* Start shopping for a repair facility before you need one.
* 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 areas.
* Look for a courteous staff, with a service consultant willing to answer all of your questions.
* Check the shop's policies regarding estimated repair costs, diagnostic fees, guarantees and acceptable methods of payment.
* Ask if the repair facility specializes or if it usually handles your type of repair work.
* Look for signs of professionalism in the customer service area, such as civic, community or customer service awards.
* Look for evidence of qualified technicians, such as trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work and certification by ASE.
* Look for the ASE sign. ASE-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.
Visit www.ase.com for additional car care tips, as well as information about how consumers benefit from voluntary technician certification.