Running an auto mechanic business is no mean feat. The car industry is evolving at a staggering rate, and it’s the mechanic’s job to keep up. As we move deeper into the territory of hybrid engines and electronic systems, we were curious how the mechanic’s job is changing. The profession is slowly moving from a skilled labour role to a highly technical job. How are most mechanic’s keeping up with this change? How are they adapting?
We spent a day shadowing a mechanic and asked them about the changing world of mechanics. They showed us a typical day behind the scenes and gave us a crucial insight into the changing world of motoring. As far as we could tell, the change has been tricky, but the best mechanics are embracing the new direction.
Stock and supply
The first job at the mechanic’s garage is assessing the stock and supply. As you can imagine, the garage is full of spare parts, components, and equipment. So, the morning’s first activity is making sure they’re prepared for the day. There’ll be a quick call to order new bearing parts and a headcount for remaining tyres. The garage stores hundreds of spare components and keeps plenty of oil and fluids. Each must be measured and secured throughout the day.
Electrics and diagnostics
Now, as we explained in the intro, the job of the mechanic is becoming more technical. In the past, a problem was easily diagnosed by lifting the bonnet. The culprit was typically easy to find. A worn spark plug, a leaky oil tank, or a loose cam belt are easily identified. Now, the mechanic is looking for those problems and a whole host of electrical issues. The electric systems are buried deep inside the car. So, that means using sophisticated diagnostic equipment. The mechanic will hook the car up to a computer which tells them exactly where the trouble is. Most of them have now had programming and technology training. They also have particular equipment to deal with the new hybrid engines.
Repair and bodywork
By all accounts, the mechanic’s favourite job is still getting stuck into the repairs. The remainder of the day is spent hammering out bodywork and changing tyres. They’ll carry out annual inspections, services, and MOTs. That means testing every aspect of the car to make sure it satisfies legal regulations and road safety measures. There will be plenty of oil changes, battery replacements and tyre rotations before the end of the day. The qualified mechanics will also extract the hybrid systems and inspect them for servicing.
Finally, before the day is out, the entire garage needs cleaning and setting up for the next day. Every component or piece of equipment is thoroughly wiped clean and scrubbed. Tools and equipment are inventorized and returned. Electronic equipment is checked, cleaned, and shut down before leaving.
Mechanics are certainly facing a big change and evolution in driving. But, it appears they are relishing the challenge to learn more and adapt to the future. After all, mechanics love taking things apart and figuring out how things work. That will never change!
Auto mecanic photo by Emyr Jones. License: CC BY-ND 2.0.