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Nikki Ayers

Nikki Ayers | Owner

October is Car Care Month – Learning the Meaning of Different Light Indicators on your Car’s Dashboard

So often people call into the shop and say "my check engine light is on!" When in fact, they arrive with the car at the shop and it is not the check engine light but maybe the "TPMS" light – check your tire pressures. Learning the meaning of the different light indicators in today's vehicles will help you understand which system(s) may be amiss and need immediate attention. One very good thing that has happened over the years in the automotive industry, is that most cars, European, foreign, and domestic all have the same type of symbols on the dashboard.
1.  Check Engine Light or Service Engine Soon is an indication there is something going on with the emissions system in the vehicle. It could be something as simple as you did not, or forgot, to put the gas cap on correctly after fueling the vehicle, or there is a major component starting to fail such as a catalytic converter. If this light starts to "flash" it is best to not continue to drive the vehicle and take it in for a diagnostic check as soon as possible.

2.  Maintenance Required Soon is exactly what it means. The system in your vehicle knows when the oil needs to be changed, spark plugs or coils should be replaced, etc. based upon mileage. However, your vehicle’s service needs should also be based upon your driving conditions and that is not factored in the system indicator of your car. You may say, I just had the oil changed and now the Service Engine Soon light is on! Don’t panic, just call the shop and they should reset the light for you if you are on track with maintenance.

3.  TPMS or tire pressure monitoring light is on. These lights are extremely sensitive and can indicate a tire pressure on any one of the tires is off by even as little as 1/2 a pound. That does not mean to ignore the light. It could also mean you have a tire with a nail in it. A low spare tire will also cause the TPMS light to come on. Another word of caution, if you have bought a new car in the last 5-10 years, you probably do not have a spare tire, so make sure you know what you do and do not have before going out on a long drive.

4.  Brake Warning Light is an indication of a problem with your braking system. There are primarily 3 systems impacting your brakes. The brake warning light is only sensing two, the brake pads, rotors or drums, and the hydraulic system. The brake warning light comes on normally to let you know the brake warning sensors on the brake pads are at approximately 3% remaining and it is time to replace the brake pads. Due to the changes in the metals used in the brake materials you may find it necessary to replace both the brake pad and rotors at the same time.

5.  ABS Warning Light is the computer system controlling your brakes. This system is the 3rd component of the brakes. When you need to make a heavy emergency stop you may feel a heavy shudder under your foot. That is the ABS system kicking in. This warning does not happen often, but it is a serious matter and needs to be repaired.

6.  Coolant Warning Light coming on means the coolant level is low. The systems today are sealed for a reason, so people do not get burned trying to add coolant. Normally, on the upper right-hand side of your engine compartment there is a coolant reservoir, and that is where to check the coolant level. If you do not know the proper coolant to put in your vehicle put in water, then go to your technician.

7.  Oil Warning Light is another very important light to heed. If your vehicle is going through too much oil, meaning it is low on oil often, there is a problem. That does not mean it is a major engine problem, but one you need to take care of, and done properly by a skilled technician.

Always take your vehicle for service or repair at a facility that have technicians who are properly trained AND have the proper equipment to take care of your vehicle’s needs. Not all shops are equal, and do expect to pay for diagnostic time. Just having a "code" means nothing. Knowing what that code does and the systems it effects is what diagnostic time is all about.

I always believe a clean car runs better! If you have any questions about my thoughts on your vehicle’s warning lights, feel free to give me a call!

Ayers Automotive Repairs
(805) 962-7316
1301 Chapala St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Joy P. Bean | Realtor

Joy P. Bean | Realtor

Sotheby's International Realty
(805) 895-1422 or (805) 963-1391
8 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101
[email protected]

Joy Bean is a full-time real estate professional who possesses invaluable business acumen, marketing savvy, and a portfolio of experience in both residential and investment real estate spanning 25+ years. With expertise honed from previous years as an executive for two award-winning San Francisco-based advertising agencies, Joy excels at branding and product marketing as well as the complex negotiation nuances necessary for successful, smooth, trouble-free real estate transactions. At her core, Joy is an aggressive entrepreneur who works tirelessly for her clients. As a result, her clients attain the best prices and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing their best interests come first.

In Joy’s words, “Trust is my number one priority, and trust can only be earned through hard work, honesty, and integrity.”

Prior to teaming up with Sotheby’s International Realty, Joy was a partner for ten years at Capital West Associates providing real estate investment consulting to high net-worth investors. Today, Joy brings to the table intelligent traditional and online marketing strategies—so important in today’s world of real estate—a powerful international and national sales network and the utmost respect for her clients’ needs and goals.

Joy is a proud fourth generation Californian and a mother of three children. She graduated with honors (Phi Beta Kappa) from UC Berkeley and, after post-graduate study at the Sorbonne in Paris, she began her career as a curator and corporate art consultant. Joy’s love for art, design, and culture is mirrored in the architecture and lifestyle of Santa Barbara. She immerses herself in the many family-oriented, recreational and cultural opportunities of this wonderful city. Joy believes strongly in giving back to her community and is an active volunteer and supporter of the many organizations that make Santa Barbara such a special place. Joy is a longtime member of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Women’s Board, has served on the board of Santa Barbara Associates, and she also gives her time and resources to CASA, Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, Loaves and Fishes, and Master Gardeners.

Time and again, Joy’s clients have expressed gratitude for the time and money saved through her efforts, and appreciation for her invaluable counsel and professional manner. There is no greater measure of success.

Lynn Hamilton, M.A. | Certified Educational Planner

Lynn Hamilton, M.A. | Certified Educational Planner

(805) 886- 8462
[email protected]

Why Use An Educational Consultant

Lynn Hamilton, Schoolfinders
Educational Consultants: Investing in your child’s or grandchild’s future

Choosing the right school is one of life’s most important decisions.

Next to your house, your child’s education may be the biggest investment you ever make. Studies show that success in college is the single most important factor in securing a successful career and future. Today, there are more college and secondary school options than ever before. For many, the pressure-filled decision-making process concerning their child’s future educational direction can be stressful and confusing.

An educational consultant can help!

At this critical time in your child’s life, getting the right advice can be difficult. Expert help is readily available from a specialized, professional independent educational consultant. Their combination of expertise and personal attention can make an enormous difference in the quality of your child’s future education.

Choosing the right consultant.

According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the best way to choose an educational consultant is based on experience. At Hamilton & Associates, our staff has over 60 years of experience in high school guidance counseling and educational consulting, including placement in college and preparatory schools, remedial, summer, and special needs programs. Our company has helped over 2500 families find and gain admission to the right school or program for their student.

Families searching for external counseling services should ask the following types of questions before enlisting the services of an independent counselor.

  • Do you have counseling experience or certification?
  • How long have you been an independent counselor?
  • How long has this counseling center been functioning?
  • Do you have experience in a high school or college?
  • When did you last work on a high school or college campus?
  • Are you familiar with the academic program in my high school?
  • Do you visit college campuses regularly?
  • Have you attended conferences, college counseling institutes or workshops?

To find out about more about Lynn Hamilton and Schoolfinders, visit or email Lynn at [email protected] or call (805) 886-8462.

Helping your child or grandchild make the next step in their educational choice is monumental today. It is important to make an informed decision.

Sue Larsen

Sue Larsen | Partner Owner

Gulley & Larsen Insurance Services, LLC
(805) 569-2607 / Lic. #0E83625

For some of you we don’t know each other, so here is a little about me. I have lived in Santa Barbara most of my adult life. I have two sons, Paul & wife Kim (whom many of you have met), and grandchildren Erik & Elsa, who live here in Santa Barbara. And son Craig who lives in San Jose. I love going to art museums, the opera, concerts and just enjoying our ocean and mountains. I love to travel and have spent time in Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and most of the United States. And I enjoy our own University Club.

I have spent a great deal of my life, about 40 years, in the health insurance industry. Most of that time in the corporate world of Blue Cross California as a Staff Vice President. I was a strong activist for the development of women’s benefits and inclusion of ethnic markets. The past 15 years have been in partnership with Phillip Gulley. We specialize in Individual, Senior, and Small Group insurance.

For those on Individual plans – make sure you keep up with enrollment times. If you need to change plans or let the state know your income has changed, it is very important.

Seniors: The Annual Enrollment Period will start October 15 – December 7, 2020. This period is for your Medicare Advantage Plans, which includes your Prescription Drug Plan. Check to see if the drugs you are using are on your plan and if the costs have changed.

Small Group Employers – Renewals – for a number of groups December may be your renewal time. Be sure to review your coverages and make sure they fit your needs along with costs. There are many options that employers may see what they are. And did you know that an owner with one full-time employee may be eligible for a group plan?

I hold a Life, Health & Disability Insurance License. Past President of Santa Barbara Association of Health Underwriters, and past VP of Membership CAHU. Served on the Workforce Board County of SB.

It’s important that during these times of change that you keep in contact with your Agent. I hope to meet all of you soon.

Sue Larsen

Carla Long Director of Planned Giving at Cottage Health

Carla Long

Director of Planned Giving at Cottage Health
(805) 962-1100

There was a period of time in my life when change was definitely in the air. I had recently changed jobs. My father passed away, my mother moved from eastern Montana to Eastern Oregon. Larry, my partner of 35 years, passed away. I became a grandmother. My oldest daughter moved back to Santa Barbara. My youngest daughter followed shortly after. And, my nephew finished college.

Not to be outdone, I sold a view home on the Santa Barbara Mesa and purchased a newer single-story home in North Goleta and acquired a rental. All in a span of about 5 years!

After my move, I realized how all those changes had affected my retirement and estate plans. I used a Cottage Health tool – - Plan Your Will and completed the questionnaire. When I was done, I printed the questionnaire and took it to my estate planning attorney and my retirement advisors to update my plans.

By now, we have all been social distancing and working remotely for so long that the cupboards, sock drawers, and garage storage units have all received a thorough cleaning. I invite you to try the Plan Your Will tool – it is free of charge – and revisit your planning documents. Then print out your questionnaire and have a conversation with your advisors. If you need help selecting advisors, please visit our website to view the Member Roster (contact Sue Larsen if you forgot your login and password). There you will find Santa Barbara Associates who are smart, sophisticated, willing and extremely capable; they can provide professional guidance on many essential planning topics. Santa Barbara Associates are here for you and for each other.

Stay safe and healthy!

Carla Long
Director of Planned Giving, Cottage Health