2020 X Monitors and Drive Cycles

Recent repairs to your vehicle’s “Check Engine Light” have included a reset of the On Board Diagnostic (OBD) system. This process has also reset the OBD readiness monitoring system. The readiness monitors now need to re-test the computer system before verifying that all systems are functioning as designed and working properly.


Car Tool Logo

Drive the car normally. All OBD systems self-test the computer while you’re driving and you will never know it. Depending on the manufacturer of the vehicle, there are 5 to 10 readiness monitors that need to be tested.

To allow your vehicle’s readiness monitors to perform their tests and reset the OBD system to a “ready” state, and to determine that all systems are working properly, your vehicle will have to be driven through a drive cycle.

(Who knew my car had to pass a test to work properly?)

Your vehicle’s specific drive cycle can depend on the vehicle make and model. A normal drive cycle is 5 miles of city, stop and go driving, and 5 miles of steady 60 MPH of freeway driving in the same key cycle.

Keep in mind that repairing a check engine light for one system or code may unlock another hidden pending code of another system while the drive cycle tests are being performed.

So, if the Check Engine Light illuminates on the dash again, don’t be alarmed. It means the system failed the test. This may happen because when the original check engine light was on, all OBD monitoring stops. Just stop in and we will re-check the system.

NOTE: A flashing check engine light should be corrected immediately.

Thank you for your trust in us and please ask if you are not clear on the computer readiness monitoring system. We will be glad to help you.

Unnecessary Service

Unnecessary Service

I hear the phrase “unnecessary service” and wonder what that means. We visit the doctor for physicals, we visit the dentist for cleanings, we have our home air-conditioning unit cleaned and checked, a yearly eye exam and of course, the car needs a checkup too.

All of these professionals recommend some kind of service or checks to keep everything working properly. Most shops recommend services on cars that come in to their bays using the guidelines set out by the manufacturers or from the shops’ experience of early component failures. Sometimes there are a few recommendations and sometimes there are many service recommendations.

What Do We Suggest?

We recommend service to keep your car safe and reliable, just like the dentist tells you about issues developing with your teeth and gums. We know no one likes to spend hard-earned dollars on maintenance services, especially when after these services are performed, the car seems to run as usual with no noticeable differences.

I have found there are basically two types of philosophy on maintenance. The people who believe in maintaining and those who believe it’s better to wait until it breaks, then fix it. There are at least 30,000 parts on the average new car and over 5,000 of them are moveable parts. All moving parts require a clean source of lubricating oils, coolant, or greases along with filters set in place to catch harmful materials. In addition, we have electronic parts that can be affected by poor maintenance habits. The simplest of new cars have more computing power than the Apollo Moon Lander. In fact, you could get to the moon with just 1/10th of the computing power found in the modern car! Today’s electronics are so sophisticated that cars may run well even when there are serious failures in progress. The systems have enough authority to mask developing problems. By the time you have a detectable malfunction, one that you can feel or sense, you may have damaged expensive parts. The only outward indication the driver may get is a warning light on the dash.

Certified Auto Specialists: the friendlier and more helpful auto shop! Feel free to call 626-963-0814 with any questions and we will be glad to help, or visit our website at CertifiedAutoCa.com

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

How Do I Love Thee (O, Thou Automobile)?

Treating your car right can feel a little mysterious and requires resources and energy. Some say it’s a little like love. You may not want to write a sonnet to your vehicle, but you should “count the ways” your vehicle makes your life better.

For example, it takes you where you need to go without saying it has better things to do. It never tells you that instead of taking you out to dinner, it’s going to a party with some Mustang you don’t even know! Also, think of how super-lost you feel when it breaks down. Even the simplest chores like driving the kids to school or grocery shopping seem nearly impossible.

Now consider the pain you feel for a big repair bill because you neglected your car by not getting it properly serviced. Pretty awful, uh?

We want you to keep up on vehicle maintenance so that you’re paying for service rather than the much higher cost of repair. We also want you to get safely from point A to point B. You don’t want to break down on the side of the road and helplessly watch a tow truck carry your car away. Especially when it could have been prevented. 

So, if you’ve been putting off getting your vehicle serviced, now is the time to show it some love! 

We Listen Because We Care!

Love is all about good communication, right? Do you ever wish your car could just tell you when something is wrong?

The thing is, your car does speak to you. Unfortunately, you don’t notice until it’s “suddenly” acting, smelling, sounding, or dripping differently than usual. But how closely were you really listening?

We get calls all the time saying that a car is making a ka-thump or pinging noise, or that it is knocking, sputtering, whining or screeching. Regular vehicle checkups allow us to hear your vehicle tell us what’s wrong and to make adjustments before these symptoms get louder.

As car care professionals, we keep your vehicle healthy by listening closely and addressing issues before more expensive “complaining” has a chance to start!

 Running on Empty

Here’s an easy way you can make sure your relationship with your car stays strong. When your low fuel warning light blinks on, fuel up! This indicator is telling you that your car is taking fuel from the “bottom of the barrel,” which is full of debris and allows sediment to clog the fuel filter, fuel injectors, and the pump pickup. We recommend keeping your tank above 1/4 tank for this reason.

Sure, it can feel a little dangerous and reckless to drive on fumes. When it comes to your vehicle, though, wiser is better. Your car will love it and love you for the attention, not to mention how much your wallet will appreciate it!

The dedicated pros at Certified Automotive Specialists promise to inspect your car every visit so you have the information you need to make informed decisions about maintenance and repair. We continuously train to keep up with today’s complex, high-tech vehicles and we are passionate about making your car safe and dependable. Call us at 626-541-2149 or make an appointment today!

How to Have a Lean and Mean Driving Machine

How To Have a Lean And Mean Driving Machine

Cars are built better than ever these days and are engineered to give us miles of service. That’s why keeping them well-maintained is critical! To stay on top of this, you need a trusted partner on your side to look out for you and your car. Here are some of the essential areas that we check during regular maintenance to keep your car running right:


It’s your vehicle’s lifeblood.  Dirty oil makes it harder for your engine to turn over and causes premature engine wear. We’ll set you up on scheduled oil changes, ensuring that your car is ready to roll down the road when you are for years to come.

Belts and Hoses 

These are made of very durable material with relatively long lives but they do deteriorate over time. They need to be regularly inspected and replaced as needed so they don’t give out when it’s inconvenient or unsafe. We do everything we can to make sure you’re never stuck on the side of the road, waiting for a tow truck.


Other than condensation from your air conditioner, your car should never leak. Your car uses 11 different types of fluid, such as antifreeze, engine oil, power steering fluid, air conditioner refrigerant, shock absorber fluid, battery electrolyte, windshield washer solvent, rear axle or CV boot lubricant, fuel and others.  Are you seeing liquid under your car? You need to bring it in right away.  


Since Henry Ford’s Model A, tires are the only thing between us and the road, so it’s essential to keep them as healthy as possible. A simple, inexpensive preventative maintenance measure is to keep your tires properly inflated and rotate them regularly. You can prolong their lifespan and improve fuel economy, a win-win! 


If neglected for too long, old unchanged coolant can corrode, leaving sediment throughout your cooling system and causing clogs. This can result in hot spots that damage your engine.


The battery cables must be securely attached and free of corrosion to get power to the starter and accessories so that the alternator receives a charge. When you come in for regular maintenance, we’ll check it out and make sure you’re getting all you can out of your battery.


Think of it this way, when it comes to fluids, our cars’ needs are similar to the human body. We need to keep our systems flushed with water to keep our bodies running well. Your vehicle needs fluids to remain healthy. Over time, these fluids get contaminated and cause corrosion. Flushing these out and refilling them with clean, fresh fluid keeps your car safe and running smoothly. It rids the system of harmful toxins and lubricates at the same time. We’ll make sure the fluids in your vehicle keep your car running right for years to come!

When you need reliable, affordable maintenance to keep your car a lean, mean driving machine, come to the experts who’ve been the industry leaders in Glendora for decades. Go with the pros at Certified Automotive Specialists! Call 626-541-2149 or, better yet, make an appointment today!

You Love Your Car, Let’s Keep It Around

You Love Your Car

You love your car even though the new car smell has long since vanished.

You baby it. You pamper it. You keep it clean inside and out. Maybe you’ve even named it.

Because you have a strong bond with this vehicle, you want it to live a good, long life. Some folks keep their cars and trucks rolling down the road for well over 200,000 miles. How can you be one of them?

The best way is to give your car the tender loving care it deserves.

A little TLC

First off, we suggest following the carmaker’s maintenance schedule. You can find it in your car’s owner’s manual. It spells out when to take care of every service for the life of your vehicle. This includes routine oil and filter changes, tire rotations, timing belt replacements, and other services.

If you haven’t kept up with maintenance so far, don’t give up! Bring your car in so we can get you caught up. Then you can start fresh and get back on schedule, extending the life of Yogi, Goldie, Arya, or Vlad.

Also, don’t skimp by using cheap parts or fluids. No-name belts, hoses, transmission fluids, and the like may be cheaper today. But, they will cost you in the long run. This includes fuel. If your vehicle requires high-octane gasoline, regular or mid-grade fuel might cause damage. We never cut corners with cut-rate products—we don’t want you to, either.

Finally, it may sound like it’s too easy to be true, but keep your car clean. Washing and waxing do more than make your car look great. It preserves the paint and prevents rust. Grit and dirt that acts like sandpaper on carpets and upholstery. You can make these surfaces last longer by regularly vacuuming. Remember, a clean car is a happy car!

We’ll Breath More Life into Your Vehicle

We want to keep Rhonda (the Honda) on the road and make sure you feel great about having a car that is safe and reliable. We can keep you on schedule with maintenance and inspections so we can stop small issues from becoming big problems. Because we only use high-quality parts and fluids you never have to worry if Rollie (the Corolla) is getting the best treatment possible. You’ll get treated right, too, with responsive customer service and great pricing.

Breathe more life into Casper, Frank, Ladybug, or Cheeto. Make an appointment online or call 253-854-6762 now!

The Forgotten Fluid

Did you know that 60% of your body is made of water? That two-thirds of the earth’s surface is covered by water? Though it’s more solid than liquid, your automobile’s fluid is the lifeblood of your vehicle. It is critical to the long life and good performance of your car or truck.

The Forgotten Fluid | Brake Fluid

Most drivers know about checking their engine oil and coolant levels. They realize these need regular service. Fewer drivers take the time to check and keep up with the maintenance of their transmission and drive train fluids.

But even fewer people check or service their brake fluid. Not until there is a problem. Brake fluid is the most forgotten fluid in your vehicle. Here are some reasons to have it checked out before there is an issue:

  • Brake fluid is hygroscopic. This means it actively attracts moisture from the air, especially in humid climates. In time, more moist fluid pools in low spots of your brake system instead of staying dispersed, causing corrosion.
  • Small particles contaminate your fluid, reducing braking performance. When it comes to braking, every inch of stopping distance is critical!
  • Your anti-lock braking system (ABS) and traction control components produce heat that breaks down your fluid. Aside from lengthening braking distances, this can harm your ABS system.

We Only Use The Best

We always use the type of fluid that the vehicle manufacturer recommends for your car. We have the equipment to test your brake fluid to accurately determine the moisture content and recommend when your brake hydraulic system needs to be cleaned, exchanged and new fluid installed. We are proud to provide you with the information you need to make informed choices about your vehicle. Your peace of mind depends upon our education. Our mission is to provide safe and reliable transportation by inspecting your vehicle and reducing the risk of break down repairs. This saves you time and money down the road!

Just like it’s a fact that your body is mostly water, your brake fluid gets tired and worn out. It periodically needs a break if you want to brake! Bring your car in and we can let you know how your brake fluid, and the rest of your car, is doing!

Addressing Your Car’s Slow Drip, Drip, Drip

The slow drip of anything can be annoying—faucets, news, sinuses. But the slow, persistent drip, drip, drip under your car is more than just aggravating.  It can make a sticky, splotchy mess in your driveway and garage floor. You can end up making every place you park less attractive than when you showed up. Who wants to be someone who makes everywhere worse?

If you have been running your AC and the leaky liquid is clear and odorless, it may well be condensation from your air conditioner. No worries, then! Unfortunately, all other drips signal trouble. In fact, small drips are your vehicle’s way of asking: Hey, Bub, could you check under the hood? If you ignore this warning, your car will soon stop being so polite.

Don’t Let Minors Become Majors

Left unchecked, those slow drips will only increase. It was bad enough when you left an unsightly, environmentally unfriendly reminder of your presence every time you parked. Once small splotches become big puddles your friends and family will be asking you to park down the block!

And it isn’t just about leaving your mark in parking spaces and driveways. Your minor vehicle issue can quickly become a major problem. You’ve probably heard the advice: Don’t major on the minors.” This is good life advice for those who focus too narrowly on the negative. With a vehicle, though, taking care of the minor can stop it from being major. We advise you to go ahead and major on the minor with your vehicle since minor repairs come with minor price tags while major problems will cost you major dollars!

Seeing Red? It’s Most Likely Transmission Fluid

If the liquid is red it’s probably transmission fluid. Green or orange liquid that smells sweet most often means coolant is the culprit. Brown or black fluid indicates an engine oil leak. Also, liquid isn’t the only sign of a leak. Blue smoke from the tailpipe can also mean oil is leaking into the engine. No matter what color you see, remember that a leaking hose or seal is small potatoes compared to a catastrophic engine failure.

For minor and major vehicle maintenance and repair, call us at (253) 854-6762 or schedule your appointment online. We can’t do much about the slow drip, drip, drip of the news cycle or a runny nose, but we can certainly stop minor vehicle drips before they become major!

Want Your Vehicle to Be More Powerful and Efficient?

Who doesn’t want to be more powerful and effective? Despite New Year’s Eve resolutions or buying the latest self-help bestseller, personal growth can be hard to achieve. It’s not easy to be your own best friend. Fortunately, it is a little easier to be chummy with your vehicle and make it run stronger, quieter and more efficiently.

Fuel injection cleaning is not listed in your owner’s manual as part of routine maintenance. Still, your fuel system can become clogged with dirt and debris. This can jam up your fuel pump, fuel filter, and fuel injectors. These crucial parts of your fuel system need to be clear of all that yuck to allow the right mixture of fuel and air to reach the engine.

Friends with Benefits

When you treat your car right, it treats you right! By being friends with your car you get benefits which include better fuel efficiency, more horsepower, and no more engine knocking. When you think about it, it makes sense. Your car doesn’t burn dirty fuel as well as clean fuel—a drop in gas mileage may mean you need your fuel injectors cleaned. Does your car seem to lack the get-up-and-go it once had? Is it noisier? These are other signs that your BFF is asking you to clean up its fuel system!

The reason fuel injection cleaning isn’t listed in your owner’s manual is that if you are servicing your vehicle regularly, your injectors and fuel system will remain clean. Over the years, we have noticed that folks are increasingly skipping regular maintenance. This neglect causes the harmful build-up of grime and sludge. These are not your friends!

What Are Friends For?

Fuel injection cleaning will give your vehicle a longer life span, lower repair costs, and fewer headaches! You can worry less about being stuck on the side of the road or with a car that won’t start in the morning. Call us today at (253) 854-6762 or set up your appointment online. We will ensure that your car is running right and you won’t need to empty your wallet to for unneeded parts, repairs, or services. What are friends for?

Got a Quarter? Take this Test!

Inflation! You have probably noticed the cost of goods and services rising. We have, too. We spend a lot of energy doing everything in our power to keep the cost of taking care of your car down, but we do make one exception.

For years, the traditional auto industry recommendation has been to check the tread on tires using a penny. With Abe Lincoln facing you upside-down, place the penny in one of the grooves. If you can see honest Abe’s whole head, then, no lie, you need new tires. This test tells you that you only have 1/16” of tire tread left.

Automotive specialists have been rethinking the 1/16” of tread rule. It just isn’t enough in the most critical situations. If you have to come to a sudden stop on a rainy day on slick asphalt, you need more grip on the road.  Recent research by Tire Rack showed that brand new tires stop you the fastest. If you have 1/8” of an inch of tread you stop within 300 feet. But if you have just 1/16” of an inch, you might not stop until it is too late!

The Quarter Is The Way To Go

That’s why we no longer advise you to use a penny. It’ll cost you a quarter now! Let George Washington tell you the truth about whether your tires need swapping out. While running the same test with a quarter, if our first president’s whole head is visible you have less than 1/8 of an inch and we strongly suggest you get your tires replaced.

Of course, we are happy to give you some great options if you need new tires—and some more advice about inflation. Once you get your new tires, be sure to keep them properly inflated! Also, don’t forget to bring them in for rotation every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. We will keep you and your tires rolling smoothly and safely down the road!

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.*

*Within 10 miles of the shop.