Auto Service World
Feature   September 1, 2000   by Auto Service World

Counter Talk For the Counterperson: ASE Parts Specialist Certification Fall Test Primer

Four Certification Tests to Choose From!

For 2000 tests, the Institute for Automotive Service Excellence has introduced a new test for GM parts specialists, joining the three existing testing areas.

Tests for Medium/Heavy Truck Parts Specialists (P1) and Auto-mobile Parts Specialists (P2), and the Medium/Heavy Truck After-market Specialists remain, but a test to better reflect the experience of the General Motors service parts advisor has been formulated.

All tests were designed by industry peer groups with the needs and wants of Parts Specialists in mind. The tests include questions on component knowledge, basic automotive systems, and communications and sales skills. The questions are entirely job-related. They are not theoretical; they do not cover book-knowledge.

As mentioned, there are currently four Parts Specialist Tests available:

The Medium/Heavy Truck Parts Specialist (P1) Test was developed to assess the skills necessary to work competently as a parts specialist in an OEM truck dealership.

The Automobile Parts Specialist (P2) Test is the key test for most Jobber News readers. It was developed in conjunction with the aftermarket–including Jobber News–to assess the knowledge of the skills necessary to work competently as a parts specialist at a retail or jobber parts store. There is a heavy emphasis on vehicle systems knowledge (parts identification and function) with communications, sales skills, cataloging and inventory also covered.

The Medium/Heavy Truck Aftermarket Parts Specialist (P3) Test reflects the knowledge and skill requirements of parts specialists working for aftermarket distributors which may handle components for a limited number of Medium/Heavy Truck vehicle systems. This test was developed so that a candidate could be tested on the basic skills that all parts specialists must possess (i.e. communications, sales and inventory management). The candidate may then select two sets of questions on specific vehicle systems. Candidates will be expected to possess in-depth knowledge of the systems they select. To this point, Brakes and Suspension/Steering options are available.

The GM Parts Consultant (P4) Test covers similar skills and knowledge to the P2 Test, but with a tight focus on General Motors vehicles and procedures. Vehicle systems are divided by Major Parts Group and there is a heavier emphasis on inventory and cataloging skills rather than vehicle systems knowledge.

ASE Test Preparation

To prepare for the exam, it is advisable to ensure that you are well versed in vehicle systems knowledge as a majority of the questions deal with this general area.

To help prepare yourself for this segment, gather systems information from catalogs and training courses from manufacturers and distributors. Some groups have specific information to help prepare you for the exam.

Additionally, some companies hold pre-test courses that simulate the actual test writing procedure.

You may also find it useful to have someone in your business formulate questions.

All questions are multiple choice, but the best answer is always given; there are no “all of the above” or “none of the above” answers.

Don’t Forget To Recertify!

To maintain your ASE Certified Parts Specialist status you must recertify every five years. If you’re due, don’t let it lapse.

Parlez Vous Francais?

Translator assistance is permitted by prior arrangement. Contact the ASE for details.

Just The Facts:


November 16, 2000 for all regular tests–P1, P2, P3 Brakes, P3 Suspension/Steering and P4–plus recertification tests for P1 and P2.

Registration Deadline: September 29, 2000

How Do You Register?

Log on to, or call the toll free information line at 1-877-ASE-TECH (1-877-273-8324), or the voice lines at (708) 713-3800.

How Much?

$40 CDN registration fee plus $32 CDN per test.

How Long are the Tests?

Each testing session runs 4 hours and 15 minutes, allowing ample time to complete several exams.


Alberta: Calgary and Edmonton

British Columbia: Burnaby, Kelowna, Nanaimo

Manitoba: Winnipeg

New Brunswick: Moncton

Newfoundland: St. John’s

Nova Scotia: Digby, Halifax

Ontario: Etobicoke, Kingston, London, Nepean, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Windsor

P.E.I.: Charlottetown

Quebec: Drummondville, Montreal, Sainte-Foy

Saskatchewan: Saskatoon

Exact locations are available after registration, but tests are commonly held at community colleges or other learning institutions.

Special Test Centers: When an existing test site is further than 80 kilometers away, and where there is sufficient support and special criteria are met, tests can be held at special locations.

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