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Auto Electrician Duties

by Joseph Petrick, studioD

Electricians who have an interest in working on automobiles require a deep understanding of both electrical systems and cars as well as a keen eye for detail. They also need strong analytical and troubleshooting skills. Applicants require auto-electrical training in vocational schools and on-the-job experience. Some employers might require an associate degree in automotive mechanics or a related field.

Diagnose Problems

Auto electricians confer with customers to determine the nature of a malfunction in a car before any repairs commence. They diagnose the issue through visual inspection and by using testing devices such as ammeters, voltmeters and oscilloscopes. They also test starters, door controls and generators to ensure they function as desired. To allow comprehensive repair and replacement of dysfunctional parts, the electricians use a checklist to tick off every area that needs attention.


After the diagnosis process, auto technicians repair and overhaul electrical systems in vehicles. Using electricians’ hand tools, they repair wiring in the ignition, safety control systems, air-conditioning and lighting systems. Electricians might also rebuild electrical units such as door controls and security systems. In addition, they reset a car's clock, radio or other features they might have interfered with in the course of their work.

Provide Cost Estimates

Auto electricians provide cost estimates to customers based on the volume of work and time required to fix a car’s electrical problems. These estimates include the cost of electrical parts, labor and other fees. If the customer agrees to the cost, the auto electrician will proceed with his work. If a client wants customized alterations, such as wiring for the purpose of installing a better sound system, electricians provide cost estimates for these as well.

Complete Documentation

Auto electricians fill out documentation specifying their observations, modifications and results of a car repair when work is complete. The report includes problems in the car, the work plan, further assessment and recommendations, and the final cost of a job. A copy of the report is given to the customer.

About the Author

Joseph Petrick has been a writer and editor since 2003. He writes career, business and education articles. His work has appeared in several online publications including Career Today. Petrick holds a Master of Arts in philosophy/economic anthropology from Pennsylvania State University.

Photo Credits

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