* Keep a log of all repairs and service.
* Inspect your car periodically for unusual sounds, odors, drips, leaks, warning lights and gauge readings.
* Be aware of changes in acceleration, engine performance, gas mileage, fluid levels and problems in handling, braking, steering and vibrations.
* When you take your vehicle in, be prepared to describe any problems. Try to note when the problem occurred and whether it is constant or periodic. Determine whether it occurs at all speeds, during braking or under acceleration.
* Carry a written list of the symptoms that you can give to the technician or service consultant.
* Do not suggest a specific course of repair; let the technician diagnose and recommend a remedy.
* Ask questions. Do not be embarrassed to request simple definitions.
* Don't rush the service writer or technician to make an on-the-spot diagnosis. Ask to be called and apprised of the problem, course of action and costs before work begins.
* Before you leave, be sure you understand all shop policies regarding estimates, guarantees and acceptable methods of payment.
ASE, founded in 1972, is an independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign.
Visit www.ase.com for seasonal car care tips and more information.