Diesel engines are not solely the domain of buses, locomotives and transport trucks any more. Diesel sales have shown strong growth in the last few years in light vehicles, passenger vehicles and trucks, driven by emissions efficiencies, high residual values and greater fuel mileage than gasoline. Automotive Diesel Service Technicians, sometimes called diesel mechanics, repair and maintain diesel engines and all the components that enable them to operate efficiently.
Diesel maintenance is becoming increasingly complex as more electronic components control the engine’s operations, such as microprocessors to regulate fuel timing. In modern auto shops, Diesel Service Technicians use computers to diagnose problems and adjust engine functions; power tools, such as pneumatic wrenches, to quickly remove bolts; machine tools, such as lathes and grinding machines, to rebuild brakes; and common hand tools for repairing small parts.
Light duty diesel technicians require a combination of theory and actual shop training to gain the necessary expertise to service and maintain these engines. Students generally study cooling systems, tune-ups, electric and braking systems, preventative maintenance, diagnostic techniques and engine overhauls. Technicians must be versatile to adapt to customers’ needs and new technologies. Tasks may range from intricate electrical system work to major engine repairs. Mechanical, technical, troubleshooting and customer service skills are necessary.
During a routine maintenance check , technicians analyze brake systems, steering mechanisms, wheel bearings, and other important parts. They run diagnostic tests with specialized equipment, perform routine maintenance or major repairs, adjust or align components, or replace malfunctioning parts. As the complexity of diesel technology increases, technicians are seeking more comprehensive training.