Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn't feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes around Los Altos and smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then, one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.There are several things involved in an alignment check at Allied Auto Works. First, there's an inspection of the steering and suspension systems - their components should be checked to see if anything's bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle's center line. If the back wheels aren't adjustable, a technician at Allied Auto Works can determine the direction they push and then align the front wheels to match.
Like most things, your manufacturer has suggested a mileage interval for having your alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that's given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive. It's better to have your alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear - by then, the damage is done.Getting your alignment checked at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos when needed is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tires meet the road properly for maximum performance and safety.
Allied Auto Works2073 Grant RoadLos Altos, CA 94024650.968.7227http://www.alliedautoworks.com
Your browser does not support the video tag.
Weight is the enemy of fuel economy. Everyone from Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Cupertino knows this makes sense.Some of us in the Los Altos area carry a bunch of unnecessary weight, and I'm not talkin' what you see in the mirror.Guys: sports equipment and tools. Ladies: well, just take a look around the passenger compartment and trunk. I think my car has about 45 pounds of french fries on the floor. Even the dog kennels in the back of your truck add extra weight. Take them out when you don't need them. Don't use your car like a storage facility unless you plan on dumping that stuff ASAP. All that extra weight wastes gas as you drive between here and there, and everywhere else.Lose the junk and save some money....And you really only need one of those spare tires.
Allied Auto Works 2073 Grant Road Los Altos, CA 94024 650.968.7227 http://www.alliedautoworks.com
Your browser does not support the video tag.
A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the CA news. Los Altos people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better gas mileage and receive a government rebate.
A lot of Los Altos motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They're good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they're paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their vehicles for 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) or more – as long as it's economical to do so.
There are plenty of Los Altos drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles (240,000 or 320,000 kilometers). We can learn from what they're doing to keep our own vehicles on the road in CA.The Los Altos drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.
That may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it's really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your vehicle's engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is bad for your engine.There's another reason the scheduled oil change is so important for Los Altos car owners. It's simple – a Allied Auto Works professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won't get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let's use brake fluid as an example, your Allied Auto Works technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or repair.Your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works service advisor will also visually inspect your vehicle for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car's worth.Realistically, things are going to wear out as your vehicle gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) you'll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.Of course, these things cost some money, but they are less than new vehicle payments in Los Altos. With proper service at Allied Auto Works and regular inspections, you'll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.......and just think of all the bones you could buy me and Duke!
Your browser does not support the video tag.
We live in such a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days, CA folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough - they had to do without. Most Los Altos drivers couldn't afford new vehicles very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.It's a good thing that vehicles are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us CA penny pinchers is that a modern vehicle can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Los Altos vehicle owners making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules.Every time you go a little farther between recommended oil changes, you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and for clogged passages. Then some vehicle parts don't get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted; the radiator starts being damaged - one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning - really everything on your schedule.It is probably even more important for older vehicles. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in Los Altos at Allied Auto Works, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It's like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your service advisor at Allied Auto Works help you keep track of the rest.Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Allied Auto Works is cheaper than a new car payment for Los Altos drivers. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol - you don't want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.
Ever notice that your tire is covered with writing? It's like some hieroglyphic art form. Of course, Los Altos drivers know that it's not just graffiti, but to most of us, it might as well be. Would you like to know what all those codes on your tire mean? It won't lead you to buried treasure, but it could help you make a better tire purchase at your local Los Altos tire store.Prominently featured on your tire is a set of numbers and letters that looks something like this: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The first number is the width of the tire in millimeters, or the width between the sidewalls of the tire when it is fully inflated and not carrying a load. When Los Altos drivers replace tires, they need to match this width number, or the tires won't fit properly in the wheel wells.The 50 is the aspect ratio of the tire, which is measured by taking the height of the sidewalls and dividing it by the tread width. If you drive off-road around the Los Altos area, it should have a high aspect ratio. For high performance on the road, you want a lower aspect ratio.The R simply means this is a radial tire.The 92 is the load rating index, or in other words, a rating of how much load a tire can safely carry. If you frequently haul heavy loads around Los Altos, you will want a tire with a high load rating.The last letter in our “code” sequence is the speed rating on the tire. Not all tires have this rating. In general, the closer the letter is to the end of the alphabet, the higher the speed rating. In other words, Z is the highest rating and A is the lowest. One exception: H comes between U and V. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.If you'd just as soon ignore all of the markings on your tire, that's okay. When you need to replace your tires just ask your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works tire professional for his auto advice on the best tires for you and your vehicle. Replacing tires is a standard part of preventive maintenance for Los Altos drivers vehicles. We all have to do it sooner or later. And the better we understand what we're buying, the better our vehicle will perform and the safer we will be on CA roads. Good vehicle care is informed vehicle care.
If you're gonna drive around the Los Altos area or any where across the United States especially during the Summer, you've got to be able to see! So having a good set of windshield wipers is extremely important. We've all experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm or when our windshield is just dirty. Summertime our windshield tends to get a lot of dirt and dust on it from the drier conditions, construction going on full swing in the summer and of course those drives to our favorite destinations. It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. But windshield wipers are like most other vehicle parts– they require regular attention in order to work their best.You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If it's going to be a particularly harsh winter in CA, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall. Winter blades are designed to resist freezing.Speaking of winter and freezing conditions, if your car has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don't use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That'll just tear up the blades and cause them to wear out more quickly. It may even damage the wiper motor.Over time, wiper blades become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don't cover the windshield effectively.Worn wiper blades aren't just a safety hazard; they can also scratch your windshield. That may require replacing the entire windshield, a big cost for such a little part.Replace worn blades right away. Our professionals at Allied Auto Works can provide you with a quality replacement blade. They cost about the same as they would at the store, but installation is included at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos.Of course you also need windshield washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though Allied Auto Works will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home, or in the car if you are on a long trip.Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy bottled water, may freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won't do a good job of cleaning your windows.And remember that some vehicles have two reservoirs: one for the windshield and one for the back window, which may be under the hood or somewhere in the back.So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road, and give us a call.
If you're reading this article in Los Altos, CA, then you probably care about your vehicle and how it runs. Even though you care, there is still that moment of dread when your professional service advisor at Allied Auto Works tells you the manufacturer recommends some additional service. Your heart beats a little faster, your blood pressure rises. You worry about spending more money than you had planned. And you worry that if you say "no," you might be harming your vehicle or risking your family's safety.
At the risk of sounding like your dad, you really should have done your homework. Service recommendations are in your owner's manual. But it is not like you want to keep your vehicle auto maintenance schedule on your nightstand for bedtime reading.Vehicles are complicated machines and it takes some effort for Los Altos residents to keep them running well. That is why they have maintenance schedules that explain how to keep your vehicle performing efficiently and prevent breakdowns. In a typical owner's manual you'll find: oil change, brake fluid and pad change, coolant system service, transmission service, battery electrolyte levels, cables and terminals, tire pressure and wear, CV boots, cabin air filter, air conditioning, heater, fuel filter, air filter, belts and hoses, power steering fluid, differential service, fuel system cleaning and wheel alignment. And then there are mechanical service requirements like timing belt changes, valve adjustment, steering function, engine and exhaust leaks - yeah, it is a really long list!Fortunately, this isn't a test: Los Altos residents don't need to have it memorized. Your friendly advisor at Allied Auto Works has access to your manufacturer's recommendations. Don't be surprised when your service advisor at Allied Auto Works reminds you something is due. Your manufacturer has taken great care in putting together your maintenance schedule. Let Allied Auto Works help you stay on top of maintenance. You can expect them to suggest recommended services and tell you what problems they find under the hood. We'll also explain how urgent these services are so you can work them into your budget.
Hello Los Altos, let's talk about brakes. But the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There's also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.Let's step back. A new vehicle or truck rolls off a local Los Altos showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles/kilometers start to add up on the vehicle. Los Altos drivers tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads and shoes on drum brakes are called the friction material. That's because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it's not until they are worn so thin as to be out of 'specs' that they lose their ability to stop.The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over long distances around CA, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail - a scary possibility. That's why a regular brake inspection at Allied Auto Works is important for your vehicle and your family's safety. At Allied Auto Works we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.That leads us to brake fluid service at Allied Auto Works. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the vehicle fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at Allied Auto Works cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.The tires are what connect the vehicle to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the more quickly you'll stop.This is especially important on wet Los Altos area roads and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. CA vehicle owners need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.
Allied Auto Works2073 Grant RoadLos Altos, CA 94024650.968.7227http://alliedautoworks.autotipsvideo.com
A lot of us drivers are asking ourselves the same question lately: how can we save on fuel? Los Altos area residents are all cutting back, if not in fuel consumption, then in other areas of our lives.
Preventive maintenance is an important way people in Los Altos can conserve fuel by improving fuel economy. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to keep the oil in our vehicle adequate and clean.Oil lubricates your vehicle engine and keeps it running smoothly. If you're running low, there is increased friction in your engine. Friction creates drag, which means it takes more fuel to keep the vehicle motor running. This all translates to lower fuel economy.Check your oil to make sure the engine is getting all it needs. Your owner's manual and service advisor at Allied Auto Works will tell you the proper weight and type of oil for your vehicle.
Responsible Car Care
Dirty oil grits up your engine, which also increases friction. So even if there's enough oil, you're still getting that extra drag that reduces your fuel economy. That's why your owner's manual recommends getting your oil changed regularly. It's good auto advice.While you're checking your oil, you should take a quick look at your transmission fluid as well. Your transmission also needs clean, adequate fluid to work efficiently. An inefficient transmission also translates into lower fuel economy.Your service advisor at Allied Auto Works will be able to check your oil and other fluids, top you off or change your oil if necessary.Your owner's manual will have recommendations on how often you should check your oil and transmission fluid. But you can also consult with the pros at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos. The types of roads you drive on in CA, the climate where you live and the air quality in your area can all affect how often you should change your oil.And don't forget that this will improve our environment here in Los Altos as well. Improved efficiency translates to fewer emissions. Changing your oil as scheduled doesn't just help your vehicle (and your pocketbook), it helps keep the air clean as well.
Every Los Altos vehicle owner has to purchase tires at some time or another, so it's a good idea to understand what the choices are. The best seasonal performance is achieved by purchasing tires to match the season you are driving in. Summer tires are designed for hot temperatures. The tread is engineered for good traction on dry or rainy CA roads. But the rubber compound in summer tires gets stiff when temperatures drop below 45°F (7°C), and snow and mud can pack into the tread, reducing the traction of the tire.Winter tires are designed for good traction on snowy surfaces. The tread actually throws snow off of the tire as the wheel turns. The rubber compound in a winter tire is soft so that it will remain flexible at temperatures below 45°F (7°C). At higher temperatures, however, the softer rubber wears down rapidly.All-season tires sacrifice some of the extreme performance of summer or winter tires, but they maintain adequate traction in either type of Los Altos weather.So your first consideration when buying a tire is where you live in CA, and where you usually drive. If you require maximum summer and winter performance you can go with dedicated summer and winter tires; you would just need to change out your tires each spring and fall.For serious winter driving in CA, look for tires with a severe snow rating. These tires are labeled with a mountain-and-snowflake logo.Your second consideration is the quality of tire to purchase. Summer, winter and all-season tires come in a variety of grades and styles at CA tire stores. Los Altos drivers will want to purchase a tire that will give them good wear and that will handle their driving style and road conditions. Your Allied Auto Works tire professional can give you auto advice as to which type of tire will best fit your needs.Los Altos vehicle owners who drive off-road around CA may want to look at a high-grade tire that is designed for off-road use. These tires are designed to handle the extra wear of off-roading while still giving good performance on Los Altos streets and roads. There are a number of options to choose from so that you can find the right tire whether you are only an occasional off-road explorer or a serious rock climber.New wheels can be purchased in the South Bay as a statement of style or to add personality to your vehicle. There are almost unlimited options. If you change the size of the wheels on your vehicle, however, you will need to get some professional help to make your vehicle compatible with its new wheels. Talk to your Allied Auto Works for more information about tires.