The 10 Most Common Auto Repairs
Posted Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 by
Just as doctors are far more likely to find their patients suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes than from sun allergies and dengue fever, auto mechanics usually spend 90 percent of their time addressing a handful of common automotive ailments and conditions. If you are considering becoming a professional automotive technician, here are the Top 10 auto repairs you are most likely to encounter:
1) Oil Changes. Most drivers know their vehicle’s oil needs to be changed regularly, and more of them are choosing to leave it to the pros. Oil changes are relatively simple and straightforward. Auto shops often take this opportunity to “upsell” customers on additional services, such as coolant flushes, filter change-outs, etc.
2) Oil Leaks. Dark, oily patches on your driveway? Those are usually signs of an oil system leak. While typically not critical, if left too long, such leaks can deplete a vehicle’s oil supply and also permanently stain the concrete on which the fluid falls.
3) Brake Repairs. Most cars will need a new set of brake pads every 40,000 miles or less during their lifetimes, more if the cars are kept long or if the drivers do a lot of stop-and-go driving. While installing new brake pads is a fairly simple and inexpensive affair, disc, drum and rotor repairs, if necessary, can run into the hundreds of dollars. Brake repairs are critical to driver safety, and should be addressed as soon as obvious problems arise.
4) Tire Repairs and Replacements. Like brake pads, tires need to be replaced when worn. Repairs or replacements are also necessary when tires are damaged/punctured by nails or other road debris. Regular tire rotation can minimize wear and help drivers get the most from the tires they purchase.
5) Battery Replacements. Most car batteries are designed to last only four to six years, after which they need to be replaced. For many drivers, the frustrating part is that, unlike bad brakes that squeak and squeal when nearing failure, auto batteries tend to just quit cold without warning, leaving their vehicles stuck wherever the event happens to take place. This is why many service facilities have at least one tow truck on site or on call.
6) Ignition System Repairs. Most of the time, when a car won’t start, the problem is the battery (see above). But sometimes the problem goes deeper — all the way to the ignition system itself. When this is the case, diagnosis and repairs or replacements require a higher degree of expertise — and cost. This is even truer today than in years past as virtually all vehicles now have electronic ignition systems.
7) Coolant System Flushes. Coolant/antifreeze solutions weaken over time. They need to be flushed from radiators and replaced with fresh fluid every few years.
8) Air Conditioning Recharges. Although an air conditioning system should be completely sealed, sometimes leaks form from vibrations that occur during normal driving. This can be a complex process and you need to be certified to work on air conditioning systems. Because of this and the required equipment, this type of repair is best left to professionals.
9) Fuel System Repairs. “You need a new fuel pump” is a refrain heard by many a driver who has kept his/her car past 50,000 miles and/or who frequently drives on less than a quarter of a tank. Fuel pump and filter replacements and injector cleaning can be costly and can usually only be done by a trained professional.
10) Transmission Repairs/Replacements. We end with “The Big One,” fixing a bad transmission. To most drivers, being told you have a bum transmission is like hearing you have a bum ticker; you just know any fix is going to be painful and expensive. Of all the top 10 repairs, this is the one least likely to be a “do-it-yourself” project. Transmission repairs take expertise and specialized equipment. And, yes, they’re expensive.
Enjoy a Career in Automotive Technology with Training from WyoTech
If you like to “tinker under the hood” and would like to go pro, consider Automotive Technology training from WyoTech, one of America’s leading institutions preparing students for work in the automotive, motorcycle, diesel collision/refinishing and marine industries. Many of WyoTech’s graduates go on to rewarding careers working for auto repair facilities, auto dealerships and car customizers.
For information on training programs, as well as financial aid available for those who qualify, contact WyoTech today! Programs and schedules vary by campus.