College-bound students have one more task to add to their checklist of things to do before classes begin: car care. A well-maintained vehicle is safer and more economical to operate than one that’s neglected. In addition there’s peace of mind in knowing that the vehicle has been serviced before you head off to college.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, the nonprofit group that tests and certifies automotive technicians, provides the following tips on choosing a repair facility:
- Ask your friends and associates for their recommendations or consult local consumer groups.
- Arrange for transportation in advance so you will not feel forced to choose a shop based on its location.
- Look for a neat, well-organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own, and modern equipment in the service bays.
- Look for a courteous staff, with a service consultant willing to answer all of your questions.
- Find out the shop’s policies regarding estimated repair costs, diagnostic fees, guarantees and acceptable methods of payment.
- Ask if the repair facility specializes in a certain area and if it usually handles your type of repair work.
- Check for signs of professionalism in the customer service area such as civic, community or customer service awards.
- Look for evidence of qualified technicians: trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work and certification by ASE. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification.
Visit www.ase.com for more car care tips as well as information about how consumers benefit from voluntary technician certification.