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What does motor mechanics involve?

Light vehicle mechanics/technicians service small vehicles, such as cars or vans, after they have travelled a fixed number of miles or after a certain period of time. They also repair vehicles that have broken down or been involved in accidents.

Mechanics/technicians deal with sophisticated electrical and electronic systems. They use computer-aided diagnostic equipment to find electronic faults. Specialised equipment is also used to measure things such as engine and brake performance, or the accuracy of dashboard indicators.

With older vehicles, mechanics/technicians use equipment like multimeters to test electric currents.

Vehicle servicing involves making routine checks, finding faults or problems and replacing worn or faulty parts.

Sometimes, vehicles have particular mechanical faults. Solving these problems involves listening to the customer's description of the problem, and then identifying and stripping down the affected part of the vehicle.

Before carrying out any work, mechanics/technicians let the customer know how much the repair might cost and how long it should take to complete the job.

Some go out to vehicles that have broken down or been damaged in accidents. They either repair the vehicle at the roadside, or bring it back to their work station to assess any damage or unseen problems.

In small garages, mechanics/technicians carry out a wide range of repairs; in larger garages, they may specialise.
What skills will I need?

As a light vehicle mechanic/technician, you need:
  • Strong technical and problem-solving skills.
  • An interest in electronics, electrics and information technology.
  • Practical skills.
  • Good interpretation skills to understand technical information.
  • Good number skills to deal with measurements, estimating the cost of repairs and mathematical calculations.
  • To be logical and patient in tracing faults.
  • To have good organisational skills to prioritise your workload.
  • Computer skills to use a variety of specialised equipment, including plug-in diagnostic computers.
  • Communication skills.
  • To work well in a team.
  • To ask customers the right questions to find out about vehicle faults.
  • The ability to explain faults and repairs clearly to customers.
  • To cope with bending, lifting and stretching.
  • To have nimble fingers to handle small parts and hand tools.


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