Everyone knows that when they need to get their car fixed, all they have to do is go to an auto mechanic. Some people might even call mechanics to their homes or somewhere on the road to assist with a car that can’t start or won’t move. All of that is pretty much commonsense at this point.
What many people don’t realise, however, is that the term ‘mechanic’ is an umbrella term that can be broken down into several different categories. Quite often, we take for granted that there are groups of mechanics specialising in various aspects of our motor vehicles.
The terms ‘mechanic’, ‘auto technician’, and ‘auto electrician’ might all seem to point to the same person. Still, you may be surprised to learn that they are three very distinct sets of skills and abilities.
In this article, we’re going to look at the different types of auto mechanics that you can find in Australia. After this short read, you’ll be able to tell the difference between these different types of auto repairers, and you can call on the correct type to work on your vehicle.
Let’s get to it!
Types of Auto Mechanics You Can Call
Generally, there are five types of auto mechanics that you can call. The first is the general Auto Mechanic, followed by the Diesel Mechanic, Heavy Vehicle Mechanic, Auto Electrician, and Mobile Mechanic. Despite their differences, you’ll often find many of them in-house, working on the same team at your local workshop.
It’s important to remember that individual mechanics may have skills in different areas. For instance, a Diesel Mechanic may also be qualified to act as a Heavy Vehicle Mechanic, especially since their jobs often overlap.
Still, each mechanic tends to have one specialty that they excel at better than everything else.
If you're a regular car owner who takes your vehicle in for periodic maintenance and repair, then the chances are that you'll interact mostly with an Auto Mechanic. These are the mechanics who deal with most of your vehicle's mechanical aspects, such as the engine, brake system, and so on.
Typically, Auto Mechanics have the qualifications, knowledge, and experience to work on a wide range of car issues, making them all-rounders.
Even though they probably could diagnose your car’s electrical problems, they usually leave those tasks to specialists like Auto Electricians.
Among the many people you see at your preferred auto workshop, one or more of them are probably Auto Electricians. Just like Auto Mechanics, they, too, have a broad understanding of the many different mechanical systems in your car. However, they specialise in working with the electrical system above all.
That means that an Auto Electrician’s work focuses on electrical problems in a car like battery, wiring, and lighting issues, and in some cases, even glitches in electronic accessories like your in-car entertainment.
As the name suggests, a Diesel Mechanic is one who specialises in working with diesel engines. As you may know, a diesel engine is quite different from one fueled by petrol. Not only is the fuel different in a diesel engine, but so are some of the internal components, designs, and even the emissions it produces.
A Diesel Mechanic is a specialist for these kinds of engines, and they’ll have a much deeper understanding of how they work.
Given that many larger vehicles like buses and trucks have diesel engines, a Diesel Mechanic’s work may also overlap with that of a Heavy Vehicle Mechanic.
Could a Regular Mechanic Work on Diesel Engines?
Yes, of course! An Auto Mechanic with enough experience would probably be able to work on both petrol and diesel engines. Still, with a Diesel Mechanic, you can rest assured that they’ve got much more experience and knowledge on diesel engines and systems than other mechanics might.
Heavy Vehicle Mechanic
It’s all in the name; a Heavy Vehicle Mechanic works on larger trucks, tractors, buses, and anything else. As mentioned earlier, there are some overlaps between them and the Diesel Mechanic.
However, it may be helpful to think of it this way: a Diesel Mechanic specialises in diesel engines. On the other hand, a Heavy Vehicle Mechanic would focus more on the transmission, steering, braking, and other mechanical systems on heavy vehicles.
These days, you also see plenty of Mobile Mechanics on the scene. They're somewhat similar to Auto Mechanics, though their focus is on providing roadside assistance or fixing your car on location at your home or office. These mechanics will get to the car quickly and fix minor problems to get the car moving again.
How Do Mechanics and Auto Technicians Differ?
Another pair of terms that are often used interchangeably is 'Mechanics' and 'Auto Technicians'. Again, their skills and abilities overlap, but a Mechanic focuses more on the car's mechanical systems.
On the other hand, the Auto Technician focuses on operating computers and other electronic gear used to diagnose a car's problems or tune its performance.
Are Mechanics and Auto Electricians the Same?
Both Mechanics and Auto Electricians will have the same knowledge and necessary skills to maintain or repair your car. However, Auto Electricians are focused primarily on your car's electrical systems, while Mechanics work on the mechanical systems.
An Auto Electrician is the one that’ll work on things like wiring, replacing electronic equipment, and so on. Mechanics will focus on your transmission, tyres, brakes, and other mechanical systems.
Check out our previous article explaining the more nuanced differences between mechanics and auto electricians.
Find the Right Car Specialist Nearest You!
Now that you know what kind of auto mechanic you might need, how can you get in touch with them? That’s easy! Check out the Directory at Carpart.com.au to find all kinds of auto mechanics in your immediate area. Using that Directory, you’ll be able to filter out the listings according to the exact type of auto mechanic you’re looking for!
By Ray Hasbollah