Could You Pass an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Exam?


By: Steven Symes

6 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Do you have what it takes to become ASE certified? Is your technical knowledge about repairing cars to a professional level? Are you a step above the ordinary grease monkey, with a vast knowledge of vehicles of all types, makes and models? This quiz will make you prove it!

The Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) exams are known for being quite difficult, which is why becoming certified is a great way to boost any mechanic's career. Plenty of technicians stress out about taking any of the exams, which can focus on several subject areas, or focus on certain vehicle systems like brakes, air conditioning, steering, electrical components, manual drive train, automatic transmissions, engine performance, light vehicle diesel engines, suspension and more. 

Each ASE test has been designed to measure the extent of your knowledge when it comes to best practices for fixing cars. The goal is to ensure the public has a good perception of the ASE and mechanics who carry the certification, instead of it just being a meaningless piece of paper on the wall. Many people study for an extensive period of time before taking these tests, ensuring they're fully prepared. How well can you answer the questions? Take the quiz now and find out! 

What's the correct method for testing a radiator cap?

When a radiator cap has gone bad, the cooling system's pressure will drop, so using a cooling system pressure tester will expose this problem.


What would the average person notice about a damaged transmission case?

A damaged transmission case will cause an oil leak, something people often notice and likely will attribute to another problem.


If the U-joints aren't in alignment, what will be the result?

If the U-joints are in alignment, they won't cancel each other out and the vehicle will be subject to vibrations, which can vary from annoying to dangerous.


Where is a vehicle's auxiliary automatic transmission oil cooler located?

Not all vehicles have this setup, but it is necessary in heavy-duty applications, especially vehicles that will be towing heavy loads.


Before taking a vehicle with an automatic transmission on a road test to measure a poor shifting problem, what must you do first?

Before you ever take a vehicle with a transmission problem out on the road, you should always check the transmission fluid level, or you might make a bad problem worse.


What are steering dampers helpful with correcting?

Too much positive caster means the wheel is too high, which will result in wheel kickback if it lifts too high. Steering dampers can change this.


What's the final thing you do in a CV boot install, before you clamp the boot?

If you don't burp the boot, when that air is heated it will balloon out and when it's cold it will collapse, causing problems later.


If you're removing the engine from a vehicle with an automatic transmission, what do you do with the torque converter?

The proper procedure when dealing with such a setup is to keep the torque converter with the transmission, always, unless you're disassembling the transmission as well.


What are the three critical clutch pedal measurements?

When dealing with a manual transmission you must take these measurements, otherwise the pedal might not operate correctly.


Why do you adjust drum brakes?

The lining wears down, so the clearance between the drum and brake lining must be decreased through adjustment.


When running an air conditioning performance test, how do you test for strange odors?

Evaporator odor can be a problem when testing an air conditioner, so using the system in fresh mode will avoid this, while recirculating mode will make it worse.


When checking for voltage drop in a component or circuit using a DMM, where should the meter leads be connected?

Always measure voltage with the leads in parallel or across the circuit or device.


Which of the following won't cause pulling to one side when a car brakes?

The only thing too much air pressure in the tires will affect is the tire tread wear, since it will cause the middle of the tread to wear out faster.


What will cause a light to dark brown color to appear in automatic transmission fluid?

When someone either adds too much transmission fluid or not enough, the result is oxidation, which varnishes the fluid to be a brownish color.


Which of the following would make a brake pedal sit too high?

When a brake caliper piston can't move, the pedal will sit too high, while overall braking power will be reduced.


What could cause high steering effort in a car?

The misalignment of a steering column assembly will lead to binding, which increases steering effort.


If you're looking up service information specific to a vehicle, what information do you need to supply?

Virtually all online data services require you to put in the make, model and year for the vehicle you are servicing.


If conventional Cardan U-joints drive the front wheels on a four-wheel-drive vehicle, what happens when accelerating and turning sharply?

Older four-wheel-drive vehicles might have this setup, but owners don't realize this is normal and nothing to worry about.


Too much brake pedal travel can be caused by which of the following?

If the push rod is too short, the brake pedal will need to travel further to make contact.


What does it mean if during an air conditioning performance test the compressor outlet is hot?

It's completely normal for the compressor outlet to be hot, but if it's cold that's from an overcharge.


Which of these devices can measure digital signals in wires?

The only device that can measure digital signals at all is a logic probe.


Whenever you're working on a steering column, what risk do you run personally?

You always need to look up OEM information for airbag disabling procedures before working on a vehicle's steering column, otherwise the airbag could deploy and injure you.


What would an automatic transmission pressure test help you to detect?

When thee transmission filter is dirty, line pressure will be lower as a result, so this test is perfect for detecting this problem.


What's the first step in diagnosing any worries about engine performance?

Before you begin, getting an accurate description of what's been happening with the vehicle is key, and you can only get that from the owner.


Which of the following if the most likely cause of a four-wheel-drive vehicle's transfer case not shifting out of the low gear ratios?

While there are other potential causes, a broken shift shaft is the most likely, so you should begin any diagnostic work there.


What sound does a tight timing belt make?

As the cogs on the belt come into contact with the cogs on the sprocket, they combine to make a whining sound.


Edge wear on an air conditioning compressor drive belt can be caused by all but which of the following?

An air gap in a clutch doesn't wear down a belt at the edges or elsewhere.


If a newly installed starter motor makes a whining noise when the engine is started, what's the most likely source?

If the clearance between the starter drive pinion and flexplate or flywheel teeth isn't correct, a whining noise will be produced. Shimming during the installation will prevent this.


If you run an open circuit voltage test on a battery that's fully charged, what voltage should be shown?

The standard car battery has six cells, and the standard open circuit voltage is 2.1 volts per cell.


Which of the following can't a careful visual inspection of a serpentine belt reveal?

No matter how much you look at a belt, you cant' see the tension, which you must measure with an instrument or ruler.


If a rear-wheel-drive car with low miles is experiencing leaks at the transmission output shaft seal, which of the following is the most likely cause?

If the breather filter is clogged, it will increase internal pressure for the transmission, resulting in leaks on such a low-mileage vehicle.


What does touching the tip of a halogen light bulb with your bare fingers do?

The oil on your skin leaves a residue, which traps more heat in the bulb than in normal operation, causing it to burn out sooner.


If the brake pedal on a car feels spongy, which of the following could be the cause?

When air enters the brake lines or master cylinder, it creates a gap in the flow of brake fluid, which is what causes the spongy feel.


In a modified X-method of tire rotation for a front-wheel-drive car, where does the right front wheel end up?

The modified X-method of tire rotation goes in this order.


If on a vehicle with a 4-speed automatic transmission, you feel a shock when shifting from neutral to drive, which of these fixes requires an off-vehicle repair?

While there are other off-vehicle repairs for this type of a transmission, this is the only one relating to a shock when shifting between neutral and drive.


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