Our guide to car maintenance
Kristina K

Our guide to car maintenance

First published date January 14 2014 Amended date January 29 2015

Do you love cars and enjoy fixing them up rather than sending them to the workshop? Or have you got a knack for it and think you could turn car maintenance into a career? Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, our car maintenance courses are suitable for beginners and advanced learners. You'll get a chance to learn the practical skills needed to work with cars and the theory behind it all. Learn from tutors who have gained years of experience working in the industry and kick start your journey to become a qualified technician now.


Fix your own vehicle

If you find yourself trying to fix your car, failing miserably and only successfully covering yourself with dripping black oil, our beginners’ car maintenance courses are perfect for you. Understand the basics of car maintenance and learn how to carry out running repairs yourself. You’ll learn to jack up and change wheels, check oil and water levels, amongst other things. This type of course is also great for ladies who might not have grown up with the fascination for cars that a lot of men do – that’s a massive tick on women empowerment!


Progression opportunities

If you're keen to work with motor vehicles, it's good to start off with a foundation of knowledge on car maintenance and its sub systems. This can be achieved through work experience as a garage assistant and GCSE's in maths and English. If you progress to a college course, practical assignments will allow you to practise and experience the car maintenance activities associated with the service of light vehicles.

From here, students can progress onto a higher level through apprenticeships and employment. Whatever your level is, you’ll find the ideal stepping stone on our car maintenance courses. Qualifications usually have a practical approach to assessments, which may include visual questioning techniques, tasks, observation, oral questioning and online assessments.


Become a professional mechanic

Choose from a wide range of flexible course options such as apprenticeships and full time courses.  Depending on your qualifications and most importantly the experience you gain, you can expect to earn about £35,000 a year working in a garage, up to £70,000 if you work for larger companies like Formula 1. If you live and breathe cars and love travelling, car maintenance is your launching pad to a successful career.


Awarding bodies

City and Guilds is one of the biggest names in vocational education in the UK. With thousands of learners working towards their car maintenance qualifications, the City and Guilds car maintenance courses open up a whole new world of career options for car enthusiasts. You’ll learn from some of the industry’s leading experts. Choose from car accident repair, vehicle systems maintenance, body work, apprenticeships, and light and heavy vehicle repairs. There are also professional opportunities for students to go onto higher level courses.


What do you learn?

Some of the key topics you’ll learn about on the course include health and safety at work, car roadworthiness, engine operation and maintenance, lubrication, fuel, ignition and exhaust system, catalytic converter and emissions.

Some colleges that offer car maintenance courses have fantastic facilities; from purpose-built workshops that are set up to resemble a real-life working environment and actual working garages with MOT bays. You will get a really good experience in this sort of environment, making you work ready with some interesting challenges in place.


What to expect?

You can expect to gain valuable work experience and good jobs during and upon completion of your course as most colleges have excellent links with local and major national employers. Employers include Bosch, Ford, Lexus, and Tracker UK.


Did you know that windscreen wipers were invented by a woman?

Next time you’re driving in a storm, you can thank Mary Anderson, who invented windscreen wipers in 1903. Anderson was visiting New York City and noticed that the streetcar driver had to keep his window open in a sleet storm in order to reach his arm out of the car and manually clean his windshield with a squeegee. Anderson received a patent for the windscreen wiper, but she couldn’t sell the invention to the auto companies, who claimed that the device did not have commercial value. After Anderson’s patent ran out in 1920, windscreen wipers eventually became a standard feature on automobiles. Today, wiper blades come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and some are even heated to help keep your windshield clean in icy conditions.


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