Today, the automotive service technician is far more than just a simple mechanic with a few tools on his belt. What used to be a matter of mechanics is now a matter of technology. The modern mechanic needs to have his or her finger on the pulse of the modern automobile, as it has complex electronics systems and built-in computers that monitor many aspects of vehicle performance.
A good auto mechanic is first and foremost, a problem solver. The job of service technicians is to identify as fast as they can the causes of breakdowns and repair them using the optimal solutions. They should be experienced and aware of the latest automotive technologies. They should possess the brand-specific as well as vehicle-specific knowledge.
To understand how vehicle components work together, you must have excellent reasoning skills and the ability to foresee failures that may occur in the future as a result of being left unattended. To prevent aging parts from failing and leading to severe damage, they might be replaced.
On a daily basis, a career of an auto service mechanic may call for solving problems arising out of a breakdown, preparing gasoline or diesel vehicles to get through the inspection tests, attending to preventive maintenance, and doing the tune ups. The qualified professional will be able to tell whether it is better to repair a defective component or replace it. Electronic diagnostic equipment and digital reference manuals will help the qualified professional to detect problems.
An important task is the interpretation of the output from diagnostic equipment and its comparison with the manufacturers' benchmarks. Required frequently in the solving the problem and routine repair work are the use of heavy tools such as: jacks and hoists to access the work area, pneumatic wrenches, flame-cutting (and recently water-cutting) and welding tools for repairing exhaust systems, and lathes and grinding machines for brakes.
Automotive technicians will go to work in large shops where there is the opportunity to specialize, although some will build careers in a small towns. Some will exclusively choose to concentrate on work related to break repairs, and look after brake linings, pads, and power-assisted brake systems. Transmission technicians service hydraulic pumps, couplings, and gear trains. Air conditioning technicians, who must have an in-depth knowledge of State and Federal regulations on the handling and disposal of refrigerants, look after the controls, condensers and compressors of modern automotive air conditioning systems.
Generally, an auto service technician is a good career. Because of their skills and knowledge, defective automobiles leave the shop in perfect working order.