Something To Consider 

Car Maintenance

The cost of new cars is high! Here is something to keep in mind. Keeping and maintaining your existing car could be a great investment! The average cost of service for most cars is $800 to $1200.00 per year.

Consider these facts:

Just 8% of new cars on the market right now cost less than $30,000. That’s down 38% from before the COVID pandemic began in 2020.

In 2017, the average cost of a new vehicle was around $35,000. Today, it’s nearly $50,000, according to CNBC. 10% of all vehicles sold cost more than $70,000. That is an increase of 7% from five years ago.

According to an Edmunds report, the average price for used cars are 44% higher than five years ago. Thankfully, the price has dropped 6.4% in the first quarter of 2023.

Interest rates are also hammering buyers of both new and used vehicles. The average annual percentage rate (APR) on new vehicles bought in the first quarter of 2023 jumped to 7%, compared to 4.4% a year before. This is the highest level since the first quarter of 2008.

“Consumers paid an average monthly payment of $730 for new vehicles in the first quarter of 2023, compared to $656 a year ago, according to Edmunds. For used cars, consumers paid an average monthly payment of $551, a slight increase from the $542 they paid last year,” Fox reported.

Monthly payments exceeding $1,000 has hit a new record. 65% of auto buyers who have $1,000 monthly auto payments have an average loan-term range of 67 months and 84 months, with their average APR rate between 8.5% and 9.6%. 

There are better ways and worse ways to spend $1,000 per month on a vehicle.

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!

Make It A Happy Thanksgiving!

Whether an extended road trip, a rush to the airport, getting groceries or just doing some Black Friday shopping, you probably will need your car. Here are what the road-side assistance companies say to have checked out before the holiday to make sure your vehicle is safe and your Thanksgiving less stressful:

  • Tires – Make sure each is properly inflated.  If even one has bad tread wear and needs to be replaced, it is better to do it before you breakdown!  
  • Wiper Blades – Many accidents could have been avoided if drivers could see where they are going, and most people are not seeing as clearly as they might believe.  New wiper blades can make a huge difference.
  • Battery – If your car’s battery is dead, so are your plans.  A simple 10-minute test is all you need.  
Don’t let your car be a “roadside assistance” Thanksgiving statistic this year. Let us do a quick vehicle inspection – it will give you what we all want most on any trip – peace of mind! Besides, I would be personally offended if one of my customers had to sit by the side of the road – and you do want me to have a happy Thanksgiving also, don’t you?!

How Often Should You Have Your Car Serviced?

How Often Should You Have Your Car Serviced?

I know in this day and age it is sometimes difficult to remember certain appointments…like going to the dentist or the doctor every six months…or having your vehicle serviced at least twice a year!  You can ignore it until suddenly you aren’t feeling your best, or you experience a toothache, or your car breaks down.  

Here is what your car’s owner manual tells you should happen and how often.  We recommend you visit us every six months to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape!

Your owner’s manual states that every time you stop for fuel you need to:

  • Check engine oil level and add as required
  • Check windshield washer solvent and add if required

Once a month you are supposed to:

  • Check tire pressure and look for unusual wear or damage
  • Inspect battery and clean and tighten terminals as required
  • Check fluid levels of coolant reservoir, power steering, brake master cylinder, and transmission and add as needed
  • Check all lights and all other electrical items for correct operation

At every oil change you are supposed to:

  • Inspect exhaust system
  • Inspect brake hoses
  • Rotate tires at each oil change interval shown on schedule “A” (Highway miles) or every other interval as shown on schedule “B” (Stop and go miles)
  • Check coolant level, hoses, and clamps
  • Examine threaded fasteners for looseness

That is what the kindly, full-service gas station attendant used to do for us.  Now that everything is self serve, we tend to drive up, fill up and drive off. Think about it. Do you check your engine oil level or your washer solvent at each fuel stop?  Every month, do you check your tire pressure, inspect your battery, and check fluid levels, lights and other electrical items?  Many drivers never lift the hood of their car or even looks at their tires, much less check the pressure.  Some, when it is time for an oil change are adamant that we just change their oil as they are in a hurry and everything else seems fine.  

It is true that our cars are increasingly sophisticated pieces of machinery and that our oil is better able to withstand a couple of extra thousand miles between changes but how about all those other services that the gas station attendant used to take care of for us?  Sadly, the answer for the most part is no one!  You should at least have your vehicle serviced twice a year at the minimum. If you don’t, think about what can go wrong between visits without someone lifting the hood and someone checking your tire pressure and fluid levels.  

Remember, we love cars, trucks and SUV’s!  We want them to run at peak efficiency so that they are safe and reliable for you.  Don’t be a stranger.  Stop on by and let us lift the hood for you.

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.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

What Is Scheduled Automotive Maintenance?

Scheduled Automotive Maintenance

Factory scheduled maintenance is a list of maintenance items that each vehicle manufacturer recommends at designated intervals. The intervals themselves and types of automotive maintenance can vary by make and model, so it’s always important to check your owner’s manual for specific details for your car. Typically, the intervals are at every 30,000 miles, 60,000 miles, 90,000 miles, or more. 

Keeping up with your scheduled maintenance not only keeps your vehicle running smoothly, but it also prevents expensive repairs and breakdowns. When you bring your car in for scheduled maintenance, it gives us the chance to spot minor issues that may be developing—before they can turn into a larger repair. Many drivers mistakenly believe they need to return to the dealership for their factory scheduled maintenance, but that’s not the case! We can perform any of your maintenance services and your warranty will still be valid.


If you want to keep your car, truck, or SUV running safely and efficiently, vehicle maintenance is critical. Our technicians are trained and certified to perform anything from oil changes and scheduled maintenance to performance upgrades and extensive repairs. If you have questions about the maintenance requirements for your vehicle, contact Certified Automotive Specialists and we’ll provide guidance on its various maintenance requirements.

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.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

How We Keep Your Car Going Strong in the Summer Heat

By Gene Morrill
Maintenance is easy to schedule. Breakdowns are not.

Home » Maintenance

We know we can feel our energy ooze out of us in the summer heat and your car feels it too! Just imagine sitting there day after day on the hot pavement while the relentless summer sun shines down on you. Car’s components such as rubber are very sensitive to heat and tend to become brittle and crack. Here are just a few things we at Certified Automotive Specialists look for when we service your vehicle for summer:

• Batteries take a beating.  Between the car’s vibrations and heat, they usually only last five years.  It is always a good idea to have them tested and our technicians can help determine how much life they have left in them.

Cooling systems are very susceptible to summer heat.  You will notice more cars sitting on the side of the road with steam pouring out from under the hood during the summer months.  We always check your cooling system thoroughly to make sure the coolant isn’t contaminated.  We also check the rubber components for cracks and frays.  If they are past their prime, we will recommend replacing them so you don’t end up on the side of the road. 

• Tires need the proper inflation to function well. They don’t operate well if they are over-inflated or under-inflated.  They need to be just right!

• Fluids and filters need to be checked and replaced if needed.  They do a lot of work to protect our vehicles.

Air-conditioning systems are a must and need to be looked at so you and your passengers stay comfortable no matter how high the outside temperatures climb.  We make sure to check the refrigerant and other components.  

We are here to help your car face the challenges that come with hot days. Give us a call. You and your car will be glad you did! 

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!

Longevity 

car maintenance

At Certified Automotive Specialists, we emphasize that preventive maintenance is the key to longevity for your vehicle. One of the vital ingredients to give your car long life is the use of proper lubricants.  

I’m sure most drivers know that replacing a car’s engine or transmission is very costly.  We hope you never have to find out first-hand. To prevent that, the oil needs to be changed regularly as do other fluids. 

Oil lubricates all the moving parts of your vehicle while you are driving it. This keeps every part moving smoothly and prevents jamming which leads to part failures.  Oil that isn’t changed regularly gets dirty and the buildup of contaminates can also lead to the failure of parts. Clean oil is essential.

Your driving habits can affect how often the oil in your car needs to be changed.  If you aren’t sure how often your particular car’s oil needs to be replaced, we can help.  There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to oil changes.  

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.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

The Basics Of A Healthy Car

Cars are built better than ever these days and give us miles of service. Keeping them healthy is important and extends their life.

  • Oil is their lifeblood. Dirty oil makes it harder for your engine to turn over and causes premature engine wear.
  • Belts and hoses are made of very durable material with relatively long lives, but they do deteriorate over time. We recommend an eight to ten-year replacement cycle.
  • Leaks are not normal except for condensation from your air conditioner. 11 different fluids keep your car running; brake fluid, antifreeze, engine oil, power steering fluid, air conditioner refrigerant, shock absorber fluid, battery electrolyte, windshield washer solvent, rear axle or CV boot lubricant and fuel. If any of these leak, they need to be fixed right away.
  • Tires need to be kept properly inflated to save gas and tire wear and rotated every six months.
  • Coolant, when neglected can corrode and leave sediment throughout your cooling system causing clogging that results in damaging hot spots that can harm your engine. Flushing every two years is recommended.
  • The battery needs to have the cables securely attached and free of corrosion in order to get power to the starter and accessories so the alternator receives a charge.

Keeping your car healthy means getting it serviced regularly. Remember, we are a full-service preventive maintenance and auto repair center. We work on all makes and models, import and domestic!

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!

Why Timely Service Is So Important

I’m often asked about why timely service is so important. I hope you find the answers to the questions below helpful too!

Q: I’m always being told I need my filters changed. What’s that all about?

A: Oil, fuel and air filters all work hard to improve your engine’s running condition. When they get dirty, contaminants enter the system. This causes rough idling, loss of acceleration, decreased power and lower gas mileage.

Q: I usually fill up with gasoline when my car is almost on empty. I was told that isn’t necessarily a good thing. What’s wrong with that?

A: The gasoline in the tank is the cooling agent for the pump. When the level is low, the pump is exposed and runs too hot.

Q: I have heard that “exchanging” transmission, radiator, brake and power steering systems are a good idea? Why?

A: In all cases, mileage and use means more contaminants and breakdown of important fluid additives which help prevent wear and corrosion. When the systems are exchanged and new, clean fluid is added, you now have the protection of new fluid loaded with additives and without harmful contaminants that are creating excessive wear. When you consider the cost of a transmission, radiator, an ABS brake system or power steering units, fluid exchange, next to oil changes, is the best bargain out there!

Q: If I have a concern about a noise, or notice that my car is just acting different, what should I do?

A: Call your car care provider as soon as possible. If they think it needs immediate attention they will tell you to bring it in. Safety comes first and they will never advise you to drive a vehicle that needs attention now.

Q: What can I do to lower repair costs?

A: Maintain components before they become major problems. This is the key to saving money. When you bring your car in for service, your car care provider can alert you to future repair needs or replacement parts so you can budget accordingly.

Q: I am so busy I sometimes forget to have my car serviced. What is an easy way to remember?

A: Try to preset an appointment and ask to be called a day or two in advance. If your car care provider doesn’t offer this service, think of the calendar by seasons. On the first day of spring, summer, fall, winter call and schedule an appointment.

Q: What’s the deal with diagnostic testing? Doesn’t that cost me more money?

A: No, it actually saves you money. Trying to diagnose today’s computerized vehicles without the proper training or diagnostic equipment can result in misdiagnosis costing you $100 or $1000 in unnecessary repairs (known as parts swapping).

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!