Garage mechanics work on a wide range of vehicles from large transporting trucks to motorcycles. To diagnosis and fix mechanical problems, they must use many different procedures and tools. When diagnosing an engine problem, mechanics often use hand and electronic tools as well as rely on welders for fixing complicated problems. Garage mechanics also keep garages stocked and provide maintenance for prevention of mechanical problems.
With technology continually advancing and changes occurring in how vehicle systems operate, garage mechanics must continue to learn. This is especially true with hybrid cars increasingly being produced and new materials being used. Mechanics must continue to acquire current and important information.
Asbestos and Garage Workers
Although there are some risks with being a garage mechanic, higher risks can occur while working on brakes of vehicles. This is due to many brakes containing asbestos. Clutches and other parts that experience high-levels of friction may also contain the mineral. Replacing, servicing, or cleaning this equipment can cause the release of deadly asbestos fibers into the air. Inhaling even small amounts of these fibers can prove extremely detrimental to one’s health. Although this fact is known, as of the year 2000, no warnings have been put into place by the federal government about this risk. However, many mechanics are aware of the EPA’s warning and now use protective respirators when working on brakes to prevent inhaling any asbestos fibers.
Ironically, asbestos first began being used to help protect people. One type of asbestos known as serpentine asbestos is well known for its protection against fire and extremely high temperatures. This form of asbestos has been used since ancient times for this purpose. Another form of asbestos that was very useful in industrial manufacturing is amosite. This form prevents chemical corrosion due to its high iron content. Crocidoite asbestos is also very effective in issues that involve electric current or high voltage when used as an insulator. Materials that contained asbestos were also used to protect people against heat, caustic chemicals, flames and electrocution, all of which are potential concerns when it comes to cars. As long as the asbestos stayed contained inside a protective coating, no risks were involved. However, if the asbestos materials broke down causing fibers to be inhaled or ingested, as often happens during the removal or servicing of old parts, this could cause serious health problems.