Be Prepared When the Rubber Meets the Snow

<b>Be Prepared When the Rubber Meets the Snow</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Millions of motorists will be taking to the highways and byways for holiday travel, so the experts at the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) remind drivers to have their vehicle checked out before heading out. “Breakdowns in winter conditions can be especially dangerous,” notes Martin Lawson, ASE’s editorial director.

The following tips from ASE will help vehicle owners choose a good repair shop.

* Start shopping for a repair facility before you need one.

* Ask your friends and associates for their recommendations, and consult local consumer groups.

* Arrange for alternate transportation in advance so you will not feel forced to choose a shop based solely on location.

* Look for a neat, well-organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern equipment in the service bays.

* Look for a courteous staff, with a service consultant or technicians willing to answer your questions.

* Look for policies regarding estimated repair costs, diagnostic fees, guarantees and acceptable methods of payment.

* Ask if the repair facility specializes or if it usually handles your type of repair work.

* Look for signs of professionalism in the customer service area such as civic, community, or customer service awards.

* Look for evidence of qualified technicians: trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work, and certification by ASE indicate the presence of professional, trained technicians.

* Look for the ASE sign. ASE was founded in 1972 to improve the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact area(s) of certification, while their employers display the blue and white ASE sign.

* Be ready to describe any changes in your vehicle’s handling or performance or other issues. Do not be embarrassed to ask for simple definitions for any technical terms you find unfamiliar.

* Reward good service with repeat business and customer loyalty.

Visit www.ase.com for more information, including seasonal car-care tips.

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