Overview and Key Facts
Jobs in 2031
What Do They Do?An automotive technician could...
Overview Listen to this sectionThere are so many different types of cars and trucks on the road: sports cars, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), pickup trucks, and even electric vehicles and hybrids. Have you ever wondered how they work? And, how to keep them running? How does the engine make a car's wheels turn? Why does pushing the brake pedal make a car stop? Automotive service technicians (also called mechanics) can pop open the hoods of these different types of cars and answer these questions. Automotive technicians know how to maintain vehicles' electrical and mechanical systems. They can not only diagnose problems, but are also often able to make the repairs themselves. Since so many people depend on cars to go places, an automotive technician's work is rewarding and important.
Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of an Automotive Technician?
- Repairing: ? Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
- Troubleshooting: ? Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Operation Monitoring: ? Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Operation and Control: ? Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Equipment Maintenance: ? Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Critical Thinking: ? Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Quality Control Analysis: ? Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Judgment and Decision Making: ? Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Equipment Selection: ? Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
- Active Listening: ? Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks an Automotive Technician might do:
- Test drive vehicles and test components and systems, using equipment such as infrared engine analyzers, compression gauges, and computerized diagnostic devices.
- Inspect vehicles for damage and record findings so that necessary repairs can be made.
- Test and adjust repaired systems to meet manufacturers' performance specifications.
- Repair, reline, replace, and adjust brakes.
- Estimate costs of vehicle repair.
- Review work orders and discuss work with supervisors.
- Troubleshoot fuel, ignition, and emissions control systems, using electronic testing equipment.
- Confer with customers to obtain descriptions of vehicle problems and to discuss work to be performed and future repair requirements.
- Align vehicles' front ends.
- Test electronic computer components in automobiles to ensure proper operation.
- Tear down, repair, and rebuild faulty assemblies, such as power systems, steering systems, and linkages.
- Perform routine and scheduled maintenance services, such as oil changes, lubrications, and tune-ups.
- Follow checklists to ensure all important parts are examined, including belts, hoses, steering systems, spark plugs, brake and fuel systems, wheel bearings, and other potentially troublesome areas.
- Plan work procedures, using charts, technical manuals, and experience.
- Maintain cleanliness of work area.
- Align wheels, axles, frames, torsion bars, and steering mechanisms of automobiles, using special alignment equipment and wheel-balancing machines.
- Tune automobile engines to ensure proper and efficient functioning.
- Repair, replace, or adjust defective fuel injectors, carburetor parts, and gasoline filters.
- Repair and service air conditioning, heating, engine cooling, and electrical systems.
- Disassemble units and inspect parts for wear, using micrometers, calipers, and gauges.
- Change spark plugs, fuel filters, air filters, and batteries in hybrid electric vehicles.
- Overhaul or replace carburetors, blowers, generators, distributors, starters, and pumps.
- Repair or replace parts such as pistons, rods, gears, valves, and bearings.
- Rewire ignition systems, lights, and instrument panels.
- Install, adjust, or repair hydraulic or electromagnetic automatic lift mechanisms used to raise and lower automobile windows, seats, and tops.
- Repair or rebuild transmissions.
- Retrofit vehicle fuel systems with aftermarket products, such as vapor transfer devices, evaporation control devices, swirlers, lean burn devices, and friction reduction devices, to enhance combustion and fuel efficiency.
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