ASE certifies individual technicians - not repair establishments. But it stands to reason that shop owners who encourage their technicians to become ASE certified should be equally concerned about the other aspects of their business. Here are some tips on finding a good repair establishment:
Finding a competent auto repair technician should not be difficult...and with that guiding principle, the non-profit, independent national Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) was founded in 1972.
The mission was clear: develop a mechanism by which working auto technicians could prove their competency to themselves, their employers, and to consumers. The solution: a series of national certification exams covering all the major automotive repair and service specialties.
The result: an elite group of automotive service professionals at work in repair establishments throughout the nation.
Consumers benefit from ASE's certification program since it takes much of the guesswork out of finding a competent technician.
Years ago cars were simpler and less complex. But with today's high-tech vehicles, the margin for error is less. Mistakes can be costlier. It makes good financial sense to protect your automotive investment through regular, periodic maintenance and service performed by certified professionals.
Because ASE's program is voluntary, technicians who have taken the time and expense to earn ASE certification can be counted on to have a strong sense of pride in accomplishment, which should be good news for consumers.
Twice a year at national locations across the country and online, thousands of technicians sit for ASE certification exams. The exams are administered in the field by American College Testing. (ACT.)
Designed by representatives from the automotive service and repair industry, vocational educators, and ASE's own in-house technical specialists, the exams stress real-world diagnostic and repair problems, not theory.
Technicians who pass at least one exam and fulfill the work experience requirement earn the title of ASE certified Automobile Technician, while those who pass all eight auto exams earn Master Auto Technician status. All ASE technicians are issued personalized credentials listing their exact areas of certification and an appropriate shoulder insignia.
Technicians must recertify every five years in order to keep current with changing technology and to remain ASE certified.
ASE technicians can be found at every type of repair facility: new car dealerships, independent service centers, service stations, tire dealers, specialty shops, and major franchises. There are about 500,000 ASE technicians at work nationally.
Repair facilities employing ASE-certified technicians usually display the distinctive blue and white ASE sign on the premises and post their technicians' credentials in the customer service area. Employers sometimes include the ASE logo in their print advertising as well.
The technicians are also issued pocket-sized credentials cards listing their exact areas of certification.
Because ASE offers certification in all major technical areas of auto repair and service, it is wise to ask the shop owner or service manager specifically for a technician who is certified in the appropriate area - say, brakes or engine repair.