Take your car to a certified repair technician
What is the significance of auto repair certification? Does it benefit the car owner?
In today’s online world, smart car owners often consult Internet reviews as a way of checking to see if a business performs a good service for their customers. But what about technical certifications… do those really matter to the average vehicle owner? There are several prominent agencies and organizations to watch out for.
How Does ASE Certification Work?
Automotive technicians must have at least two years of on the job training or one year of on the job training and a two-year degree in automotive repair to qualify for certification and pass a specialized ASE Certification test. These exams are not easy, and only two out of every three test-takers pass on their first attempt. To remain ASE certified professionals must be retest every five years to keep up with ever advancing automotive technology.
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. Not by any single person at ASE. 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.
The AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) program
The Auto Club approved repair program was created more than 35 years ago, and today includes more than 7,100 facilities across North America. The AAR approval process is tough. When a shop applies, a service specialist inspects the facility for cleanliness, proper tools, adequate technical training, and appropriate technician certifications. After approval, AAR shops are visited quarterly, re-inspected annually and monitored for customer satisfaction to ensure ongoing compliance with AAA standards.
AAA MEMBERS who choose to use an AAR shop receive the following benefits:
• Priority service when their car is towed in due to a breakdown
• Written estimates not to be exceeded by more than 10% without prior approval
• A 24-month/24,000-mile warranty (whichever comes first) on parts and labor under normal operating conditions
• A discount on retail price repairs
• A free maintenance inspection with other paid repairs (mechanical shops only)
• The return of replaced parts if requested in advance
• AAA assistance in resolving any repair disputes with the facility.
While non-members do not receive all of the benefits AAA members are entitled to, the general motoring public does profit from the knowledge that a repair shop displaying the AAR sign has met AAA’s tough standards.
THe iATN Technicians Network
iATN was founded in 1995 and is the largest online community of automotive technicians, repair shop owners and other allied service professionals in the world with more than 76,000 active members from 160 countries. iATN members exchange technical knowledge with their peers around the globe, collectively sharing over 1.8 million years of experience.
The purpose of the network is to provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge on solving auto repair problems. This is analogous to the many online forums one may find ton the World Wide Web, only this network is for technicians to help one another solve problems via a peer-to-peer professional expert network.
STAR Smog Certified Shop
STAR Test & Repair (CAP) – STAR Test & Repair stations are authorized by the Bureau of Automotive Repairs to perform, along with smog check repairs, regular smog inspections and test only smog checks. A STAR Test & Repair station is the only type of smog check center which can inspect, repair and certify any and all vehicles. These stations are participants of the State’s Consumer Assistance Program and are inspected by the State of California monthly.
A test and repair station is a level above a TEST ONLY station, which is only permitted to test and not perform smog device repairs on the vehicle. It is more convenient to go to a smog station that has the ability to rectify a problem if one is found…