Engine Sludge Ain’t No Fun!

Sludge is a dark, dirty tar-like substance that mucks up your engine over time. It develops slowly as oil breaks down and collects around your car’s motor. Sludge slows the oil in your engine from lubricating all the moving parts that get your vehicle down the road. 

Back in the day, an attendant checked your oil every time you pulled up to a full-service gas station you called out: “fill ‘er up.”  Now your oil is only checked when you take it in for service

Owners’ manuals are stretching those service intervals out. Because of this, we are seeing more sludge buildup than we used to. Some vehicles are poorly designed and more sludge-y than others. When engine passages are smaller, oil bakes and reduces down to sticky sludge.

Are you thinking of purchasing a vehicle? We recommend typing “engine sludge” and the vehicle you are considering into your search engine to check if that vehicle is prone to sludge problems.

Build a Hedge Against Sludge

One of the most important hedges against sludge buildup is to have your oil and filter changed quarterly. We recommend that our clients get on a regular schedule. We love it when a car we have serviced makes it into the 200,000+ mile club!

Another way to reduce sludge is to do less stop-and-go driving. Going to the store a block away? Walk or take your bike! Short commutes are hard on your engine and contribute to buildup that makes your engine less efficient.

Sludge removers can also help, though some are better than others. Ask us to help you sort through the many options.

Professional help can be critical to performance. Cutting your own hair costs less, but it may require wearing a hat for a while. The same is true for your car except the cost could be expensive repair bills. Contact us online or call us at 253-854-6762 or set up your appointment today!

How to Be Green Every Day!

Most of us are concerned with keeping our environment green.  We buy the reusable bags for our shopping trips, combine driving trips to be more fuel efficient and use the new style light bulbs to conserve energy.  All these seemingly little conscious efforts add up to help our earth.


It may surprise you to learn that the automotive service and repair industry has been one of the leaders in keeping our environment clean…even before it was a popular theme with the general public.  We are very careful with waste disposal in every way.  As an example, one gallon of improperly disposed of motor oil can contaminate a million gallons of drinking water!  When consumers bring their car in for regular service it is one of the biggest benefits to cleaner air and the good news is…it saves you money too!  In fact, it saves you money in more ways than one!  It prolongs the life of the car you have, it saves money in fuel, and a regularly maintained vehicle saves you money on expensive repairs!  It is a good deal all around.


  • A regularly maintained car can last 50% longer.
  • A properly tuned car keeps your engine firing properly…one misfiring spark plug can waste 30% in fuel efficiency!
  • Keeping your tires checked and rotated makes them last longer and can help your engine work better and easier.
  • Clean filters make a more fuel efficient vehicle.


Of course, it also helps not to drive like you are trying out for NASCAR or using it to transport or store heavy objects.  All of this contributes to wear and tear on your vehicle too plus cuts way down on fuel efficiency.


Working together, we can all help our earth be a bit greener… breathe a bit easier… and save ourselves more of our hard-earned cash.


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!

If Only…

Car Knowledge

I hear customers’ day in and day out that express a wish that they knew more about cars so they would know exactly what to do if this or that occurred.  They sigh and say, “If only I had just some knowledge….”  I tell them they actually know a lot more than they give themselves credit for!  It is true!  You are more aware of your car’s little quirks.  You know when something isn’t quite right more so than anyone else.

I get calls all the time saying that their car is making a ka-thump noise or a pinging noise or it is knocking or sputtering, whining or screeching.  And you thought you didn’t have knowledge?  Of course you do. You just need to know what these noises mean…so even though I’ve said it before…here is a refresher course!

Screeching usually signifies a brake problem.  The screech is actually the sound of metal scraping.

Thudding or a low metallic thumping noise can be a loose pulley or exhaust pipe or even a worn crank shaft bearing.

A knocking noise signifies loose bolts in the torque converter or a bad connecting rod or even a worn crankshaft main bearing.

Pinging noises seem to very common and your car either needs a tune-up or the fuel octane may be too low for your car’s engine.

Tapping or clicking can be many things such as a bent or loose fan blade, loose hubcap, bad wheel bearing or low level of engine oil.

Clunking can be mean your transmission fluid is low or your car has a bad universal joint or rear differential.

Squealing is usually the result of under-inflated tires, poor wheel alignment, a loose power steering fan or air conditioner compressor belt.

Squeaking noises can be caused by worn suspension bushings, bad drum-brake linings, or a chassis in need of lubrication.

I hope you find this translation helpful.  Regular vehicle checkups prevent these noises from happening and keep your vehicle healthy.  Now, if your vehicle is doing any of these things listed above, call us today!  We will make it all better in no time!

Please call us with any questions at 626-963-0814 or visit our website at www.CertifiedAutoCA.com.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!


Catalytic Convertors Have Changed


Catalytic convertors have become more complicated. Usually a check engine light will light on the dash, your service provider reports a code after scanning the system. Further testing determines the catalytic convertor system has failed.

Older cars had one catalytic convertor and were able to be replaced for $300.00 or less. Starting in the early 2000 model year cars, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) change the standards on emission levels, meaning cars now have multiple catalytic convertors (some cars have 4 or more) to comply with the tighter emission standards.

CARB also change the rules about making the less expensive one shot wonder convertors as we called them, because the catalytic convertor lasted long enough to pass a smog check and then failed several years late, but were cheap. The new law is that everyone sold is warrantied for 5 years or 50,000 miles and has an executive order (EO) number that is made for the exact car it is installed on.

The consumer beware alert is some service providers are installing incorrect EO number convertors that cost less than the correct one, please beware when a catalytic convertor is purchased. You will fail a smog test if an incorrect EO number part is on your car.

One other warning is California is an island when it comes to emission parts; there are 49 state parts and California only parts. Catalytic convertors made for 49 state cars are illegal for California cars, so if you shop online, please look for the fine print, 49 state parts are not legal for California cars.

Clean air is what we all want and sometimes the consequences come at the cost of the consumer. We have had some cars cost thousands of dollars for catalytic convertors, so my recommendation is to keep a well maintained car to have the system perform at peak performance. Believe it or not the correct engine oil and regular changes help with a long lasting convertor, which should last 150,000 miles or more.


Servicing High Mileage Vehicles at Certified Auto Specialists

The price of gas and the uncertain economy are both causing California residents to review their finances. More and more Glendora car owners are opting to keep their vehicles longer and put off purchasing a newer car. It is estimated that two-thirds of the vehicles on the roads of North America today have over 75,000 miles on them. And the average age of vehicles is now over eleven years. That translates to some car care issues that many Glendora men and women haven’t dealt with in the past.

Older vehicles simply have different maintenance requirements than newer ones
. Learning those requirements presents a challenge for Glendora auto owners because many owner’s manuals only publish maintenance schedules up to 60,000 or 90,000 miles. Vehicle owners have to keep good records and be more involved in planning preventive maintenance if they want to keep their sedans on the road. First of all, any service in your owner’s manual that comes with a recommended mileage interval should be continued at that interval.

For example, if it is recommended that you change your oil every 5,000 miles, you should continue to change your oil every 5,000 miles. The owner of an older vehicle has to recognize that his engine is operating under higher stress than a new one. It’s just starting to show its age. So many experts suggest that the “severe service schedule” should be followed once a vehicle has racked up some serious miles. On this schedule, the mileage interval for many services is shortened or should be performed more often. Check with your reliable Certified Auto Specialists service specialist.

Glendora car owners who own older vehicles should also be careful not to neglect or postpone oil changes. A full-service oil change is more critical for an older sedan than for a new one. Older engines have had a lot of time to build up sludge in their oil compartment, so changing the oil at regular intervals is a must. Skipping an oil change compounds the sludge problem. With a full-service oil change, the vehicle’s fluids are also checked and topped off. Your reliable Certified Auto Specialists tech will also let you know if these fluids need to be replaced. Older sedans have older seals and gaskets, which often develop tiny leaks. Regularly checking fluids will compensate for these leaks and offer a heads-up about any serious ones. So, again, it is important to stay on schedule and not skip or procrastinate a fluid check.

Older seals and gaskets begin to dry out and show their age by becoming brittle. High-mileage formulation oils and fluids can help extend the lives of these gaskets and seals. These products contain additives that recondition seals and gaskets and keep them from leaking. High-mileage formulas cost more than standard products, but in the long run they can pay for themselves by preventing more costly repair bills.

If a vehicle is getting on in years or mileage, its parts are as well. High-mileage car maintenance requires necessary repairs and replacements. Timing belts, radiator hoses, parts of the suspension system, anti-lock brakes, air bags, water pumps, alternators and batteries will not last forever and will wear out in higher-mileage vehicles. They need to be inspected regularly by your reliable Certified Auto Specialists tech and replaced as necessary.

But don’t go running for the new car lot just yet. These repairs may sound like a lot, but in total, they’re still cheaper for Glendora motorists than new car payments. And if you stay on top of them and budget for them, they aren’t as burdensome as it may appear.

If you plan on driving your vehicle into its high-mileage years, there are two relationships you need to develop. The first is with your Glendora service center. Your Certified Auto Specialists service specialist can offer you invaluable auto advice and help you develop a service plan that is right for you and your vehicle. Second, you need to develop a relationship with your sedan itself. You don’t need to name it, but you should become familiar with its noises and idiosyncrasies. Pay attention to changes in its habits such as new or unusual sounds, smells, vibrations, etc. Taking note of such things and sharing them with your service advisor can help stave off a lot of big-ticket repair issues.

As we get older, keeping up with a diet and exercise plan becomes more and more critical to maintaining good health. It’s the same with our vehicles. A preventive maintenance plan and smart car care will keep them on the road and keep them safe for a good many years to come.

We Are Open To Serve You.  Please Call 626.541.2149 For Service.

We Will Pick Up and Deliver Your Vehicle For Service At No Additional Charge Upon Request.