What are the Differences Between Auto Mechanics and Diesel Mechanics?

No matter the size of the car or truck you’re driving, the systems that keep it running are often very similar. As cars and heavy vehicles have become more advanced, the two have begun to share dozens of core technologies. However, one area where light and heavy vehicles still differ is in the use of petrol versus diesel engines.

While auto mechanics primarily work on light vehicles with petrol engines, diesel mechanics are specialists that work with heavy vehicles powered by diesel engines. Petrol and diesel engines may look the same, but they’re fundamentally different, and heavy vehicles often benefit from the expertise of a diesel mechanic. But, with so much overlap, people often wonder what the differences are between auto and diesel mechanics. In this article we’re going to cover the basics and see just how the two professions differ.

The Types of Vehicles

There are no surprises here. The main difference between auto and diesel mechanics are the types of vehicles they work with.

Auto mechanics, like the one you take your car to for its oil change, mostly work on light passenger vehicles. Cars, SUVs, motorbikes and utes are often serviced and maintained by a trained auto mechanic. Not only do auto mechanics have the right training for servicing these types of vehicles, they’re equipped with the right tools and machines to get the job done.

On the other hand, diesel mechanics focus on providing servicing for commercial and heavy vehicles. Vehicles like trucks, buses, earthmoving equipment and 4WDs will all find their way into a diesel mechanic’s workshop at some point. These types of vehicles often use heavy-duty diesel engines and systems that require specific training to work on. And, while some heavy vehicles use petrol or LPG-powered engines, diesel mechanics are still better equipped to service, maintain and repair the larger class of vehicles.

Certification and Training

Although there’s plenty of overlap between the systems in passenger cars and heavy vehicles, auto and diesel mechanics undergo slightly different training. In Australia, auto mechanics undergo a 3 to 4 year apprenticeship that includes on-the-job training and core study certifications. Towards the end of their apprenticeship an auto mechanic will complete a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanic Technology (AUR30616) before they can become a qualified mechanic.

Similarly, Australian diesel mechanics undergo a 3 to 4 year apprenticeship. During this time apprentices study with a training organisation and take part in a hands-on job placement that provides practical experience. Diesel mechanic apprentices work towards a Certificate III in Diesel Engine Technology (AUR31516) to become qualified as a diesel mechanic.

A Day in the Life of an Auto Mechanic

Auto mechanics are experts in their field who spend their days working on cars of all shapes and sizes. During the typical day an auto mechanic will perform a range of services, including:

  • Servicing cars, motorbikes and light vehicles

  • Performing major repair and replacement work

  • Assessing cars for roadworthiness

  • Performing routine maintenance

  • Inspecting vehicles to locate and diagnose faults

A Day in the Life of a Diesel Mechanic

With their expertise being needed in a broad range of industries, diesel mechanics are frequently involved in work for hundreds of different types of vehicles and other equipment. Diesel mechanics perform a variety of common tasks on a daily basis, including:

  • Diagnosing faults with diesel engines and systems

  • Providing routine diesel servicing

  • Inspecting vehicles for faulty systems and worn out components

  • Diesel repair service and major component replacements

  • Working on other diesel equipment such as earthmoving vehicles, generators, marine engines and more

  • Fleet maintenance services for corporate clients

KS Mobile Diesel Offers Expert Diesel Mechanic Services Across Caboolture

Despite the overlap between the jobs, there’s no doubt that you’ll get better service if you visit a mechanic that’s trained to work on your vehicle. Diesel mechanics undergo years of training that makes them experts at working with trucks, heavy vehicles, earthmoving equipment and all types of diesel-powered machines. KS Mobile Diesel offers specialist diesel mechanic services across Caboolture. Our fully equipped fleet of mobile diesel trucks provides coverage for most light and heavy vehicles in Australia. Get in touch with us to make an appointment, or phone 0403 524 804 if you need our emergency breakdown service.

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