Me Fixing a Big Truck
Just because this article is about crooked mechanics doesn’t mean that I think all or even a majority of automotive technicians are crooked. Being a professional mechanic for about 30 years I have worked with and for many honest and talented people that cared about the consumer.
With that said, there was often a bad apple in the bunch that did things that were selfish and harmful to the customers. Whenever I start telling stories about crooked mechanics the first one that pops into my head was a dealership mechanic I worked with in the 80’s that kept a squeeze bottle of used engine oil in his toolbox.
He would squirt it around gasket surfaces and then claimed that they where leaking and needed repair. When we start talking about good mechanics and bad ones I think it is necessary to point out that any industry will have its share of good and bad people contained within that microcosm. In fact this is just my opinion, but I’ve met more crooked Dentists and Doctors then I have professional automobile technicians.
Sometimes the car mechanics physical condition can have a direct relationship with how long he is able to physically do the job. This does not mean that you have to be an athlete to be an auto mechanic but if you have a strong core and at least average physical conditioning you could probably turn wrenches for 30 or 40 years if the force is with you.
Noise canceling protection
For me after 26 years of doing it I have developed some aches and pains that may have been avoided if I paid more attention to my physical condition. Now that I am older and continue to do the job I have to be smarter about the way I do it. This means actually thinking through the mechanical operation I’m about to perform and incorporate a plan to take care of my body at the same time.
This could be something like standing on a rubberized mat or in the case of leaning over into an engine compartment sometimes getting a step stool will put me at a better angle so my aching back will be able to stay in the position required for maybe even several hours. My two biggest problems at this point in my professional career would be chronic back pain and damaged hearing. I have written extensively about my hearing issue on the you fix cars website where I discuss how easy it is to wear ear protection.
Car Mechanics Save Your Back
Iridium Spark Plug
Can increased spark plug maintenance intervals put people out of work? We live in a changing world and sometimes we don’t realize what a big impact seemingly small changes have in our lives. When I got into the auto repair business there was plenty of work to go around. This has changed drastically over the last 2 decades. Maintenance intervals have increased and the car doesn’t need as much attention as it use to.
Today I’m going to talk about spark plug maintenance in particular but you could also add to the list of things that changed the automotive maintenance business, synthetic engine oil, extended life anti-freeze, new transmission technology requiring less fluid and filter changes and direct ignition systems that did away with the distributor cap and rotor.
But let’s talk about spark plugs. When you get right down to it a spark plug provides an electrical lightning bolt that ignites the air fuel mixture in the combustion chamber on command. Voltage surges supplied from the coil travel down spark plug wires to the correct plug. Continue reading
Big Block Working Engine Model
It’s no accident that I became a mechanic in the auto repair business. It all started with my first big block model engine project. My father bought me this kit when I was about 8 years old. He wanted me to learn how things worked. He thought that it would be an important life skill to be able to fix things including my own car when I was older.
My Mother tells people a different story. She says he pushed me into being a mechanic so he could get his cars fixed for free. Not sure if my Mom was right but it did work out that way. In fact I not only fix the cars of the entire family for parts cost only but I also replaced the engine in my Dads 26 foot boat. So it worked out well for him.
The same exact 1/4 scale big block model engines kit that dad bought me is still available today. I wrote a detailed review for the model engine kit by Revell for the you fix cars website if you’re interested in something like that. Note that it can be challenging to put together and is recommended for humans over the age of 12. Continue reading