhancements when and as necessary. Many mechanics continue to seek education throughout their careers, obtaining certification via training programs offered by manufacturers as well as taking advanced classes offered at local training schools.

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Discuss this Article

Lefty101
Post 6

Let's not forget aircraft mechanics, like me.

To work on aircraft you practically have to be a mechanical engineer. Every nut and bolt is very specifically torqued and there is no tolerance for even the slightest error. I don't want to knock automotive mechanics or motorcycle mechanics, but aircraft mechanics, like me, are at the top of the field

BadJohnson
Post 5

@RainyDay - I'm a mechanic, and I have tried making 'house calls', but the fact is that cars don't breakdown at home either. They breakdown on the express way, or if you’re lucky, on a surface street.

I usually ended up towing the cars back to the owner’s homes, to work on them there, so there was still towing and a towing fee involved, and then doing the work, which cost just as much as it would if I were working at the shop. Sometimes it cost a little more because my truck just can't house all the tools my shop does, and sometimes I ended up back at the shop to pick up more tools.

Then there is the matter of parts. I can get deliveries to the shop, but when I'm working at a customer’s house I have to go and pick up the parts, which adds to the man hours involved in getting the job done. All and all it just wasn't fiscally practical, not for me, and not for my customers. It’s one of those things that just isn’t as sweet as it sounds.

RainyDay
Post 4

They say a good mechanic is hard to find and that may be true. What I would really like to find is a mechanic who makes house calls. I wouldn't mind paying extra for it either. I live about 30 miles from nowhere, and getting my car into a shop is a chore and an expense in and of itself.

Some salve mechanic with a truck full of tools could make him/herself a fortune in my neighborhood. You know, I actually have a doctor who makes house calls, believe it or not, but I can’t find a mechanic to do the same. It just doesn’t make sense to me; cars don’t break down at the garage. I mean it is a service industry after all.

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