Gene’s Car Tips

Mechanical Failures That Cause Accidents

Disassembled car wheel, view of the brake caliper and disc, shock absorbers and suspension springs of the car, service and repair car, close up

Brakes – Brake failure tops the list. Brake pads wear out, brake lines leak fluid and ABS systems can also be the cause of brake failure.

Tires – Bald tires can cause a car to “slip and slide” even on dry pavement. If there isn’t enough tread to hug the road you can be in serious trouble. Tire blowouts can also cause accidents.

Wipers – If you can’t see, you can’t drive! It is that simple!

Lights – More accidents happen at night and if your headlights, taillights, or brake lights, turn signal blinkers aren’t working…people can’t see you! Don’t be a road hazard!

Steering – Loss of fluid, tie rods, ball joints, and other components that make up this system can cause mechanical failure and accidents.

Roadside Assistance Calls

AAA and other services are called mostly for:

  • Dead battery
  • Flat tires
  • Cars that run out of fuel
  • Locking keys inside the vehicle

Now…we can’t keep you from locking your keys in your car, or make sure you get to the gas station on time, but we can sure help with the mechanical issues! Don’t let these things happen to you…contact us today!

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!

An Oil Change and Fuel Economy

Refueling and pouring oil quality into the engine motor car Transmission and Maintenance Gear .Energy fuel concept.

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 lightweight 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 are 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 carmakers 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: 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!

How We Keep Your Ride Going Strong in Glendora’s Summer’s Heat

Vector illustration of a red car moving along the ocean mountain road.

We know we can feel our energy ooze out of us in the summer heat and your car feels it too! Just imagine sitting there day after day on the hot pavement in Glendora while the relentless summer sun shines down on you. Car’s components such as rubber are very sensitive to heat and tend to become brittle and crack. Here a just a few things we at Certified Automotive Specialists look for when we service your vehicle for summer:

  • Batteries take a beating. Between the car’s vibrations and heat, they usually only last five years. It is always a good idea to have them tested and the technicians at Certified Automotive Specialists can help determine how much life they have left in them.

  • Cooling systems are very susceptible to summer heat. You will notice more cars sitting on the side of the road with steam pouring out from under the hood during the summer months. We always check your cooling system thoroughly to make sure the coolant isn’t contaminated. We also check the rubber components for cracks and frays. If they are past their prime, we will recommend replacing them so you don’t end up on the side of the road. We have had more than a few vehicles towed in to Certified Automotive Specialists due to a faulty cooling system that could have been prevented.

  • Tires need the proper inflation to function well. They don’t operate well if they are over-inflated or under-inflated. They need to be just right!

  • Fluids and filters need to be checked and replaced if needed. They do a lot of work to protect our vehicles.

  • Air-conditioning systems are a must in Glendora and need to be looked at so you and your passengers stay comfortable no matter how high the outside temperatures climb. We make sure to check the refrigerant and other components.

We are here to help your car face the challenges that come with hot days. Give us a call. You and your car will be glad you did!

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!

How Green Can You Go?

Most of us are concerned with keeping our environment green. We buy reusable bags for our shopping trips, combine driving trips to be more fuel-efficient, and use the new style light bulbs to conserve energy. All these seemingly little conscious efforts add up to help our earth.

Hand holding a bubble of leaf with eco icon and Nature background metaphor sustainable lifestyle and Eco friendly

It may surprise you to learn that the automotive service and repair industry has been one of the leaders in keeping our environment clean…even before it was a popular theme with the general public. We are very careful with waste disposal in every way. As an example, one gallon of improperly disposed motor oil can contaminate a million gallons of drinking water! When consumers bring their car in for regular service it is one of the biggest benefits to cleaner air and the good news is…it saves you money too! In fact, it saves you money in more ways than one! It prolongs the life of the car you have, it saves money in fuel, and a regularly maintained vehicle saves you money on expensive repairs! It is a good deal all around.

  • A regularly maintained car can last 50% longer.
  • A properly tuned car keeps your engine firing properly…one misfiring spark plug can waste 30% in fuel efficiency!
  • Keeping your tires checked and rotated makes them last longer and can help your engine work better and easier.
  • Clean filters make a more fuel efficient vehicle.

Of course, it also helps not to drive like you are trying out for NASCAR or using it to transport or store heavy objects. All of this contributes to wear and tear on your vehicle too plus cuts way down on fuel efficiency.

Working together, we can all help our earth be a bit greener… breathe a bit easier… and save ourselves more of our hard-earned cash.

Certified Auto Specialists: the friendlier and more helpful auto shop! Feel free to contact us by calling us at 626-963-0814 with any questions and we will be glad to help, or visit our website at

Hometown Service You Can Count On!

Spam Alert – Do Not Be Fooled by Calls About Expiring Auto Warranties

Male hand holding a smartphone with unknown caller displayed on screen. Privacy, fraud, cybercrime and spying concepts

We have all had them… robo calls telling us our vehicle warranty is about to expire! Sadly, once we answer the call, the company who initiated the calls knows your phone number is legitimate and they will keep calling. Even more aggravating, they make big bucks selling your number to other organizations! Even if you block the original number, they will simply use a different caller number next time.

Should you, for whatever reason, engage with a live person on such a call, do not give out any personal information such as social security number, driver’s license number, credit card or bank account numbers. Always protect yourself from fraudulent scammers.

The best course of action is not to answer any phone number you do not recognize. Even though these callers know they are violating telemarketing and robocall rules, they make enough money to take the risk and will simply pay the fine if they are caught.

If you want more information, visit Here are some options if you would like to file a complaint:

Hopefully, together, we can stop these annoying calls!

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!

Gasoline Prices Got You Down?

Here are some tips to save you money with every fill-up!

  • Make sure your gas cap is secure! If you do not tighten it enough, gas can evaporate. You can lose gallons of gas a year this way (this applies to older cars).
  • Do not speed! Just five miles over the limit can cost you 7% in fuel consumption.
  • Go easy on take-off! Jackrabbit starts and slam-on-the brakes stops can cost you 10%.
  • Do not idle your vehicle! We see many cars idling away just because the owners start them remotely. This seriously wastes gas and does not help the environment either.
  • Make sure your air filter is clean. A dirty filter can cost you 10% in gas mileage! (This should be inspected every 15,000 miles.)
  • Combine trips! Plan your errands and save some dollars.
  • Think a higher-octane fuel helps? It does not unless your vehicle calls for it. Otherwise, you are just wasting money.
  • Car maintenance of all fluids and fuel injection cleaning is extremely beneficial to your vehicle…in many ways…but it also helps with fuel consumption.

Try these tips and start gaging your mileage. We think you will be pleasantly surprised at the money saved! Also, less fuel consumed is friendly to our environment.

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!

How Drivers Can Keep Their Car’s Value High!

Hand putting coin into the car as piggy bank-Save money for car concept

Many of our customers at Certified Automotive Specialists plan to keep their car going until it can’t go another mile. If you are in that category, this article is not necessarily for you. If you do plan to sell your car in the near future, or trade it in someday, read on! I was reading an article by AAA and they estimate that a vehicle’s depreciation costs American car owners $3,571 per year, up less than 1 percent from previous years. They went on to give us pointers on how to give our vehicle more value when it is time to part ways!

1. Keep up with regular maintenance
A good technician can always tell if a driver skipped oil changes or other maintenance. When we do a used car inspection at Certified Automotive Specialists for our customers prior to purchase, our technician runs tests that can tell if the fluids have been changed or not. Some leasing companies charge lessees for unperformed maintenance. Make sure you keep receipts to prove you have kept current with your vehicle’s service.

2. Mileage
Keeping your mileagebetween10,000 and 12,000 miles per year gets you more at trade-in. If you’re driving significantly more than 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year – especially if the high mileage pushes the vehicle out of the manufacturer’s warranty – that could lower the car’s value. Many drivers rent a car when they have to travel far distances, for example, to keep the mileage on their vehicle lower.

3. Make Changes That Increase, Not Decrease!
Modifying your car to suit your style might make you feel great…but it might just hurt the value when you want to sell it or trade it in. Keep that in mind before you spend the money to install any feature. Research to see what changes may help…and what changes may hurt. Do not do any changes that will affect the vehicle’s warranty.

4. Color!
I have seen everything under the rainbow when it comes to paint colors on cars. When you have been in the industry as long as I have, nothing will surprise you. Just keep in mind that painting your car an unusual color could deter potential buyers. Stay with a generic color like silver or white because those tend to be the most popular colors.

5. Fresh!
Cigarette or pet smells often linger and could give the impression you haven’t taken the best care of the vehicle. If you smoke in the car, then that smell will remain in there so someone who gets into the car will be able to tell. The smoke can also discolor the ceiling and other areas. Before trading in or selling, you might want to visit an auto parts store and ask what they suggest to remove the smell. Keep pet hair removed. If it is not coming off for you, go to a car wash that does a great inside job as well and explain your predicament. Hopefully, then can help.

6. Keep it Clean!
Wash your car regularly to maintain its appearance. Try to wash your car once a week and wax it once a month. If the car looks good that will absolutely improve its value and you will feel good driving it as well. “It’s part of proving that the car is well-maintained.” It shows 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

Hometown Service You Can Count On!


Replacing tires is expensive and the better you take care of them, the longer they will last. Still, tires do have a life expectancy but what that actual life span is, seems to be up for debate. Some seem to think that six years is the magic number even if they haven’t actually been used. When tires sit on a shelf or have been in storage for six years they still age and deteriorate. The Rubber Manufacturer Association says it isn’t as simple as that. Until the experts agree it is up to us in the automotive service and repair industry to keep a good eye on our customers’ tires.

Most consumers may not be aware that the date of manufacture is on the tire sidewall. For example, in a recessed area on a tire, a code such as 8PY0816 stamped on it, the 0816 means it was manufactured in 2016 and in the eighth week of that year. When you do purchase new tires check the date. Some tires sit around for years before being sold as “new” and you don’t want to purchase aging tires! You want to purchase new tires! That is what you are paying for.

Reasons To Be Proactive

It has been determined that over 6,000 accidents a year are caused by tire problems. Under inflation is a major cause, however tire monitoring systems have helped with this issue. Tires should be inspected every 3 to 4 months for inflation, wear, balance, alignment and rotation.

Tires do come with wear bars or flat spots between the tread grooves. When the tread wears to the point it is equal to the flat spots the tire needs to be replaced. When you look at the rubber tire and see cords showing through, or bulges, deep cracks or tread starting to separate, you have a very unsafe tire and should not drive on it.

Tire Inflation

Driver checking air pressure and filling air in the tires close up, safety before trave. Staff filling air in to the tires at gas station.

Tips for tire inflation: some consumers think the tire pressure listed on the tire sidewall is the proper pressure. That is not always the case. The tire pressure listed on the tire is the maximum pressure the tire can hold. The recommended tire inflation pressure can be found in your owner’s manual, or on the vehicle’s door jamb sticker. Keeping your tires at the recommended inflation can save you nine cents per gallon of gas and prevent premature wear.

And when you are thinking about tires, don’t forget the spare! The tire monitor light will light on the dash if the spare is low on air for some models. Hopefully, you won’t have to use it, but it is nice to know it is ready just in case!

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!