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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm finally starting a new job on Monday. I'm making a transition from Bicycle Mechanics to Professional Auto Technician. It's a pretty significant jump for me. I've been going to school for the last couple years learning alot, but there's some things that you can't learn in school. I know there's several people here that work in shops or dealerships. Is there any advice that you could give me? Most of what I'm going to be doing is Light line work like Brakes, Tune Ups, Wheels/Tires at a small Used car Dealer working on mid to higher end vehicles like Mercedes, Audi, Land Rover, and because it's Texas Large Diesel Trucks. Any advice would be welcomed because I'm excited yet a bit apprehensive at the same time. I'm on a 90 day trial period to begin with because of my experience, and I don't want to mess it up.
 

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It's not hard at all to get used to but here's my main advice. Get on good terms with your co-workers, especially anyone that knows more than you. Those guys are your ticket-in for a lot of short cuts and just general knowledge. Don't kiss asses now, I'm just saying if yall seem to get along, don't mess that up.

Shop isn't that hard to get used to. I do less than you for now but I've been in a shop since June. See how well your shoes do with oil and crap all over the floor. You don't want to end up hurt. If you don't feel sturdy enough find some higher quality boots.

It seems so easy I'm not even sure where you have doubts and questions at, so if I ain't been of help at all, ask specifically haha.
 

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tools !!! buy random tools every week, not a lot, always let them know, so you will show that you really want the job, and dont hurt yourself, do one thing at the time, dont make a mess, if you do, clean it asap, if you borrow a tool, return it clean and dont break anyone, and dont be late.
 

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tools !!! buy random tools every week
I definitely haven't followed this suggestion haha. I just bought a box off a coworker and it holds A LOT more tools than I have. But yea, my income tax is going mostly to tools and parts for the truck.

Question, you have done all the work they're asking you to do right? I don't like to assume anything.
 

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Rob, attention to detail, always clean up and being willing to clean up others people mess as well.

Arrive early, already dressed ready to work.

Check in with your immediate supervisor at the beginning of your shift and at the end of the shift...be interested and enthusiastic but dont be a kiss @ss...

Follow the chain of command ie go to a senior mechanic first then your supervisor...

I'm finally starting a new job on Monday. I'm making a transition from Bicycle Mechanics to Professional Auto Technician. It's a pretty significant jump for me. I've been going to school for the last couple years learning alot, but there's some things that you can't learn in school. I know there's several people here that work in shops or dealerships. Is there any advice that you could give me? Most of what I'm going to be doing is Light line work like Brakes, Tune Ups, Wheels/Tires at a small Used car Dealer working on mid to higher end vehicles like Mercedes, Audi, Land Rover, and because it's Texas Large Diesel Trucks. Any advice would be welcomed because I'm excited yet a bit apprehensive at the same time. I'm on a 90 day trial period to begin with because of my experience, and I don't want to mess it up.
 

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If you can read through that and take anything from it your going to be better off

It's "different" working for a dealer, your going to be a bit of a "bitch" for a while until you get some experience there. If you can read through that and take anything from it your going to be better off. IMO get some Redback boots, pick ONE tool guy to buy from at a time, and ALWAYS return tools after your done with them. You can make friends fast by helping out other guys when you have free time. Your going to likely be hourly for a bit until you pick up the basic stuff then they will throw you out there to work flat rate, work fast and efficiently, you wont make it long if you go too fast and everything just comes back with minor errors. For warranty work your going to get shafted until you do enough of the same job to learn any shortcuts and cut down your actual time working on a job. and last, be nice to the person who dispatches work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Guys. Like I said, any advice right now is welcomed. I do have a decent collection of tools, but as we all know we always need at least one more. I do realize that I'm the low man on the totem pole so it shouldn't be surprising if folks treat me like the shop bitch. I usually don't have any problems with folks. I'm pretty good natured and like to enjoy myself, but I know when to get down to business and not to mess around for safety reasons.
I have done all the work they want me to do, it's just the variations of the different vehicles. When I was in there today dropping off my toolbox there was a Benz SL, Trailblazer, and a LR Discovery on the lifts. The principles are the same, the parts and location vary.
Like I said, Thanks for any advice. It's a big switch for me and I want to get it right.
 

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Rob....... a car is a car!
Dont let it stress you out. Pshhh i never know what the heck i am doing
but i always somehow manage to get it done. lol :)
Just dont be intimidated by any car or person!
 

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I'm not in the business but I know folks that are. My general impression is that it is very stratified. The best pay is based on certifications (plus ability). Ability w/o certification = another shade tree mechanic.

I'm a bit familiar with the bike business too (I rode TransAm in 2002). The pay is crap because there are more folks that can do the wrenching than there are customers - at least of anything decent, not Murray/Huffy/new Schwinn.....

And I have more Park tools.....
 

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I'm gonna have fun soon. I'm in school for auto mechanics now. I need to start getting my co-op work done so I don't have to do it later, basically by the time I sign up for the classes all my hours will be done. Problem is, we have two flat rate techs (one is a Master) and business ain't so great now.

There are many reasons (Cash for Clunkers, the fact that it's Winter, etc). Regardless, I'm trying to start so I need to start doing brake jobs, tuneups etc. Right now it just ain't gonna happen unless I beat one of them into the ground first. Hopefully this summer is better. I'll be talking to the director about showing proof working on my own car, cause yea, summer time she's getting some love, but if that falls through who knows.

I wish you plenty of work to go around. Whether you're becoming flat rate in time or right off the bat.
 
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