Electric Vehicle Owners – Beware!

Electric Vehicles

It seems that criminals have come up with a new money maker…stealing the charging cables that power the electric vehicles.  The cables themselves are very expensive and they can resell them for that alone.  They are also filled with copper, which is a big money maker for thieves. 

Electric vehicles that are left alone to recharge are easy targets.  All a criminal has to do is unplug the cable and take off.  What can you do to protect your investment? The police have recommended the following:

– If your EV is being charged outside your home, try to use a padlock on the electric wall socket that you plug the cable into.

– The best way is to always plug the cable in your locked garage, but some don’t have a garage.

We hope this article makes you more aware so you can protect your vehicle from these criminals.

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!

The Sound of Silence

Car Mufflers

The job of a muffler is to keep your vehicle quiet.  There is a lot involved for a piece of equipment that doesn’t look too intricate.  It silences the noise of your car in these ways:

  • Changes the pressure pulses
  • Dampens the pressure pulses
  • Absorbs the pressure pulses

The noise is measured in decibels and the muffler dissipates the level of sound.

There are two types of mufflers; direct-fit or universal.  A direct-fit muffler doesn’t require modifications.  A repair shop just has to line it up and bolt it on.  They are, however, not readily available for all vehicles.

A universal muffler is easy to find and usually requires some modifications.  This is done by lengthening or shortening pipes or even replacing them.  New hangers are a must to keep the new equipment from rattling. Thankfully, these modifications are not difficult or expensive; they just take more time.  If you are replacing a direct-fit muffler with a universal muffler, don’t expect it to muffle the noise as well as the direct-fit.  It will be acceptable, but different.  

It is hard to imagine the noise level if we didn’t have mufflers on our vehicles!  If yours needs replacing, just give us a call.  The sound of silence can be golden.

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!

How Is Your Transmission?

There are two types of transmissions, as you all know; manual and automatic. Here are some signs that they might need a checkup by a professional:


Hope For Your Vehicles Transmission
  • Thankfully today we don’t have to guess as much as we did in days gone by. We have dashboard lights that illuminate to alert of a potential problem. It could be the “check engine light” and it may pinpoint it even better as a transmission problem by showing the “reduced power” light.
  • If your car simply won’t move even after it starts just fine, this could be telling you a major transmission failure has occurred.
  • Slippage is another indication and is an odd sensation if you have never experienced it before. It may be a simple issue like a control solenoid or a serious issue such as loss of pressure.
  • If you notice a leak on the ground it could be transmission fluid. Look for red (fresh fluid) or shades of red/brown as the fluid ages.
  • Noises you may experience if your transmission is not as healthy as it should be are grinding or whining.


  • Just like with an automatic transmission, if your vehicle starts fine, but won’t move, it could be a transmission issue.
  • Shifting issues often indicate worn rings or gear teeth. These can make it difficult to shift gears, cause the gears to clash or even jump out of gear!
  • If you notice a brown leak on the ground, this tells you the gear oil is leaking. A professional can find the leak for you as it can come from a few locations.
  • If you hear a growling, grinding or whining noise, this can signal low fluid, worn bearings and/or gears.

If your car is experiencing any of these problems, please contact your automotive repair professional. They can quickly diagnose the problem and tell you the best solution for your 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!

Thanks For Being Our Customer!

We always find time to be thankful for our wonderful customers! We wish each and every one of you a safe, enjoyable Thanksgiving!

Make It A Happy Thanksgiving!

Whether you are going on an extended road trip, driving to the airport or just plan to get groceries or do some Black Friday shopping, it will probably involve your car! Here are what the road-side assistant companies suggest you have checked out before the holiday to make sure your vehicle is safe and your Thanksgiving less stressful!

  • Tires: Make sure your tires are properly inflated. If they have bad tread wear and need to be replaced, it is better to do it before you are in a breakdown situation.
  • Wiper Blades: Many an accident could be avoided if drivers could see where they are going! Make sure your wiper blades are up to the challenge!
  • Battery: A dead battery can be avoided! A simple test will make sure it is up to par.

The best thing you can do before any road trip is to make an appointment with us and let us do a vehicle inspection. It will give you peace of mind! Don’t let your car be a “road side assistance” Thanksgiving statistic this year! We sure don’t want our customers sitting on the side of the road!

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 contact us through our website.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

The Life Of A Car Battery

The two main reasons for shortened battery life are:

  • Excessive heat – Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, damaging the internal structure of the battery.
  • Overcharging – A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, resulting in a slow battery death.
Close up hand of auto mechanic are using measuring equipment tool for checking car battery. Concepts of car fix repair and service maintenance.

To get the most out of your battery:

  • Have your battery and its connections checked at every oil change.
  • Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate. Overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging.
  • Always have the battery replaced with one that’s rated at least as high as the one originally specified.
  • Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt becomes a conductor, which drains battery power. Further, as corrosion accumulates on battery terminals it becomes an insulator, inhibiting current flow.

Batteries do not always give warning signs before they fail. If your battery is more than three years old, it is probably wise to have it replaced.

Your car care provider can determine the health of your battery so you know how much life it has left.

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 contact us through our website!.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

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.

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 www.CertifiedAutoCA.com.


Hometown Service You Can Count On!