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.
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.
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.
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.
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.