Mechanical Failures That Cause Accidents

Disassembled car wheel, view of the brake caliper and disc, shock absorbers and suspension springs of the car, service and repair car, close up

Brakes – Brake failure tops the list. Brake pads wear out, brake lines leak fluid and ABS systems can also be the cause of brake failure.

Tires – Bald tires can cause a car to “slip and slide” even on dry pavement. If there isn’t enough tread to hug the road you can be in serious trouble. Tire blowouts can also cause accidents.

Wipers – If you can’t see, you can’t drive! It is that simple!

Lights – More accidents happen at night and if your headlights, taillights, or brake lights, turn signal blinkers aren’t working…people can’t see you! Don’t be a road hazard!

Steering – Loss of fluid, tie rods, ball joints, and other components that make up this system can cause mechanical failure and accidents.

Roadside Assistance Calls

AAA and other services are called mostly for:

  • Dead battery
  • Flat tires
  • Cars that run out of fuel
  • Locking keys inside the vehicle

Now…we can’t keep you from locking your keys in your car, or make sure you get to the gas station on time, but we can sure help with the mechanical issues! Don’t let these things happen to you…contact us today!

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

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

It’s Kind Of Like That!



In many ways, our vehicle’s health system is a lot like our human makeup!  Seriously!

Clogged Filters – When your filter gets full of debris, it can’t do its job.  It is how a human with asthma must feel! Most of us know we need to change the filters in our homes but some might not realize that they also need to change the filter in their cars. In vehicles built in 2007 and later you will find 80 percent of them have a cabin air filter and its function is to protect drivers and their passengers from contaminants such as pollen, mold spores, dust and other small and annoying particles.

Sludge – This is similar to clogged arteries!  It is actually a gooey, tar like substance that deposits itself inside your car’s engine.  One of the roles of motor oil is to keep your engine cool so it has to be able to take the heat…when it fails to do so these deposits form in the engine.  Some vehicle’s engines have more trouble than others due to poor design.  Their passages are smaller and they actually bake the oil inside the engine.

Smoke – We all know by now how bad smoking is for human health.  When your car has a smoking issue, it is literally telling you to pay attention…it needs help!

Black exhaust smoke means the engine is burning too much fuel. The first thing you should check is your air-filter and other intake components like sensors, fuel injectors and the fuel-pressure regulator.

Blue smoke is a clear sign that the engine is burning oil. What happens is that the valve guide seals or piston rings are worn out, and oil is leaking past from where it should be lubricating the moving parts, to the combustion chamber where it’s being burned up with the fuel.

Gray smoke can mean that the car is burning oil or suffering from a bad turbocharger. It can also be an issue with your automatic transmission fluid getting burned up in the engine or could mean a stuck PCV valve.

Please call us with any questions at 626-963-0814 or visit our website at

Hometown Service You Can Count On!


The Mechanic Is Not Ripping You Off By Charging A Markup On Parts

auto mechanics

Mechanics charge you more for parts than what you can buy those parts for online. People ask me about it from time to time. Is this a ripoff? No, it’s not.

This question usually pops up in my line of work when someone goes over a work order with a fine-toothed comb and then “checks” the prices they were charged for parts against prices on the internet. $249 for an alternator? You can buy one on Amazon for $86!

A markup on retail items—car parts or otherwise—is part of any business. And comparing Amazon prices to anything retail is misleading. My latest book (sorry not sorry for the plug) has a cover price of $39.95 but Amazon is giving them away for only $30.53.

Why is this? Among other things, Amazon does not run a local retail location with a person standing at a counter who can answer your questions.

But the parts question has a few more components. The part you get on Amazon might not be the same quality or have the same warranty as one from the local shop. The cheaper alternator cited above from Amazon comes with a one year warranty. The Ford Motorcraft alternator comes with a two year warranty.

And let’s face it: If you want that cheapo price on that car part, you have to buy it and install it yourself. While you might be fine with that, most people aren’t (hence the number of times I get asked this question.) When you pay the expert to install the part in your car, part of what you are compensating them for is what they bring to the transaction. The ease of installation (it doesn’t require you to get your hands dirty!) and the expertise. Most people would rather have the part installed by an expert who has done the installation many times before than try and do it themselves in their driveway.

And that installation quite likely comes with a warranty. The alternator dies the next day? Take it back to the shop if they installed it. You installed it? Pop the hood and start troubleshooting, Chief. Is the part defective or did you install it wrong?

I posted a question and asked guys in the industry to write and give me the lowdown on markups at dealerships and shops. Parts markups can vary from shop to shop and from dealer to dealer. Generally though, there are industry standards. What you are buying is the expertise of the shop and helping them keep the lights on and the doors open.

Would there be a markup that was too high? Of course: If they charged you $2490 for the $249 alternator, that would be a price “grossly in excess of the value of the goods.” In Michigan, and many other states, that would make it wrong. But notice the phrase “grossly in excess . . .” Simply charging you retail for a part that you can buy for close to wholesale isn’t going to break the law.

So, before you freak out when you see the price difference between the shop price and Amazon, remember that the comparison is not fair. Mechanics have to feed their kids too. And if you want the cheap price, you’re going to be doing the work yourself.

Don’t Strike Out – Mechanical Failure

Mechanical Failure


It seems every day when I hear the news, there is at least one automobile accident tying up traffic on Glendora highways.  Most accidents are caused by impaired drivers (75%) but sometimes the state of the automobile is to blame.  Here are the top five causes of accidents due to mechanical failure:

  • Brakes – brake pads, leaking brake fluid and a malfunctioning ABS system are all reasons brakes fail.
  • Tires – blowouts, bald tires and improper inflation are all reasons for serious problems.
  • Wipers – If you can’t see to drive because your wipers aren’t doing their job you are in serious danger!
  • Lights – More accidents happen at night and a lot of this is due to dim or otherwise impaired headlights, tail lights, brake lights, blinkers and turn signals.
  • Steering – A car’s steering system is comprised of many parts and of course, overtime, they need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear.

The good news is that the majority of mechanical failures are preventable.  Keeping your car up-to-date on service and repair will certainly less the chances that your car is the problem on the road.  The goal of Certified Automotive Specialists is to keep the drivers of Glendora safe at all times.

Please call us with any questions at 626-963-0814 or visit our website at

Hometown Service You Can Count On!