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Know Your Auto Repair Shop's Credentials

Collision service centers / auto body shops in the Haverford, PA all have technicians with varying degrees of skill and experience. When you walk into their place of business, you will more then likely see on the walls diplomas, certifications, permits, associations and possibly service awards. They might seem meaningless to you, but learning a couple of the acronyms can help you identify the level of knowledge and experience that shop's service professional has and what type of quality service you can expect Here are a few of the most common and noteworthy associations you might see, or should expect to see at your Haverford, PA, area auto body service center....

ASE – The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Certification to businesses that demonstrate a high degree of competency, extensive product knowledge, and professionalism. Qualifying for an ASE certification is difficult and time-consuming and applicants must complete a two-year on-the-job training program. They must also pass an intensive written exam. Technicians receiving the ASE stamp of approval are considered the best in the industry. Seeing the gear shaped blue ASE logo in your Haverford, PA area auto body repair shop is a huge plus!

ASA – An auto body repair shop may join the Automotive Service Association to obtain benefits, management training programs, and legislative representation. The ASA organization has been around since 1951 and requires all its members to adhere to a strict code of ethics and business practices. ASA claims that approximately 78% of ASA auto body customers are returning customers. The red white and blue ASA membership logo means that their auto body shop has been nationally recognized by a long standing, non-profit organization.

I-CAR – This organization is similar to the ASE. The Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair organization is dedicated to training and educating auto body service technicians to high standards of professional integrity and expertise. Businesses that obtain the more rigorous I-CAR education will receive a Gold Class certificate to display in their wall. It should be noted that only 10% of businesses qualify for I-CAR Gold Class status.

CAPA – Established in 1987, the Certified Auto Parts Association tests the quality of materials and performs vehicle fit tests (VFTs) on parts used in collision and auto body repair shops. Because they must fulfill lofty product standards, CAPA parts provide a viable, less-costly alternative to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, though consumers requesting CAPA parts should always ask for a comparative estimate.

BBB – The Better Business Bureau is not specific to the auto body service industry, but it is well worth noting if a shop is recognized as an accredited BBB member. Auto Body Shops seeking BBB accreditation must comply with the strict Code of practices that consumers can expect during their time of service. Before agreeing to any repairs, call or consult the BBB office in the Haverford, PA, area to find out what particular shop's ratings are.