A Typical Day For An Auto Mechanic

Just like many other jobs, being an auto mechanic is a pretty dynamic job. It is a far cry from the “punch the clock, do the same task, then go home” type job. Because of that I want to talk about what an average day looks like.

At my dealer we are all general service mechanics. That means we all do every job in the shop. Some shops will have a transmission guy, the one that rebuilds all the trans missions. Or the diagnostic guy. They will figure out the problems with cars, then send it to another tech to make the repair. I prefer the setup that we have. It keeps the day interesting. It is common to do an oil change on a car, then diagnose a check engine light, them do some tire work.

An average work day may go something like this:

  • Perform a 10,000 miles service on a newer car
  • Oil change, rotate tire on a 2008 VW
  • Diagnose a check engine light
  • Perform a 20,000 mile service on a newer car
  • Oil change
  • Oil change, rotate tires
  • Oil change, state inspection,
  • 40,000 mile service
  • Replace a headlight bulb
  • Replace a tail light bulb

This number of cars in a day would actually be fairly busy. That does not account for things that we find wrong with cars when they come in the shop. Things like worn out wiper blades, brakes and light bulbs are the most common things we find when cars come into the shop.

As I go back and read that, it would be a pretty good and easy day. On the not so typical days, anything can happen. Last week I spent almost the entire day diagnosing a 2013 Jetta hybrid that would randomly shut off. The next day I wrote up 2 estimates that totaled almost $18,000. That is not something I a bragging about. I do not like writing those type of estimates. One of those cars was a 99 Passat that had been neglected. The other was an 09 EOS. It had an issue with the top not opening properly. It was actually the first time I have seen an EOS top fail mechanically.

That is pretty much want a standard day as a VW tech looks like. Of course if I had to pick a perfect day, it would involve doing jobs that pay really well. Some might say that would get boring and they may be right. But as much as I love doing what I do, I go to work everyday to earn a paycheck. ;)

Do you like what we are doing here at Humble Mechanic? Right now the best way to support it is by sharing. You can use the icons at the top and bottom of every post to share the site with people you know. Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and all the rest are great ways to help me spread the word. And just know that if you do share, it means a lot to me.

Humble Mechanic, , Permalink

11 Responses to A Typical Day For An Auto Mechanic

  1. Richard says:

    $19K! Woof, that would be a very difficult pill to swallow. At that price, the vehicle would need to be worth well over $40K+ simply not to be totaled, right?

       0 likes

  2. It is always a plus when you don’t do the same thing every day. I run into that some times with my job, I like the days that have variety more.

       0 likes

  3. Aaron says:

    I am an auto tech student, I am working part time at a national chain independent shop, the days we have are very similar to that only we see alot more makes and models since we are not a dealer. It is a nice format IMO to not be a specialized tech, keeps the day moving most days when you don’t know what your next job is going to be. I have seen guys going from doing a valve job on a sub compact to cutting and welding the exhaust on a HD Ram. Fun stuff.

       0 likes

  4. I have recently started doing marketing work in a shop and have new respect for mechanics. It is a long day on your feet. Not sure how you guys do it.

       0 likes

  5. PPI says:

    You sound like an honest guy, and it’s no fun for an owner to get a big bill like that, but if the car has been neglected that’s what happens. At the end of the day you’re helping people.

       0 likes

    • Charles says:

      Thanks for all the comments today @PPI!
      Writing up estimates like that never feel good. Even when a car has been neglected, it stinks. It bums me out to see a VW in bad shape.

         0 likes

  6. Igor says:

    As someone who works in a transmission repair shop my life isn’t too different (as if one could qualify a difference). At least you don’t have to deal with the 80 lb transmission shipping. Its important for me to do a good job for my customers so they don’t feel ripped off since auto repair can get costly at times.

       1 likes

  7. yes, a varied day with challenges is good rather than routine repetition, the mechanics I know really enjoy a challenge or something they haven;t seen before to solve.

       1 likes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>