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 /məˈkanik/ – Noun: a person who repairs and maintains machinery such as a car mechanic.
• 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 /tekˈniSHən/ – 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.
• 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.