Ten Good Reasons to Invest in an Annual Car “Physical” and Needed Maintenance

Ten Good Reasons to Invest in an Annual Car “Physical” and Needed Maintenance

  1. CUT REPAIR COSTS – Discovering a worn component before it creates major problems can save big money.

 

  1. SAFETY – A poorly maintained vehicle can drive you into a serious accident.

 

  1. BETTER PERFORMANCE – This translates to improved fuel economy as well as “driveability.”

 

  1. SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT – Under-maintained vehicles are a serious contributor to air pollution.

 

  1. IMPROVED TRADE-IN/RESALE VALUE – A well maintained vehicle can be worth two to three times as much as one that has been neglected.

 

  1. BETTER HANDLING – Incorrect wheel alignment, worn suspension components and/or tires cause poor ride and handling.

 

  1. ABILITY TO PLAN AHEAD – When a check-up indicates future need for replacement of a part, you can budget accordingly.

 

  1. DEPENDABILITY – A well-maintained vehicle is less likely to stall, fail, or otherwise leave you stranded.

 

  1. DRIVING ENJOYMENT – It’s more comfortable and more fun to drive a car that holds the road and rides well.

 

  1. PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP – It’s said that your car is an extension of our personality. Keep it looking like you care!

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!

 

The Concern With Obsolete Oil

The use of obsolete oil is not something consumers think about when they get an oil change, even if they change their own oil. Lately though, this concern has been brought to our attention. A lawsuit has been filed against a retailer in New Mexico claiming the oil they sell does not meet specification for newer cars. Modern cars are designed with much tighter internal engine clearances than in years past so using the correct oil is critical.

If your star burst symbol oil label does not specify GF-5 SN it is not suitable for most cars newer than 2011. The labeling on the oil contains “obvious and unambiguous language” regarding its intended and appropriate use. I am sad to report many shops don’t understand the consequences of incorrect oil labeling.

ALL cars have specific oil that needs to be used or damage will occur! This is why some cars’ engines have 200,000, 300,000 or even 400,000 miles on them while others only get half that many miles. The use of incorrect oil can also dramatically lower fuel mileage and cause damage to systems that result in the increased emissions of toxic substances and damage to emission control systems, including catalytic converters and oxygen sensors.

If you have heard the term “sludge” and I hope your never do in relation to your own car, it is caused by two things; waiting too long to change the engine oil or using incorrect oil for that specific application. Be warned also that European cars have even stricter additive packages that if not adhered to, will really wreak havoc on the internal parts of the engine.

Here is a link I hope you will use to educate yourself on engine oils:
Motor Oils and Lubricants

The automotive industry has no standards for servicing your car. Any shop can add any oil with no consequences, so it is truly a consumer beware industry when it comes to fluid standards.

I recommend knowing what oil is recommended for your car and asking questions when you arrive at your trusted automotive shop. AAA shops have to adhere to higher standards and are held accountable for their actions. Be an informed consumer, not one with a broken car.

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, or visit our website at CertifiedAutoCa.com.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

Is It Hot Enough For You?

How many times do you hear that phrase in the course of the summer? We hear about the importance of taking care of ourselves during hot weather on the news and read about it in various publications. We are told to drink lots of water to keep hydrated, especially when exercising or doing physical labor. I know I sometimes feel a visit to Classic Coffee in the Glendora Village for a famous frozen hot chocolate will hit the spot.

Take a moment and think about your car…it gets hot too! We often take for granted just how hard it does work for us in all kinds of weather. When you see a car sitting on the side of the road with steam rising from the hood, that is an overheated vehicle!

Many things will cause a car to overheat… a hose, radiator, head gasket, thermostat, water pump or even the computer controlled electric fans may not be functioning. With so many critical components that have to work together to keep the engine cool, we recommend an inspection every 3 to 4 months of these items.

I keep repeating this statement and here it is again, it is always less expensive to maintain your car versus waiting for it to break and then fixing it. Most newer cars have a warning system to alert you of a failure. Please don’t ignore these warnings. We have many customers who kept driving after a warning light came on and destroyed the engine.

If you think your car is overheating, get to the side of the road quickly and safely. Turn off your radio and air conditioner, then turn your heater on to high while keeping the engine idling. If no heat comes out, turn the car off as soon as possible, no heat means no coolant in the engine.

It is never wise to try to drive a car with a problem, unless safety is a concern. Most drivers have a roadside assistance program … if you don’t, ask us about our free assistance service with some purchases.

Paying $100 for a hose repair, instead of a $5,000 engine, is always a great call. Please contact us with any questions at 626.963.0814 or visit our website at CertifiedAutoCa.com. Have a great day!

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

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!

 

Using the Right Motor Oil Is Imperative

 

Those of us in the automotive service and repair business understand why having oil in a vehicle’s engine is important, but few drivers actually understand the labeling and codes that are found on motor oil packaging. At Certified Auto Specialists we are very conscientious about using the correct oil for each vehicle and there are many different types out there.  Sometimes consumers wonder why the pricing is different on their oil change from car to car…this is the reason why.  Different makes and models require different oils.

The Bare Bones of Oil
Most everyone understands that engine oil keeps the engine parts lubricated in both low and high temperatures and it helps protect the emission system and provides enhanced fuel economy. They have heard for years that engine oil is the lifeblood of a vehicle. Many find out the importance of oil at an early age because they mow lawns.  Additives are added to the oil to make sure seals stay conditioned in older car’s engines or to help aid in better fuel economy. Manufacturers of the most popular makes and models basically deal with three types of motor oil.

Conventional oil, or refined crude oil makes up 75 percent to 80 percent of the mix, and then additives are put into the mix to distinguish one type of conventional motor oil from another. Full synthetic oil is a popular alternative to conventional oil and its purpose is to provide enhanced engine protection. It enables a car’s engine to maintain good viscosity at all temperatures, although it also has characteristics that prevent solidification at lower temperatures. The third type is a blend of synthetic with conventional.

The various additives are necessary to engine performance. These additives include such ingredients as detergents, antioxidants, viscosity index improvers and many more. Their functions do everything from stopping oil oxidation, keeping the oil at the right thickness, to keeping high-temperature surfaces clean. They also collect dirt and contaminants to prevent buildups on engine parts. Additives for older cars are also available and they have special seal conditioning ingredients that rejuvenate internal seals in order to stop internal oil leaks and also help to keep the seals soft enough to be pliable.

The American Petroleum Institute (API)
To avoid confusion about motor the various motor oils, the API has developed a “donut” label that helps certified technicians and shop managers make educated decisions. For example, “API Service GF4” means that the motor oil is approved for use in most gasoline engines by API. The middle of the donut should say “SAE,” and is followed by a code such as 5W-30. SAE stands for Society of Automotive Engineers, and the number code refers to the motor oil’s viscosity.

Viscosity simply refers to the oil’s flow capability at various temperatures. It also refers to as the motor oil’s weight, or the “W” in the code. The first number shows how well an engine will start in cold weather. The lower the number tells us that this oil will start up in winter weather, and shows us how well engine parts will be lubricated in colder temperatures. The second number indicates the high-temperature viscosity or how much thickness the oil has at high temperatures. The bottom half of the donut indicates that the oil has met or exceeded energy conserving requirements.

Make Sure Your Shop is Certified
How can you know that the motor oil you’re getting from your provider is really intended for use in all vehicles? An ASE Certified Shop knows what oil to use in each vehicle it services. That is why we go to continuing education classes…so we are up to the minute to provide our customers with the right products for their cars, SUV’s and light trucks.  Improvements are being made all the time and we have to stay current in this constantly changing industry we specialize in.

Using the Wrong Oil
If a shop or quick lube uses the wrong oil in your vehicle you probably won’t notice an immediate problem but it will develop if it is repeated time and time again. Metal on metal contact or heat damage is serious and can cause major damage.  It also lowers fuel economy. Our goal is to keep our customers’ cars healthy and running for many miles to come!

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

 

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

For All The Football Fans Out There: Keeping Your Vehicle’s Components in the Game

cartalk

Football season is here again in and even though the staff at Certified Automotive Specialists are not football superstars, we are the superstars of auto service and repair!  Just like a football game where it takes each player doing their job correctly to have a winning team, it takes each component operating in peak efficiency to have a properly running car!

 

  • Fluids – just like you, your car must have fluids to be healthy.  We offer products that give you the home field advantage each and every time.
  • Filters –just like in football when the players block the defense from getting to the ball carrier, filters block contaminants from entering your car’s operating systems.
  • Battery & Charging System – If this system fumbles you aren’t going anywhere.  We will keep it charged and ready to go when you are!
  • Belts and Hoses – One snap or break and you are stranded and you will be calling personal foul!
  • Lights – Your lights keep you from getting picked off in the dark because others can’t see you coming or going!
  • Wipers – If your wipers aren’t working in the rain and snow and morning condensation, you risk getting sacked!
  • Tires – Proper inflation and tread keep your car rolling along in a rush.
  • Suspension – Steers your car going in the right direction so you have a complete pass.
  • Brakes – Stopping when you need and want to is a very good thing and keeps you from getting tackled by trees or other vehicles!
  • Exhaust System – If you don’t want to be put on the sidelines these systems need to operate properly. Keeps your car pleasant and safe for you and others to be around.

 

This is just a small example of all the systems that keep your car running properly.  Most mechanical failures can be traced to neglected maintenance.  Just like a football team, if each player does their job well they all benefit and run like a well-oiled machine.  Touchdown!

 

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

 

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

 

How Much to Budget

gene-car-guru

AAA estimates maintenance costs at around 4 cents per mile driven, which means you should set aside $50-60/month for this line item. Sadly, many put off service/maintenance and they end up having an expensive repair that could have been avoided. I then thought…maybe they don’t realize how much it costs to maintain their vehicle annually.  With that thought in mind I’ve decided to share with you something in print so you can fill in the blanks for yourself.  Granted…this is just an overall average but hopefully you will find it very helpful!

 

If you have a new car expect to pay $200 to $350 each year on preventive maintenance until your vehicle is three years of age. After that, a good rule of thumb is to plan to pay $600 to $1200 annually and this includes tires. Preventive maintenance is the best way to keep your car from having to undergo repair.  As it ages, certain parts will need to be replaced, of course.

 

Those old sayings, “prevention is the best medicine” and “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, have stood the test of time for a reason.  They are true!  Take a moment, if you will, and figure out the annual cost of vehicle ownership.  You might be surprised at how it adds up!

 

Annual vehicle payment                     [           ]

Annual finance charge on loan           [           ]

Annual gasoline costs                         [           ]

Annual car insurance                          [           ]

Annual maintenance/repair                 [           ]

Annual license fee and other fees       [           ]

Total                                                    [           ] Annually

Total Divided by 12                            [           ] Monthly

 

This is how much it costs you to drive each year/month. I just think knowing the facts helps you plan a little better.

 

Remember:

  • Keeping current with oil and filter changes prevents the need for a new engine.
  • Keeping current with tire rotations and alignments prevents buying new tires less often.
  • Keeping current with brake fluid and/or brake pads prevents replacing brakes as often.
  • Replacing filters and fluids keeps your vehicle going longer for less.
  • Preventive maintenance reduces your expenses going forward.

 

I think this gives you the idea.  Keep your vehicle healthy and it will be good to you and your bank account!

 

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

 

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

 

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