Gene’s Car Tips

Checkups – They Keep Us Healthy

Checkups

Our calendars are filled with important “checkups”.  Just for our health alone we have:

  • Doctor and dentist every 6 months
  • Yearly blood test
  • Vision and hearing test every year
  • Don’t forget your pets’ trips to the vet!

 

Our homes require checkups, too!

  • Smoke alarm batteries need to be changed every 6 months,
  • Fire extinguishers also need a 6-month check!
  • Clean the gutters!
  • Service the furnace/air conditioner systems and don’t forget to have the chimney cleaned!

 

Our vehicles also require a complete semi and/or annual physical checkup.

Many drivers think all that they need to do to keep their car healthy is change the oil.  While that is vitally important, that isn’t all your vehicle needs.  Not only does your car need the fluids and tires checked, it also needs a health scan and an analysis of the “class 2 communication systems” on board your car.

We offer a comprehensive inspection that includes a check of the exterior lighting, mirrors, flashers, interior doors, locks, seat belts, tilt wheel, windows, clock, spare tire/jack, trunk latch, air conditioning and blower motor, heater, defroster, battery and cables, starter, charging system, washer/wipers, power windows, warning lights, horn, complete cooling system performance test, brakes/rotors/calipers/master cylinder/brake lines/fluids/parking brake and engine condition and filters, fluid leaks, exhaust system, mounts, emission systems, transmission condition, steering and suspension, power steering, ball joints, bushings and of course, the tires!

All of these components need to be in peak performance to keep you safe on the road.  A reliable vehicle gives you peace of mind and prevents inconvenient breakdowns!

 

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.

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

 

Did You Know?

Car Talk

– A little over 20 years ago, just 5,000 pages of technical information were needed to repair vehicles.  Today’s repairs require more than 1,500,000 pages! Each year, some 125,000 new pages are required.

– A well-maintained vehicle can last well over 200,000 miles!

– Federal Law prohibits new car dealers from implying or denying warranty services because routine scheduled maintenance was performed at an independent repair facility. (Magnusen-Moss Act).  Your newly purchased or leased vehicle does not have to return to the dealership for routine service.

– If you lease a car, you might want to read this! Lessee shall use each vehicle only in the manner for which it was designed and intended, so as to subject it to normal wear and use.  Lessee shall not modify or make alterations to the design of any vehicle, repaint or place any lettering, advertisement, accessories or insignias without prior written approval of Lessor.  Lessee shall maintain each vehicle in good operating condition and working order, using as a guide the maintenance program described in the Owner’s Manual supplied by the manufacturer of such vehicle, and unless otherwise provided in the Order, Lessee shall perform all preventive maintenance required by the manufacturer (including, but not limited to, any service adjustments or inspections required by the manufacturer or Lessor) to insure full validation of the manufacturer’s warranty.  All repairs and maintenance must be performed by a duly authorized repair facility, using original manufacturer equipment or equivalent quality parts.  Failure to perform all required preventive maintenance, and provide such records to dealer upon request, may result in additional charges assessed against the Lessee upon the vehicle’s return.

We are here to keep your vehicle (owned or leased) in excellent condition! 

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!

Do You Have An Emergency Kit In Your Car? 

Do You Have An Emergency Kit In Your Car?

Don’t Be Stuck On The Road – Be Prepared!

Here are some basics:

– Flashlight with extra batteries
– Gallon of Drinking Water
– Transmission Fluid
– Tire Inflator-Sealant
– Extra Belts
– A Few Basic Tools
– One Gallon Gas Can
– Paper & Pen
– Matches
– Dried Fruit, Nuts or Other Non-Perishable Snacks
– First Aid Kit
– Jumper Cables
– Quart of Oil
– Brake Fluid
– Fire Extinguisher
– Extra Light Bulbs and Fuses
– Electrical Tape
– Flares
– Paper Towels
– Blanket
– Cellular Phone

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!

 

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

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

  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 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!

 

Exhausted by Your Search for A Quality Auto Repair Center?

Car Talk

Many people assume that their local auto auto repair shop is staffed by certified technicians. In the state of California, workers that handle food need a Food Handler’s Certification. The hair stylist that cuts your hair and the beautician that cuts your nails are all state certified. However, there is NO certification required to open an auto repair shop.

This fact shocks most drivers, yet there is no mandatory certification required to own or operate an auto repair shop in California. All auto repair shops must be registered with the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). A prospective owner can receive an automotive repair dealer’s license (ARD) by sending a completed application with business name, tax ID, and check for $200.00 to the BAR office. The person applying does not need any automotive experience at all! Furthermore, there is no proof of insurance or a set of standard equipment required.

All additional certifications, ongoing training, professional organizations, warranties on completed work, and specialized equipment is completely voluntary. Certified Automotive Specialists wants to offer you the best automotive repair, which is why we purposefully make all of the above part of our car repair shop. Although the state of California does not require any further requirements than a license for auto repair, our facility is a member of professional groups including ASCCA and iATN. We are an AAA Approved Auto Repair Facility – only 5% of auto repair shops in Southern California make the cut to be approved by AAA. We keep up-to-date on the latest equipment and procedures so our technicians can properly repair any vehicle. Our facility also voluntary participates in further licenses from BAR; we are a STAR Certified Smog Station, a Brake and Lamp Certified Station that can sign off on fix-it tickets, and a recognized Green Station.

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has become the industry standard and offers a series of 9 tests that a technician can take to become certified in different areas of car repair. Again, these tests are voluntary, not required. The tests are also written tests, and do not necessarily prove that someone has competence when working on a physical car. Certified Automotive Specialists requires all our technicians to be ASE certified, as many other shops do as well. We make sure our technicians are correctly trained and able to complete high-quality repairs. This is one area of the auto repair industry that we would like examined. Other professionals are required to have certification, ongoing training, and proper tools. Mechanics should have those requirements as well.

We do everything we can to offer our customers first-rate automotive repairs. Our hard work has earned us a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We understand the desire to save money, and some shops that aren’t certified may be cheaper. However, a low price now may cost more in repairs later. By trusting a knowledgeable certified technician to perform your repairs or service, you can save time and money in the long run. You can always ask a repair shop about their certifications and professional acknowledgments. If a shop’s estimated price lower than everyone else’s, there’s likely a reason. Get experienced, professional repairs by a certified auto technician at Certified Automotive Specialists. We offer a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty on all repairs because we stand by our technicians and our work. If you have any questions, call us at (626) 541-2149.

Offering Customers a Personal Touch

At Certified Automotive Specialists, we always aim to be more than some generic auto repair shop. We don’t want to be faceless entities going through the motions of getting the job done, and we don’t want our customers to ever feel like they’re just a number. That’s why one of our guiding principles is providing exemplary customer service. That service comes with a variety of personal touches so that our customers really feel like they’re part of the CAS family.

We’ve lived in Glendora as long as our shop has existed (we opened our doors in 1978) and we value being part of this community. If there’s anything we feel strongly about, it’s that local businesses operate as pillars of the community – a trusted place that locals can depend on. Our customers aren’t just people we work with. They’re our friends and family! Offering high-quality work is important to us, of course, but we find that it’s even more important to let our personality shine through so people feel at home when they’re here.

One of the way we like adding that personal touch is adding a little flair to the windows every season. In this YouTube video, you can see a time-lapse video of us creating a Thanksgiving window painting. We get to show off our sweet painting skills and personality! It’s so much fun to do projects like this that give us an opportunity to have a good time and do one more thing we enjoy. It makes the work day an absolute joy.

Our team is full of professional service technicians who know cars inside and out, but we’re also people with our own unique personalities and quirks. Being part of an independent business that’s been such a staple in Glendora over the years gives us the freedom to show off who we are! That personal touch is one of the things that keeps our customers coming back over and over again.

Do you like seeing some personality in the businesses you work with? Personally, we feel like it makes the place feel more welcoming. What do you think?

Dipsticks – They are Disappearing

Dipsticks – They are Disappearing

I remember when we checked engine oil and transmission fluid by pulling the dipstick out, wiping it clean, putting it back in, and pulling it back out.  That simple process enabled us to check the fluid level.  We could tell many things by that dipstick, but today it isn’t that simple. Many new models don’t even come equipped with an engine oil or transmission dipstick!

Modern automobiles have become marvels of precision and durability over the years. Many transmissions have 5, 6, 7 or even 8 speeds and do not have a dipstick to allow checking or adding to the fluid level or inspecting the fluid condition, unless you have specialty tools to do so.  Some engines are following suit by removing the dipstick as well. These cars rely on the engine computer to check oil level and condition. Not sure about you, but that scares me.

Vehicles with dipstick-less engines and transmissions came about to keep people from adding incorrect fluid. A person or non-qualified shop would add or change the fluid using the incorrect type. The engine and/or transmission would fail prematurely because the less-expensive fluid did not lubricate properly, and failure was eminent. The consumer might put the fault on a poorly designed or defective car. This is happening more and more.

Some of these engines and transmissions are filled with what the manufacturer says is “long life” fluid, claiming it does not require changing for many miles. I recommend you find a trust worthy service center and use the manufacturer recommendations along with your service advisor recommendations to make the final decision on when to service your car.

With rules regulating the automotive manufacturers that mandate fuel mileage be increased every year, vehicles require very specific synthetic fluids. The cost of today’s fluids can be staggering, ranging from $6.00 to $26.00 per quart. Adding the wrong fluid will damage the internally lubricated parts over time.

Please do your homework when having any service performed; it can be devastating if the wrong fluid or incorrect fill procedure is performed.

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!

The Role of the Check Engine Light

Car Talk

Your car has many computers that monitor your engine for the best performance, your transmission for proper shifting, your braking system for safe stopping, and it monitors many other devices to make sure they are working properly. If a system detects a problem, it needs to alert you, so you can bring the car in for service. This is the role of the check engine light.

The check engine light looks different from car to car.  It is usually a yellow or orange color. It will rarely be red. Most of the time it illuminates in the shape of an engine. If the check engine light comes on solid (not blinking), you can continue to drive the car until you have a chance to bring it in. This does not mean you should ignore it.

When the check engine light is on, the car defaults to a backup system that controls all the important systems. Driving around for a short time until you can set up an appointment is no problem, but continuing to drive more than 20 miles is a bad idea.

If the check engine light is blinking rhythmically, this indicates a serious problem! A computer system has had a major malfunction that will damage the catalytic converter. If you notice a blinking check engine light, you do not need to stop in the middle of the bridge and call a tow truck, but you do need to stop driving as soon as it is practical. Whether the check engine light is solid or blinking, it’s a good idea to drive gently.

The modern car is more complex than ever, and many folks believe a small hand-held code reader will tell you what’s wrong with the car. This is incorrect information. It is called a code reader for a reason; it reads the trouble code for the major systems only. A code reader will not tell you the complete story of the car’s condition.

Please don’t diagnose or replace parts based on a code reader device. The only way to correctly find all the issues with your car is to use a scanner. The scanner does what it says; it scans all the modules and systems of the car, instead of a select few that a code reader does. Most cars have 20 to 100 modules; a code reader is not set to read even half of those.

Quick story; we recently had a car come in with a catalytic converter code. It would be easy to recommend and replace the part. The cost was $1200.00. Testing and analysing the system with scan data revealed that an oxygen sensor (one of the four that are on this car) was the culprit. The cost was $400.00. We felt good doing a proper diagnosis and repair. The customer was also happy!

No one wants to pay for expensive testing, but it beats changing parts and losing that hard-earned cash we all want to spend elsewhere. Please use a shop that is well equipped and don’t rely on the old code reader any more.

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!