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!

Monitors And Drive Cycles

Recent repairs to your vehicle’s “Check Engine Light” have included a reset of the On Board Diagnostic (OBD) system. The on-board computer of your vehicle must now perform various self-tests referred to as “monitors” that may take up to a week of driving to complete. (1996 to 2002 cars require more time to complete the checking of monitors by the cars computer system).


Glowing Check Engine Light

Drive the car normally. All OBD systems self-test the computer while you’re driving and you will never know it. Depending on the age and make of your vehicle it needs to be driven in various situations such as freeway travel, 10-30 minutes of continuous driving, sitting over night and having various levels of gasoline in the tank.

The original concern that caused the check engine light to come on may have suspended or locked out some of the vehicles other self-tests that it needs to perform. Now that all of the tests are enabled and can complete the cycle, there may be a possibility of hidden issues that may cause the check engine light to come back on. Therefore, a code that did not show up previously may now set indicating a new, hidden, intermittent or remaining problem.

At Certified Automotive Specialists we do as much as we can to ensure that your vehicle is repaired properly, is safe and dependable for our customers. There are some instances that require extensive driving in order to complete tests that we cannot perform here in the shop. Therefore, if the check engine light does come on, please call or return to the shop at your convenience to have the system rechecked at no cost. In most instances, we can retrieve the code within a few minutes. Always use your best discretion if the vehicle is not operating properly. Warning: If the “Check Engine Light” is flashing, this requires immediate action.

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!

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!