What does a Vehicle Mechanic do?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Mechanics tune up cars.
Mechanics tune up cars.

A vehicle mechanic performs a range of tasks related to keeping vehicles in good, working order. Often, part of a vehicle mechanic's job is performing routine maintenance on vehicles, including such tasks as rotating tires and changing oil. A person with this title may also inspect vehicles in accordance with local laws to ensure they are safe for driving. Vehicle mechanics also repair cars, trucks, and other types of vehicles. For example, a person with this title may perform repairs when car parts and systems fail to work as they should as well as when recalls are issued.

A mechanic may check a vehicle's steering.
A mechanic may check a vehicle's steering.

Much of a vehicle mechanic’s job involves performing routine maintenance on cars, trucks, and other vehicles. A person with this title may check and change oil and rotate a vehicle’s tires. He may also make sure the vehicle's coolant, transmission, and brake fluid are kept at optimal levels. Often, a vehicle mechanic also checks and replaces air and oil filters. Additionally, he may check a vehicle’s braking system and adjust and replace components as necessary.

A mechanic can test or replace a vehicle's battery.
A mechanic can test or replace a vehicle's battery.

Many jurisdictions require vehicle owners to have their vehicles inspected for safety on a periodic basis. A vehicle mechanic is often responsible for performing these inspections. For example, he may inspect vehicle safety features such as horns, headlights, brake lights, and windshield wipers to make sure they work properly. He may also check whether or not the brakes and tires are in adequate condition. Often, a vehicle mechanic also checks the emissions that leave the car through its exhaust system to ensure they are within the limits of jurisdiction standards.

Routine vehicle maintenance includes rotating the tires.
Routine vehicle maintenance includes rotating the tires.

Unfortunately, vehicles break down or fail to function properly from time to time. A significant part of a vehicle mechanic’s job is repairing them as needed. To do this job properly, a mechanic must first determine what is wrong with the vehicle. Then, he typically informs his customer or employer of the repairs the vehicle needs to return it to optimal function before proceeding to make the required repairs. The repair tasks a mechanic takes on may range from the simple replacement of a hose or tube to rebuilding an entire engine.

Mechanics may add extra fluid to a vehicle, including antifreeze.
Mechanics may add extra fluid to a vehicle, including antifreeze.

The requirements a person has to meet to become a vehicle mechanic often depend on the preferences of his employer. Often, employers prefer individuals who have completed training through a vocational or technical school program or even earned degrees in automotive technology or repair. Many offer on-the-job training as well.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments

Heavanet

@talentryto- Many high schools also offer automobile mechanics programs in their vocational studies. Enrolling in one of these programs is a great way to get an early start on a future career in the automobile industry.

Talentryto

A great way for a young person to decide whether or not he wants to become vehicle mechanic is to find a car mechanic apprenticeship. After all, there is nothing like hands-on training to determine how well suited someone is for a particular job.

My nephew always loved cars and working on them with is father, but wasn't sure if he wanted to make automobile mechanics his life's work. He found an apprenticeship at a local auto mechanics shop, and decided he loves the work. He is currently enrolled in an auto mechanics program to get his certification.

If you know a young person who is looking for this type of apprenticeship program, encourage him to call different mechanic shops in his area. He may be surprised at how willing these places are to give a young person the opportunity to experience the job in a real-life setting.

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    • Mechanics tune up cars.
      By: Tyler Olson
      Mechanics tune up cars.
    • A mechanic may check a vehicle's steering.
      By: Tyler Olson
      A mechanic may check a vehicle's steering.
    • A mechanic can test or replace a vehicle's battery.
      By: Željko Radojko
      A mechanic can test or replace a vehicle's battery.
    • Routine vehicle maintenance includes rotating the tires.
      By: Kimsonal
      Routine vehicle maintenance includes rotating the tires.
    • Mechanics may add extra fluid to a vehicle, including antifreeze.
      By: designsstock
      Mechanics may add extra fluid to a vehicle, including antifreeze.
    • Mechanics may be asked to explain necessary repairs or services to customers.
      By: Andres Rodriguez
      Mechanics may be asked to explain necessary repairs or services to customers.
    • A vehicle mechanic may test a car's emissions.
      By: Mastrofoto
      A vehicle mechanic may test a car's emissions.
    • Some vehicles mechanics specialize in one part of the vehicle's systems, such as the transmission.
      By: ashadrov
      Some vehicles mechanics specialize in one part of the vehicle's systems, such as the transmission.
    • Vehicle mechanics may need to perform extensive repairs to a vehicle following a crash.
      By: mrivserg
      Vehicle mechanics may need to perform extensive repairs to a vehicle following a crash.