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Auto Mechanic Skills

The Skillset

With this skillset, you will develop the ability to provide routine and not-so-routine maintenance on your vehicle. You'll begin with small, routine tasks like checking your tire pressure and your oil level. At the 5th tier of practice, you will learn to diagnose issues with your vehicle by sight, sound and feel.

Auto Mechanic Skills Tracker

(1) Learn how and when to complete routine auto “check-up” tasks yourself, including:

  • Check oil, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid levels.
  • Check and refill windshield wiper fluid
  • Check tire pressure and tread depth.
  • Check lights.
These tasks are preventive maintenance. By checking these areas regularly, you can head off many issues like flat tires, engine trouble, and even tickets for blown lights.

(2) Learn how and when to complete routine auto maintenance tasks yourself:
  • Change oil and oil filter.
  • Change engine air filter.
  • Top off coolant.
  • Rotate tires.
  • Change a headlight, taillight, and blinker bulb.
These tasks are responsive maintenance. When you observe a low fluid level, uneven wear on tire treads, or non-functioning lights, you can often handle these issues on your own without paying a mechanic.

(3) Learn to complete a tire change by hand.

Tire changes require an electric or manual jack, which takes the car’s weight off the tire, as well as a jack stand to keep the vehicle secure while it’s lifted.

(4) Make a minor repair or part replacement such as a battery, brake pads, or spark plug.

Instructions for minor repairs can usually be found by searching the make and model of the vehicle as well as the broken part online. Minor repairs should be for easily accessible parts that are more prone to wearing out.

(5) Learn to recognize the signs of an issue with the following vehicle parts:

  • Transmission
  • Engine
  • Alternator
  • Power Steering
  • Struts
Identifying major vehicle issues before the issue becomes severe can save you time and stress. Once you identify the problem, you can consider whether you can fix it on your own or if you should visit a local auto shop for assistance.

You can also download the skills tracker as a printable .PDF here.

Resources to Get You Started

Getting Your Badge

You can find the auto mechanic badge here.