How to Talk to a Mechanic

DATE:  August 15, 2010     CATEGORIES:  Class Description

THIS CLASS HAS BEEN CANCELLED due to low enrollment

Cost: $80 + $2.99 ticket fee

In this class, students will take a tour through the inner workings of all the major systems in a car – braking, cooling, electrical, suspension and drivetrain.  The class will define terminology and explain the whys and hows of what happens at a mechanics shop, including but not limited to how a mechanic prices a job based on the information you give them. The emphasis of the class is on understanding how the systems work independently (and the jargon involved therein) as well as how all the systems integrate into a whole car. After two lectures at Artisan’s Asylum, the class will then have a field trip to an automotive shop where we will change a front disc brake and test a battery/alternator (the most common issues involved in a trip to the mechanic). The class will cover how to research parts, discuss common part prices, identify minor DIY fixes and discuss how to select (and ultimately negotiate) with a mechanic.

This class meets in three sessions. The first two sessions (8/30/2010 and 9/6/2010) are at the Windsor Street location of Artisan’s Asylum (561 Windsor St, Unit A306, Somerville MA). The third session will be longer, and held on 9/13/2010 in a community garage space run by Hilljack in Allston, MA.

Class Goals:

The goal of the class will be to familiarize students with the workings of a car so that they can both (a) fix minor issues themselves and (b) be knowledgeable when selecting and talking to a mechanic in order to not get ripped off.





Instructor Biography: Hilljack (Randall Bird)

HilljackI make everything, mostly from scratch. Moonshine, Biodiesel, Alternate-Fuel Vehicles ( I own 22 cars… in various stages of completion), Gravity Soapbox Karts, Boats, Things that Fly, -just about everything! The most important thing I make- A Difference.  I have combined a lifelong obsession with ecology, recycle and re-use with a penchant for building my own tools and machines and teaching these passions to others.  I am interested in Making the Impossible Possible.  I love an Underdog Project or a Doomed Expedition.  I am a master Sheet Metalsmith, a Mold Maker, a Welder, Tinkerer, Mechanic, Fabricator, Problem Solver and Dreamer.

Class Times

Session 1: 8/30/2010, 7 PM – 9 PM @ 561 Windsor St, Unit A306, Somerville MA

Session 2: 9/6/2010, 7 PM – 9 PM @ 561 Windsor St, Unit A306, Somerville MA

Session 3: 9/13/2010, 7 PM – 11 PM @ Hilljack’s Community Garage, Allston MA