Monday, June 5, 2017

What is ASE?

Vehicles keep getting more complex, while technology and diagnostic tools constantly change as well. As a result, finding a competent, knowledgeable automotive professional can be a real challenge. Fortunately, some 300,000 professionals across the country choose to show their knowledge by earning ASE Certification — a benefit to automotive facilities, consumers, as well as themselves.
ASE’s consumer spokeswoman, Amy Mattinat, herself a shop owner and ASE Certified, explains what ASE is and how it benefits vehicle owners.

ASE, short for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians and other service professionals.

Why Does ASE Exist?
ASE was created to upgrade the skills and knowledge of working technicians and to provide them with a national credential that offers tangible proof of their technical knowledge.
The ASE Certification program gives shop owners and service customers a way to gauge an automotive professional’s level of expertise, knowledge, skill and experience before contracting their services.  
How to Find ASE Certified Technicians
ASE certifies individual technicians not repair facilities but it stands to reason that shop owners who care enough to promote technician certification will be equally concerned about all aspects of their business. Shops with ASE-certified technicians usually display the ASE sign.

ASE awards its special “Blue Seal of Excellence” Recognition to auto repair centers that maintain a staff that is at least 75% ASE Certified and has a certified technician in each area of service offered in the shop must be covered by at least one ASE-Certified Technician.
ASE Certified technicians are issued personalized credentials. Look for ASE certificates in the office of your auto repair facility. These certificates show the expertise of each technician and the current status of their certification. Additionally, ASE Certified technicians often wear shoulder insignia.


Inside the Program:  How Does ASE Certification Work?
Auto technicians and other professionals who want to become ASE Certified can take one or more of ASE’s 40-plus exams. The exams are grouped into specialties such as automobile, medium/heavy truck, truck equipment, school bus, collision repair, and more.
Most of ASE’s certification specialties require that automotive professionals have relevant on-the -job training and/or a two-year degree in automotive repair to qualify for certification.
The exams are not easy. Only two out of every three test-takers pass on their first attempt. After passing at least one exam and providing proof of relevant work experience, the test-taker becomes ASE certified. To remain certified, ASE-certified professionals must be retested every five years.

Who Writes The ASE Certification Tests?
ASE Certification tests are written in workshops by a national panel of seasoned automotive industry professionals and executives, including working technicians, automobile manufacturers, aftermarket manufacturers, and educators.
Exams are segmented by sub-specialty such as automobile, medium/heavy truck, truck equipment, school bus, collision repair, and more. There are 40-plus exams each designed to discern the automotive service technician’s knowledge of job-related skills.
Where is ASE?
ASE is located in Leesburg, Virginia, near Washington D.C.  
For more information you can write, call or email:
National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
1-800-390-6789 Customer Service Toll Free

Trust Your Mechanic

In the United States, mechanics are not licensed. Anyone who goes out and purchases some tools can open up an auto repair shop or get a job at an independent shop or at the dealer working on cars. A specific shop or dealer may have a great reputation, but most drivers never know which mechanic will be working on their vehicle.

You rely on your car to keep you and your family safe and get you to work, school and all those other places that are a major part of your life without breaking down on the side of the road.
Plus it is crazy expensive to purchase a car, maintain it and replace any broken or worn out parts. Cars are also so technically advanced, that it makes it nearly impossible for you to be able to work on your car yourself. I call them computers on wheels.
The mechanic or auto technician who is working on your car is essentially a car doctor.  You wouldn’t go to a doctor who wasn’t a licensed M.D.  So, how can you trust the car-doctor / auto technician working on your car has the experience, expertise and skill to be repairing and servicing your vehicle?
One of the best kept secrets
of the auto repair industry is
The National Institute of Automotive
Service Excellence Certification Program

Since 1972 The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence or ASE has set the industry standards by testing and certifying automotive professionals nationwide.
ASE Certifications are a valuable yard stick by which dealers, independent repair center owners and service customers can measure the knowledge and skills of individual technicians before contracting the technician’s services. To achieve ASE Certification, technicians must show the appropriate work experience and pass one or more ASE developed tests.
For cars and light trucks, this includes testing in eight automotive systems, and then there are
specialty tests for hybrids, diesels, service consultants and for parts specialist.
The eight basic tests for auto mechanics are:

1. Engine Repair Certification
2. Automatic Transmission Certification
3. Manual Drive Train & Axles Certification
4. Suspension & Steering Certification
5. Brakes Certification
6. Electrical Systems Certification
7. Heating & Air Conditioning Certification
8. Engine Performance Certification

Each certification will help you identify and recognize the skill level of your technician in the specific repair or service your vehicle needs to be safe and reliable.

For each exam that is passed, the auto technician receives a certification for that system and receives an ASE Certification patch. The test questions are continually changing to reflect the new technology and each test needs to be retaken every five years to maintain the ASE Certification.
As you can see below, there is a progression of the certification process to distinguish what level of skill your auto repair technician is at. If all eight tests are passed an ASE Master Technician Certification is awarded. Master Techs are considered experts in automotive repair.

ASE also has an Advanced Engine Performance Specialist test and Certification. These technicians are like medical specialists such as Cardiologists or Surgeons. They diagnose
and repair the most complex engine performance problems and deal with the sophisticated
on-board electronics that drive modern cars.
Finding ASE-Certified Technicians

Repair establishments with just one ASE technician on staff who only have one certification are permitted to display the ASE sign on their building. To find out what certifications the auto technician really has, you should look for the certificate of credentials that ASE
provides and should be hanging up on display in the office or waiting area. If you don’t see any credential certificates just ask. Most technicians are proud to share their expertise and ASE Certifications with their customers.
Blue Seal of Excellence Takes the Guess Work
Out of Finding ASE Certified Technicians
 ASE’s highest recognition is the ‘Blue Seal of Excellence’ designation for auto repair
centers and dealers that exhibit superior service and hire a staff that are at least 75% ASE Certified. These elite facilities are among the best in the nation and offer complete repair and maintenance care.

If repair facilities are going to provide you with excellent automotive repair and care, they need to hire the best in the industry. The ASE Certification program helps you understand their staff’s level of skill, experience and dedication to their jobs.

The ASE Certification program is your guarantee
of getting the top of the line service for the
vehicle that you and your family invested in and safety depends on.

Written by Amy Mattinat: Owner of Auto Craftsmen;  AAA Approved Repair Facility and ASE Blue Seal Shop in Vermont

You & Your Car