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What makes a good mechanic?

4077 Views 35 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  qwerty
Some years ago I was told that a good mechanic is of average intelligence and likes his work. Since this was new information, I shut up and heard the man out. He is above average intelligence and doesn't like mechanical work particularly, but is intrigued by how things are thought out and why.

He quickly gravitated to computers when gravity dropped them on us, for example.

My inspiration for this is an encounter recently where my brother had his Honda Rebel quit in the city one night. It would not go into neutral, then the neutral light would not come on. The upshot of it was I spent several days going through the Honda Shop Manual on CD and the flow charts for trouble-shooting. It came down to a diode on the wiring harness, according to Honda, but they were wrong. The place we had to work was the shop of a developer of wind generators. An engineer dropped by and took it on himself to look over our shoulders a bit. Said he had never worked on motorcycles before, but had found electrical issues on cars. He had aced his Motorcycle Safety Course written exam-- and just went home when it came time to get on the bike! He did the same thing with airplanes. But, he would be glad to help. Soon he was pointing to the monitor and saying,

"Its in this loop right here."

Well, I had been there, but obliged him. It was fused, but that tested and looked perfect. And he saw that, but within seconds he said,

"My intuition tells me that's a bad fuse."

And he was right. It would read good, turn it and there would be just nothing. I don't know when I would have found this. My brother has his areas of intuitive genius, but he was talking of selling the bike.

This isn't to tell a story; but it is to ask if your observations of others, your personal experience with mechanicking, as a survival skill, recreation, compassion channel, or to earn income; do you see a sixth sense giftedness at work that enhances basic training and experience? Does intuition and language like "I am sensing," "shoot from the hip" override intelligence sometimes? Personally, I get some of my answers before I ever

get out of bed. What is it that you see in mechanical problem solving?

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Although the author claims it has little to do with motorcycle maintenance, I have always thought that "Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance" had the best description of what a good mechanic was, and what it took to be one. I'm not going to quote, but it has a lot to do with quality and caring about doing a good job. If you ride a bike, you have to read it - It's the law!
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