* Arrange for alternate transportation in advance so you will not feel forced to choose a shop based solely on 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 or technicians willing to answer your questions.
* Look for policies regarding estimated repair costs, diagnostic fees, guarantees and acceptable methods of payment.
* Ask whether the repair facility specializes or 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: trade-school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work and certifications by ASE indicate the presence of professional, trained technicians.
* Look for the ASE sign, which indicates the shop employs ASE-certified technicians. They wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Facilities with a high percentage of ASE-certified professionals may also be members of ASE's Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition Program.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence 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 technicians.
Visit www.asecert.org for more tips and information.