What Is an ASE Certification and Why Should Your Mechanic Have One?

How much faith do you have in your mechanic? How long have you been going to them? If you’ve been going to the same mechanic for a long time, and they’ve never steered you wrong, caused a problem with a vehicle, or made a diagnostic mistake, that’s great. However, many people aren’t so lucky, or maybe they are looking for a new mechanic. You need to be careful, as the wrong mechanic can prove costly.

One of the most important things that you want to look for when you are choosing your mechanic is ASE certification. Not all mechanics are ASE-certified, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad at their job if they aren’t. However, when you choose a mechanic who has ASE certification, you will find that it has some added benefits.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Mechanic with ASE Certification?

ASE certification carries with it a reputation of excellence. This will give you more peace of mind and confidence, and you will know that the technician has the knowledge and skills to work on your vehicle and make the needed repairs. These mechanics typically have a lot of training on different makes and models of vehicles, and they can work on different parts and systems.

These mechanics who are ASE-certified will also have up-to-date training. The certified technicians keep abreast of all of the newest and latest technologies, so they have the latest knowledge to ensure they can get the job done right. Shops that have ASE-certified mechanics working for them will generally have newer technologies and tools, as well.

Of course, one of the biggest benefits of working with certified mechanics is that they commit to using the best practices in their work. They have worked hard to get the certification, as it is not easy to obtain. They want to keep their certification, so they work hard to ensure the best possible service to customers, and they have a deep commitment to doing the job right.

Essentially, when you see that a mechanic is ASE-certified, it helps to take the guesswork out of hiring them. You will know that you are choosing a good mechanic.

Below, we’ll take a deep dive into what it takes to become ASE-certified, so you can get a better idea of just why these mechanics tend to be a few steps above those who don’t get certified. When you see what they need to do to get and stay certified, you will see why you should always look for ASE certification when choosing a mechanic.

Why You Should You Ask a Mechanic About ASE Certification

You can never assume that a mechanic is ASE certified. Many mechanics who have been working in the business for years do not have certification because there is no requirement. People can still work as professional mechanics without certification, which means that they may not have as much training and knowledge as you initially believe. Even though they might have been in the field for 20 years, they may not have kept up with the changes and all of the new technologies. There is a good chance they aren’t up to date with all of the new safety systems, for example.

So, one of the first things that you should ask when you are looking for a new mechanic is whether they are ASE-certified or not. You are entrusting your vehicle to them, so don’t feel bad about asking this question. You don’t want to end up spending a lot of money on repairs that end up causing more damage to your vehicle.

When someone has ASE certification, it shows that they are dedicated to their career. They have put in the time, dedication, and training to learn how to properly repair vehicles. Simply put, ASE certification is one of the things to look for when you want to know whether a mechanic is up to doing the job.

What Is ASE Certification?

A lot of industries in the world have bodies that govern them and offer certifications for professionals, and the automotive industry does the same with the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence. ASE stands for Automotive Service Excellence, and it is a type of certification the organization issues. It is essentially a guarantee of approval for the technicians that have been certified, giving customers more confidence in their choice of mechanic.

ASE is an independent and nonprofit organization that has been around since 1972, which is when it started issuing certifications. The goal of the group has always been to improve the quality of vehicle service and repair done by mechanics. Currently, there are around 300,000 members in this organization who have been certified.

Of course, someone can still work as a mechanic if they haven’t been certified, but it’s generally not as good for their business. People have started to learn to look for the blue ASE seal when they are choosing mechanics. Car owners love that they can count on these techs to handle all manner of repairs.

The certification helps to set the standard for the industry, and it helps to keep techs accountable to those standards. This is not a regulatory body, but it does mean that those who have certification have certain skills and qualities that help to set them apart.

Something important to note is that individuals can be certified, but a mechanic’s shop can’t be. All of the mechanics at the shop could be certified, but just because one or two of them are doesn’t necessarily mean all of them are. You need to be aware of this when choosing a mechanic.

It is not easy to get certified, so only the best and most dedicated mechanics tend to go through the process.

What Does It Take to Become ASE-Certified?

Before the mechanics can even apply for ASE certification, they have to meet certain criteria. First, they need to have at least two years of experience already working in the automotive industry.

They will then need to take and pass a special exam. This exam is only offered twice each year, and it covers a wide range of topics including things like heating and air conditioning, engine performance, engine repair, automatic transmission/transaxle, manual drive train and axles, suspension and steering, light vehicle diesel engines, brakes, and electrical systems.

The applicants need to pass their test before they can then become certified. They can then take other specialty tests if they want to eventually work toward becoming a master automobile technician.

The tests are not easy, either. About a third of those who take the test fail on their first attempt and will need to take it again. Even though it might be difficult to get certified, those mechanics who go through the process find that it’s worth it. They have more knowledge, the certification shows their worth as a mechanic, and it is often easier for them to find jobs that pay better.

Types of Certification

Something to keep in mind is that there are many different certification tests for different areas of automotive repair. So, when you see that someone is ASE-certified, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are fully certified to work on all parts of a vehicle. For example, someone who has a problem with their brakes may not want to work with an ASE mechanic that is only certified for transmission work. Make sure they are certified to work on the type of vehicle problem you have.

Recertification

However, just because a mechanic passes the test and gets their certification, it doesn’t mean that it’s good forever. Every five years, the technician will need to recertify to retain their ASE certification. If they don’t keep up with their recertification, they can’t call themselves ASE-certified until they take the test again and pass.

Why Do Mechanics Like to Become ASE-Certified?

Mechanics like ASE certification because of articles like this. They know that people have often had problems with the mechanics they’ve used in the past. They know that there are mechanics who don’t know what they are doing and who are giving the profession a bad name. They also know that by getting ASE-certified, they can stand apart from the crowd.

Mechanics want to be ASE-certified because it shows customers they can be trusted, and it lets customers know that they understand what they are doing. It expands the amount of knowledge they have, keeps them up to date on new technologies and tools, and it is often easier to find jobs. There is a high demand for ASE-certified mechanics. Many auto shops only want these mechanics. Additionally, it can increase their earning potential.

What Else Should You Look for When Choosing a Mechanic for Your Vehicle?

In addition to ASE certification, which should always be the first thing you check, there are some other elements to consider when you are choosing a mechanic for your car or truck.

A Good Reputation

You will find that choosing a mechanic that has a good reputation is just as important as their ASE certification. Take the time to search online to learn more about the mechanic and shop you are considering. You want to look for the reviews to get a better idea of what you can expect in terms of quality, customer service, etc.

Experience

Experience is also important. Someone who has been in the field for a long time and who has kept up with the changes in the automotive field, kept their ASE certification, and who has continued to bring in customers is a good option. Experience means that they have likely seen all sorts of different vehicle problems, so it should be possible for them to diagnose and fix just about any issue your car might have.

A Good Demeanor

It can’t be stressed enough how important a good attitude is when it comes to choosing a mechanic. You want to find someone who is patient, kind, and who will explain things to you in a manner you can understand. If you knew everything about vehicles, you wouldn’t need to bring your car to a repair shop, and the mechanic needs to understand this. They have to take the time to explain things clearly, and in a friendly way without making it feel like they are talking down to you.

What Should You Avoid in a Mechanic?

Now that you know some of the things that you should look for when you are choosing a mechanic, it’s important to consider a few of the things that you want to avoid. These are problems even if the mechanic is ASE-certified. If they engage in any of the following behaviors, it’s time to find someone new.

Selling Things That You Don’t Need

Although all businesses want to make money, they shouldn’t constantly be trying to sell you things you don’t need. They can offer some other services, certainly, but they shouldn’t tell you that you need a service or part that you don’t truly need. Be wary of constant upsells.

Along the same lines, you want to look carefully at your bill. Does it look like there are extra charges for things you weren’t told about? Some unscrupulous shops try to pad the bill to make more money.

Poor Attitude

As mentioned above, you want a mechanic with a good attitude. Someone who is angry or who condescends to you is not someone you want to work with. You are paying them for their services, and they should treat you with the same respect you treat them.

Find Your Mechanic Today

Now that you have a better understanding of ASE certification and the process it takes for mechanics to get and retain their certification, you can see why it’s so important when you are choosing someone to repair your vehicle. So, make sure certification is at the top of your list when you are looking for your mechanic, and keep the other advice in mind, as well.

Resources:

https://strutdaddys.com/is-your-mechanic-ase-certified-what-it-is-and-why-it-matters/

https://nyadi.edu/blog/what-ase-certification-and-why-it-important/#:~:text=Its%20purpose%20is%20to%20protect,electrical%20and%20other%20automotive%20systems.

https://www.uti.edu/blog/automotive/mechanic-path-ase-certification

https://www.buckfamilyautomotive.com/blog/2020/7/13/are-you-ase-certified-7-reasons-why-this-is-an-important-question-to-ask-your-auto-technician 

https://www.carparts.com/blog/tips-to-find-a-great-mechanic/ 

Written by Strut Daddy's

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