Auto shop was off limits to girls when I was in high school. That was a course I really wanted to take and I was delighted when the instructor agreed I could visit during my free period. Maybe the boys refrained from teasing because I was on the girl’s rifle team. It probably had more to do with the fact that they were concentrating on learning an employable skill. I wanted to learn about tools beyond a wrench and screwdriver. Cars fascinated me – both the body style and all the stuff under the hood.
When the radiator and carburetor on Mom’s car stopped working, the mechanic down the road agreed to fix it free if she could get someone to help with the disassemble, cleaning, and reassembly. That person also had to obey safety rules and pour the coffee. I volunteered, explaining what I had learned about engines and tools to that point. I have had other opportunities to work as a mechanic on private and military vehicles, usually out of necessity. Certain things I learned while working at the mechanic shop that year still pertain to being a mechanic.
Arrive at work on time. Start daily tasks right away. Customers and your boss count on the job being completed on time. Avoid visiting instead of working.
Ask when you Should
If you are not sure which tool to use or where a part goes after checking the auto manual, ask your supervisor. All the pieces are important and the equipment will not operate efficiently when replaced incorrectly or left out. “Do not horse it” became the advice I have lived with. If there is difficulty putting something back together, chances are good something is wrong.
If there is a need to wear safety goggles, do it. Remove chains and bracelets, as well as rings, as any of those can carry current or catch on a part.
Use a paper mat on the floor and seat of the car to prevent leaving oil deposits when you get in. Use an apron over the sides and front to avoid scratching the paint or getting grease on the exterior. Clean your area before you leave work.
Maintain your Tools
Clean the tools when you are finished using them and put them in their proper place. Check screwdrivers for nicks or chips, since they can be ground back into good condition. Check the wires and plugs on electrical equipment and confirm there are no frayed wires.
Your supervisor will provide a large quantity of valuable information. Pay attention, store it to your memory, and call it up when needed.
The field of auto mechanics has grown considerably, resulting in designated qualifications. Specialize in your area and learn what you can about hybrid engines and the details of the car’s computer. It is a great field to know and a trade that will continue for years to come in NASCAR, Indy, and around town.