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Aside from a seven-year stretch serving in the U.S. Navy, Terry Collinsworth has spent his entire career as a mechanic, including the past 15 years at ADESA Dallas.

We recently chatted with Terry to find out more about his career as an ADESA auto mechanic. 

What does a typical day as an ADESA mechanic look like?

There’s no typical day, which is one of the reasons I love this job. I might perform several oil changes one day, and the next day I’m under the hood working on an engine. It’s challenging because of that, but it also makes the job fun.

We have 11 mechanics at ADESA Dallas and everyone has an account. Each account contains a mixture of vehicles with different makes and models.

When we’re working on those cars, you name it—and we do it. That might include oil changes, tire rotations, brake repairs, filter replacements and engine and transmission work. A car auction is a great place to put all your mechanic skills to good use.

What makes for a successful mechanic at ADESA?

It’s a pretty simple formula: You come to work every day, do a good job and work hard. Hard work goes a long way in this position. For example, we recently received a car part at the last minute and we came together to fix that vehicle for our weekly sale, which was the next day. It took a team effort with everyone working hard.

If you take pride in your work and have a passion for it, you’ll be successful.

How do you solve challenges in your position?

We’re frequently challenged as mechanics because we work on a wide range of makes and models. Each car is put together a little differently, so you solve the challenge however you can.

That might include using Identifix, an online maintenance database, to contact other mechanics across the nation who’ve made similar repairs. But most difficult repairs can be solved by talking to the mechanics around you. We have a group of skilled mechanics here, so there’s a good chance one of them has made that repair.

What do you like most about working in the auto auction industry?

The car auction industry is a fast-paced environment, and our customers rely on us to make the proper fixes so their cars are ready for sale day. It can be an adrenaline rush to push yourself to make the repair before the next sale.

The auction industry is just a fun atmosphere overall. Mechanics at dealerships often work on the same makes and models, which is fine. But working here, you see a bit of everything and that’s part of the excitement.

We’re a tight-knit group at ADESA Dallas. That makes working here enjoyable.

What’s changed the most about your profession?

Cars are much different now than what they were 10, 20 years ago. They have more upgrades and technology. Working on a car is like working on a computer now.

Some of the newer models come with dozens of sensors and several computers that operate different parts of the car. We’re seeing some these vehicles for the first time, so it’s like on-the-job training.

We try to stay ahead of the curve and are always prepared for what’s coming next.


Our industry is fun, fast-paced and competitive—and filled with the best people who are passionate about what they do. If you’d like to join our team, check out our open positions on LinkedIn.