One of the hardest things to do with a car is to find a mechanic you can trust. There are many elements that add up to a great mechanic — honesty, availability, and, of course, competence. One way you can know that your mechanic has had the experience and training necessary to understand modern vehicles is to insist on an ASE certification.
ASE stands for Automotive Service Excellence. The certification is provided by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. This is a nonprofit organization dedicated to testing the knowledge of automotive service technicians and providing certification to those who pass the tests. According to the organization, there are almost 300,000 ASE-certified technicians working in America today. To get their certifications, each technician must demonstrate two years of on-the-job training, or one year on the job plus a two-year college degree in automotive repair. That's a prerequisite before they can even take the test. ASE states that only two out of three test-takers get a passing grade the first time. All ASE-certified technicians are required to re-certify every five years, to demonstrate that they are keeping up with continuing education.