In San Jose, auto repair shops are as easy to find as they are to overlook. Wherever there are cars, there’s a shop offering to fix them from the mom-and-pop garage to the nationwide franchise. That ubiquitousness is why they can all blend together—until you need one, that is. Here are some tips to distinguish one from another and find the shop that’s best for your car.What Should I Look For?You’ve probably seen it often, even if you didn’t recognize it—a blue circle (or a gear if you look closer) with the acronym “ASE” in big white letters. It’s usually hung from the window of a repair shop or sewed to the sleeve of a mechanic, but what does it mean? That’s the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence, and it means that the shop or technician is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. The ASE is a prestigious mechanic’s program that requires exhaustive testing and training, meaning San Jose auto repair shops that fly the logo are a safe bet.Should I Care About Fancy Equipment?There are still plenty of miracles that can happen with a wrench, some know-how, and a willingness to get dirty. But these days, some repairs benefit greatly from technology. Don’t worry if the garage is, well, a garage—auto repair shops don’t need to be pristine—but look for shops that advertise computerized diagnostics. That means they draw from a large electronic database of car specs to make sure all the components in your vehicle are running properly. Collision repair is another faction of auto repair that’s made many technological advances. Many auto body shops in San Jose, for instance, have computerized color-matching technology and laser-alignment systems that give them an edge on getting a damaged car back to its original form.So What Kind of Shops Fit the Bill?You’ll spot the ASE Seal of Excellence at MKO Auto Service, but it might look a little different. That’s because MKO staffs ASE-certified Master technicians, which is an even more advanced certificate. Michael & Company’s collision experts hold I-Car certificates, which are the body-repair equivalent of ASE certificates. When it comes to equipment and auto parts, San Jose’s South Valley Auto Specialists fits the bill: the shop’s equipped with Spies Hecker paint systems, computerized color matching, and laser frame-matching equipment.
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