Gene's Car Tips -

An Oil Change and Fuel Economy

Oil Change

Usually, when we talk about fuel economy, an oil change isn’t at the top of the list of discussion. The manufacturers are requiring lighter and lighter weight engine oil in all vehicles. 5w30 and 5w20 are being replaced with 0w16. I can hardly believe it, as 0w16 is like pouring water, it’s so thin.

The reason for the light weight oil is to give better fuel economy to satisfy the CAFÉ (corporate average fuel economy) standards. This standard is set by our state and requires all car manufacturers to average 54.5 MPG by the year 2025. Don’t think for a minute that the changes are going to slow down anytime soon.

Believe it or not an oil change can and will affect your miles per gallon and here is why. Us old guys always grabbed the 20w50 oil for our cars and today two of the most popular oils is 5w20 and 0w30. The comparison would be 20w50 oil will pour like molasses, while 0w20 will pour like water. Thicker oil creates resistance inside the engine, slowing down moving parts and lowering your miles per gallon. A hybrid or very high mile per gallon car can lower mileage by 1 to 2 miles per gallon. We have observed this from some testing that we have done.

Is installing 5w30 oil in a car requiring 5w20 a concern? Yes and no. Yes, because it will affect fuel mileage, sometimes it is noticeable, sometimes not. And no, because using a slightly thicker oil will not hurt the internal engine components at all. Warning!! Thicker is not better, so please don’t use a very thick oil like a 20w50 in a modern car as that will cause issues.

Other ways car makers are working to meet the CAFÉ standards are:

  • Using lighter materials
  • Turbo chargers
  • Gasoline direct injection
  • Hybrids
  • Smaller engine size
  • 10 speed transmissions
  • Synthetic oils in transmissions

With all these changes happening today, preventive maintenance is more critical than ever.

Certified Auto Specialists wants to be your GO-TO place! 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!

The Concern With Obsolete Oil

The use of obsolete oil is not something consumers think about when they get an oil change, even if they change their own oil. Lately though, this concern has been brought to our attention. A lawsuit has been filed against a retailer in New Mexico claiming the oil they sell does not meet specification for newer cars. Modern cars are designed with much tighter internal engine clearances than in years past so using the correct oil is critical.

If your star burst symbol oil label does not specify GF-5 SN it is not suitable for most cars newer than 2011. The labeling on the oil contains “obvious and unambiguous language” regarding its intended and appropriate use. I am sad to report many shops don’t understand the consequences of incorrect oil labeling.

ALL cars have specific oil that needs to be used or damage will occur! This is why some cars’ engines have 200,000, 300,000 or even 400,000 miles on them while others only get half that many miles. The use of incorrect oil can also dramatically lower fuel mileage and cause damage to systems that result in the increased emissions of toxic substances and damage to emission control systems, including catalytic converters and oxygen sensors.

If you have heard the term “sludge” and I hope your never do in relation to your own car, it is caused by two things; waiting too long to change the engine oil or using incorrect oil for that specific application. Be warned also that European cars have even stricter additive packages that if not adhered to, will really wreak havoc on the internal parts of the engine.

Here is a link I hope you will use to educate yourself on engine oils:
Motor Oils and Lubricants

The automotive industry has no standards for servicing your car. Any shop can add any oil with no consequences, so it is truly a consumer beware industry when it comes to fluid standards.

I recommend knowing what oil is recommended for your car and asking questions when you arrive at your trusted automotive shop. AAA shops have to adhere to higher standards and are held accountable for their actions. Be an informed consumer, not one with a broken car.

Certified Auto Specialists wants to be your GO-TO place! 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!

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 Have a great day!

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

Spare Tire

Goodbye Spare Tire?

Spare Tire

Remember when cars had a full size spare tire? Then they went to the small temporary spare tire called the donut, (that reminds me I need to stop at the world-famous donut man in Glendora for a strawberry one). Now, in order to save weight, many manufacturers are doing away with the spare tire altogether on certain models.  Certainly less weight increases gas mileage.  It is also easier and less expensive to shed weight from a car, than to introduce technology to save fuel. This year about 14 percent of new model cars in the United States have no spare tire.


The tire repair kit which replaces the spare tire, weighs in at about 20 pounds less than a spare tire and a jack assembly and do not take up much room either. But what should you do if you happen to get a flat? The car manufacturers are supplying a quick-fix kit instead.


If you get a major blow out that is larger than a quarter of an inch, or if the puncture is on the side of the tire instead of the bottom, the repair kit won’t do the job and you will need to be towed.  The manufacturers figure that in most cases the repair kit will do the job as it should take care of flats 85 percent of the time.


The manufacturers also feel that TPMS (tire pressure monitoring systems) will alert you in most cases that you have a leak which you can fix before you have a flat. So if the low tire light sends a signal, don’t ignore it. If you buy a new car, you might want to look for the spare tire.


Manufacturers have been mandated by the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards and are scrambling to get better gas mileage (an average of 54.5 miles per gallon) by 2025 and are doing all they can to make it happen. Not every manufacturer is using this method to help their cause but it is something you need to be aware of.  You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere and start looking for a spare that you aren’t going to find.


We have a new program that gives you a 6-month road side assistance and up to $150 of tire coverage should you need it, ask us for details.


Certified Auto Specialists wants to be your GO-TO place! Feel free to call 626-963-0814 with any questions and we will be glad to help.


Hometown Service You Can Count On!

Cars Through The Ages: 1991-2016

Here is our final segment of Cars Through the Ages!  In many ways we have come a long way but it seems we still have more exciting times ahead of us in the car industry.  I wonder when self-driving cars will be common place and what about flying cars?  We live in exiting times!


Cars Through The Ages: 1991-2016

1991 – 2000
1991 – The Cadillac comes standard with anti-lock brakes.
1992 – Chrysler minivan line has integrated child safety seats available.
1993 – Fiat buys Maserati
1994 – Volvo has side impact protection airbags.
1995 – Only one state in the USA doesn’t have mandatory seat belt laws.
1996 – The new Jeep Wrangler has coil springs.
1997 – Cadillac offers automatic stability control.
1998 – Dual airbags become standard in passenger cars.
1999 – Ford buys Volvo.
2000Ford buys LandRover.


2001 – 2010
2001 – BMW releases the new Mini.
2002 – Rolls-Royce is all BMW and Bentley is all Volkswagen.
2003 – Rolls-Royce Phantom is ready for delivery.
2004 –  Volkswagen’s all-new Golf named Car of the Year
2005 – New car coating -polyurethane film – park car in sun and the scratch will be gone in an hour.
2006 – 30,000th Aston Martin is produced.
2007 – Manufacturers around the world more concerned with building eco-friendly vehicles.
2008 – Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) is required on new cars and light trucks.
2009 – GM announces 2007 losses of $39 billion – the largest ever by a US car manufacturer.
2010 –  Nissan will put a pure EV on the road in the U.S. and Japan in 2010 in small volumes.


2011 – 2016
2011 – With a groundbreaking combination of range, room and price, the Nissan Leaf is the first all-electric car for the masses.
2012 – People’s Car Once Again: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Attracting Both Sexes
2013 – Car sales make comeback in 2013
2014 – On December 23, Google announced its first driverless car ready to test on public roads.
2015 –  U.S. vehicle recalls hit an all-time high in 2015
2016 –  Volkswagen reaches $14.7B emissions settlement due to cheating on emissions tests


Certified Auto Specialists is always here to help!  Call us today for an appointment or with any questions at 626-963-0814.


Hometown Service You Can Count On!


Cars Through The Ages: 1961-1990

During these years we seem to realize that safety, fuel economy and emissions are important!

Cars Through The Ages: 1961-1990

1961 – 1970
1961 – Jaquar E-type is shown at the Geneva Motor Show.
1962 – The Chevy Nova is introduced.
1963 – Porshe’s W-RS Spyder wins again at Le Mans.
1964 – The Ford Mustang is released and sells over 500,000 in just 18 months.
1965 – The rear-engined Chevy Corvair is criticized by Ralph Nader as unsafe.
1966 – U.S. Congress passes an Auto Safety Act.
1967 – Energy-absorbing steering column introduced by General Motors.
1968 – Federal law requires front seat belts for all passenger cars.
1969 – Head restraints are required in U.S. vehicles.
1970 – Airbags become standard.

1971 – 1980
1971 – Chrysler introduces a brake-slip control system.
1972 – Federal law requires front bumpers meet 5 mph crash standard.
1973 – Arab-Israeli War causes fuel supply problems and pain at the pump as prices rise around the world.
1974 – Manufacturers try to look at ways to improve fuel economy in vehicles.
1975 – All American cars have catalytic converters to cut air pollution emissions.
1976 – The Ford Fiesta is launched with a front drive.
1977 – Volkswagen stops production of the “Beetle” in Germany after 40 years.
1978 – Tennessee is the first jurisdiction in the world to pass a child passenger safety law.
1979 – AMC produced the Eagle 4 x 4 car.

1980 – 1990
1981 – General Motors launches Saturn in the USA.
1982 – Honda starts production at its first US factory.
1983 – Toyota introduces Lexus as its luxury brand in USA.
1984 – First U.S. seat belt law is enacted in New York.
1985 – Every U.S. state passes the use of child safety seats.
1986 – General Motors announces the rear seat lap/shoulder safety belt will replace the lap safety belt.
1987 – The Ford Motor Company acquires 75% of shares in Aston Martin Lagonda.
1988 – Ford’s first 6-cylinder car with front-wheel drive is the Lincoln Continental.
1989 – Honda starts Civic production in East Liberty, Ohio plant.
1990 – First accident with both cars equipped with airbags occurs and both drivers walk away.

Certified Auto Specialists is always here to help! Call us today for an appointment or with any questions at 626-963-0814.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

Cars Through The Ages: 1931-1960


Here is our next segment of our history and fascination with vehicles! Enjoy!

1931 – 1940

1931Mercedes-Benz presents the first modern independent front suspension system.
1932 – Ford redesigns the Model A with a V8 engine and sells over 300,000 the first year.
1933 – Ford drops to third place behind General Motors and Chrysler.
1934 – Citroen Traction Avant is the first successfully mass-produced front-wheel drive car.
1935 – A thermal interrupter switch is used to create flashing turn signals.
1936 – 54% of US families now own cars.
1937 – Buick and Oldsmobile present the Automatic Safety Transmission.
1938 – The Volkswagen goes into production in Nazi Germany (The German People’s Car).
1939 – The first air-conditioning system is added to cars.
1940 – Jeep is designed with more than 360,000 made for the Allied armed forces. It was the workhorse of WWII.


1941 – 1950

1941 – 1945 – 700,000 GP (General Purpose Vehicles) were built for WWII through 1945 by Ford and Wyllys-Overland.

GP = Jeep!
1943 – US passenger car production falls to 139 vehicles because war production requirements took over.
1945 – The war ends.  Henry Ford resigns and his grandson, Henry Ford II becomes the president of The Ford Motor Company.
1946 – Michelin patents the Radial-ply tyre.
1947 – Henry Ford dies at the age of 84.
1948 – The American motor industry produces its 100,000,000th car.
1949 – Michelin “X” radial-ply tyres go on sale.
1950 – Ford Motor goes from 3rd place to 2nd place, reducing Chrysler to the 3rd position.


1951 – 1960

1951 – Chrysler offer power steering.
1952 – Automatic transmission vehicles in the USA exceed 2 million.
1953 – General Motors introduces the Corvette & Porshe the 550 Spyder race-cars.
1954 – Tubeless tyres are now available for all new American cars.
1955 – American car sales hit a record 7,915,000.
1956Ford introduces seat-belts but it isn’t met with enthusiasm by the public.
1957 – 80% of new cars in USA have a V-8 engine & Chrysler offers in-car record player.
1958Toyotas and Datsuns are imported to the USA.
1959 – Studebaker hopes its new compact car, The Lark, will compete with European imports.
1960 – 80% of US families own at least one car.


Certified Auto Specialists is always here to help!  Call us today for an appointment or with any questions at 626-963-0814.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!


Cars 1900-1930

Over the next few weeks I thought I would share with you the beginnings of car production in the United States.  I hope you find it as interesting as I do!


Cars Through The Ages: 1900-1930

1900 – 1910

1900 – American manufacturers make 4,192 cars at a purchase price of $1,000 each.
1901 – The Olds factory begins production in Detroit and produced 425 cars that year.
1902 – Louis Renault invents the standard drum brakes.
1903 – Henry Ford raises $28,000 to found the Ford Motor Company and produces the Model A.
1904 – Ford starts exporting cars to Britain.
1905 – The installment finance plan for cars begins in America.
1906 – America produces 33,500 cars.
1907 – The price of the Ford Model N increases to $600.
1908 – The first Model T is built and 8,000 are produced. GM is started by William Durant.
1909 – At the 5th “Indy Car Race” in Indianapolis, Indiana, Louis Chevrolet wins driving a Buick.
1910 – Automobile production reaches 181,000 in the U.S.A.


1911 – 1920

1911 – The electric starter was introduced to replace hand cranking.
1912 – Cadillac’s come equipped with Delco electric self-starters and electric lighting.
1913 – Ford develops the first moving assembly line for cars.
1914 – Dodge introduces the first car body made completely of steel & Ford production workers now make an industry record of $5 per day.
1915 – Cadillac presents the first successful V8 engine in the U.S.A.
1916 – Manual windshield wipers (patented by Mary Anderson in 1903) are replaced by ones powered by vacuum from the engine’s inlet manifold.
1917 – The first Oshkosh four wheel drive truck is introduced.
1918 – Car registrations in the U.S.A. exceed 5 million.
1919 – Henry Ford pays $100 million to buy out all stock holders of the Ford Motor Company.
1920 – Model T Fords make up half of all motor vehicles in the world.


1921 – 1930

1921 – Lincoln introduces their V8.
1922 – Over one million Model T’s are produced by Ford.
1923 – Over 2,000,000 Model T’s leave the Ford production lines.
1924 – Walter P Chrysler begins to produce his own cars after leaving the position as General Motors Vice President.
1925 – General Motors Research Corp leaves Dayton, Ohio and moves to Detroit, Michigan.
1926 – Cadillac introduces shatter-resistant glass.
1927 – The Model T, after 19 years and fifteen million vehicles ends production.
1928 – Chrysler buys Dodge for $175,000,000.
1929 – 26.5 million cars are registered in the U.S.A.
1930 – Economic depression causes car sales to drop.


Certified Auto Specialists is always here to help!  Call us today for an appointment or with any questions at 626-963-0814.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!


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