We get asked all the time “So what do I call you a mechanic? or a technician.”

Answer: Mechanic, technician, both, neither, it depends on the job we are doing.

me·chan·ic / – Noun: a person who repairs and maintains machinery such as a car mechanic.

Mechanic example:

  • You come in with a leak under your car.
  • The mechanic inspects to find the water pump is leaking.
  • He/she replaces the water pump.

tech·ni·cian / – Noun: A worker in a field of technology who is proficient in the relevant skills and techniques, with a relatively practical understanding of the theoretical principles.

Technician example:

  • You come in with a light on in the instrument cluster of your vehicle.
  • The technician inspects to find the antilock brake system warning light on.
  • The technician gathers up the required diagnostic tools to read the error information from your vehicle.
  • Based on the information gathered the technician may already suspect the problem with your vehicle or he/she will go to a computer and research the problem based on the vehicle information received.
  • Based on knowledge, experience, research and data the technician will now test the pertinent systems of the vehicle to diagnose the cause of the problem.
  • Once the problem has been diagnosed the technician will:
    • Hand the vehicle off to a mechanic to make the necessary repair or
    • Change hats and do the repair him/her self
  • After the repair has been accomplished the technician will clear and reset the computer systems as required.
  • Perform relearn procedures on the vehicles computer systems.
  • Perform calibration procedures.
  • Test drive and confirm the repair was successful and no other problems exist.

It is quite common to find shop personnel that are only mechanics, only technicians or a combination of both. The interesting thing is a good mechanic does not necessarily make a good technician and vise versa.

Either way; if he/she is good they will likely do some kind of mini safety and maintenance inspection every time you come in looking for issues like a burned out light bulb, nail in tire, bad fan belt, etc. A good mechanic/technician does not want to see you stuck with your vehicle broken down on the side of the road.