Motorists Benefit From Certified Auto Technicians

<b>Motorists Benefit From Certified Auto Technicians</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Consumers are keeping their cars longer in these tough economic times, and that means scheduling maintenance and repairs. But how can drivers ensure quality work on their vehicles? Motorists can find professional auto technicians by looking for national standards and qualifications.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, better known as ASE, conducts the only industry-wide, national testing and certification program for automotive technicians. Unlike vocational licensing, which is often little more than a work permit automatically issued by a government entity for a fee, technician certification offers real meaning and value to technician, employer and consumer alike.

ASE certification is voluntary. Many technicians pay for the testing fees themselves. Even if the technician passes his or her test, certification is not automatic. Candidates must also show two years of relevant work experience.

ASE certification is not for life. Technicians must recertify every five years in order to be up-to-date. Those who pass all eight automobile tests become Master Auto Technicians. There are certification tracks for other specialties as well.

Employers often support their technicians’ efforts to earn this national credential by covering the cost of testing, offering pay incentives for ASE tests passed and advertising their certified technicians. Keeping ASE-certified technicians on staff demonstrates the owner’s pride in their shop — they likely prove meticulous in other aspects of the business as well.

ASE certification signifies competent auto technicians, taking the guesswork out of the search for a reputable repair shop.

ASE-certified technicians wear shoulder insignia; their employers often post their technicians’ credentials in the customer waiting area and display the blue and white ASE sign (“The Blue Seal”) on the premises. Certified technicians can be found at all types of repair facilities, from dealerships and independent garages to franchises and service stations. Shops with a high percentage of ASE-certified technicians are eligible to join ASE’s elite Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition Program. Visit www.ase.com for car care tips.

Summer Conditions Stress Out Autos

<b>Summer Conditions Stress Out Autos</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Whoever said, “It’s summertime, and the living is easy,” hasn’t looked under the hood of an automobile. Stop-and-go traffic, dusty roads and air conditioners running full blast put extra stress on automotive systems.

“In today’s tough economy, motorists may be tempted to put off automotive maintenance, but neglect will cause your vehicle to wear out sooner, burn more gasoline and pollute more than a regularly serviced car,” notes Martin Lawson, editorial director of National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), an independent nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. “What’s worse, a minor problem can become an expensive headache if neglected.”

ASE offers the following tips to help you choose an automotive repair facility:

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

– 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 whether the repair facility specializes or whether 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. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification.

– Look for the ASE sign. Employers of ASE-certified technicians often display the blue and white ASE sign. Facilities with a high percentage of ASE-certified professionals may also be members of the Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition Program.

– Reward good service with repeat business and customer loyalty.

For more information, including seasonal car care tips, visit www.ase.com.

Avoid Breakdowns During Holiday Travel

<b>Avoid Breakdowns During Holiday Travel </b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Winter driving creates special challenges, which can only be amplified by the long trips many Americans will take over the holidays. To avoid unexpected problems, Mom and Dad should take their vehicle to a shop before they herd the kids into the car and head off to grandma’s.

The professionals at the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offer the following advice for motorists looking to pick the right repair shop.

– Start shopping for a repair facility before you need one. You can make better decisions when you are not rushed or in a panic.

– Ask friends and associates for their recommendations. You may be amazed at how much another person’s experience can help.

– Consult your local consumer organization(s) regarding the reputation of the business. Inquire about complaints and the rate of resolution of complaints.

– 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 writer willing to answer your questions. Be prepared to describe any symptoms, like noises, unusual leaks or odors, smoke or handling problems, or carry a written list to give to the service consultant.

– Ask if the repair facility specializes in certain types of repair work.

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

– Look for qualified technicians as evidenced by trade-school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work or on-going training, and individual technician certification by ASE.

– Look for policies regarding labor rates, diagnostic fees, guarantees and acceptable methods of payment.

– Keep all of your paperwork. Good records will help clear up problems that may occur later on in the vehicle’s life.

For more information, including seasonal car care tips, visit www.ase.com. ASE was founded in 1972 to improve the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign.