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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Automotive Mechanical Installers and Servicers (7535)

Automotive mechanical installers and servicers install replacement automotive parts, such as mufflers, exhaust pipes, shock absorbers, springs and radiators. They perform routine maintenance service, such as oil changes, lubrication and tire repairs on automobiles, trucks and heavy equipment.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read brief notes from co-workers, e.g. read brief notes to learn about events that happened during other shifts. (1)
  • Read short text entries in forms, e.g. read comments on vehicle inspection sheets to learn which components to inspect. (1)
  • Read bulletins and memos, e.g. read technical service bulletins to learn how to complete warranty repairs. (2)
  • Read safety-related materials, e.g. read instruction on Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to learn how to store solvents used to clean parts. (2)
  • Read vehicle repair and maintenance manuals, e.g. repair instructions found online and on CD-ROM to learn how to service vehicles. (3)
  • May read magazine and website articles to stay current on industry trends and broaden their knowledge of the automobile service industry. (3)
  • Read instruction manuals on the use of computerized tools and equipment, e.g. read user manuals to learn how to operate hand-held diagnostic equipment. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Observe hazard and safety icons, e.g. scan icons affixed to products, such as engine degreasers, to learn about their toxic properties. (1)
  • Read product labels to locate identification numbers, sizes and capacities. (1)
  • Locate data in a variety of tables, e.g. locate data, such as sizes, classifications, identification numbers and quantities, in specification tables. (2)
  • May interpret flowcharts, e.g. interpret a multi-step flowchart to learn how to troubleshoot a faulty electrical system. (2)
  • Complete cost estimate and inspection forms by inserting data, such as part numbers, dates and quantities and by checking off items. (2)
  • May interpret technical drawings, e.g. scan exhaust system assembly drawings to determine the correct order of installation and wiring diagrams to locate fuses, circuits and other electrical components. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • May write short notes, e.g. write short notes to co-workers to explain the work that remains on vehicle repairs. (1)
  • Write short comments on forms, such as work orders and inspection sheets, e.g. note missing hubcaps and scratched bodywork on inspection forms. (1)
  • May write reports to describe events leading up to workplace accidents, e.g. write about injuries and events when completing reports for workers' compensation boards. (2)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy
  • May receive cash, credit and debit card payments from customers and make change. (1)
  • Take a variety of measurements using basic tools, e.g. measure the length of exhaust pipes, belts and hoses using tape measures. (1)
  • Take a variety of readings, e.g. measure and understand energy readings using computerized scan tools. (1)
  • Compare measurements to specifications, e.g. compare the measurements of rotor thicknesses to specifications to determine their usability. (1)
  • Estimate the length of time needed to complete repairs. (1)
  • Calculate amounts, e.g. use ratios to calculate glycol and water mixtures. (2)
  • Estimate the useful life remaining for parts, such as tires, brakes and belts. (2)
  • May estimate the cost of repairs. (2)
  • May prepare repair quotes and invoices. They calculate labour charges by multiplying hours worked by labour rates, adding amounts for parts and materials, and calculating applicable taxes. (3)
  • May take precise measurements using specialized tools, e.g. use calipers and micrometers to measure the thickness of brake pads. (3)
  • May analyze pressure and electrical energy readings to assess vehicle performance and troubleshoot faults, e.g. analyze a series of electrical readings produced by computerized scan tools to determine the cause of charging-system faults. (3)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Listen to announcements on public address systems. (1)
  • May speak to partspeople and suppliers to order parts and establish delivery times. (1)
  • Speak with co-workers to co-ordinate use of equipment, such as hoists and tire machines. (1)
  • Speak with co-workers to learn how to carry out complex repairs. (2)
  • May talk to customers about repairs and explain maintenance requirements. (2)
  • Participate in staff meetings to discuss new products, workplace safety and how to improve work processes. (2)
  • May exchange technical repair information, e.g. explain complex repair procedures to junior workers and discuss vehicle repair outcomes with licensed tradespersons. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking
  • May encounter delays due to shortages of parts and materials. They order the parts and notify the customers that there will be an additional wait. (1)
  • Decide which of several repair methods is most appropriate for mending a tire. (1)
  • Decide which parts can be used again and which should be scrapped. (1)
  • Judge the accuracy of readings taken using tools, such as pressure gauges. They compare readings to other indicators to determine their accuracy. (1)
  • Find information on stickers, labels, assembly drawings, repair manuals and websites to determine proper use, application and installation of parts and supplies. (1)
  • Are unable to repair vehicles because specifications and instructions are unavailable. They consult service managers, customers, co-workers, suppliers and colleagues for advice. (2)
  • May find during a routine maintenance check that additional repairs need to be made, such as the replacement of worn brake drums. Unanticipated tasks disrupt the work schedule and they may have to reschedule some jobs to another day. (2)
  • Find that work is delayed due to equipment breakdown. They inform service managers about the breakdowns and perform other tasks until the necessary repairs are done. (2)
  • Decide which tools to use to minimize the chance of damaging a part. (2)
  • Decide when not to go ahead with a request on a work order, e.g. they note that a customer has requested a wheel balance to correct a shimmy but they see a defective tread on the front tire that is likely the cause of the problem. (2)
  • Decide whether a part is safe enough to pass a safety inspection. (2)
  • Judge the condition of parts, e.g. evaluate the condition of tires and suspension systems by seeking indicators of excessive wear and damage. (2)
  • Evaluate the severity of vehicle defects and deficiencies. They consider information collected from customers, criteria, such as specifications and the results of physical inspections. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality of their repairs. They consider the results of test drives and feedback provided by supervisors, such as licensed automotive service technicians. (2)
  • Receive their work orders from managers. Their pace of work is determined by the number of customers and the complexity of the repairs required. They follow a similar routine of repairs and inspections each day, following established procedures. The workday may be disrupted by rush jobs or requests from co-workers for assistance, but interruptions are generally of short duration. Since these workers may be working on several tune-ups and inspections at the same time, they exercise care so that they do not mix up orders. (2)
  • Review displays on computerized scanning equipment, onboard vehicle sensors and hand-held diagnostic tools to gain operational information about vehicles. (2)
  • May locate information about mechanical faults by reviewing work orders, completing test drives and physical inspections, using scan tools and by speaking with customers and co-workers. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • May use personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as calculating material requirements. (1)
  • May use point-of-sales equipment to complete customer purchases of repairs and services. (1)
  • May use databases to access job assignments, input information on new jobs and complete work orders. (2)
  • Use browsers and search engines to access trade-related articles to stay current on industry trends and practices. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by suppliers, employers and sector councils, e.g. learn about preventative maintenance service by accessing videos, learning guides and exams delivered over the Internet by the Canadian Automotive and Repair Sector (CARS) Council. (2)
  • Use diagnostic scan tools and other hand-held devices to access data from vehicles’ onboard sensors. (2)
  • May use diagnostic equipment, such as dynamometers and gas analyzers, to determine operational data, such as horsepower, torque, pressure readings and air-to-fuel ratios. (2)
  • May use computerized equipment, such as wheel alignment machines, to complete repairs. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Working with Others

Automotive mechanical installers and servicers generally work independently. They co-ordinate their work with other installers and servicers as required. They may work alone on night shifts or in small shops. While they generally do not work formally with partners, they call upon co-workers for assistance when dealing with complex jobs. They are part of a team that includes co-workers, mechanics and managers.

Continuous Learning

Automotive mechanical installers and servicers supplement on-the-job learning with annual upgrading courses on subjects, such as diagnostic systems, front-end alignments, exhaust systems and suspensions. They receive training on new computer systems as they are introduced. They may attend seminars sponsored by manufacturers of new products and may take customer relations courses provided by their employers.

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