3 Canadian Inventions You Might Encounter After Your Auto Mechanic Training Program

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It’s a point of pride for many Canadians that our country punches above its weight when it comes to inventing useful things. From Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone to Frederick Banting’s use of insulin injections for diabetes, Canada’s inventors have earned many notable entries in the annals of history.

This is also true of automotive history. Several important, car-specific inventions have come out of Canada. Some improved the day-to-day experience of automobile owners, and others have pushed behind-the-scenes technology a little further along, helping usher the industry toward a brighter future.

Here are three notable examples of Canadian automobile inventions you might encounter during your career.

1. Pros With Careers in the Auto Industry May Not Know Odometers Are Originally Canadian

The greater the distance travelled by a car, the greater the wear you can expect to find on its parts, so you will usually schedule your future clients’ maintenance visits according to distance milestones. That is a big part of what makes the odometer, which measures the distance a car has travelled, so important.

Precursors to odometers have existed since the days of Ancient Rome, but a notable advance was made by Nova Scotia’s Samuel McKeen in 1854. His odometer was attached to the wheels of carriages, and would measure distance travelled according to the number of times the wheels turned. Devices like this were included in automobiles for decades.

Unless you look at older vehicles, you will not see mechanical odometers after your auto mechanic training program. Modern digital odometers offer better accuracy, and a more reliable idea of when cars will need service.

2. Unsurprisingly, Electric Car Heaters Were Invented By a Canadian

Aside from hockey, complaining about cold winter weather may be the most Canadian of pastimes, so it should be no surprise that the electric car heater was invented by a Canadian.

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The original electric heating system for cars was invented in Canada

Thomas Ahearn, an engineer and businessman based in Ottawa, was a prolific inventor. A variation on the electric car heater was one of the more notable inventions of his, and was developed in 1890. His version involved heating water with electricity and then running it underneath the floor of the vehicle, thereby heating the car.

The more familiar version of automobile heating, which involves blowing hot air through vents, was developed in the 1930s. Of course, recent trends have seen everything from the return of heated floors, to heated seats and even heated steering wheels, included in vehicles. When you take on careers in the auto industry, you’ll likely end up looking at a few different heating ideas that owe Thomas Ahearn a little credit for inspiration.

3. Graduates of Auto Mechanic Training Programs May Work With the TM4 Electric Powertrain

Some inventions are less an entirely new creation than they are the refinement of something that existed. This is the case with the TM4 SUMO line of electric powertrains, which have been in development in the Montreal region since 1994.

The TM4 company’s SUMO line of powertrains is typically used in big, heavy vehicles like buses and other commercial vehicles. They use the interaction of magnetic fields to produce torque, and offer better efficiency than previous electric powertrains used for heavy machinery. The company claims the engines also produce a wider range of torque, allowing for more variation in vehicle speed.

Powertrains in this line are in use by heavy electric vehicles worldwide, and will continue to be developed by TM4 going forward. Though you may not see much of these during your training, if you end up doing mechanic work for electric buses or other heavy vehicles, odds are good that you will work with the SUMO line at some point in your career.

From automotive history’s earliest days and on to the leading edge of modern research, Canadian inventors and companies have made big contributions to the world of automotive technology. You might even spend some time working with Canadian inventions during your career.

Are you considering auto mechanic careers in Montreal?

Visit Automotive Training Centres for more information about our training programs!

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