Hey peeps, being a mechanic isn’t easy.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not the most difficult job in the world, but it is a lot like being a doctor.
Yeah you read that right, mechanics are doctors. We are vehicle doctors.
If your vehicle, be it a car, van, motorcycle, trailer or truck, gets poorly, the majority of people take it to a mechanic right?
So that means we are doctors.
We murse your broken vehicle back to full health, we service your vehicles on a regular basis and do a full on in depth check once a year.
To further my point, let me explain it this way.
The vehicle master control unit (VMCU) or engine control unit (ECU)the part that pretty much everything goes through, is the brain, very sensitive and can spike very easily. If this spikes, because maybe batteries connected incorrectly or jump started wrong (yes their is a special way to connect batteries and to jump start vehicles these days, some you can’t even jump start) this can wake up the control units too fast and make them work straight away.
This is bad, you know if you wake up too fast and you get confused and wander where you are or like me, woke up at 7am rush to get ready for work because im “late”, then finally work out I’m on lates and not in until 2pm, yeah that happened last week, this can happen to a vehicle too.
The engine would be the beating heart, pumping away to keep the vehicle alive, with the alternator chargine the batteries. After long enough not started the vehicle the batteries will have drained and you can’t start the vehicle unless you give it a boost, aka jump start, which in a person you would need a defliberator to jump start the heart.
The drive train, aka prop shaft (if the vehicle has one, for rear wheel drive) differential, drive shafts and wheels are the vehicles legs.
The electrical system would be the nervous system, sending signals here, there and everywhere.
Vehicles drink/eats, evacuates it’s bowels and breaths just like a person too. They eat/drink fuel, suck in clean air and breath out bad air, on a service they dump their bowels, aka old used up oil.
Hey you get the picture eh? If something goes wrong then it’s fucked, and stays ill for a while and has to stay in the garage aka ICU like a human, until it is operated on and fixed.
So for people who think mechanics are just grease monkeys or dumb asses, think again, there is a lot in becoming a mechanic. That and the fact your always learning on this job, you will never know it all.
To show how much precision actually goes into this job, below you will see some pictures on setting valves on a volvo FH.
You have to get it spot on or the valves will open wrong, causing the engine to choke on itelf or suffocate or act like it has a hole in it ‘lungs’. The valves can be left open too long or closes too early. Thats why we set the valves to make sure they open and close when needed.
This also take very very close precision, some valves have to be set to 0.25 mm. The other to 1 mm.
Usually they give you a 0.05mm leeway each way, so that shows how very precise it is, just to make sure your engine runs properly and efficiently.
Tools needed to do the job, plus a spanner thats not in the picture haha.
Top of the engine with the lid removed, each one operates the injectors, inlet fresh air and outlet exhaust valves, the ‘tube’ from front to back is the fuel rail, this feeds fuel to the injectors.
This is how the feeler gauge has to be moving. Free but with very slight friction.
These springs practically keep the exhaust brake rocker from knocking. Which also have to be torqued up.
The lid, aka rocker cover, bolts also have to be torqued up to a specific setting and also in a particular order, so as not to cause damage.
So as you can see just from these pictures, it isn’t always an easy job to do. Also very messy.
We do it because we know how, we do it because we love the job and love a challenge.
We do it to keep the wheels turning, and to keep everyone safe.
If we mess up then it could mean someone, or many someones, can get seriously injured or worse, killed.
If we mess up then we have potentially let a missile free on the road. Especially with trucks, aka HGVs, when they are fully loaded, some can be weighing in at 44 tonne.
Now you try stopping that when something goes wrong.
Things have to be done in a precise way and order. Often within a few millimeters of leeway.
Also the fact if we miss something and a vehicle is involved in an accident we could be prosecuted, and semt down for manslaughter.
Sometimes it can be something silly and small that can distract you for a few seconds, that’ll be enough to make you do a mistake, that could potentially end a life.
That thought is always in the back of your mind, well at least it is on my mind.
So that being said, I love my job, I really do. I’m fully trained, but still always learning.
Get looked down on for the job I do?
Yes, I have been in the past, many many times.
Do I care?
Nope, because I know what it takes to actually do my job. I’m proud of the job I do.
It takes someone very very clever to become a mechanic, and takes someone very very strong whilled to keep being a mechanic.
I love my job, it’s hard work at times, but that’s why I love it, I love learning new things and love a challenge.
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