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service areas February 13, 2018

The History of the Auto Repair Mechanic in Burke, VA

The Story Behind the Professional Auto Repair Mechanic in Burke, VA

From Do-It-Yourself to Let the Auto Repair Mechanic Do It

If you’re not mechanically inclined, you’ve chosen the best time to own a car. It’s a simple matter to take your vehicle down to the auto repair mechanic in Burke, VA, when you suddenly hear pings and whines coming from the engine.

In years gone by, most repair work was a do-it-yourself project. This was less intimidating to a rural population brought up with the daily challenges of keeping farm machinery running.

But the inner workings of cars and trucks get more sophisticated every year. A modern auto repair mechanic in Burke, VA, needs highly expert training to fix those whines and pings, to say nothing of worn brakes, clogged fuel lines, and out-of-sync wheel alignment.

Here is a look at how the auto repair mechanic in Burke, VA, of yesteryear went about fixing Model Ts and other horseless carriages.

From Bicycle Mechanic to Auto Repair Mechanic

The first auto repair mechanic in Burke, VA, was probably a bicycle mechanic. When bikes became the rage in the late 1880s and beyond, a new breed of mechanic was needed. These people were held in high esteem, and their methods were considered cutting edge as they tinkered and fixed the two-wheel contraptions.

Among the many who started out fixing bicycles were the Wright Brothers. They passed on the auto and went directly to inventing the first workable airplane.

If a driver had trouble on the dirt and gravel roads of the time and he couldn’t find a bicycle mechanic, his next best choices were blacksmiths, farm machinery workers or even plumbers. When the car was new, anyone with mechanical knowledge became a potential repair person.

My Chauffeur and Servant

More and more wealthy bought the new-fangled horseless carriages. Some daredevils drove themselves, but most did what the rich always do, they hired someone to drive for them. This led to a new job classification: chauffeurs.

Before Henry Ford democratized the car, most vehicles were owned by the rich. At the turn of the century, it was normal for those with more money to treat those they employed like servants.

Thus the first chauffeurs were treated like servants. But many a hired driver developed into a first-class mechanic in order to keep their employer’s horseless carriage running. This type of specialized knowledge gave chauffeurs status in the servant hierarchy. It also made them the most independent members of the servant class.

The rich first thought of them, and treated them, like the carriage drivers and footmen who handled earlier horse-drawn vehicles. But their uncommon mechanical skills quickly made them in demand. The smart ones could leverage this into better pay and working conditions.

Here Comes the Model T

Henry Ford was the first to mass produce an affordable car. And America loved him for it. Now the average Joe could buy a car, in any color as long as it was black.

Another spur to owning a vehicle was World War I. During the military campaigns, many doughboys had their first chance to drive and repair a motorized vehicle. After the war, they could buy surplus trucks from the military for cheap. This increased the demand for cars and opened up vehicle ownership to a much wider group of people.

Through the 1920s, millions of Americans became proud owners of their first car or truck. It was an exciting adventure to drive down the potted, rutted roads. There were no asphalted roads; these were the only type available. Dirt roads worked well for horses, but they were murder even on the flexible, forgiving Model T.

Every owner got used to blown tires and engines that overheated. These early cars had no oil pump, fuel pump or water reservoir. Components were constantly exposed to the elements, adding to the wear and tear.

Since they weren’t rich and because a real auto repair mechanic in Burke, VA, was a rarity, owners learned to do their own fixes in these early years. But the technology changed rapidly at the beginning of the automotive era.

A New Profession—Auto Repair Mechanic

Each new model was much more complex than the previous one. Engines got too complex for the average driver to fix. Gradually the profession of auto repair mechanic in Burke, VA, developed, attracting people who understood the workings of the internal combustion engine.

The fact that Ford, and other big makers, started using interchangeable parts also helped. This made it simpler to repair common problems. There was no longer a need to fabricate parts from scratch each time something went wrong.

Vehicle repair became an industry that grew right along with the automotive industry. The job of auto repair mechanic in Burke, VA, became common. These mechanics set up shop on their own, joined dealerships or worked for automotive repair companies.

Because early roads were so bad and the cars of the time broke down so often, mechanics commanded high wages. Repair shops were willing to pay competitive salaries because drivers always wanted to go to a shop that had skilled repair people. The shop that could get a car back on the road quickly and had a reputation for repairs that lasted got the most business. It made sense to hire only the best mechanics.

New Expectations for Mechanics

Cars evolved and mechanics became more common drivers and repair shop owners figured out how long it took to fix common problems. This gradually developed into a standard set of expectations for specific types of repairs, as well as standard prices that varied little from one shop to the next.

Schools were set up by manufacturers. Experienced mechanics set up independent training facilities. With this type of training available, the new auto repair mechanic in Burke, VA, learned best practices and how to fix the problems on the most recent models of cars and trucks. Standardization meant that higher-caliber repairs were more common. It was no longer hit or miss for the car owner. They could expect a certain level of expertise from auto repair shops. They could also expect price rates for repairs that fit into a ballpark range. There were fewer surprises when they got the bill.

The Modern Auto Repair Shop

Modern repair shops are much like their early century ancestors. The auto repair mechanic in Burke, VA, is expected to have standardized training and specific certifications. This ensures that owners get the most effective repairs, done to the highest expectations.

In modern shops, mechanics know that technology is constantly changing. That’s another thing they have in common with workers of 100 years ago. With the introduction of hybrids and other advances, it is safe to say that technology is moving as fast today as it did when cars were in the long process of being invented at the turn of the last century.

For example, Wiygul Automotive Clinic uses the most advanced computerized auto diagnostics to figure out what is going on in the highly sophisticated engines in today’s cars. The shop understands your fears when the engine warning light comes on, your engine starts making knocking sounds, or you stall in traffic. Their certified mechanics have the experience, the latest tools, and the training to get your car back in dependable running condition quickly.

Trust Experts

That’s why smart drivers trust their vehicles to the experts here at Wiygul Automotive Clinic. We have been serving the community since 1996. In that time, we have earned a reputation for quality service and highly trained technicians.

We are actively involved in the community. Burke supports a wide range of activities, teams, citizen groups and George Mason University. Burke Automotive sponsors the boosters at Robinson, Lake Braddock, WT Woodson and Paul VI high schools. They work with the T. Reed Memorial Fund, American Cancer Society, Vehicles for Change, Matthew Center for Children with Special Needs and In Hope Freedom Rings Scholarships.

As a member of the community, we know how important it is to save money where you can. That’s why Wiygul Automotive Clinic offers competitive pricing that is usually lower than the rates at dealership shops. We have special promotions on our website that change with the seasons. Sign up for our email newsletter to get the latest offers. Save money with our coupons!

We offer loaner cars. And you can quickly and conveniently sign up right on our website for an appointment to have your car work done. We handle Virginia safety and emissions inspections. Our experts can answer your questions and get you on the road quickly.

When you bring your car into Wiygul Automotive Clinic, a skilled auto repair mechanic in Burke, VA, will diagnose the problem, discuss it fully with you, provide you with a written estimate and then fix the problem to your complete satisfaction.

Wiygul Automotive Clinic offers a wide range of products and services, including:

  • Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly tires
  • State safety inspections
  • State emissions inspections
  • Brake service
  • Muffler-exhaust system repairs
  • Engine repair
  • Suspension and alignment
  • Shocks and struts
  • Electrical service
  • Scheduled maintenance
  • Computerized diagnostics

For the most advanced, reliable workmanship, contact an auto repair mechanic at Wiygul Automotive Clinic in Burke, VA, today.

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