Retiring Mechanic Offers Insight on a Tech-Focused Future

May 31, 2022

As George Dunbrook plans to close up his shop after 40 years, he passes along advice for staying up-to-date on vehicle technology. 

May 31, 2022—As an auto mechanic in New York plans to retire, he has some advice to share for the future of repair.

According to Spectrum Local News, George Dunbrook of Albany has been in the repair game for his entire adult life. He has witnessed change throughout his career, especially as it relates to vehicle technology.

“In the old days, all you needed to know how to do was swing a hammer, and now you not only have to swing a hammer, but you need to use your brain, too, to figure out what the computer tells you when the check engine light goes on,” Dunbrook said in the article.

Change seems inevitable throughout the aftermarket, but continuing to seek out education opportunities and remaining flexible could be key components to addressing repairs in the future.

Current Hudson Valley Community College automotive program student Isaiah Smith said that there is still quite a variety in the repairs that he deals with, so it is important to be well-rounded on the ins and outs of all kinds of vehicles even as technology persists.

“Maybe one day, you’re putting a new ECM into a brand new car, and then the next day, you’re working on some 1985 rusted-out truck and you’re trying to put a new parking brake on it,” Smith said in the article. “You never know what’s going to come through the door.”

Along with that variety comes a need to understand all of the complexities that come along with those repairs. Dunbrook has seen firsthand how the industry has developed into something that requires a technology-centered way of thinking in addition to the physical skills. 

“In the old days, all you needed to know how to do was swing a hammer, and now you not only have to swing a hammer, but you need to use your brain, too, to figure out what the computer tells you when the check engine light goes on,” Dunbrook said in the article. 

After 40 years working at his shop, he is closing things up and looking toward the future. Dunbrook believes that tune-ups and routine quick oil changes are soon to be a thing of the past, but individuals in the industry can be prepared by staying up-to-date on technology. 

“Get up on the tech, stay up on the tech and get good at what you do,” Dunbrook said.

About the Author

Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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