Auto mechanics provide a necessary service to anyone who owns a car. From time to time, every car needs work, whether it requires new brakes or a routine oil change. Mechanics inspect, maintain, and repair cars that are brought in for work. In order to fix a car that is not running properly, a mechanic first has to diagnose the problem, much like a doctor would for a patient. He or she asks the car's owner about any “symptoms” the car has shown. Using the information the owner gives to the mechanic, the mechanic goes through the proper steps, usually using special tools and diagnostic equipment, to figure out what needs to be repaired.
Routine service for a car works much differently. Usually, the mechanic has a checklist of things to look for when servicing automobiles. He or she goes down the list, inspecting the car and its parts, ensuring that the car is in proper working order and fixing the things that aren't.
Automotive technology is becoming more and more complex. These days, new cars are run largely by computers (in fact, the first spaceship had fewer computers than a car does today!). This means that automotive mechanics work with these computer systems, not just nuts and bolts. In this increasingly computer-driven industry, auto mechanics face the difficulty of learning and using these new systems. In fact, mechanics who have the skills to repair these complex systems are often called service technicians.
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