Gene’s Car Tips

Ten Good Reasons to Invest in an Annual Car “Physical” and Needed Maintenance

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  1. CUT REPAIR COSTS – Discovering a worn component before it creates major problems can save big money.
  1. SAFETY – A poorly maintained vehicle can drive you into a serious accident.
  1. BETTER PERFORMANCE – This translates to improved fuel economy as well as “driveability.”
  1. SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT – Under-maintained vehicles are a serious contributor to air pollution.
  1. IMPROVED TRADE-IN/RESALE VALUE – A well-maintained vehicle can be worth two to three times as much as one that has been neglected.
  1. BETTER HANDLING – Incorrect wheel alignment, worn suspension components and/or tires cause poor ride and handling.
  1. ABILITY TO PLAN AHEAD – When a check-up indicates future need for replacement of a part, you can budget accordingly.
  1. DEPENDABILITY – A well-maintained vehicle is less likely to stall, fail, or otherwise leave you stranded.
  1. DRIVING ENJOYMENT – It’s more comfortable and more fun to drive a car that holds the road and rides well.
  1. PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP – It’s said that your car is an extension of our personality. Keep it looking like you care!

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 Hazards of Running on Fumes

gas station icon

Are you one of those people that wait until a warning beeps or the low fuel light illuminates? Do you feel confident you can go several more miles before actually running out of gas? Do you make a game of “I think I can, I think I can” meaning I think I can get to a gas station on just fumes alone? If so, read on!

I’ve known a few people in my time who enjoy the challenge of pulling up to the gas station on fumes. Sure…they have lost a few times and had to hoof it to the nearest station, buy a gas can and walk back to where their trusty vehicle finally stopped. Some even brag after this experience that now they actually know for sure how many miles they can drive after the fuel warning lights up! I’m happy those people enjoy such games and challenges, but playing that game can have costly, not to mention damaging results for your vehicle.

How Does the Fuel Pump Work?

Most vehicles have an electric fuel pump located inside the fuel tank and are actually submerged in the fuel. The fuel pump is an electric motor that spins at a high rate of speed. Spinning mechanical parts create heat and need lubrication, which is why the pump is at the bottom of the fuel tank completely covered with fuel.

The fuel pump is always spinning as long as the engine is running, which makes it more important not to run low on gas. When your fuel gauge reads below ¼ of a tank, the fuel pump is starting to be exposed to air inside the tank, instead of the cool fuel.

If you put your hands together and rub them back and forth as fast as you can, you will create heat, when you stop, it will take a few minutes for them to cool down. However, if you put them under water they cool down immediately. Maybe not a great analogy, but I think you get the idea.

Overheating fuel pumps is the number one cause of failure. The cost of replacing a fuel pump on most cars is roughly $600 to $1000 and some cost even more.

What Should I Do?

The best thing you can do for your vehicle is fill it up when it gets to a quarter tank. It will save you money in the long run and keep your car running well. Sure…it doesn’t have the same challenge as driving on fumes, but when it comes to your vehicle, it is always wise to consider damage control…both to your car and your wallet!

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!

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).

WHAT DO I DO NOW?

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 CertifiedAutoCa.com

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

Signs Your Brakes Need Attention

Noises – A scraping sound means metal is rubbing metal and that tells you that your brake pads are worn out and need to be replaced. A squealing noise doesn’t always indicate a problem depending on the materials used in the pads but shouldn’t be ignored as it could also mean the pads are worn or your system is missing a gasket.

Swerving – If your vehicle swerves to one side when you apply the brakes the front brakes need to be checked to make sure the “power” of the brakes are evenly distributed. This could indicate a leak or a mechanical problem or a miss-match of brake pad brands on either side. It is best to have it checked out if you notice this issue.

Signs you need to have your vehicle towed – Pedal to the floor is a sign that the car has a leak or a bad master cylinder. This is a situation where you need to get your car towed in for repair immediately. Do not drive your vehicle if this occurs. Another issue is when your brakes “lock” as this is caused by a damaged pad.

Keep in mind that your braking system endures a lot! The components are constantly bombarded by water, road grit, heat, and contamination of its fluid. We suggest you have your brake system inspected once a year so it can do what you need it to do…bring you to a stop!

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!

2020 X Monitors and Drive Cycles

Recent repairs to your vehicle’s “Check Engine Light” have included a reset of the On Board Diagnostic (OBD) system. This process has also reset the OBD readiness monitoring system. The readiness monitors now need to re-test the computer system before verifying that all systems are functioning as designed and working properly.

WHAT DO I DO NOW?

Car Tool Logo

Drive the car normally. All OBD systems self-test the computer while you’re driving and you will never know it. Depending on the manufacturer of the vehicle, there are 5 to 10 readiness monitors that need to be tested.

To allow your vehicle’s readiness monitors to perform their tests and reset the OBD system to a “ready” state, and to determine that all systems are working properly, your vehicle will have to be driven through a drive cycle.

(Who knew my car had to pass a test to work properly?)

Your vehicle’s specific drive cycle can depend on the vehicle make and model. A normal drive cycle is 5 miles of city, stop and go driving, and 5 miles of steady 60 MPH of freeway driving in the same key cycle.

Keep in mind that repairing a check engine light for one system or code may unlock another hidden pending code of another system while the drive cycle tests are being performed.

So, if the Check Engine Light illuminates on the dash again, don’t be alarmed. It means the system failed the test. This may happen because when the original check engine light was on, all OBD monitoring stops. Just stop in and we will re-check the system.

NOTE: A flashing check engine light should be corrected immediately.

Thank you for your trust in us and please ask if you are not clear on the computer readiness monitoring system. We will be glad to help you.

Repairophobia

What is repairophobia, you ask? It is the fear of auto repair. I read this term just the other day and said to myself, “Yes, it is about time it had a name!” What are the reasons consumers have this dreaded condition?

Car Tool Logo
  • Many consumer news reporters love to feature a certain shop or auto repair chain routinely ripping drivers off. They go undercover and take a well-maintained vehicle into the shop and then share with the public the long list of repair items the shop claims are needed. This hurts all auto repair shops, not just the culprit who apparently can’t earn enough money being honest. The majority of auto repair shops are honest, hard-working individuals. The con artists are few and far between.

  • Consumers are worried that they won’t have enough money if they take their vehicle in for routine maintenance and the service advisor informs them they need a repair as well. They hadn’t budgeted for more than the routine service. Always ask for a price before you tell any shop to proceed with a repair. If you can’t afford to have it done right then, tell them you will have to come back at another time.

  • Consumers may be pressed for time and don’t want to be without their vehicle for very long. Even if the shop offer rides to and from home or work, they like the convenience of having their ride ready to go when they are.

  • Consumers aren’t experts in auto repair! They may be highly intelligent individuals, but this isn’t their area of expertise. Ask the service advisor to explain what is needed in layman terms. If they start spouting off phrases you don’t understand, tell them. It is up to them to make you feel comfortable. If you are at the shop when they are explaining, tell them to show you. If you are on the telephone, get an explanation you feel good about.

Our job is to take the phobia out of auto repair. You can count on us!

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!

Remember When…

A handshake was your word?
You did what you said you would?
Honor meant everything.
You never questioned trust?
We respected our elderly and military?
Ethics had meaning.
Fun for young people was being outside all day and returning when the streetlights came on?

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

Our goal is to provide safe and reliable transportation for our customers, build a bond of trust, convenience, respect, and value.

Certified Automotive Specialists will never break the trust placed in us by our customers. For 42 years, Certified Automotive Specialists has kept its morals and ethics and will always provide value, convenience, as well as a safe and reliable car for you to drive. And yes, we still operate Certified Auto Specialist like the “good ‘ole days!”

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.

What You Need To Know About ADAS!

ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) is a sensor program available in a lot of new cars. These sensors are there to help you in many ways, such as:

Car Sensors
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Adaptive headlights that steer with the vehicle
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Automatic headlight high-beam activation and dimming
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Parking assist/self-parking
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

These sensors sure make life easier and safer…unless they get damaged. Obviously, if you are in a major accident, you might think about the sensors and their need for replacement/recalibration. If you do not think about it, hopefully, your collision repair shop will.

Something you might not be aware of is that if you have a windshield replaced or a slight fender bender, the sensors will fail to be reliable. A suspension repair or a wheel alignment can also upset the finely tuned sensors. Once a driver realizes that something “isn’t quite right” they often never trust ADAS again.

These systems can be fixed, however. It is a time-consuming process to calibrate, which significantly raises the cost of the repair, but it can be accomplished.

We just want you to know what ADAS is, how it works, and what to do if you notice a change. Being aware helps keep you, and those you share the road with, safe! At Certified Automotive Specialists, that is always our goal!

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!

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.*

*Within 10 miles of the shop.