I want to talk about something today that we have never really touched on before. That is some of the negatives of being a mechanic. I made a commitment when I started this site. I was not going to use it as a platform to whine about work. I would not just complain about hours, getting paid, crazy customers, and all the rest. I try and focus on showing everyone the good side of this industry. How they can save money on their car, and avoid the bad things in the auto industry.
That does not mean that this job does not have a down side. A comment came in on a post I did a while back. The post was about how Being a mechanic is awesome. This is what Kevy said
Agree with some points on this, but i have been a mechanic with Land Rover now for 8 years. Yeah its great being on your feet all day and it certainly keeps you fit and keeps weight off you. But you will go home really tired every night, probably have to work a 6 day week, be hounded by people who aren’t mechanics about how long you are taking to do a job. You are belittled if you cant fix something within 1 or 2 hours, you will cut/injure yourself almost daily and the pay isnt great either. Stay in school kids
Kevy does bring up some good points. The one I want to focus on today is injuries. It will come as no surprise that mechanics get cuts and scrapes all the time. Burns tend to be a little less common, but are usually more serious. Then there is also the eyeball full of chemicals. Today, mine was engine oil mixed with brake cleaner. All the sting of brake clean, and none of the evaporation of oil.
Those type of injuries can be very serious and painful, but are generally more of an acute type of thing. The happen, and then heal. You might have a scar or two, but all in all life goes on. The worst type of injuries are the ones that cause chronic problems. Back issues are among the most common. Think about how many strange ways a mechanic contorts their body. Laying across the engine to reach that bolt way in the back. Twisting so you can reach that connector behind the dash board. This job can really take a toll on a mechanic’s body.
In the last year we have lost the 2 best mechanics in the shop due to injuries. One guy hurt his arm, went in for surgery, and is still not right. The other guy had to retire due to severe issues with his hands. The sad part is these guys where both played a huge part in my career. They were 2 of the 3 mentors that I had when I started. The third was more of a “don’t do what he does” type guy.
We have not even touched dealing with things that mechanics breathe. There are still some nasty chemicals in car parts. Brakes and clutches can still contain asbestos. The harsh cleaners that evaporate can have an acute or chronic effect on your body. And then you get the stuff that is just gross. Imagine a customer spilled milk in their car and didn’t clean it up. Or a car had a water leak and is full of mold.
Based on all that, you might wonder why anyone would want to be a mechanic. The truth is, being an auto mechanic is just like every job. Some parts are awesome, and some are not so great. It really depends on what you make of it.
What about your job? Is there things in other jobs that people don’t know? Feel free to share your story in the comment section below. One quick thing about the comment section. When you post a comment, please check the “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail”. That way you can see other people’s comments too.