12 (or so) Rules for the Automotive Professional

I recently read an article that listed 12 rules for the automotive professional. In this age of price shopping, internet reviews, and a host of other good/bad things technology brings to the automotive field, what can you do to make yourself stand out? Whether you’re a seasoned professional, a budding grease monkey, or a shop owner/manager, these tips may help you. I’ve added a couple of my own and tweaked a few, but you can check out the original article if you like. Put your tips for techs in the comment section below!

20140602-223237-81157235.jpgPhoto Credit: http://www.ase.com

1. If you need to borrow a tool more than twice, you need to buy that tool. There may be a couple exceptions to this but you should generally follow this rule.

2. Don’t start screwing an important bolt or plug into its hole and walk away thinking you’ll remember to tighten it later, and always tighten lug nuts as soon as the tires are on the ground. 

3. Don’t leave any vehicle with a dry crankcase, bad brakes, or lines disconnected without disabling the vehicle so it can’t be started and driven. At the very least, leave a note in the seat with the keys on it.  

4. When parking a customer’s vehicle outside, lock the doors and roll up the windows, even if the weather is clear. 

5. When doing an oil change along with another service operation, always complete one operation before beginning the other. Find a routine and stick to it.

6. Being a really good mechanic doesn’t give you a license to be a jerk – not ever.

7. Don’t plunder in the console or glove box of a customer’s car just to see what they have in there.

8. Don’t take any of their ashtray coins or their chewing gum.

9. Don’t change their radio station.  Turn the radio off if you don’t like what’s playing and leave their climate control where they had it. 

10. When replacing something like a water pump, glue the gasket to the pump instead of the mating surface – it makes things easier for the next tech.

11. Always respect the next tech and work to make things easier for him (or her).  The next tech might be you.

12. Clean your tools and work station at the end of the day. It makes starting your next day much easier and more pleasant. 

13. Show up at work 10-15 minutes early to get things ready. If you start work at 8 am, don’t show up at 8 to clock in and then go get your tools out, change clothes, etc. You should be ready to start turning your wrenches at 8 am. 

14. Don’t dress like a slob, curse, or horseplay in the shop. You’re a professional; act like one!


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