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Old 09-04-2011, 07:09 PM   #1
Versatile337
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Looking for help from a mechanic/technician

I'm looking into a career in automotive repair. I love cars and bikes. I love working with my hands and I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge so I think it would be right for me.

My dream would be to specialize in extremely complicated cars. What education would you recommend I start with? And if you could start all over from my position, what would you do as far as your career path, etc? Lastly, would anyone like to take me under their wing? I work a lot at my current job but I can come and work/learn on my day off. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:02 PM   #2
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just keep your eyes open out there buddy.

what line of models are you looking to work on?
I work with Subaru's and so far I like it, but just like anything in life it has its ups and downs.. knowing how to work on things its the best feeling in the world.

one thing for sure its that you are going to spend lots of on tools..
I know one of my techs go a tool box (empty) for 23k and that's no where near what he paid for tools.

We hired like 3 tech from that just got out of collage and went to school like ITT tech and started as lube techs.. now they are doing anything from a clutch to headgaskets and electrical diagnosis.

Work your way up..
Good luck!
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:42 AM   #3
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd600 View Post
just keep your eyes open out there buddy.

what line of models are you looking to work on?
I work with Subaru's and so far I like it, but just like anything in life it has its ups and downs.. knowing how to work on things its the best feeling in the world.

one thing for sure its that you are going to spend lots of on tools..
I know one of my techs go a tool box (empty) for 23k and that's no where near what he paid for tools.

We hired like 3 tech from that just got out of collage and went to school like ITT tech and started as lube techs.. now they are doing anything from a clutch to headgaskets and electrical diagnosis.

Work your way up..
Good luck!
I'd like to work on Audi. Mainly because it's my mom's dream car and she can afford to buy one but not really afford to maintain it. As far as tools, I am a minimalist. If I can find a tool that does three different things, i'm buying it. I rarely buy sets because when I used to work on cars with my uncle he'd have whole buildings full of tools and you'd spend hours looking for a 10mm socket. For my personal use, I have a ratchet that is 3/8 one side and 1/2 on the other side, that's small enough to get in just about anywhere. I got a 4 or 6" extension, an extension that kinda looks like a screwdriver (has it's own handle) , and one of those things that twists for hard to reach places (good for getting the spark plugs on my bike) and I have a small set of deep metric sockets. With that I can undo just about any bolt on my car or bike.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:34 PM   #5
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I went to uti. The core classes are good but you only get out what you put into them. I also took the ford classes. I learned more in the manufacture class because they were more diagnosis oriented. If you go to uti I think they have an audi school. As far as tools go you will learn what works for you and what you like. floyd is right you spend some money to make jobs easier and get the job done quicker, time is money when you turn wrenches for a living. If I had one piece of advise it would be to pick a highline manufactor. I have worked for nissan, honda and infiniti shops. The infiniti customers tend have and want to spend the money to maintain and fix their cars.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd600 View Post
We hired like 3 tech from that just got out of collage and went to school like ITT tech and started as lube techs.. now they are doing anything from a clutch to headgaskets and electrical diagnosis.

Work your way up..
Good luck!
This is usually how it goes... If I could re-do HS, I would have taken auto-tech, then went to san jac (people say its the best for auto tech around Houston) while working in a shop - preferably big dealerships.

My uncle has been working at SW toyota as a lube tech for 6+ years. He applied for a job in Cali and now is there being trained as a mechanic. He has no prior background other than lube in toyota, but like you he likes to tinker.

I bet those certifications help some... Just to let them (employers) know that you know something...
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I got the hint and dropped to the back of the ranks just in front of Ares, who btw rocks the outta that 250.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Versatile337 View Post
I'd like to work on Audi. Mainly because it's my mom's dream car and she can afford to buy one but not really afford to maintain it. As far as tools, I am a minimalist. If I can find a tool that does three different things, i'm buying it. I rarely buy sets because when I used to work on cars with my uncle he'd have whole buildings full of tools and you'd spend hours looking for a 10mm socket. For my personal use, I have a ratchet that is 3/8 one side and 1/2 on the other side, that's small enough to get in just about anywhere. I got a 4 or 6" extension, an extension that kinda looks like a screwdriver (has it's own handle) , and one of those things that twists for hard to reach places (good for getting the spark plugs on my bike) and I have a small set of deep metric sockets. With that I can undo just about any bolt on my car or bike.
As a profession tech you will have more money in tools then some of the audi models
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:43 PM   #8
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Here's a thought out of left field...

Ever thought about aircraft maintenance?
There's some pretty sweet, complicated stuff out there.
There's some pretty decent jobs in the corporate side of the business and airlines have good benefits and pay.
There is a school across from Hobby airport, every city from Marble Falls to Los Angeles has an airport, you can work anywhere you want depending on what you want to do.
Just sayin...
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:58 PM   #9
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I want to stress field experience, over school. When I took trade related classes prior to my field experience the class room material didn't really absorb well. After being in the field for a couple of years and realizing my school didn't help I was very frustrated. I then returned to a trade school after having major hands on experience and absorbed everything they could tell me, I truly understood what was being taught.

I am currently a independent shop owner.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I want to stress field experience, over school. When I took trade related classes prior to my field experience the class room material didn't really absorb well. After being in the field for a couple of years and realizing my school didn't help I was very frustrated. I then returned to a trade school after having major hands on experience and absorbed everything they could tell me, I truly understood what was being taught.

I am currently a independent shop owner.
Wrd. Thus I said in my post: go to school, work in the field while in school - even PT.

On another note, what classes did you take and where?
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I got the hint and dropped to the back of the ranks just in front of Ares, who btw rocks the outta that 250.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Versatile337 View Post
I'm looking into a career in automotive repair. I love cars and bikes. I love working with my hands and I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge so I think it would be right for me.

My dream would be to specialize in extremely complicated cars. What education would you recommend I start with? And if you could start all over from my position, what would you do as far as your career path, etc? Lastly, would anyone like to take me under their wing? I work a lot at my current job but I can come and work/learn on my day off. Any help is greatly appreciated.

After a certain amount of time being a tech, there will only be a few things new that you pick up here and there. Mostly with the introduction of new models/problems. Once you're there its just like any repetitive job. Thats not a bad thing though. Thats when the real money can be made.

I dont know if I would say audi is an extremely complicated car. It similar to any Euro car. Tons of modules and 6-7 bus systems connecting them all.

As far as education. I went to wyotech after 4 years of highschool auto-tech classes, and plenty of hands-on work I was doing for myself. UTI/Wyotech are crazy expensive now. Would much rather see someone in a shop working/training than wasting time at school. Plus getting a huge loan to pay off.

In my opinion, the quickest way to learn the ropes (agree with above) is to train with a GOOD (I stress good) technician. Not a parts changer. Someone who will take the time to diagnose what is going on. Instead of throw parts at a car till its fixed (granted, sometimes that is the only way). It doesnt do you any good to become a tech like that. It will bite you in the . Plus you walk away without gaining anything.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
Here's a thought out of left field...

Ever thought about aircraft maintenance?
There's some pretty sweet, complicated stuff out there.
There's some pretty decent jobs in the corporate side of the business and airlines have good benefits and pay.
There is a school across from Hobby airport, every city from Marble Falls to Los Angeles has an airport, you can work anywhere you want depending on what you want to do.
Just sayin...
Yes I have, but the thought of me being responsible for something that can fall out of the air if something goes wrong intimidates me. I figure a lot of what I learn as an auto tech can be used if I ever switch to aircraft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark06gsxr View Post
After a certain amount of time being a tech, there will only be a few things new that you pick up here and there. Mostly with the introduction of new models/problems. Once you're there its just like any repetitive job. Thats not a bad thing though. Thats when the real money can be made.

I dont know if I would say audi is an extremely complicated car. It similar to any Euro car. Tons of modules and 6-7 bus systems connecting them all.

As far as education. I went to wyotech after 4 years of highschool auto-tech classes, and plenty of hands-on work I was doing for myself. UTI/Wyotech are crazy expensive now. Would much rather see someone in a shop working/training than wasting time at school. Plus getting a huge loan to pay off.

In my opinion, the quickest way to learn the ropes (agree with above) is to train with a GOOD (I stress good) technician. Not a parts changer. Someone who will take the time to diagnose what is going on. Instead of throw parts at a car till its fixed (granted, sometimes that is the only way). It doesnt do you any good to become a tech like that. It will bite you in the . Plus you walk away without gaining anything.
Any recommendations? I can work on my days off for free and if someone likes me enough to give me a job, that's always a possibility.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Versatile337 View Post
I'm looking into a career in automotive repair. I love cars and bikes. I love working with my hands and I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge so I think it would be right for me.

My dream would be to specialize in extremely complicated cars. What education would you recommend I start with? And if you could start all over from my position, what would you do as far as your career path, etc? Lastly, would anyone like to take me under their wing? I work a lot at my current job but I can come and work/learn on my day off. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Started with any hands on credible trade school, IMO you only get out of the school what you put into it. No sense in putting alot of money into class you and later on decide that is not for you. Take what you learned from school and try it on your own vehicles. Honestly the most I've learned is by working on my own stuff with the occasional adivice here and there.

I think you can get ASE certified while in school after I think 2 years or 1 year of shop experience I would have to double check. You can go for testing before then but they will not release the certification to you untill you meet their requirements. Brakes, A/C, Steering & Suspension, and Electrical are the usually the ones people shoot for first.

As far as career path, go to a trade school, get some tools, get a beater, (Just about every tech I talked to have some old junk car they use to work on, and its easier to work on something that is NOT your daily driver) get in with a quick lube place (there always hiring), stay there for 6months to a year Do Not lock up a motor and get your state inspectors license. From their either go into a independent shop or a dealer. You will most likely start out as a General Service Tech(GS). While doing all this get certifications. One is all you really need to get your foot in the door at most shops. It's always the 1st question they ask during the interview "Are you ASE certified?" "How many certs do you have" or "What certs do you have"

Dealers have steady work, but you always working on the same type of vehicles. Your occasionaly get something different but not too often. Independent shops get alot of variety but the work is not always steady. You will commonly get alot of trucks and SUV in today's economy there are alot more DIY'ers.
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