Can Your Car Read Your Mind?

Car TalkI was finally sitting down after a long day, hoping to relax a little.  I turned on the news and heard that Nissan was researching technology where your car could read your mind!  Whaaaattttt?  I thought of road-rage drivers, under-the-influence drivers, and those who just aren’t the best drivers!  Scary.  I then started researching to learn more as I couldn’t believe this could ever be a good thing!  Here is what I discovered:

  • The driver would wear a skullcap that measures brainwaves and activity.
  • The autonomous car would analyze this activity in real time.
  • The system would then alter steering, acceleration and braking based on the driver’s brain analysis…basically knowing what you want before you do.
  • This supposedly improves reaction time and increases driving enjoyment.
  • This also enables the car to respond to the driver’s needs to improve the comfort of the drive such as heating/air conditioning. This keeps the driver relaxed.

Why is this important if a car can drive itself without human interference?  According to Nissan, we humans enjoy the driving experience and do not wish to give up that pleasure to “a machine.”

We will see…

Certified Auto Specialists wants to be your GO-TO place! Feel free to call 626-963-0814 with any questions and we will be glad to help.

Home Town Service You Can Count On!

Cabin Air Filters – Why They Help In Winter Months, Too!


Car Talk

When drivers think of cabin air filters, they usually think of them as necessary in the spring.  They are, of course, very helpful in the spring as they help allergy sufferers by trapping pollen and keeping the spores out of the car or “cabin” of the vehicle.  Some argue that yes, that is important, but it is even more important to make sure your cabin air filter is working well in the winter months! Why?

  • Tailpipe emissions release particulates that create havoc with drivers’ and their passengers’ respiratory systems. When our outside temperatures even drop 20 degrees, this release is doubled. Cabin air filters can stop these particulates even when they are as small as one micron in diameter!
  • Just like your car’s battery, the warmer months cause the damage in cabin air filters that is often the result of failure in colder weather. If your vehicle seems to be struggling with heat/cooling issues, it could be due to leaves, bugs, and pollen build up in your cabin air filter.  It did its job protecting you and your passengers all spring, summer and fall, but now it is full of debris and needs to be changed.
  • How’s your defroster working? If you are finding it hard to see out the windshield, it could be due to a clogged cabin air filter.  This clog restricts the blower and keeps it from delivering hot air to the windshield.  This also lets you know that your cabin air filter is struggling and needs to be replaced.

Call us today and let us check your cabin air filter.  Your car will operate more efficiently, and you and your passengers will breath better!

Certified Auto Specialists wants to be your GO-TO place! Feel free to call 626-963-0814 with any questions and we will be glad to help.

Home Town Service You Can Count On!

Do I Have To Use A Dealer To Keep My Warranty In Effect?

Car Talk

When a customer buys a new car, they are always concerned that if they keep coming to my shop for routine maintenance and repair it will void the warranty! I always tell them to relax because the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) the nation’s consumer protection agency says NO! It is illegal for a dealership to even suggest that they might deny your warranty coverage because your routine maintenance and repair is done by an independent repair shop!

Oil changes, fluid exchanges, tire rotations, brake pads, belt and hose replacements and other services are considered “routine” maintenance and are essential to keep your car running well for years to come. A complete list of these services can be found in your owner’s manual.

Customers also are concerned that the use of aftermarket parts may void their warranty. This will not void your warranty and you can even use recycled parts and your warranty will still be good! The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act states emphatically that it is illegal for a manufacturer or dealership to void your warranty because you chose to use an aftermarket or recycled part.

The only time a dealership or manufacturer can deny you coverage is if the following occurs:

-A part was improperly installed and caused damage
-If the aftermarket or recycled part was defective and caused other parts to be damaged

Keep in mind that if these two things should occur the dealership or manufacturer must demonstrate or prove that this did, in fact, cause damage.

We always encourage our customers to keep a record of all services/repairs but if you fail to do so, or have misplaced them, rest assured that we have those records should you ever need them.

We are always here for you!

Certified Auto Specialists wants to be your GO-TO place! Feel free to call 626-963-0814 with any questions and we will be glad to help.

Home Town Service You Can Count On!

Abraham Lincoln and Tire Tread

Car Talk

Customers look at me strangely when I tell them they can use the Abraham Lincoln method to test their tire tread.  Actually we are talking about using a penny.  Place the penny within the tire’s grooves and channels.  Insert the penny so that Abraham Lincoln’s head faces downward. If the tire tread hides his face, your tires don’t need to be replaced.  If you can see all of Abe’s face, it is time to replace your tires!


Keeping tires properly inflated increases their service life.  Under-inflated tires lose tread around the outside edges.  Over-inflated tires loose tread near the center.  Your car care provider should rotate the tires every six months to help prevent tread wear.


Also with record gas prices, properly inflated tires with save you more than a penny, improper inflation can cause a loss of

1-3% of you fuel economy. Many cars have tire monitoring systems to ensure correct pressure, please don’t ignore them.


When it is time to buy new tires, make sure they match the specs listed on the car’s placard that can be found in the glove box, the gas filler door, on a car door edge or on a visor.  All four tires need to be the correct size, all the same size; all have the same construction and speed rating.  All four tires need to be balanced and aligned.  Last note on tires: shop smart and ask questions, less expensive tires can also cost MPG, so explore all your tire brand options.


Your car care provider will keep an eye on your tires, most times for free, and know exactly which tires are best for your vehicle when it is time to replace them.


Please call us with any questions at 626-963-0814.

Happy Motoring!

Today’s Car Batteries Ain’t What They Used To Be!


Car Battiers

Our cars today are comprised of many small computers or as we call them…modules.  They are busy controlling every aspect of our driving experience now including charging the battery.  We all remember how it used to be…you try to start your car and nothing happens or you get the dreaded click, click, click.  In the past you would get out the jumper cables, get another car lined up to yours, attach the cables very carefully and correctly to each battery and in a few minutes you were good to go…at least for a little while.  This gave you time to get the battery tested and if it was a case of leaving your lights on it is probably okay…if not…you just get a new battery installed and you are on your way…problem solved.

Today’s car batteries are more complex (most are glass mat constructed) and if you try to jump start your vehicle it could be bad news.  It could cause a surge of energy to pass through the car that could potentially damage a module or multiple modules.  This is especially true if the keys are left in the ignition or the key is turn to the on position.

In the not too distant past a car battery could be fully recharged in an hour.  Today’s batteries not only require a special charger, it should be charged slow and steady. The old style chargers on these new style batteries may not do a complete chargeObviously, if you have a new style battery, this is may not be the time to “do it yourself” at home.  I recommend taking the battery to a qualified repair shop for a complete electrical system test.

Qualified technicians will also know to check the battery for what we call parasitic draw.  Sounds bad, I know, but it is not a bug or other type of creature, it is a slow drain on your car’s battery.  It seems okay at first after a recharge and can go for a day or even longer before it drains again to a non-starting point.  When your battery and alternator are checked the technician can determine what the problem is there and then and that saves you time which of course, saves you money.

Please call us with any questions at 626-963-0814


Hometown Service You Can Count On!


Spare Tire

Goodbye Spare Tire?

Spare Tire

Remember when cars had a full size spare tire? Then they went to the small temporary spare tire called the donut, (that reminds me I need to stop at the world-famous donut man in Glendora for a strawberry one). Now, in order to save weight, many manufacturers are doing away with the spare tire altogether on certain models.  Certainly less weight increases gas mileage.  It is also easier and less expensive to shed weight from a car, than to introduce technology to save fuel. This year about 14 percent of new model cars in the United States have no spare tire.


The tire repair kit which replaces the spare tire, weighs in at about 20 pounds less than a spare tire and a jack assembly and do not take up much room either. But what should you do if you happen to get a flat? The car manufacturers are supplying a quick-fix kit instead.


If you get a major blow out that is larger than a quarter of an inch, or if the puncture is on the side of the tire instead of the bottom, the repair kit won’t do the job and you will need to be towed.  The manufacturers figure that in most cases the repair kit will do the job as it should take care of flats 85 percent of the time.


The manufacturers also feel that TPMS (tire pressure monitoring systems) will alert you in most cases that you have a leak which you can fix before you have a flat. So if the low tire light sends a signal, don’t ignore it. If you buy a new car, you might want to look for the spare tire.


Manufacturers have been mandated by the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards and are scrambling to get better gas mileage (an average of 54.5 miles per gallon) by 2025 and are doing all they can to make it happen. Not every manufacturer is using this method to help their cause but it is something you need to be aware of.  You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere and start looking for a spare that you aren’t going to find.


We have a new program that gives you a 6-month road side assistance and up to $150 of tire coverage should you need it, ask us for details.


Certified Auto Specialists wants to be your GO-TO place! Feel free to call 626-963-0814 with any questions and we will be glad to help.


Hometown Service You Can Count On!

Cars Through The Ages: 1991-2016

Here is our final segment of Cars Through the Ages!  In many ways we have come a long way but it seems we still have more exciting times ahead of us in the car industry.  I wonder when self-driving cars will be common place and what about flying cars?  We live in exiting times!


Cars Through The Ages: 1991-2016

1991 – 2000
1991 – The Cadillac comes standard with anti-lock brakes.
1992 – Chrysler minivan line has integrated child safety seats available.
1993 – Fiat buys Maserati
1994 – Volvo has side impact protection airbags.
1995 – Only one state in the USA doesn’t have mandatory seat belt laws.
1996 – The new Jeep Wrangler has coil springs.
1997 – Cadillac offers automatic stability control.
1998 – Dual airbags become standard in passenger cars.
1999 – Ford buys Volvo.
2000Ford buys LandRover.


2001 – 2010
2001 – BMW releases the new Mini.
2002 – Rolls-Royce is all BMW and Bentley is all Volkswagen.
2003 – Rolls-Royce Phantom is ready for delivery.
2004 –  Volkswagen’s all-new Golf named Car of the Year
2005 – New car coating -polyurethane film – park car in sun and the scratch will be gone in an hour.
2006 – 30,000th Aston Martin is produced.
2007 – Manufacturers around the world more concerned with building eco-friendly vehicles.
2008 – Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) is required on new cars and light trucks.
2009 – GM announces 2007 losses of $39 billion – the largest ever by a US car manufacturer.
2010 –  Nissan will put a pure EV on the road in the U.S. and Japan in 2010 in small volumes.


2011 – 2016
2011 – With a groundbreaking combination of range, room and price, the Nissan Leaf is the first all-electric car for the masses.
2012 – People’s Car Once Again: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Attracting Both Sexes
2013 – Car sales make comeback in 2013
2014 – On December 23, Google announced its first driverless car ready to test on public roads.
2015 –  U.S. vehicle recalls hit an all-time high in 2015
2016 –  Volkswagen reaches $14.7B emissions settlement due to cheating on emissions tests


Certified Auto Specialists is always here to help!  Call us today for an appointment or with any questions at 626-963-0814.


Hometown Service You Can Count On!


Cars Through The Ages: 1961-1990

During these years we seem to realize that safety, fuel economy and emissions are important!

Cars Through The Ages: 1961-1990

1961 – 1970
1961 – Jaquar E-type is shown at the Geneva Motor Show.
1962 – The Chevy Nova is introduced.
1963 – Porshe’s W-RS Spyder wins again at Le Mans.
1964 – The Ford Mustang is released and sells over 500,000 in just 18 months.
1965 – The rear-engined Chevy Corvair is criticized by Ralph Nader as unsafe.
1966 – U.S. Congress passes an Auto Safety Act.
1967 – Energy-absorbing steering column introduced by General Motors.
1968 – Federal law requires front seat belts for all passenger cars.
1969 – Head restraints are required in U.S. vehicles.
1970 – Airbags become standard.

1971 – 1980
1971 – Chrysler introduces a brake-slip control system.
1972 – Federal law requires front bumpers meet 5 mph crash standard.
1973 – Arab-Israeli War causes fuel supply problems and pain at the pump as prices rise around the world.
1974 – Manufacturers try to look at ways to improve fuel economy in vehicles.
1975 – All American cars have catalytic converters to cut air pollution emissions.
1976 – The Ford Fiesta is launched with a front drive.
1977 – Volkswagen stops production of the “Beetle” in Germany after 40 years.
1978 – Tennessee is the first jurisdiction in the world to pass a child passenger safety law.
1979 – AMC produced the Eagle 4 x 4 car.

1980 – 1990
1981 – General Motors launches Saturn in the USA.
1982 – Honda starts production at its first US factory.
1983 – Toyota introduces Lexus as its luxury brand in USA.
1984 – First U.S. seat belt law is enacted in New York.
1985 – Every U.S. state passes the use of child safety seats.
1986 – General Motors announces the rear seat lap/shoulder safety belt will replace the lap safety belt.
1987 – The Ford Motor Company acquires 75% of shares in Aston Martin Lagonda.
1988 – Ford’s first 6-cylinder car with front-wheel drive is the Lincoln Continental.
1989 – Honda starts Civic production in East Liberty, Ohio plant.
1990 – First accident with both cars equipped with airbags occurs and both drivers walk away.

Certified Auto Specialists is always here to help! Call us today for an appointment or with any questions at 626-963-0814.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

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