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How to Become a Car Mechanic

Car mechanics perform a variety of tasks related to the repair and maintenance of automobiles. They diagnose problems, repair and replace parts and perform diagnostic tests on vehicles to determine the cause of malfunctions or failures. They also perform preventative maintenance to reduce the likelihood of costly repairs.

Mechanics are typically paid by the hour or on a commission basis. They can work at auto dealers, private garages or even independent shops. They earn a higher hourly rate for their time spent performing diagnostic tests and making recommendations on repairs.

Education: Mechanics must be knowledgeable about vehicle systems and their components. They need to understand how to identify and resolve problems with engines, transmissions, brakes, tires, suspensions and power trains. They also need to have a good working knowledge of safety laws and regulations.

Certifications: Technicians should have a variety of automotive certifications, including ASE. They should have completed a specific number of hours of training and passed a series of exams. Having these qualifications makes you more likely to get better service at a lower cost.

Experience: A minimum of two years is generally necessary to become a mechanic, but a longer period is preferred. Mechanics who have more experience may be more confident and able to make sound decisions in their work.

Vocational Mentoring: Having an instructor or other person to guide you through your learning process can help you learn the skills you need faster. They can teach you how to use specialized tools or provide hands-on training. They can also answer questions you have about a particular part or system and explain its operation and maintenance.

Internships: Taking an internship at an auto dealership can give you first-hand knowledge of what a car mechanic does and provide valuable work experience. It can also help you build a strong resume for future employment.

Getting a second opinion: When you have a problem with a repair, take your car to a different shop to get another mechanic’s point of view. This can give you a fresh perspective on the work done on your car and allow you to negotiate a refund with the original mechanic if the problem is recurring or if you discover new problems.

Don’t leave money on the table: Ask for a written repair order that details the work performed and the parts used. This document should list each item and its cost, the labor charges, and the odometer reading at the time you brought your car in.

It’s also a good idea to have the repair work verified by another auto mechanic before you pay the bill. Having a copy of a repair order and the original receipt will give you more confidence in the work your mechanic did.

What to do if you have a dispute with an auto mechanic: If the car mechanic refuses to make good on a repair bill or is unwilling to correct a problem, talk to your local consumer protection agency and Attorney General for advice. They may be able to help you file a small claims court lawsuit against the shop.

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