Repair facility quality depends on the quality of the technicians, support staff, tools, and equipment. Troubleshooting automotive problems takes expert training and often high dollar diagnostic equipment. In the past automotive technicians were called mechanics. Today’s technicians require extensive training that needs to be updated frequently because the technology on vehicles continuously changes. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), an independent non-profit organization, certifies technicians through national certification tests. Exams are grouped by specific content area to test technician competence in diagnosing and repairing automobiles. In addition to passing an exam, a technician is also required to have two years of related experience to be certified. One thing to look for is an ASE sign. Automotive and light truck technicians can become certified in a variety of areas, such as: automatic transmission/transaxle, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, engine repair, engine performance, heating and air conditioning, light vehicle diesel engines, manual drive train and axles, and suspension and steering. ASE also tests service consultants, collision repair technicians, engine machinists, parts specialists, and many more in the transportation field. Technicians that become certified in several areas can become a Master Technician. To stay current, ASE requires technicians to retest every five years. Look for a shop with certified technicians with several years of experience in the area in which your vehicle needs servicing. Note: In Canada look for Journeyperson Automotive Service Technicians.