What Does An Automotive Technician Do?

Cars aren’t perfect. Constant wear and tear can cause the airconditioning to conk out, the fan belt to break or the transmission to get fried. When these things happen, automotive service technicians are the ones who diagnose the issue, find solutions and undertake the necessary repairs. Most of them work for automotive repair and maintenance companies and automobile dealers, although a good number are self-employed.

When an automobile is brought to them for repair, automotive technicians first talk with the owner to determine what the problem is. They listen to their description of the issue and use computerized diagnostic equipment to determine where the fault lies. If the situation requires it, they may have to take the car on a test run to get a more accurate diagnosis. They also conduct a thorough examination of the parts and systems of the vehicle by following a standard checklist to make sure that nothing is left out.

After identifying what the issue is, automotive technicians will then proceed with the repairs. To address the problems, they may have to take apart some parts of the car’s affected area, fix or replace the components and then put the whole thing back together again. They will then make a final check on the car to ensure that the repairs undertaken did address the faulty areas before returning it to the owner.

Automotive technicians may specialize in eight areas of automotive service based on the credentialing system administered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. They may be certified to handle brakes, heating and air-conditioning, automatic transmission/transaxle, manual drive train and axles, electrical/electronic systems, suspension and steering, engine repair and engine performance if they pass the exam in each of these areas. Passing all the tests will earn for them the Master Automobile Technician designation.

The specific work they do will depend on their specialization. For instance, brake repairers will take care of evaluating the brake systems to check if they are working and replacing brake pads if needed. Those who specialize in transmission work will diagnose gear and hydraulic pump problems, among others. Mechanics who are experts at suspension work will check that the wheels of a vehicle are well-aligned. They also know how to address issues affecting a car’s steering mechanisms and suspension systems.

Automotive technicians, regardless of their specialization, are adept at performing maintenance work on light vehicles. Thus, they can check for the general condition of the car, change the engine oil, determine the sufficiency of fluid levels, rotate tires and give tune-ups.

Aside from the regular work they do on a vehicle, automotive technicians are also expected to interact with clients. As such, they need to have good interpersonal and customer service skills in order for customers to trust them with their vehicles and become regular patrons. They need to be able to fully explain the repairs that need to be undertaken, the spare parts that need to be bought, total expenses and the other details regarding the service so that the client understands everything. Automotive shops depend on their clients and their word-of-mouth recommendations to stay in business so automotive technicians must also know how to communicate with clients as well.

Career Spotlight: Automotive Technician

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