An auto mechanic/car mechanic/ motor mechanicis a mechanic with a range of car makes or either in a specific area or in a specific make of car. In repairing cars, their main role is to diagnose the problem accurately and quickly. They often have to quote prices for their customers before starting work or after partial disassembly for inspection. The mechanicuses both electronic means of collecting data as well as their senses. Their job might involve the repair of a specific part or the replacement of one or more parts as assemblies.
Basic vehicle maintenance is a fundamental part of a mechanic's work in modern industrialised countries, while in others they are only consulted when a vehicle is already showing signs of malfunction. Preventative maintenance is also a basic part of a mechanic's job, but this is not possible in the case of vehicles that are not regularly maintained by a mechanic. One misunderstood aspect of preventative maintenance is scheduled replacement of various parts, which occurs before failure to avoid far more expensive damage. Because this means that parts are replaced before any problem is detected, many vehicle owners will not understand why the expense is necessary.
With the rapid advances in technology, the mechanic's job has evolved from purely mechanical, to include electronic technology. Because vehicles today possess complex computer and electronic systems, mechanics need to have a broader base of knowledge than in the past. Lately, the term “auto mechanic" is being used less and less frequently and is being replaced by the euphemistic title “automotive technician”. Fading quickly are the days of the ‘backyard mechanic', who doesn’t need much knowledge of today's computerised systems.
Due to the increasingly complex nature of the technology that is now incorporated into automobiles, most automobile dealerships and independent workshops now provide sophisticated diagnostic computers to each technician, without which they would be unable to diagnose or repair a vehicle.
A mechanic may opt to engage in other careers related to his or her field. Teaching of automotive trade courses, for example, is almost entirely carried out by qualified mechanics in many countries.
There are several other trade qualifications for working on motor vehicles, including panel beater, spray painter, body builder and motorcycle mechanic. In most developed countries, these are separate trade courses, but a qualified trades-person from one can change to working as another. This usually requires that they work under another trades-person in much the same way as an apprentice.
Auto body repair involves less work with oily and greasy parts of vehicles, but involves exposure to particulate dust from sanding bodywork and potentially toxic chemical fumes from paint and related products. Salespeople and dealers often also need to acquire an in-depth knowledge of cars, and some mechanics are successful in these roles because of their knowledge. Auto mechanics also need to stay updated with all the leading car companies as well as new launching cars. They have to study continuously on new technology engines and their work systems.
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