What is ASE?
ASE stands for National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (www.asecert.org)
You may have seen the ASE blue logo at a repair shop or seen the ASE blue patch on the sleeve of a Technician's shirt. ASE is a national testing organization which sets standards for automotive technicians. To become certified by ASE, a technician first must have repair experience on a particular system, then take and pass the ASE test for that system. All ASE certifications are valid for 4 years, then the Technician must re-take and pass the updated test to be re-certified on that particular system.
Example; a technician has been working at a brake repair shop for a year and wants to become ASE certified on brakes. Since he has qualified the experience criteria for brakes, he may take the ASE brake test. Once the Technician passes the ASE test on brakes, he is then "ASE Certified" on brakes". The Technician can now wear the ASE blue patch and display the ASE logo at his place of work.
Different levels of ASE Certifications
When you see the ASE logo at a repair facility, be aware, that not all the mechanics at the shop need to be certified. Unless you ask, you don't know if the mechanic working on your car is ASE Certified, or which type of ASE certification he has achieved.
Today's automobiles are so technologically advanced that most Technicians specialize in just a few areas. The more ASE certifications the Technician has, the better his pay and his employment. Technicians can be tested and certified on any of the 8 general automotive areas:
1) Engine Repair
2) Automatic Trans/Transaxle
3) Manual Drive Train and Axles
4) Suspension and Steering
6) Engine Repair
7) Electrical/Electrical Systems
8) Engine Performance
If a Technician is certified in all of the 8 areas, he is then know as a ASE Master Certified Technician. A Master Certification is very difficult to accomplish. Most repair shops may not employ a Master Technician. If they do, the Master Technician is usually the highest paid Technician and works on the most complicated repairs. Pre-purchase inspections are usually delegated to junior Technicians.
Be sure that the Technician that performs a pre-purchase inspection is an ASE MASTER TECHNICIAN. Most technicians are just ASE Certified. Most Technicians are only certified in a few of the 8 general Automotive areas. Only a ASE Master Certified Technician is certified in all 8 of these areas. Since you need all the components and systems inspected and evaluated, you'll need to have a ASE Master Certified Technician inspect the vehicle.
ASE Master Certified Technicians are only certified on mechanical and electrical systems - NOT Frame!
There are separate ASE Technicians Certified for Body & Frame:
1) Structural Analysis (frame)
2) Non-Structural Analysis (body)
A pre-purchase inspection should be performed by a person that is a ASE Master Technician, PLUS ASE Certified in Structural and Non-Structural Analysis (body & frame).
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