Stay Safe in Los Altos by Putting Your Cell Phone on ICE

2018-05-21 08:13:04

We don't want to think about it, but each Los Altos resident who drives or rides in a vehicle is potentially an accident victim. In the worst-case scenario, those people are unconscious and unable to communicate with CA rescue workers.

Rescue workers and Los Altos police are well aware of this difficulty, even if the rest of us don't stop to think about it. They can all recount stories of searching through glove compartments, pockets, wallets, purses and cell phone directories for a person's name and for contact information for someone who can help them get the person the medical care they need.

This contact information is critical in an accident because Los Altos medical workers need to know about allergies and potential drug interactions. Also, in CA, some medical treatments can't be provided without authorization or consent, and there can be insurance and billing issues if the person's medical care is not properly arranged.

ICE provides a solution for these concerns. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency and is a way for others to quickly identify emergency contacts in your cell phone.

Bob Brotchie, a paramedic from Cambridge, England, developed the idea for ICE in 2005. It soon spread around the globe. The system is simple, affordable and highly functional. Los Altos rescue workers can tell you that they can't always find purses and wallets at the scene of an accident. But these days, almost no one in CA goes anywhere without their phone.

To add ICE to your phone, simply put ICE in front of the names of those people who should be contacted in case you are in an emergency. For example, “ICE-Dad,” or “Ice-Deborah,” or “ICE-Dr. Mitchell.” Los Altos rescuers can quickly identify and access this information, saving valuable time. The only thing Los Altos drivers have to do after that is to keep their contacts current. Every time you change the batteries in your smoke alarm, it is a good idea to double-check your phone and make sure your ICE cell phone numbers are up-to-date. Of course, we'd rather avoid an accident in the first place. It's good advice to keep up with preventive maintenance (we can help you with that at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos) and practice good car care and driving habits. Those can go a long way to keeping you safe on the road. Planning for the unthinkable helps your rescuers find the information they need quickly. Let's put the world on ICE.

 Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
http://www.alliedautoworks.com

 

 

Duke's Cool Cooling System Components

2018-05-16 10:52:44

dukeHi it's your favorite Cool Dog Duke and  today  I want to bark to you about a system in our vehicles – the cooling system.  It's one of those things that Los Altos auto owners don't give much thought to until it fails and then they're stranded by the side of a road in CA.  Watch my video below to find out more!

 

Cooling systems fail more often than any other mechanical system – usually because of neglect. Don't you hate it when something breaks and you could have done something to prevent it?

The good news is that if Los Altos drivers take care of their cooling systems, they can keep working for the life of their car.

Here at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, we emphasize preventive maintenance services like replacing your coolant according to the factory schedule. But the various parts that make up the cooling system need attention too. The major components of the cooling system are the water pump, freeze plugs, the thermostat, radiator, cooling fans, the heater core, the pressure cap, the overflow tank and the hoses.

It sounds complicated, but we Los Altos residents don't have to be experts – we can leave that to our friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Allied Auto Works. But, having an overview will help us remember how to take care of your car's cooling system.

Most Los Altos folks would be surprised to know that burning fuel in your engine produces up to 4,500 degrees F/2,500 degrees C of heat. And all that heat has to be dealt with. If the heat can't be drawn off the engine, the pistons will literally weld themselves to the inside of the cylinders – then you just have to throw the engine away and get a new one. That would cost thousands of dollars.

Now the water pump is what forces the coolant through passages in the vehicle engine to absorb heat. The pump is driven by a belt that needs replacement from time to time. And the water pump will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Spending some cash on replacing the belts and water pump is much less than the cost of repairing the extremely massive damage that can be done when an engine seizes.

There's another little known but important part of the coolant system that protects the engine. It's called a freeze plug. If you remember from high school chemistry, water expands when it freezes. In very cold areas, the coolant can actually freeze when the vehicle is left sitting.

It is hard to believe, but the expanding frozen coolant is enough to actually crack the engine block. The freeze plugs fit into the engine block. They fit tight enough to withstand the pressure of a running engine, but can expand or pop out if the coolant freezes. These little things save a lot of engine blocks.

The team at Allied Auto Works can check your cooling system and make any necessary adjustments or repairs. Give them a call and tell them Duke sent ya.

Keep Cool

Duke        duke

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
http://www.alliedautoworks.com

Cayenne's Gives You The Best Test

2018-05-10 10:11:21

cayHello Cayenne here and I have  test for you.  Would you buy a jacket without even trying it on? Probably not, but it might surprise you that one study shows about half the people buy a vehicle after a short test drive around the block or none at all.  If you're in the market for another vehicle, make sure you check out the most important things so you'll know if that's the right vehicle for you.  So let's bark away at this subject!

Check out the gadgets.  Love a good sound system? Then turn it up loud.  Does it have enough bass for you? See how you like its navigation system if it has one.  Try pairing your Bluetooth smartphone with the vehicle.  Test out how to set the cruise control and how steady it keeps the speed. Back up and check out the rear view camera. If you buy this vehicle, you'll have to live with all of these things every time you drive.

Test the vehicle on roads you know.  See how it handles bumps and potholes, how it takes that tight curve that you drive every day to and from work.  Driving on familiar roads gives you a chance to compare what you know with what you're thinking about buying.

Check the fit.  One suburban mom drove a full-sized SUV and loved it until she got it home and realized it was too high for her old garage.  Remodeling the garage would be the only answer! Try installing your child seats.  Size matters, especially in a vehicle.

Gauge the fuel economy. Many vehicles have a trip computer that will calculate fuel economy quickly.  Here's a tip: you can reset it before your test drive and when you're finished, check it and see what fuel economy you got.  It will be a smaller sampling than would be ideal, but it will give you an idea.

Take as much time as you can.  A lot of sellers will pressure you to restrict your test drive to 10-15 minutes.  Ideally, you'd like to have that vehicle for a week, but that's usually not possible. So, try for something in between. Remember, this could be your vehicle for years to come.

Keep in mind that every vehicle will feel strange to you at first. Buying a vehicle is a little like getting married.  You want that marriage to be happy, and you want it to last, so take the time to get to know it as well as you can.     

Cayenne    cay

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227

Duke's Advice On Tire Replacement: What Los Altos Drivers Need to Know

2018-05-03 10:51:56

 

duke

Hey Duke here and are you looking at getting some new tires?  Maybe the real reason for wanting those off-highway tires is that they look cool.  Not as cool as me and  well there's nothing wrong with that.  If you make sure that you've got your functional needs covered with your selection, then you can have some fun with where you go from there.  So let's roll into this subject and get barkin'!

 

Let's suppose you zip around Los Altos in a sporty car. You may like to run a high-performance summer tire when the weather's good. When CA weather turns cold, you can put on high-performance winter tires. For the kind of driving you like to do, you want full-on performance tires. All-season tires are naturally a compromise that works well for most Los Altos drivers, but since you have a choice, go for dedicated summer and winter tires.

When it's time for new tires, visit with a knowledgeable Allied Auto Works tire professional. Describe your needs and wants. He'll come up with some selections for you to discuss. And once you settle on a type of tire, there are options for special needs: like pulling a trailer or carrying heavy loads.

Tires are one of the biggest purchases for Los Altos drivers. With so many choices, you'll be able to get what's best for you. Take your time. And don't worry about what's in stock. If you want something that isn't here at Allied Auto Works, we can order it. Chances are you'll be rolling on your new tires in a couple of days.

Let me know if you have any other questions!  I am always here to bark at you.

Duke  duke

 

 Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
http://www.alliedautoworks.com

 

Fuel Saving Tip: Tire Pressure Saves Fuel in Los Altos

2018-04-29 07:22:03



Underinflated tires waste gas for lots of folks in the Los Altos area. Think how hard it is to walk in sand – you just have to work harder because of the resistance. When your tires don't have enough air in them, their rolling resistance is dramatically increased and it simply takes more gas to get from here to there.

Always check your tire pressure when you gas up at one of our local Los Altos service stations. If they're low – even just a little bit – bring them up to proper pressure. There's a sticker on the inside of your driver's door that gives the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure.

And don't rely on your tire pressure monitoring system to alert you to when you need more air. The TPMS system is set to warn you when pressure drops 20 percent below recommendations. That's severely underinflated and you needed more air a long time ago. And if you have a slow leak – get it fixed right away at Allied Auto Works.

Get some air and save some gas.

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
http://www.alliedautoworks.com

Cayenne's How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Allied Auto Works

2018-04-26 10:11:50

cay  Good day, it is Cayenne and do you know when it is time to change your oil?  Today in the Duke and Cayenne's Corner, we're going to bark to  drivers about oil change intervals.  So let's get barkin'!

 

 It seems that as engine technology advances, oil change intervals become longer for Allied Auto Works customers. For example, recently four of the world's largest vehicle manufacturer's shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers).

In real world Los Altos driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance: quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging vehicle small engine passages so the oil wouldn't flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it too often at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos.

The vehicle manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But there was a catch: the vehicle owner had to follow a new, lower service interval and provide proof of oil changes in order to make a warranty claim.

So here's the bottom line for Los Altos vehicle owners: with longer oil change intervals, it's essential to follow them closely. Back in the day of 3 months or 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers), if you went an extra month or an extra thousand miles or couple of thousand kilometers, your oil was still fresh enough that it didn't have time to build up much sludge.

But if your recommended interval is 6,500 miles (10,000 kilometers) and you go over another thousand miles or couple of thousands of kilometers, you're getting into heavy sludge territory. You absolutely need to follow mileage intervals very closely. And don't forget your severe service schedule. If you do a lot of stop and go driving in CA, short trips, drive in dusty or polluted Los Altos conditions, hot or cold weather  or haul heavy loads, you're driving in severe service conditions. Your Allied Auto Works service advisor can help you determine which schedule to follow.

So check your vehicle owner's manual or talk with your Allied Auto Works service advisor about where and how you drive in Los Altos. Should you change your oil closer to the regular schedule, or the severe service schedule? You need to make the call.

Let me give you an example of this. Some newer vehicles have an oil change indicator. It has a sophisticated computer algorithm that tracks number of cold starts, engine temperature, RPMs, mileage and many more variables to come up with a recommendation for when to change the oil.

Depending on driving conditions, the indicator in one test vehicle came on at anywhere from 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to almost 7,000 miles (11,000 km). It's typically just over 4,000 miles (6,500 km). Sometimes our driving is easy on the vehicle – like a long road trip. Sometimes, our driving is hard on it – like towing a heavy trailer or a lot of around town driving. But, usually, it's a combination of both.

Once again, it's up to you to make the call as to when to change your oil at Allied Auto Works to protect your vehicle engine. Another place where CA drivers can go wrong is with the type of oil they use. More and more new cars are coming to Los Altos owners filled with synthetic oil. Without going into a lot of detail right now, let's just say that synthetic oil lasts longer and is very resistant to oil sludge.

But it also costs quite a bit more, so some people are tempted to use conventional oil for their oil changes. Now, it's always best to use the oil recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Check your owner's manual see if a conventional oil alternative is allowed.

But getting back to the problem, if your vehicle came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended oil change interval is for synthetic oil. If you use conventional oil, you can't use the synthetic interval. You need to shorten it.

Well you should have some slick knowledge about oil changes.........til next week this is 

CAYENNE! CAY

 

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
http://www.alliedautoworks.com

Duke's Keeping Your Engine Cool in Los Altos, CA

2018-04-12 10:54:18

dukeHi Duke here and since the season is changing and things are warming up, I though we would bark about keeping your engine cool as those temps rise.  So as we always day let's get barkin'!

 



The cooling system keeps CA vehicle's engines from overheating while they are driving around Los Altos. Its job is to move heat away from the engine. Let's talk about the various components of the system and how they make this happen.

The radiator is the part most Los Altos drivers associate with the cooling system. Coolant flows through the radiator which has fine cooling fins that draw the heat out of the coolant and dissipate it into the air. To make sure there's enough airflow over the radiator, a fan pulls air over the cooling fins even when the vehicle is idling.

In some vehicles, the fan is powered by the serpentine belt. On others, an electric motor runs the fan. Electric fans turn on and off as needed. You may have heard the fan kick on shortly after you turn your vehicle off. The sensor has determined that the engine needs a little help cooling down to a safe temperature.

A hose connects the radiator to the water pump. The water pump pushes the water into the vehicle engine block. Now the engine block and cylinder heads have passages for the coolant to pass through without getting into the oil or the combustion chamber. In the automotive community, these passages are referred to as the "water jacket."

While the coolant is passing through the water jacket, it absorbs heat from the vehicle engine on its way to the radiator for cooling. Between the engine and the radiator is a gatekeeper called the thermostat. The thermostat's job is to regulate the temperature of the engine just like your home thermostat regulates the temperature in your house. It gets your engine up to the correct operating temperature and then keeps it from overheating.

When you first start the engine, it's very cold and needs to warm up. So the thermostat blocks the flow of coolant to the radiator. As the engine warms up, the thermostat starts to let coolant flow through the system.

The final component the team at Allied Auto Works wants to point out is the overflow reservoir. This bottle is designed to hold some of the coolant. It'll have a mark that indicates whether or not you have enough coolant. This is where you should add coolant if you just need to top it off.

Caution: never open the reservoir or the radiator cap when the car's hot. The cooling system is pressurized, and opening those caps while it's hot can cause hot coolant and steam to escape resulting in serious burns.

Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles around Los Altos, CA. At Allied Auto Works, we can do a periodic inspection of the components for  leaks, loose connections and weakening hoses.

Your vehicle manufacturer has also specified a cooling system service interval. With a cooling system service at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, the old coolant is replaced with correct clean fluid that contains the additives required to prevent corrosion. The additives are depleted over time and you need fresh fluid for adequate protection. Your radiator pressure cap should be replaced at this service as well.

Well we should be cool now and you should know what to do as the weather ramps up in temperature this summer, til next time

Duke duke

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
http://www.alliedautoworks.com

Cayenne's Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around Los Altos

2018-04-12 10:44:12

cayHello Cayenne here and today I will bark myths regarding fuel saving tips.......so let's watch the video from my friends at Autonet and start barking!

 



With high fuel prices in Los Altos, CA, comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on  Auto is great.  When you get one of those e-mails that's going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through.

Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics?

Do some research on the internet or ask your Los Altos, CA, service advisor at Allied Auto Works.

There aren't any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank, and the government hasn't suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your vehicle run on air. Not even in Los Altos!

So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional. You'll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement.

We're here for you at Allied Auto Works, so give us a call at 650.968.7227 for good honest advice about your vehicle.

And remember you can teach an old dog new tricks or tips!  

Cayennecay

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
http://www.alliedautoworks.com

Duke's Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down in the South Bay!

2018-04-05 10:20:57

dukeWhoa, Roy Rogers says slow down and so does Duke here in the South Bay.    Hi The Duke here and today I will bark to you about slowing down when you drive and how it affects your fuel economy.........so let's get barkin'!

 

There’s not much Los Altos drivers can do about the price of gas in ?CA, but we can control - up to a point - how much we use. Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.

The first thing we can do is watch the go-pedal. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don’t need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year in improved gas mileage.

Go a little slower on CA expressways. Los Altos drivers who go more than 65 miles an hour (105 kilometers per hour) will see their gas mileage drop dramatically. Leave early so you don’t need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speeds use less gas.

Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands around Los Altos.

Hey at current Los Altos gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot.

Give Allied Auto Works a call and tell the The Duke sent ya!      duke

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
http://www.alliedautoworks.com

Automotive Tips from Cayenne: Timing Belt Overview

2018-03-29 10:35:12

cay

What timing you have?  Hi it's Cayenne and I am going to give you a quick Timing Belt Overview.......so let's get barkin'!

In your engine, valves over each combustion chamber open to allow fresh air in, close during the combustion event, and then other valves open to let out the exhaust. All of this happens over and over thousands of times a minute when you are driving around Los Altos. The timing belt’s important job is to make sure that all of this happens as it should – at precisely the right time. If the timing is off, your engine won’t run efficiently or maybe not at all – so a good timing belt is important. If it should break, you could end up at Allied Auto Works with expensive engine damage.

Ask your friendly and professional Allied Auto Works service advisors Matt and Travis when your timing belt is scheduled for replacement.

Give us a call today and tell them Cayenne said you were just in the nick of time!      
cay

 

 

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
http://www.alliedautoworks.com

Duke's 10 Services Los Altos Drivers Often Overlook

2018-03-22 10:35:23

 

duke

Hi it's Duke and I live such a busy life nowadays: work (my automotive blogging) , social events, gathering all my bones all over Los Altos. Some days it's all I can do to keep track of everywhere I need to be and I am sure that also applies to you!   That's why you've gotta be organized. Smartphones, calendar apps - we have to keep track of it all.    So today, we will bark about 10 services we often overlook for our cars.......so let's get barkin'!

 


So let's talk about schedules. Specifically, automotive service schedules. And particularly, the scheduled services that are sometimes forgotten.

Here is a list of 10 service items that are often overlooked by Los Altos residents. They're all very important and need appropriate attention. So here we go, in no particular order.

1. Power Steering Service
Be honest; have you ever thought of this on your own? Your power steering fluid gets dirty and builds-up moisture over time. Cleaning out your power steering system means that dirt and gum are removed and your power steering parts are protected from corrosion. Next time you're in for an oil change, ask your Allied Auto Works service advisor if it's time for a power steering check-up.

2. Wheel Alignment
When your wheels are out of alignment your vehicle pulls to one side. It's pretty annoying, but it's also dangerous. And it causes your tires to wear out really fast, which is an unnecessary expense! Most owner’s manuals suggest you get your alignment checked once or twice a year.

3. Differential Service
Did you even know you had a differential? Well, you do - one, two or three in fact. Differentials are often called gear boxes and they're part of the drive-train that transfers power from your vehicle engine to your wheels. They don't need service that often, but you can't completely forget them. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works service advisor.

4. Cabin Air Filter
More and more cars these days have cabin air filters (a great feature, in my opinion) to clean the air in the passenger area where we sit. They filter out dust and pollen. When they're clogged up, they can get smelly. Change your cabin air filter on schedule to enjoy fresh, clean air, which can also help with allergies.

5. Timing Belt Replacement
Most cars and some vans and trucks driven around the Los Altos area have timing belts. Without going into a lot of detail, let's just say that your car won't run without it – period. And if it breaks while you're driving, it can do thousands of dollars’ worth of engine damage. Check your owner's manual or speak with your Allied Auto Works service advisor. If you're approaching 60,000 miles or 100,000 kilometers; definitely look into it right away.

6. Transmission Service
Transmission service is very basic, but it's often forgotten by Los Altos drivers. Your vehicle transmission needs clean fluid from time to time to keep operating efficiently and avoid pricey repairs.

7. Air Conditioning Service
Most of us don't think about our air conditioning until it fails on a hot day in Los Altos. If you're lucky, you just need to add refrigerant. If you're not, some of the components may have been ruined. Of course, these components are not cheap. Regular air conditioning service at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos adds clean refrigerant which cools and lubricates your air conditioner and conditions the seals.

8. Brake Service
No we're not talking about squealing, grinding brakes here. We're talking brake fluid. Over time, the fluid gets a lot of water in it. Because water compresses differently than the brake fluid, your brakes won't work as well. It may even get dangerous. The water can also rust out brake system components and then your brakes can fail altogether. Check with your Allied Auto Works technician for recommendations.

9. Coolant System
Another thing that's so easy for Los Altos drivers to forget about: When you don't change your antifreeze on schedule it becomes corrosive. Fresh coolant contains additives that maintain the pH balance in the coolant. These additives wear out and the fluid in the radiator can actually eat holes in the radiator or hoses. Then you're stranded - bummer.

10. Fuel System Cleaning
In these times of high fuel prices, fuel system cleaning is vital. Fuel gums up a bunch of parts as it moves from the gas tank and through the engine. A thorough fuel system cleaning at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos will keep clean gas flowing into the engine. Your fuel injectors also get gunked up over time and need to be cleaned. Having your fuel system cleaned on schedule at Allied Auto Works will really help your fuel economy.

There you have it: 10 services that are often overlooked by Los Altos residents and probably Cupertino, Sunnvyale and Mt. View residents too.   Did you know that a recent survey showed that 90 percent of vehicles on the road have at least one scheduled maintenance service that hasn't been performed?   Considering our busy lives, we're not surprised. Allied Auto Works can help with any of these services. Give us a call or come see us.

Let them know that Duke sent ya and schooled you on the 10 most overlooked services!

Dukeduke

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
http://www.alliedautoworks.com