The days of the DIY Mechanic are fast ending as technology replaces the need for a mechanic who is now classed as a technician. However there will always be basic mechanics one can do to save money such as brakes, bearings & routine maintenance.
The desire is still there to do many things with cars and much of this we find in car enthusiast clubs where ideas and skills can be traded. Many girls/women are now coming on board and their enthusiasm is keeping the sport alive.
DIY mechanics is usually done at home, more often out on the drive or side of the road (which is illegal unless a breakdown). Some people have the use of a garage and in some areas you can now rent a ramp to make your job easier.
There really is no age limit in this trade, it is usually an early desire to know and do that makes the mechanics we have today.
Ability is dependant upon experience and the use of tools and specialised tools if available. Not everyone has the ability to do mechanical repairs so caution is paramount when deciding whether you should or shouldn't tackle a problem or maintenance.
DIY Mechanics have for years done everything that a garage can do, sometimes they can be better. It involves many things, from changing a spark plug to oil/filter change. Removing a head, treating and fixing valves and guides, radiator repairs, transmission change overs etc. All this mostly done without the full facilities of a workshop. DIY mechanics are usually hobbyist's and very thorough and meticulous, taking great pride in their projects.
With the UK weather the way it can be at times, you have to be dedicated and have a lot of patience when carrying out some projects, more so when working outside. Some people do this on a regular basis and some casual. DIY mechanics are good for information and usually know all the local and back street locations for parts, where to get the best deal and who would have a rare part.
Being a DIY mechanic has the added attraction of being able to show off your abilities at local car shows, field events and competition trials; making your efforts all the more satisfying especially if you win an event.
There are many related activities with DIY mechanics leading to skills in physics and geometry, using milling machines for cylinder head profiling, crankshaft regrinds. The surfacing of rotors and dimension checks.
There are many magazines available, not many give the basics you need and interpretation of these requires some fore knowledge. There are some Web sites that are being created addressing this problem.
Level of Demand
The table below shows the maximum levels of demand that this activity requires. NOTE: These are not entry levels or levels of requirement and has nothing to do with ability.
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