This auto mechanic says, let me spare you the speech from a third person perspective and just tell you who I am. My name is Mark Gittelman.
I'm a retired ASE certified master technician. I've maintained my master technician status for more than 30 years. I have an Associate of Applied Science degree in technical communication and I'm a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers.
Currently I'm freelance writing for several well established automotive related websites. One of my favorite writing gigs remains when I freelanced for about dot-com. I've written around 200 articles on the classic car subject. You can learn more about this glorious assignment below.
You might ask yourself how a middle-aged retired auto mechanic could help you fix your cars and trucks. The answer is, that I can offer a level of expertise on older cars, you probably couldn't find in your local area.
See the video below to review my auto mechanic certifications and a brief history of my service in the car repair industry. From 1984 through 2006 I worked in a variety of new car dealerships as an A-rate line technician.
The factory trained me to fix these troublesome years, makes and models when they were new. This allows me to understand your old ride in a unique way that other car mechanics can't relate to.
Putting it in different terms, I've been with your car since the beginning. I have seen it come off the delivery trailer at the dealership and performed efficient high-quality warranty repairs when it needed fixing.
As I mentioned on the home page for fix my old ride.com, an entry-level automobile is often the most expensive form of transportation.
You just shelled out every penny for this troublesome car and now there is a bunch of things that need to be fixed on it. This is exactly what happened to your friend Mark the auto mechanic.
I bought a 1973 Dodge Charger with around 100,000 miles on the odometer. The car ran well for a couple of weeks, but one day it wouldn't start. It cranked around just fine, but it was popping back through the carburetor. A local mechanic explained that the timing chain had jumped and the engine was out of time.
However, it turned out to be the worst case scenario. As the pistons came up they contacted the valves, because the engine was out of time. This collision damaged the intake and exhaust valves.
The car I spent all of my savings on needed replacement cylinder heads and a new timing chain and gear set. With a total cost of around $700 it almost equaled what I paid for the entire automobile.
Most of the expense of the repairs would come in the form of labor. A new timing chain and gear set matched up with a pair of reconditioned heads came in at about $200. With a loan from my parents to cover parts a career was launched. I read the manuals and I figured out how to do the repairs.
After graduating from the General Motors sponsored Automotive Service Educational Program I enjoyed a 30 year career providing award-winning service. I spent most of these years at a dual franchise operation featuring Pontiac and Chevrolet products.
I received several awards and citations from the Pontiac Motor Division for my commitment to excellence. You young motorists still remember Pontiac don't you? Like they say, you can pull the auto mechanic out of the shop, but you can't stop him from fixing cars in his driveway.
Not only do I have a faithful clientele of family and friends, I've been known to take my show on the road and help people throughout my community get their cars back on track. A good mechanic understands that we're never done learning.
I continue my education through aftermarket training seminars and going through trade publications to stay on top of new technologies. Although self driving cars are right around the corner, self fixing cars aren't even on the radar yet. I think I will continue sharpening my skills, because the world needs them.
With age comes the need to wrench less and write more. I have enjoyed all things automotive since I was five years old.
Now that I'm around 10 times that age I find it easier to write about the my adventures than crawling under cars in the driveway. Review my certifications and mechanical experience on the video below and on this profile page.
While you're there hit the follow button. If you want to enjoy some of the freelance automotive articles I've written you'll find a couple hundred of them on the Classic Car Section over at about.com. If Twitter is your social platform of choice you can find me here @mgme.