2019 What is an auto electrician? What they do and don’t do

You may not know the difference between an auto electrician and a mechanic—you may not even know they are two separate jobs! Find out everything you need to know about auto electricians, including common car problems they can fix!

Article Spotlight:

  • Find out what an auto electrician does.
  • When to go to an auto electrician versus a mechanic.
  • Common problems an auto electrician can diagnose and repair.

Like everything in the world, modern technology has changed the way cars are built. In the past, we could just go to a mechanic for all our car problems, but it’s simply not the case now.

If you’re like the average person who doesn’t know the difference between a mechanic and an auto electrician, you’re in luck. We’ve dug into the most frequently asked auto electrical questions and brought them to you in this handy guide.

Auto Electrician FAQ

What does an auto electrician do?

Auto electricians specialise in repairing and maintaining the electrical components of different vehicles, such as cars, trucks, buses and farm machinery. This includes working on, but is not limited to, vehicle wiring, lights, audio systems, batteries and even electric windows.

Using specialised equipment, auto electrician can run diagnostics to identify major issues or faults with electrical components in a car and repair them. They can also install accessories such as screens or audio systems in vehicles.

car audio radio system

What’s the difference between an auto electrician and an electrician?

Auto electricians and electricians may both work on electrical components, but they do two very different things. An auto electrician works on vehicles, while an electrician works on buildings, or at least objects that can’t move.

If you ever forget, just remember auto is short for automotive, so an auto electrician is an automotive electrician.

Do I take my car to a mechanic or auto electrician?

Who you take your car to will depend on the service you need or problem with the vehicle.

A mechanic is qualified to work on the mechanical aspects of your car such as the engine, brakes, suspension, etc. They’ll service your car, diagnose mechanic issues and some work will involve your car’s electrics and computer system. However, there are some things you’re more likely to go to an auto electrician for.

mechanic fixing car lock on car door

Common problems that may require an auto electrician:

  • Your car’s air conditioning is not working.
  • Car lights are dim or not working.
  • Problems with the ignition or engine stalling, which may indicate problems with the alternator.
  • Any electrical component, such as an audio system, sensors, blinker lights or dashboard lights are not working as expected.

While it’s important to always visit your mechanic regularly for servicing, if you suspect something is wrong with an electrical component of your car, call a licensed auto electrician.

car headlights in traffic

Do electric vehicles need to be taken to an auto electrician?

Because electric vehicles are just that, electric, it is important to regularly schedule an electric vehicle in to check on its various components, such as the electric engine and battery.

Feature photo by Sudhith Xavier on Unsplash

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      Brit McDowell

      Lifestyle Specialist & Subject Matter Expert

      Brit McDowell is a Subject Matter Expert at Localsearch with a background in marketing, business and tourism management. Aside from her specialisation in technical processes, Brit is known for her green thumb and growing succulent collection, love of dogs (especially Dalmatians), eye for home interior and fervour for travel. Brit is also a Lifestyle Specialist on the Localsearch Blog and enjoys sharing her research and knowledge in home and gardening services, food, beauty and general lifestyle tips and tricks.