If you have the education, skills, knowledge, and experience to be a great mechanic, there’s a good chance you’ll have a long line of loyal customers who come to see you on a regular basis. They’ll depend on you to keep their cars, trucks, and SUVs on the road and to keep themselves and their passengers safe.
If you’re interested in studying to become an auto mechanic, here are eight of the top, most important skills you need to possess in order to be a great one:
1. Customer service skills
Being a great mechanic involves more than identifying problems, repairing or replacing worn parts, and knowing the difference between the camshaft and crankshaft.
You’ve got to be able to deliver exceptional customer service. After all, people invest a lot of money in their automobiles, and they want to work with a mechanic who can put them at ease; they want to work with someone they can trust.
2. Diagnostic skills
People don’t want to wait to find out what’s wrong with their rides. After all, they depend on their vehicles to drop the kids off at school, get to work, and take care of their personal responsibilities. Great mechanics are able to effectively and efficiently use diagnostic tools to figure out what’s wrong as quickly as possible.
3. Work ethic
The best mechanics love to roll up their sleeves, get under the hood (or inside the dashboard), and fix problems. They can't be afraid of getting greasy and being busy. After all, their customers are depending on them.
4. Problem-solving skills
You’re going to need to know how to deal with problems both under the hood and inside the office. In addition to quickly identifying problems, great mechanics can come up with the best solutions. Then they need to be able to communicate the proposed fixes to customers, who aren’t always thrilled with the information. Being able to address customers’ sometimes uninformed opinions and questions with honest, reliable information is important.
5. Technical aptitude
Sure, you’re going to need to know your way around a toolbox, but you’re also going to need how to use the latest technology to solve problems. Today’s automobiles are more complex than ever, and the technology used to repair them is constantly evolving. Knowing how to use advanced diagnostics systems and work with vehicle electronics differentiates the great mechanics from those that are only good.
6. A wide array of knowledge
Mechanics never know what kind of car, truck, or SUV is going to drive through their garage doors. That’s why they need to have a wide array of knowledge about automobiles in general. You’re going to want to be highly educated on electrical systems, fuel systems, computer systems, and even how the air conditioning system works. Then you’re going to have to know a lot about all of the different tools available to make the necessary repairs–regardless of what type of vehicle it is that comes through the garage doors.
Because you’re never going to know for sure what kind of automobile you’ll be working on–or what kind of problems they’ll have you need to be resourceful. You need to know where to go for reliable information. You need to be able to call on trusted advisers who can help you troubleshoot problems that have you stumped. And sometimes you just need to have the mettle and resourcefulness it takes to start taking apart an engine to figure out what’s wrong.
Some things you just can’t learn until you’ve experienced them. The great mechanics have worked on a wide range of cars, trucks, and SUVs. They’ve gotten their hands dirty, experimented, and seen a lot of problems. They have the experience that results in the confidence to take on any challenge. Mechanics get this experience over time, but the great ones get the experience by enrolling in a great auto mechanic educational program.
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