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A Blind… Auto Mechanic?

Posted in Bizarre, Mechanics, Videos by Kurt Ernst | June 19th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Bart Hickey has been wrenching on cars for most of his life. Like most mechanics, Bart is mechanically adept at all things, whether it’s tuning a four-barrel carb, changing a doorknob or wiring a new sump pump. Unlike most mechanics, however, Bart is legally blind.

That’s less of a stretch to me than it is for most folks, because I grew up wrenching on cars in the days before computers told you what was wrong with a car. You learned quickly to diagnose problems by sound, and to differentiate between things like a failing wheel bearing and a sticking brake pad. I could see how Bart could be a first-class mechanic, since he has the need to “see” with his other senses. As the video points out, even Bart has his limitations with modern cars, and using a diagnostic code reader poses a particular challenge for the visually impaired. Even though this video is from Mercedes-Benz, there’s a jaw-dropping selection of American iron featured, so enjoy. If I owned a car built in the 60s or 70s, I’d have no problem using Bart as my mechanic (if I lived in Alsip, Illinois, that is); how about you?

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