A valid dream of a teacher yearning to become a mechanic
What you need to know:
- Your formal training as a teacher will also make you more aware than most “new” apprentices of the academic science behind how things work and why they sometimes don’t.
- Put all that on your CV and any workshop – large or small – could be keen to talk to you. If you are all you could be, they might even sign you up before the start of the next school term.
- Aim to be a seriously qualified professional, and in the next phase of your life, you could be teaching mechanics! Go for it.
I’m a teacher by profession, but I have always been passionate about the automotive industry. My father is a mechanic, and I would like to switch to that profession. I have a family to feed, so enrolling in full-time training may not work for me. What are the chances of finding a garage that would give me on-the-job training during school holidays? Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
My guess, and my sincere hope for your ambitions, is that your passion for motor vehicles and your family background means you already know a lot more than nothing about mechanical engineering (even subconsciously) and are unlikely to ask “what’s that?” when you see a set of tools.
Your formal training as a teacher will also make you more aware than most “new” apprentices of the academic science behind how things work and why they sometimes don’t and the principles of why service and repair need to be done in certain ways.
Those factors could put you well ahead of the pack when seeking an apprenticeship or internship with a motor workshop. And wherever you live there must be many of those which recruit trainees – especially candidates with the credentials to be immediately useful and potentially very proficient.
Even more so if they have commitment and diligence motivated by real passion and family responsibilities. If you have not already done so, get your Dad to give you some practical experience on a dozen or so of the most common service and fix-it jobs to get you started.
Put all that on your CV and any workshop – large or small – could be keen to talk to you. If you are all you could be, they might even sign you up before the start of the next school term.
Aim to be a seriously qualified professional, and in the next phase of your life, you could be teaching mechanics! Go for it.
There’s usually a link between a recent fix and a new fault
I recently noticed a very sharp noise when starting my car. I engaged a mechanic and the problem was resolved, however, the vehicle then developed another problem of shifting gears, from reverse to drive. What advice can you give me, or is there a professional mechanic you can refer me to in Eldoret? Thank you in advance.
What was the original problem and what was done to “resolve” it? There is a very good chance that the way the old fix was done is the cause of (or closely related to) the new fault.
I have no personal knowledge of auto shops in Eldoret but search “Automatic Gearboxes Eldoret” on the internet and you’ll find dozens. Most seem to be dealers or parts suppliers. Still, repair workshops that pop up include G Auto, Dubai Accessories, Vision Genuine, Shakil Auto, Autosat Supplies, Dennis Auto, Autocraft Subaru, and Aman Ventures. All are alongside the B54 through the middle of town.
How do I protect my car from the sun’s rays?
I have been parking my car exposed to sunlight for about eight hours a day for two years now in one of the hottest parts of Nairobi. I have noticed the paint on the roof and bonnet is fading. Besides fading, what is the long-term effect of exposing a car to too much sunlight?
Simple daylight (in the shade) has no ill effects. Nor does the soft or indirect sunlight of early morning or towards evening (or all day at extreme latitudes near the poles, where the sun rarely rises above “halfway”, nor even brighter/harsher sunlight that strikes a surface at an oblique angle (for instance the doors of a vehicle as opposed to its bonnet and roof).
All of these conditions cause little or no significant “photodegradation” – chemical reactions caused by the radiant energy we call sunlight that “change” the material the rays strike.
For most things (except Vampires?) that require “direct” and “intense” sunlight, the stuff that is most abundant in the tropics between about 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun is high in the sky and striking horizontal surfaces full-square (direct) and with maximum intensity (vertically to the earth’s surface, and thus less diffused by a much longer oblique journey from a far horizon through our atmosphere).
That intensity is also affected by altitude. Nairobi has about 1,800 metres less atmospheric filtering than Mombasa at sea level. The top of Mt Kenya at 5,000 metres has even less air, as anyone who has tried to breathe near the peak will testify.
The damage is being done by one part of the sun’s complex light spectrum: Ultra Violet (UV) rays cause chemical reactions which degrade some materials, such as pigments and fabrics. UV turns water in the atmosphere into hydrogen peroxide (ask any unnatural blonde what that does). That changes the pigments in paints and dyes with a result we call “fading”. And some of UV’s other concoctions damage human skin, perish rubber, bleach and crack and warp wood and other (mostly organic) materials.
Any horizontal surface of a car made of materials subject to these assaults will suffer from intense direct sunlight. Paintwork, dashboards, upholstery fabric and rubber, for instance, windscreen wiper blades and windscreen and window-wipe seals are the most prone. Just about everything else is oblique or well enough shaded by the structure of the vehicle to suffer no harm.
All parts of a car are well able to withstand the high temperatures of direct sunlight, but any chemical reaction is accelerated by heat, so UV’s chemical mischief works faster, on your furniture and your skin, for example.
Suntan cream works primarily by absorbing UV rays so they don’t reach your skin.
I suppose you could rub some of that on your bonnet and roof, but I’ve not seen any research on that, so forget it. Some paints have UV-resistant formulae, and some pigment/dye colours are more susceptible than others. From observation, cars painted in the red spectrum seem to suffer the most.
Park in the shade if you can, and consider an inner screen to protect your dashboard when parked. Tinted windows could help if they have the UV blockers of good quality sunglasses.
Do you have a motoring question? Email [email protected]