ASE Introduces New A9 Auto Series Test – UnderhoodService

ASE Introduces New A9 Auto Series Test

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is introducing a new addition to the Automobile Technician certification test series - the Light Vehicle Diesel Engines Test (A9). The new A9 test comes as a response to industry interest in having ASE provide a ....

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is introducing a new addition to the Automobile Technician certification test series — the Light Vehicle Diesel Engines Test (A9). The new A9 test comes as a response to industry interest in having ASE provide a certification path for technicians working on light diesel engines, which many vehicle manufacturers are planning to incorporate in existing production automobiles and light trucks in order to enhance their lineup. The first A9 tests will be offered in the May 2009 ASE Test Administration.

“Diesel engines have been available in light-duty trucks for quite some time now,” said Tim Zilke, ASE president and CEO. “Recent advances in diesel technology in the area of emissions and fuel economy have revived the interest for this power plant in the passenger car market in a big way. It is important to note that the new light-duty diesel test will be offered as an addition to the Automobile Technician certification test series, and will not be required in order for technicians to achieve Master Technician status.”

The ASE A9 test will cover automobiles and light trucks equipped with light-duty diesel engines up through and including Class 3 (up to14,000 lbs. GVW). The test has been in the research and development stage for approximately three years, and has been developed using the well-established ASE workshop process, which assembles some of the best subject matter experts in the industry to outline the test content and write the test questions. Although the Task List (job skills) and test specifications are still being refined, the general areas of knowledge for the A9 include:
• General diagnosis;
• Cylinder head and valve train diagnosis and repair;
• Engine block diagnosis and repair;
• Lubrication and cooling system diagnosis and repair;
• Air induction and exhaust systems diagnosis and repair; and
• Fuel system diagnosis and repair.

As in the past when ASE has introduced a new test, the first A9 test will have twice the number of questions as identified in the test specifications. The double-length test helps ASE quickly develop a bank of qualified test questions that have passed the question validation process, which ensures that all questions that are used to make a pass/fail decision are accurate and fair to technicians who desire to earn the credential. As with all ASE tests, a Passing Score Workshop will be held immediately following the test administration in May, and the results of the workshop activities will ultimately determine the passing score for the A9 test.

Initially, the A9 test will be offered only in the paper-and-pencil testing format that ASE offers in May and November. But, like the rest of the A-Series automobile technician certification tests, the A9 test will eventually be offered in the Computer-Based (CBT) testing format as well.

It has been about 15 years since ASE has offered a new certification test for automobile/light truck technicians, the last being the Advanced Engine Performance Specialist (L1) test introduced in 1994. Since light-duty diesel technology show the promise of a potentially broad application, particularly with existing vehicles and the expected expansion of the diesel automobile market by North American manufacturers, ASE is expanding the credentials offered to automobile technicians who desire professional recognition in their areas of specialty.

Incorporated on June 12, 1972, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence was established as a non-profit organization to help improve the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians and parts specialists. Today, there are approximately 400,000 ASE-certified professionals at work in dealerships, independent shops, service stations, collision repair shops, auto parts stores, fleets, machine shops, schools and colleges throughout the country.

For more information about ASE, visit the website at

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