WTC - SEMA Certified Technicians

SEMA Member News - March/April 2010

Value to the Employee, the Employer and the Customer


Certification provides customers with a higher level of confidence in a company’s products and services, providing a marketing advantage in today’s highly competitive aftermarket. It also establishes benchmarks for employee knowledge and competence.  

One of the many valuable benefits available to SEMA and WTC members is the SEMA Installer Certification Program. Certification provides your customers with a higher level of confidence in your products and services, which in turn gives you a marketing advantage in today’s highly competitive aftermarket. It also establishes benchmarks for employee knowledge and competence.

The full program provides certification in six areas of product installation: Electric Sunroofs (Z1); Truck Accessories/Body Exterior Components (Z2); Leather Interiors (Z3); Roof Treatments (Z4); Custom Wheels and Tires (Z5); and Self-Adhesive Products (Z6). Each certification exam was developed by a panel of industry experts in cooperation with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and is designed to measure a candidate’s competency and real-world skills. Exams are administered by ACT, an independent nonprofit corporation known for testing development and administration. Exams are available twice a year (May and November) at hundreds of testing locations across the country.

Installers, technical-support advisors, sales representatives and other industry professionals who pass the exams and meet the qualifying eligibility criteria receive certification credentials from SEMA. Credentials include a certificate suitable for framing, wallet card and uniform insignia identifying the wearer as a SEMA Certified Specialist. The credentials are valid for five years. Wall signs and window decals for companies that employ SEMA Certified Installers are also available.

The Z5 Custom Wheels and Tires exam was introduced in 2004. Since then, nearly 300 individuals at more than150 member companies have taken and passed the exam and received credentials. (The complete list of certified wheel and tire installers is available on the WTC website.)

How comprehensive is the Z5 test? To pass the exam and receive a Z5 certification, each candidate must demonstrate knowledge that encompasses all aspects of custom wheel and tire installation and maintenance, including tire-pressure monitoring systems and service equipment maintenance and repair. The 2010 Spring Test Preparation Guide and Registration Booklet (available online at recommends that candidates be prepared to answer questions that demonstrate knowledge in the following areas of custom wheel and tire installation.

General Industry Knowledge and Terminology: Tires: Interpret sidewall information; identify basic structural components of tires and their function.

Wheels: Locate and interpret wheel markings; identify basic structural components of wheels and their function; measure wheels for all appropriate dimensions.

Fasteners: Interpret fastener markings for diameter and pitch; identify fastener and seat type.

Vehicle: Locate and interpret original-equipment vehicle tire information placard/sticker; identify steering, suspension, brake and hub components.

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS): Identify presence of a TPMS, type of system and type of sensor.

Selection and Application: Determine vehicle usage and customer expectations, OE wheel and tire size, operating parameters and existing modifications to the vehicle. Candidate must also be able to determine that the custom tire and wheel assembly meets vehicle requirements, will be unobstructed on the vehicle and will allow all vehicle systems to perform properly.

Wheel and Tire Removal: In addition to properly removing the wheel and tire assembly, determine proper vehicle lift points and lift procedures.

Demounting: Inspect wheel and tire; confirm adequacy of the tire-changing equipment.
Mounting and Inflation: Inspect and confirm condition and compatibility of tire and wheel components to be assembled; select proper components and comply with all safety standards.

Balancing: Determine proper method of balancing, weight placement and type of weight to use.

Wheel and Tire Installation: This section covers all aspects of installation, from inspection of mounting surfaces and clearances to recalibrating the TPMS, road testing and providing the customer with all necessary maintenance information.
Maintenance, Diagnosis, and Repair: The certified installer will also demonstrate benchmarked knowledge of proper diagnosis of customer complaints and determine the proper corrective measure.

Service Equipment Inspection and Maintenance: A Z5 SEMA Certified Custom Wheel and Tire Installer will know how to select the proper equipment, determine if the equipment is in proper working order and know how to perform regular maintenance and calibration.

The registration deadline for the May 7, 2010, test date is Wednesday, April 7. A complete study guide, applicable study resources, a list of testing locations and registration forms are available here. WTC members receive a nearly 50% discount on registration and exam fees.
Select Committee Elections Underway

WTC is currently seeking nominations for seven open seats on the Select Committee. Nomination forms are available on the WTC website.

“WTC is on a mission to increase the council’s appeal and benefit to members,” said WTC Chairman Tim Dietz of Standards Testing Lab. “If you have fresh ideas or simply a desire to volunteer some time on behalf of our industry, please get your nomination in today.”