Can We Talk?

Did you know that auto repair experts and doctors face a very similar issue—online self-diagnosis? A Harvard study suggested that even though online medical diagnosis is improving, it is much better at telling you how quickly you need to get to a doctor than coming up with a reliable diagnosis and treatment. The same is true of googling your vehicle’s symptoms. Though there are some issues you can take care of yourself, DIY-ing your car may lead to more costly repairs down the road and worse, an unsafe vehicle.

Auto Repair Diagnostics

Don’t get me wrong. The internet is an amazing resource. When you want to find a gluten-free, vegan carrot cake for that one friend — everyone has that one friend! — it works great. You can learn, for example, a new language, how to play a musical instrument, and how to manage your money from wherever you are in the world. As we are seeing though, there are consequences to an onslaught of 24/7 access to unreliably sourced material. You always need to ask: Who wrote this information? Are they looking out for me, or looking to use me?

We Have a Team of Highly Skilled Experts

Aside from knowing if you can trust the site you are relying on, today’s cars are extremely complicated. There are at least 30,000 parts in the average new car—and over 5000 of them move! The first Apollo Moon Lander had about 10% of the computing power found on the modern car. Working to repair vehicles with this sort of sophistication requires years of experience and knowledge. We have earned the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence because our professionals are ASE-certified, proving we are staying current with the lightning-fast pace of car engineering. It’s the same reason doctors go to medical school—you have to put in hours and hours of training so that your clients can rely on your help.

Of course, you should be proactive about the health of your body and car, we are not recommending that you don’t do your own research. But, once you find an expert you can trust, you should lean on all of their knowledge and experience. Always remember that we have your best interest at heart!

Our Name Says It All, We Are Certified!

Finding a trusted, expert mechanic has been just as important as finding a reliable automobile since before Henry Ford started pumping out the Model T.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) began in 1902 as an advocate for those driving that zany new contraption, the automobile. It took them until 1975 to realize that members would benefit from pre-screening repair facilities.

We are proud of our AAA approval. It means that our hard work continues to pay off! Our shop has continually been judged as reliable, honest, fair, and clean with properly trained personnel. You can stop by and feel confident you are in good hands!

ASE Certified Technicians

We are also proud that our technicians are Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified. ASE, started in 1972, is a nonprofit formed to improve the repair and service of vehicles. ASE tests and certifies automotive professionals in all major technical areas of repair and service. 

When you see the ASE sign at a shop, it doesn’t mean the service and repair center is certified, it means the people working there are!

ASE certification tells you that the technicians, service advisors, and owners are skilled, knowledgeable, and professional. It means we have the experience and education to pass rigorous ASE testing.

There are nine tests, just for auto technicians! To retain certification, technicians are re-tested every five years. This ensures they remain up-to-date with evolving technology. Master Certified technicians have passed all nine tests.

When you see a “Blue Seal of Excellence” at a shop, it means that at least 75% of the service staff is certified. We take great pride in the hard work that our mechanics have put in to earn this designation for our shop.  

What Does This Mean to You?

Why is certification important? How do all those letters and certifications on our walls help you?

We know that what you care most about is a safe, reliable vehicle to transport you and your loved ones down the road of life. When you come to Certified Automotive Specialists, you can trust that we are certified to get you there, wherever you are going! Call us today at 253-854-6762 or set up your appointment online.

What’s the Real Cost of Owning a Car?

What’s the Real Cost of Owning a Car?Do you know how much your car really costs? We do! Lucky for you, we’re happy to share. Here’s what you need to know.

Let’s talk about True Cost to Own (TCO). If you’re wondering exactly how much your car is costing you every year, visit this cost calculator and enter your information. Does the number surprise you?

Now you have your number. What does it mean and where do those costs come from? We’ll explain.

What Your TCO Means

There are a number of factors that go into the cost of your car, from monthly payments to depreciation to insurance and more. In fact, here’s a quick list of all the monthly costs that you need to factor into car ownership.

  • Car payment
  • Insurance
  • Gas
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Registration fees
  • Taxes
  • Depreciation

In 2017, for vehicles driven 15,000 miles per year, the average ownership costs were found to be almost $8,500. “Yikes,” you may be thinking. You had no idea your car could be costing you so much.

Thankfully, your car gets less expensive the longer you own it. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s true. The biggest chunk (40%) of your yearly car cost comes from the depreciation hit, which is big in the beginning but decreases more and more over time. While it’s not a cost you “see,” it still impacts the overall value of your car, which is something to keep in mind.

Relatively speaking, maintenance and repair costs aren’t actually that much in the grand scheme of things, even though a repair bill can seem like a big chunk of change at the time. It’s certainly more cost-effective to keep up with your maintenance and repairs than buy a new car every few years and deal with car payments and the depreciation hit all over again.

Have more questions about the True Cost of your car? Drop us a line anytime!

Timely Service


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:  My car is “chugging” after I turn the ignition off.  What is wrong?

A:  This is called dieseling for “after-run.”  This can be caused by inferior gas, excessive idle speed or carbon in the combustion chamber.


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).


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


Hometown Service You Can Count On!

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


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


Hometown Service You Can Count On!


Help Your Teenage Driver Be Prepared In Case Of An Accident



I recently heard about a couple that were taking a well-earned vacation in when they received a call from their son who was in college.  “Dad, how does this car insurance thing work again?”  Not a comforting call.  He didn’t want to disturb his dad while he was on vacation but since he was involved in an accident he needed a little guidance.  Most of us seem to put the thought of accidents out of our mind so when it happens we are left not only in shock but a bit disoriented and not sure how to proceed. Being prepared is always best however; I am apt to put these thoughts on the back burner myself.


Don’t Let An Accident Get You All Shook Up

The first reaction many teens have when they are involved in an accident is panic.

  • “I can’t believe this has happened to me!”
  • “Mom and Dad are going to be so mad at me!”

Unfortunately, accidents do happen even when someone is diligent about being cautious. 70% of traffic accidents do not involve injuries. It doesn’t seem to matter though, whether it is a fender bender or a totaled vehicle; accidents cause a lot of stress.  It is always a good idea for teens and all motorists for that matter, to keep a check list in the glove box just in case of an accident so one can more calmly assess the situation and act in a rational manner.  Here are some things for a teen to keep in mind.


  • If your vehicle is smoking or on fire, get out of the vehicle quickly.
  • 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 a safe distance from traffic and put your hazard lights on. Make sure your car is as visible as possible and if it is dark outside turn on the interior dome light as well. This lets other drivers realize you have a situation and they are more apt to give you some space.
  • The best place to be is on the right shoulder if at all possible.  If not, just do your best to get out of an active lane of traffic.  It seems we don’t realize just how fast cars are going until we are sitting there on the sidelines and feel the rush of wind as they fly past us.
  • Exchange information but only discuss the accident with the police and your insurance agent.
  • When the police arrive they will fill out an official accident report for you.
  • Never leave the scene of an accident until the police tell you it is okay to do so.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.


Questions to Ask Your Insurance Agent

  • 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)?
  • Your insurance company may recommend a couple of different body shops but you can choose where to have the work done.  If you prefer a certain body shop, just tell your insurance agent.


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?


Hopefully your teen won’t be in an accident any time soon but just in case, these are points to ponder and remember.  It might be an excellent idea to have these in the glove box for a reference as well.

Remember to tell them to stay calm and as always, safety should be their first consideration.


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


Hometown Service You Can Count On!


When Do My Shocks Need to be Replaced?

A good suspension system gives a vehicle a smooth, even ride while providing Glendora motorists with good handling and control. But like any system on your sedan, essential parts of the suspension system can wear out, leading to a lower ride quality and safety concerns. So it’s a good idea for Glendora motorists to remember an inspection of their suspension system in their schedule of an important preventive maintenance. Springs do most of the work of the suspension system. The most common types of springs are coil and leaf, but air springs and torsion bars are becoming more common. The body of the vehicle is “suspended” by the springs.

If springs were the only working component in your suspension system, however, you’d spend your travel time bouncing up and down like a bobblehead. That’s where your shocks come in. They keep the rebound, or bounciness, of the springs under control. Shocks also keep your tires on the road, which keeps the driver in control of the sedan. Some vehicles have struts in their suspension system. Struts are a compact combination of springs and shocks. They do the same essential job but in a single package.

Shocks wear out gradually, so it can be difficult for Glendora drivers to notice when they need to be replaced. There’s no definitive point when a vehicle’s ride goes from smooth and controlled to a bit imprecise. To check if your shocks or struts are worn, you should first do a visual inspection on them. If they are leaking fluid, they need to be replaced.

There are other less obvious signs that your suspension system needs important attention. For example, an uneven, cupping wear on your tires may indicate that your shocks are worn. If your vehicle feels “floaty” when you turn, or, in other words, you don’t feel that you have full control of the vehicle, you should check your shocks. Also, if the front end of your vehicle dips noticeably when you stop, it’s time for new shocks.

Your owner’s manual gives recommendations on how often the shocks should be checked, usually between 15,000 and 30,000 miles (24,000-50,000 km). If one of your shocks does need to be replaced, you should replace all four. This will keep your suspension even and ensure good handling of your vehicle. If you carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive on uneven Los Angeles area terrain, you might also consider upgrading to a heavy-duty shock.

Regular shocks contain hydraulic fluid. The vital fluid helps them absorb the bumps or “shocks” of the road so the impact doesn’t transfer to the sedan’s body. Premium shocks are filled with compressed nitrogen gas, which costs more but does a better job of controlling body motions. Regular shocks can develop air bubbles that reduce their effectiveness; the premium shocks don’t have this problem. So if you want higher handling performance, if you drive off-road around California or if you just want added comfort, you should think about upgrading to premium shocks or struts.

Replacing struts can put your sedan out of alignment, so an alignment check should always follow this type of repair. Talk to your reliable service advisor at Certified Auto Specialists in Glendora.

Bouncy Bouncy

When Glendora motorists think about preventive maintenance, what usually comes to mind is oil, fluids and brakes. We don’t generally think about our shocks or struts, but these essential auto parts keep our tires on the road.

Glendora motorists don’t think about shocks as often as oil changes because shocks and struts last a long time and wear out slowly. They don’t need to be checked as often as our brake pads or air filters. By the time your shocks have fifty thousand miles on them, their performance will have noticeable degraded. If you want to restore the handling and ride designed for your sedan, consider replacing your shocks and struts.

Of course, if you drive off-road around Glendora, carry heavy loads, tow a trailer, or put in a lot of mileage on poor driving surfaces, your shocks or struts will wear out more quickly. You’ll need to replace them more often or upgrade to better shocks.

Your suspension system uses springs and shocks to absorb the “shocks” and vibrations of driving over road surfaces. Springs support the sedan’s weight, suspending it above the axles so the body of the sedan is protected from most of the bumps on the road. Shocks control the bounciness of the springs by moderating rebound. They also push your tires down onto the road’s surface, maximizing traction. Without shocks, your wheels would bounce over bumps and lift against curbs and corners. Shocks are critical to the safe handling of your sedan as well as a comfortable ride. Struts are a combination shock and spring in one unit.

Worn shocks result in lowered vehicle handling performance. If your vehicle “squirms” around corners or gets “floaty” over bumps, then you need to check your shocks. If the rear end of your vehicle squats while accelerating, the front end dips while braking, or one corner sags, you probably need new shocks.

Uneven tire wear may also be an indication of bad shocks. If shocks are damaged or leaking, they definitely need to be replaced.

If one of your shocks needs to be replaced, you need to replace them all. This will maintain an even ride and predictable, safe handling.

If you’re unsure whether you need new shocks, or if you’re considering upgrading to a higher quality shock, then consult with your reliable Certified Auto Specialists technician. They can give you vital auto advice on the condition of your shocks and how to match your driving needs to the quality of your shocks.

Good car care is essential to the safety, performance and efficiency of your sedan. It can improve the comfort of your ride as well.

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.