If Car Trouble Scares You…Read On…

Sometimes there is nothing scarier than car trouble…you know how it is…you drive along and all is great then suddenly…

Young woman using smart phone standing on street near road and car. Female's hands holding mobile device in city, close-up.
  • You hear a different noise (squealing or scraping sound when you hit the brakes, knocks or pings when you climb a hill, rumbling or hissing sound from your muffler, thumping from a tire, clicking of a worn CV joint, chugging when you turn off the engine)
  • You notice a different smell (moisture or antifreeze odor inside the car)
  • You see a small leak or a puddle from under the car (antifreeze, oil, brake fluid)
  • You see lights illuminated on your dashboard (check gauges, check engine light)
  • You hear nothing at all (dead battery)

Your mind immediately goes into panic mode! You wonder how long it will take to fix the problem? How will you get to work? How will you pick up the children or get them to school or practice? How will you run errands? How much will it cost? Will it need to be towed? Is it safe to drive to our shop for needed repairs?

Before you panic, call us. We have the tools and equipment to return your vehicle to normal!

Certified Auto Specialists: the friendlier and more helpful auto shop! Feel free to contact us by calling 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!

What’s the Right Car for Your Teen Driver?

You and your teen may have very different views on driving.

While their dreams might be about the new-found freedom of the open road, you are focused on making sure they get home safely. While they might want to hit the accelerator, roll down the windows, and turn up the music, you want them to slow it down, stay alert, and keep their hands at 10 and 2.

We Hear You, Parents.

Whats The Right Car For Your Teen Driver

It’s not just your intuition. That sports car they are pushing for isn’t the best choice for young, inexperienced drivers. Drivers between the ages of 16-19 are the most likely to be involved in accidents.

Teenagers haven’t yet developed the maturity they need to make good decisions about the risks of steering 1.5 tons of metal down a road filled with other moving hunks of metal.

Young drivers just don’t have the experience to react appropriately to dangerous situations. Even experienced drivers find themselves hard-pressed to make good decisions in challenging driving situations. The fact is that everything happens way too fast and this only increases when you are a brand-new driver.

Can We Help You Decide?

What kind of car do we advise parents to get their teen drivers? Instead of price or appearance, we want you to first think of reliability and safety first. Airbags, stability control, and excellent tires are a good start. It’s also a fact that large to mid-size cars are safer than small cars. Of the 16 models with the highest crash rates, 11 are compacts or sub-compacts.

You might assume that a smaller car is easier to handle and your teen might like the sportier look. Unfortunately, they make your teen less safe on the road.

Our suggestion? Get them the safest, most reliable car you can afford.

Other factors include getting a vehicle that has too much or not enough horsepower. Speed is, of course, dangerous but a lack of power can make merging and lane changes hazardous. Also, make sure you inform your teen about how expensive California traffic tickets are. Rolling through a stop sign will get you a relatively inexpensive ticket. But, by the time you pay all the agencies involved, it might cost several years of allowance!

Narrow your choices down by checking out the crash test scores on Safercar.gov. Also, if you’re buying a used car, bring it in and we’ll carefully inspect it. We provide expert insight into whether a particular vehicle is safe and reliable. You need it to be a great car for your teen and, just as importantly, your peace of mind!

Yes, we are AAA-approved and ASE-certified and consistently rated as one of the top shops in that nation. But when you want to keep your teen driver safe, you need hometown service you can count on. That’s why you need to call the pros at Certified Automotive Specialists at 626-541-2149 or schedule your appointment today!

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!

Your Computer On Wheels And Malware




Like any piece of software, connected cars are vulnerable to malware.  Cars’ computers are very necessary as they control everything from brakes to our “infotainment systems”.   This is a market hackers are eager to explore and exploit.

When you or any driver in Glendora, get in your car you don’t have to log on first, you don’t have encryption or other ways to verify you are in command of your car’s computer system.  Hackers can access your vehicle a number of ways by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Internet.  Just think about it…your laptop and mobile devices are actually more securely protected at this time than your vehicle. That doesn’t make drivers feel very secure, now does it?

Controller Area Network (CAN) Bus makes it possible for a car’s ECUs (Engine Control Units…and cars can have over 100 of these, depending on the make and model) to communicate with each other.  They work hard to make sure your car is ready to go and quickly.  Last year researchers showed just how easy such an attack is by getting “inside” a Jeep Cherokee.  They disabled the brakes and controlled the steering remotely.  Chrysler had to recall 1.4 million vehicles and “patch” this loophole.

Since protecting a vehicle with a firewall is not the answer as it slows down the ECU so it can’t control safety functions quickly enough when you start your engine, a company in Ann Arbor, Michigan called Karamba Security is looking for another way.  They recently introduced anti-malware.  It will provide security by protecting the gateways to the externally connected controllers.  This anti-malware knows what should be running on these ECU’s and should a hacker introduce another “code” not on the list, the anti-malware will stop it in its tracks.

This works well with the codes supplied to Karamba from the manufacturers.  The difficultly comes, however, when a driver decides to add aftermarket devices to their vehicles.  The FBI and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a warning about this very thing.

Our mission is to keep Glendora drivers informed as we enter this new arena!

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

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

Blind Spot Safety For Glendora Driving

Blind spots may be a good thing when it comes to a spouse’s annoying habits, but when driving an automobile in Glendora, they are definitely to be avoided. So, while it’s not good marital advice, it’s good auto advice to minimize your own blind spots and stay out of other Los Angeles auto owners’ blind spots, especially when it comes to large, heavy vehicles like trucks and buses.

First, minimize your own blind spots. Do this before you pull out of the driveway or parking space. Adjust your rearview mirror so that you see as much of the area behind you as possible. And, no, this doesn’t include the passengers in the back seat. The rearview mirror isn’t designed to be a baby monitor.

Next, lean to the side until your head almost touches the driver’s side window. Now adjust the driver’s side mirror so that it just catches the side of the sedan. Then, lean to the middle of the car and adjust the passenger’s side mirror in the same way. These adjustments will ensure you the widest possible view behind your vehicle.

Of course, you can’t eliminate blind spots entirely. There is always an area behind any vehicle where the driver just can’t see what’s there. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. Toddlers are just the right size to hide in a pickup’s or SUV’s blind spot. The blind spot on an RV or tractor-trailer can actually hide your crossover! You should always check behind any vehicle before getting in and backing up. And if you sit in the sedan for a few minutes before backing up, it is vital to get out and check again, especially if you are pulling out of a neighborhood driveway in Glendora. No precaution is too extreme if it saves the life of a child.

Once you have taken care of your own blind spots, be aware that other Glendora auto owners have them, too. And avoid them. Trucks and buses have large blind spots, and they have blind spots on all four sides, so they should always be given extra room on San Dimas roads. They are also heavy, which means they need more room to stop, and their length means they need a wider area for turns, and their large size makes them less maneuverable than a car.

Trucks may cause about 60% of the accidents involving a truck and a car, but 78% of fatalities in such accidents are with the smaller vehicle. The number of fatalities in California, as well as the number of crashes, could be cut significantly if Glendora motorists learned to properly share California roads with trucks.

Never follow a truck too closely. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his side mirror, then he can’t see you. If you need to pass a truck, it is important to make sure you give yourself enough time to pass the rig. Wait for the right opportunity rather than “cutting it close.” On a two-lane California highway, it’s always a good idea to wait for a passing zone if they are available. A little patience could save your life or the lives of others. Turn on your turn signal so the truck knows what you’re planning, and pass on the left whenever possible. Remember those blind spots? They are much larger on the right side of a truck.

Once you’ve committed to passing the truck, don’t muck about. Pass it quickly and give yourself plenty of room to move back over. It is important to wait until you can see both headlights in your rearview mirror before pulling back in front of the truck. Once again, use your sedan turn signals. After you pull in front of the truck, decelerate to the regulated driving speed slowly. Remember that the truck has a long stopping distance, which translates into a long slowing distance. And, since trucks are so big, we often perceive them as traveling more slowly than they really are. Trucks are a lot of weight moving at a high speed, and we need to treat them accordingly.

Never pull to the right of a truck at an intersection unless you are absolutely certain it is not going to turn. Check if its turn signals are on or if it has angled to the left or right. (Trucks often begin a right turn by angling to the left to widen their turning area.) Trucks need a lot of room on city streets, and they probably can’t see you if you pull along their right side. Too many cars have ended up in Glendora body shops because the car owners thought they could beat that truck to the right turn, or they only noticed the seemingly open lane, and not the truck angling into a turn.

While learning to share Los Angeles area roads and freeways with trucks and other large vehicles may not seem like preventive auto maintenance, it does, in fact, go hand-in-hand with good Glendora car care. Keeping your sedan out of the body shop can save you big bucks and prevent the stress of a major accident, along with the injuries that could come with it.

The team at Certified Auto Specialists in Glendora urges you to stay safe, and stay on the road!

Drive Defensively In California

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Car care is a vital part of auto safety in Glendora. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on California roads is to drive safely.

Defensive driving is safe driving. And defensive driving is all about attitude. You have to decide that you will be a safe driver in California, no matter what anyone else is doing.

Glendora motorists can start with awareness. Always maintain awareness of your surroundings, the road conditions, other vehicles on the Glendora road or expressway and road hazards. Have you ever suddenly realized that you have arrived somewhere, but you don’t really remember driving there? That is unsafe driving.

Never assume that other Glendora drivers are paying attention. You be the one on alert. You be the one to take initiative to stay out of the way of other California drivers. And don’t let familiarity dull your alertness. Remind yourself to pay as close attention while driving on the roads near your Glendora home as you would in unfamiliar territory around California.

Prepare your sedan so you can give the road your full attention. Secure passengers and pets before leaving the driveway. Secure loose items in your sedan so they can’t become projectiles if you have to brake suddenly. If children or pets become a distraction while driving, pull over and take care of the problem before re-entering traffic. Unclutter your windows. Take down the danglies from your rearview mirror. And don’t use your sedan dashboard as an office. Move distractions and clutter to the backseat. Keep your windshield clear.

Properly maintain your sedan. Preventive maintenance doesn’t just prevent repairs; it prevents unsafe vehicles. Make sure your tires, lights, brakes, suspension, alignment and steering get regular check-ups at Certified Auto Specialists. Also, listen to your reliable Certified Auto Specialists technician when he gives you auto advice about other systems in your sedan. Knowing about the wear and tear on your sedan can help you avoid dangerous situations.

Avoid driving when you are sleepy or angry. Get a good night’s sleep before a road trip in California, and learn to set aside relationship, job or other issues while you are in a vehicle. Again, you have to take charge of your own safety. Don’t daydream in your vehicle. Also, talking to passengers can be a distraction. Keep your mind on the road. Conversations may keep you from daydreaming or excessive boredom on a long trip, but always keep your driving foremost in your mind.

Maintain a proper speed. Driving too fast is dangerous on crowded Glendora roads, but driving too slowly can cause accidents, too. At night, don’t overdrive your headlights. Your stopping distance needs to be shorter than the distance your headlights are illuminating.

Never drink and drive. Alcohol plays a part in half of all fatal accidents in California and nationally. Also, don’t drive drugged. Pay attention to the warning labels on any medications you are taking.

Other Covina motorists need to see you and know what you want to do. Use your sedan turn signals, and stay out of other California drivers’ blind spots.

If you can, avoid driving over debris in the road. You can damage your sedan or end up in an accident. Of course, if swerving to avoid the debris is dangerous, then slow down and navigate as best you can. Do what you can to alert other car owners to the problem. You may want to pull to the side of the San Dimas road and report the debris or move it to the side of the road, if you can do so safely.

Never follow too closely on Los Angeles roads or freeways. Observe the two-second rule. Choose an object ahead such as a tree or traffic sign. As the car in front of you passes it, start counting: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand. If you reach the object before you’re done, you’re too close. Back off.

If you are on one of the California expressways, or if you are hauling a heavy load, or if you are tired, or if in any way you are not the model of the alert and attentive driver, then increase that two-second rule to three seconds. Give yourself an added measure of safety. If the Los Angeles weather is bad, increase the rule to five seconds.

Inevitably, someone always pulls in front of you when you are trying to follow the “seconds” rules. Don’t get mad. Just back off and leave them to their bad driving habits. Remember, you are not going to give up your safety for anyone else’s cussedness. It’s always a bad trade.

If someone is following you too closely, pull over and let them pass. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. If you’re late, worry about it after you’re there, not while you’re on the road.

If you see a vehicle driving erratically in Glendora, stay away. Take the next right or the next exit off the interstate. Notify the Glendora police as soon as you are safely stopped.

And of course, don’t be the idiot driver we all complain about in Glendora. Don’t contest your right-of-way, don’t race to beat someone to a merge, and don’t cut into someone else’s two seconds of space. Winning these types of ego trips may end up losing you your sedan—or worse, your life or the life of a friend.

The professional automotive team at Certified Auto Specialists wants all Glendora drivers to stay smart and stay safe.


I have teenage children and my shop is very close to Citrus College so keeping teens safe on the road is a subject dear to my heart. I’m often asked what parents should look for in a car for their teen driver.  Of course, a lot of teens dream of a fancy sports car but that certainly isn’t the safe choice for young, inexperienced drivers.  Teen drivers, between the ages of 16 to 19 are far more likely to have a crash than any other group.  They tend to underestimate dangerous situations and they don’t always react to them appropriately.  It is hard for a mature, experienced driver to always make the right snap judgment when behind the wheel to avoid an accident.  Everything happens way to fast.  When you are brand new at driving it gets worse.


I always advise that before you pick a car based on price or looks think reliable and safety first, then choose the safest car you can afford to buy.  Air bags, stability control and excellent tires are a good start.  Large to mid-size cars are safer than small cars because they are heavier.  16 models with the highest crash rates included 11 small cars.  I know it is natural to assume that a smaller car is easier to handle and many times the teens like them because they appear sportier, however they are not the safest choice.


You also don’t want to buy a car that has a lot of horsepower or one that has too little.  Too much speed and power are of course, dangerous but lack of power can be equally dangerous as they are too slow during lane changes. You might also share with your teen that California traffic tickets are mighty expensive these days.  For example, just rolling through a stop sign will get you a relatively inexpensive ticket but by the time you pay all the agencies involved it can cost you plenty!


When you narrow down your choice of vehicle, check out the crash test scores on Safercar.gov. If you are buying a used car, please have it inspected carefully by us or your car care provider and let them know it is for a teen driver as they may be able to give you more insight into the safety of the vehicle.


Self-driving cars are soon to be a reality and then all we have to worry about it is when the car’s computer crashes!



Seventy percent of traffic accidents do not involve injuries. It doesn’t seem to matter though, whether you have a fender bender or total your vehicle; accidents cause a lot of stress. It is always a good idea to keep a check list in your glove box just in case of an accident so you can more calmly assess the situation and act in a rational manner. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Know What Your Insurance Covers before You Find Yourself in an Accident
• Do I have rental car coverage?
• Do I have comprehensive coverage (covers theft, fire, vandalism, glass replacement and deer claims)?
• How much is my deductible?
• If I have an accident, what kinds of parts will be used to repair my vehicle (new original manufactured parts or new aftermarket parts or reconditioned parts)?
• What does full coverage mean (you have collision but not necessarily rental, comprehensive or new original manufactured parts coverage)?

Immediately After The Crash
• Call 911 if someone is injured or call the police if not.
• If possible and there isn’t a lot of damage to the vehicles move them a safe distance from traffic.
• Exchange information
• When the police arrive they will fill out an official accident report for you.
• Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.

Questions to Ask Your Body Shop
• Can I get a written estimate and an explanation of planned repairs?
• Will I receive a written guarantee from your shop?
• When is my deductible due?
• Will my vehicle be available for the insurance adjuster’s inspection?
• What is the estimated completion date of my repairs?
• Will I owe more than the insurance estimate?

Remember, you can choose who you take your car to for repair. Your insurance can certainly recommend a body shop to you but it is wise to check out a reputable shop beforehand so you aren’t stuck with less than ideal repairs. Hopefully you won’t be in an accident any time soon but being prepared is always recommended.