Until the early 1970's, consumers had no way to distinguish between incompetent and competent mechanics. In response to this need, the independent, non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) was established in 1972.
ASE's mission is to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service through the testing and certification of repair and service professionals.
At present there are about 438,000 professionals with current certifications. They work in every segment of the automotive service industry: car and truck dealerships, independent garages, fleets, service stations, franchises, and more.
Here's how ASE certification works: Prospective candidates register for and take one or more of ASE's 40-plus exams. The tests are grouped into specialties for automobile, medium/heavy truck, truck equipment, school bus, and collision repair technicians as well as engine machinists, alternate fuels technicians, and parts specialists, and collision damage estimators.
Upon passing at least one exam and after providing proof of two years of relevant work experience, the test taker becomes ASE certified. Certification, however, is not for life. To remain certified, those with ASE credentials must be retested every five years.
The tests, which are conducted twice a year at about 800 locations around the country, are administered by ACT, known for its academic and occupational testing programs. The exams stress knowledge of job-related skills. They are no cinch to pass; approximately one out of three test takers fails.
Consumers benefit from ASE certification. It is a valuable yard stick by which to measure the knowledge and skills of individual technicians as well as the commitment to quality of the repair facility employing ASE-certified professionals.
ASE-certified technicians usually wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact area(s) of expertise (brakes, engine repair, etc.), while employers often display their technicians' credentials in the customer waiting area.
The owners and managers of automotive service businesses that belong to the Automotive Service Association (ASA) agree to adhere to a Code of Ethics. ASA's Code of Ethics is the automotive service industry's standard for professional business practices.
To perform high quality repair service at a fair and just price.
To use only proven merchandise of high quality distributed by reputable firms.
To employ the best skilled technicians obtainable.
To furnish an itemized invoice for fairly priced parts and services that clearly identifies any used or remanufactured parts. Replaced parts may be inspected upon request.
To have a sense of personal obligation to each customer.
To promote good will between the motorist and members of the association.
To recommend corrective and maintenance services, explaining to the customer which of these are required to correct existing problems and which are for preventive maintenance.
To offer the customer a price estimate for work to be performed.
To furnish or post copies of any warranties covering parts or services.
To obtain prior authorization for all work done, in writing, or by other means satisfactory to the customer.
To notify the customer if appointments or completion promises cannot be kept.
To maintain customer service records for one year or more.
To exercise reasonable care for the customer's property while in our possession.
To maintain a system for fair settlement of customer's complaints.
To cooperate with established consumer complaint mediation activities.
To uphold the high standards of our profession and always seek to correct any and all abuses within the automotive industry.
To uphold the integrity of all members of the Automotive Service Association.
Copyright © 2001 Automotive Service Association.
All rights reserved
The Automotive Service Councils of California, is an association primarily comprised of independently-owned automotive repair facilities, it exists to promote the continuing success of its members and to advance the professionalism of the automotive industry.
Repair shops that become members of ASCCA are expected to abide by the following code of ethics:
What is AllData?
ALLDATA is the leading provider of diagnostic, repair and estimating information to the professional automotive service industry. ALLDATA's products and services offer the information and solutions that technicians and shop owners need to efficiently repair vehicles and boost shop performance.
Automotive professionals with a high level of industry certifications and shop experience maintain the integrity of ALLDATA's database. In fact, ALLDATA recently received the ASE® Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition for dedicating itself to maintaining a high percentage of ASE certifications among its staff. ALLDATA is the first organization to earn Blue Seal Recognition under the Support Establishments category of this distinguished ASE program.
How does AllData help us to save you
money in service and repairs?
"Short trip driving, loading up the engine by carrying or pulling excess weight for extended periods, or constant idling can prevent the spark plugs from getting hot enough to burn off deposits, causing them to foul, for instance. If the vehicle is burning oil due to worn valve guides, seals or piston rings, this will also foul spark plugs -- as can cracked or deteriorated plug wires."
"Fouled plugs, or plugs whose electrodes are so worn they widen the air gap so much the plug will not fire properly mean the engine is operating at less than peak efficiency, and may actually be misfiring on one or more cylinders. This will clobber your gas mileage and decrease performance noticeably, and a single fouled spark plug can cause your car or truck to fail an emissions test. If your vehicle has bad or worn plugs, it's performance and efficiency will only get worse as the miles roll by. No matter how many miles are on them, your mechanic should replace the spark plugs if they're oil or carbon-fouled, if they're covered with deposits, or if the electrode is noticeably worn.
And when replacing spark plugs, consider the real advantages of upgrading to premium spark plugs. These plugs, such as Bosch Platinum2 or Platinum+4 premium plugs, feature a pure platinum center electrode that reaches operating temperature faster, ensuring the plug will not build up carbon deposits. "This platinum center electrode, combined with two or four side (ground) electrodes resists wear, corrosion -- and they resist erosion. Every time a spark plug fires, metal is lost in the process, and over time this widens the firing gap, which puts extra load on the electrical system, saps performance, and may eventually lead to misfire."
Independent studies have shown that plugs such as the Bosch Platinum+4 can improve fuel mileage by up to 5 percent, make the vehicle easier to start, and maintain their superior performance for tens of thousands of tough, punishing miles.