Key Differences Between A Machine Shop And An Auto Shop

A car is a machine. So is a construction vehicle. They both accomplish specific tasks while they are in movement, and both require repairs when they break down. Yet, why do cars go to an auto shop, and a construction vehicle may visit a machine shop? What makes these two kinds of shops different from the other? Why should you not confuse the two in conversation or thought? Their key differences, and the answers to the preceding questions, follow.

Car Parts Are Quite Common

Because car parts are common and often interchangeable, car owners can find what they need at an auto shop. The parts are made en masse, and readily available to any auto shop, which is why cars do not need to go anywhere else. Construction vehicles, however, have several components that are not available at any auto repair shop. Hence, the need for construction vehicles to go elsewhere for repairs.

Machine Shops Make Parts and Custom Parts on Demand

Construction vehicles do not break down as much as passenger vehicles do. When construction vehicles do break down, the parts needed for repairs often involve hydraulic components or very large fasteners of an unusual size and shape. Sometimes custom parts are needed to make repairs. Machine shops make custom parts on demand, which is why it is sometimes easier to take a construction vehicle directly to a machine shop.

The machine shop can make the new parts to the exact specifications while they have the construction vehicle right there. This reduces the amount of time spent trying to make the new parts to fit. It also reduces the number of errors in machining the parts because the machine shop can fit the parts to the construction vehicle and then make modifications as needed.

Fitting Parts 

Fitting parts in an auto shop is a given. The mechanics already know exactly which parts to pull from their shop's inventory to fix a car. They also know that the parts will fit, no matter what.

In a machine shop, the precision needed to get the parts to fit well takes a lot of measuring, cutting, trimming, molding, and placement in the construction vehicles. Thankfully, the machine shop is equipped with all of the correct tools, materials, methods, and techniques to manage these oversized repair jobs. The only thing required in a machine shop is an effectively educated and trained employee to operate the machine shop's equipment.

The process to produce a perfectly fit part for a construction vehicle may take a little longer.  Yet the construction company that owns the vehicle knows that the end result is a well-repaired vehicle that will keep on going and working for a long time to come (unlike an auto shop's parts, which will only survive a few years' wear and tear before requiring repairs/replacement again). It is less costly, over time, for the owner of a construction vehicle to make repairs using a machine  shop's products than it is for an auto shop to use mass-produced parts.

Confusing the Two Shops in Thought and Conversation

It is easy to see how you might confuse both the machine shop and the auto shop in thought and conversation. Both have replacement parts to repair other machines. Both help fix other large machines that are then able to move and/or transport people and things to other locations. However, it is the approach and methods to how these two shops do what they do that separates them from each other. 

It is important to keep them separate in thought and conversation because you never know when you might be talking about repairing a vehicle and someone new suddenly joins the group. If you confuse these two shops while talking, other people in the group can confuse them as well. They may also get confused about where to take a construction vehicle for customized repairs, and that could be embarrassing for everyone. For more information, visit websites like