Top 5 Auto Engineering Pet Peeves

frustrated mechanic looking at a car engine with open bonnet

There’s rarely a dull moment when it comes to being an auto mechanic. One minute you could be giving a car a new lick of paint, the next you could be replacing a bus engine.

This variety in engineering jobs for any technical staff is mirrored in the conditions in which customers drop off their vehicles.

Some of these end up happening frequent enough to become a common pet peeve for many mechanics, whether they’re in light or heavy auto maintenance.

Here are the top five of those biggest pet peeves reported by everyday auto engineers.

1) Empty Fuel Tanks

It appears many customers tend not to think about filling up their car with petrol before sending it in for repair services.

While this is understandable, as many don’t understand what goes into fixing an automobile, leaving it empty or near-empty can be a little irritating for the mechanic because some repairs require the engine to run while on idle, which they obviously cannot do without fuel.

As a general rule-of-thumb, it’s a good idea to leave your fuel tank at least a quarter full before sending your vehicle for any engineer works.

It probably won’t take up that much to fix the problem, but it’s always best to be on the safe side and top up if you can.

2) Customer Diagnoses

While every automotive engineer appreciates plenty of information from the customer about their vehicle, diagnosing the problem is their job.

That isn’t to say a customer isn’t always wrong, but you wouldn’t walk into a doctor’s surgery and diagnose your own condition.

They are the experts. You are there for their knowledge and expertise within the automotive industry and vehicle engineering.

If you insist the exhaust is broken and it turns out to be something to do with the clutch, then neither party wins.

3) Ignored Health & Safety

Throughout an auto mechanic’s career, they will witness vehicles come into the shop in such poor condition that it can be quite upsetting.

Nothing is more alarming than seeing a vehicle whose parts defy health and safety regulations. One such example is a minibus meant to pick up schoolchildren with breaks so threadbare that it was an accident just waiting to happen.

Customers are always encouraged to make regular check-ups to ensure their vehicles are in good working order before being allowed to drive on the road. This is why MOTs exist.

Of course, sometimes it’s not always possible as finances can get in the way of these regular check-ups. If this is the case, the customer should switch to public transport for the time being until the problem is addressed.

4) Friends Who Expect a Free Service

If you’re friends with a mechanical engineer, it’s not totally unreasonable to ask them for a favour. Every once in a while, the problem may be small enough that they might want to help you out free-of-charge.

For some, however, they can expect too much, to the point where it can damage the relationship. Auto engineering can be gruelling work sometimes and mechanics appreciate their time off.

Demanding your friend replaces your engine for absolutely no pay is both unfair and inconsiderate. You wouldn’t tell your friend who happens to be a waiter to serve tables at your dinner party, so asking a friend who happens to be a car mechanic to do their job for free is definitely taking advantage.

If they offer to help you, on the other hand, then it’s entirely different. Just don’t expect them to jump on your car every time it experiences a problem.

5) Fixing Mechanic Errors

There’s nothing worse than having to fix the mistakes made by other mechanics. It’s time-consuming and causes a lot of frustration, making jobs a lot harder than they need to be.

While many auto engineers receive the same quality education, this isn’t always the case. Some mechanics are self-taught so they’re not up-to-speed with all the best technical know-how to fixing vehicles thoroughly.

This can particularly frustrate the customer who might have had the same issue fixed twice before deciding to switch mechanics.

So, while undoing a previous mechanic’s mistakes can prove irritating, it can earn you a loyal customer in the long run.

Apply for a GET Apprenticeship

Whilst GET does not offer apprenticeships in the automotive sector, in particular, a lot of the skills and knowledge is applicable to Industrial Engineering.

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