Automotive service and repair has changed dramatically over a generation, according to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), an independent group that tests and certifies the competence of auto technicians nationwide.
Today, high-tech systems that were unheard of 30 years ago – anti-lock brakes, electronic engine controls, and computerized diagnostics – are commonplace. It doesn’t appear that the swift pace of technological advancement will slow any time soon, either, with the advent of hybrid vehicles and such features on the horizon as interactive suspensions, constantly variable-speed transmissions, and 42-volt batteries.
For automotive service professionals, this means continual training and coursework to keep up with the torrent of changes. Disparaged years ago as “grease monkeys,” mechanics today have become automotive technicians, every bit as comfortable behind a computer screen and keyboard as under the hood with a wrench.
ASE is reminding motorists to follow the service schedules listed in their owners’ manuals before making a long-distance drive. While few people would ignore an ominous service engine light, many do skip oil changes. Yet in survey after survey, ASE-certified master auto technicians say that the old-fashioned oil change is one of the most vital services for getting the most from your automotive investment.
ASE was founded in 1972 as a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals. Its 400,000 certified technicians wear blue-and-white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the ASE sign.