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Cayenne's Automotive Tips: Wiper Blade Options

cay

Cayenne here and today is the first day of fall.  Even though the weather is still summer-like soon we will see rain and now is the time to get your wiper blades checked.

Wiper blades are critically important to Los Altos drivers for good driving visibility and safety. When it’s time to replace your wiper blades, there are a number of different wiper blade designs and grades. Los Altos drivers should always use at least the design or grade that came with their vehicle.

If you live in CA where there is a lot of wet weather, flying insects, or you do a lot of highway driving, you may want to upgrade to a more advanced design or premium quality wiper blade. Your friendly and professional Allied Auto Works service advisor can share the options available for your vehicle and help you decide which wiper blades are optimal for you.

Give Allied Auto Works a call today and tell them Cayenne sent you,

Cayenne    cay

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

Duke's Suspension Service With Allied Auto Works

duke

Hey, it's Duke and when you hear the word suspension, many drivers in Los Altos may think back to those energetic days of grade school. Well, your vehicle's suspension is actually a good thing because it keeps your vehicle up off the road and helps provide a comfy ride around Los Altos. So today it is all about the suspension and since I do not want to keep you in suspense.....let's get barkin' on this subject!

 Its job is to keep your wheels firmly planted over bumps and through curves. Your suspension system has many parts. If you look under your vehicle, it's basically everything that connects your wheels to the vehicle's frame. These are heavy-duty parts that do a lot of work. They need to be inspected for damage and excessive wear at least once a year. A good time for this is when you get your annual alignment service at Allied Auto Works.

Here are some warning signs of suspension problems:

  • the car pulls to one side
  • it wanders
  • the steering is erratic
  • you see uneven tire wear
  • you experience a poor ride or handling
  • you see oil leaking from shocks

Basically, you just don't feel in control when you're driving.

Some suspension parts just wear out with use. Shocks and struts eventually lose their ability to control your ride. Wheel bearings need to be repacked every couple of years. And some suspension pieces need to be lubricated when you get your oil changed. Your service advisor at Allied Auto Works can perform an inspection and tell you what problems you may have.

If you're in an accident, your suspension can be damaged or knocked out of alignment. Even a minor accident, like hitting a curb around Los Altos or even a large rock can mess things up for drivers. With a minor accident, it's tempting for many to just get an alignment or wheel balance to correct the problem. But if there's damage, a simple alignment won't actually fix the problem, and you'll just have to align it again after the repairs are made. So if you have an accident, get your suspension system inspected right away. Suspension problems are a major safety issue because they can lead to unsafe handling.

One big cause of suspension damage for Los Altos drivers is potholes – those nasty magnets that form in roads in freezing weather. They seem to draw our tires right into them. Here are some tips for avoiding damage from potholes: First, keep your tires at their full air pressure. That gives tires their maximum resiliency and will hopefully keep your wheels or other suspension parts from crunching on a big hole. Next, just pay attention. When you see a hole you can't miss, slow down before you hit it. Driving at a slower speed will limit the damage and may keep your drink from spilling. But avoid the temptation to brake directly over the pothole. That will cause the car's weight to shift forward and add to the potential damage.

So next time when you are driving and it does not feel like a nice smooth ride, maybe it's time for the suspension to be checked.....oh and tell them Duke sent ya

Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Shocks & Struts

Cayenne Gets A Engine Boost (Turbocharged Engine Maintenance)

cay

Cayenne here on this excessive heat day here in California, 114 degrees in Livermore yesterday....Yikes!  Well when it gets that hot, no matter who you are, your energy depletes and you can't move fast enough.   Well, I am going to give you a boost today and bark about Turbocharge Engine Maintenance.  So let's get charged and move on.......

If someone told you that your vehicle could have the same power but with a smaller engine, wouldn't that sound like a great idea? Just think, a smaller engine would save you money at the gas station and you'd still get the same horsepower.

The technology to do just that has been around for a long time. It's called a turbocharger.

Race cars and other performance vehicles have been using turbochargers for years. It gives them a power boost without the need for a bigger engine, saving them fuel and pit stops.

Automakers have offered turbo gasoline and diesel engines for years, but there were problems with durability. Plus drivers had to make some driving adjustments with the way turbos delivered power. Newer turbos, though, have been vastly improved, and manufacturers are including them in more models. For example, Jeep offers its 2019 Cherokee with a choice of two engines that each make about 270 horsepower. One is a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine and the other is a 6-cylinder conventional gasoline engine. The general rule of thumb is the fewer the cylinders, the better the fuel economy.

A turbocharged vehicle uses a turbine that is turned by exhaust gas. That compresses air that goes into the engine, which then allows it to use more fuel per second, increasing power. One advantage of a turbo is that it is only engaged when the driver demands more power from the engine by stepping on the throttle harder.

One thing to remember, though, is that turbocharged engines have additional parts and are more complex. That means they can be more expensive to maintain. The upside? You'll likely save fuel.

Like any complex machine, it's important that you maintain your turbo vehicle so it will give you more years of service. Allied Auto Works technicians are trained to inspect and service the systems associated with a turbo engine. If you already drive a turbocharged vehicle, keep up your regular maintenance schedule to get the longest life and performance out of it.

Because of the advantages, these powertrains offer, turbo engines are definitely here to stay.

Cayenne

cay

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

Duke's Cool Running in Los Altos

duke

Duke here and unless you live in Death Valley, you really don't hear much any more about cars overheating. That's because cooling systems in vehicles have been much improved. That doesn't mean you can't overheat your vehicle engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the road in Los Altos waiting for your vehicle engine to cool down.



When you service your cooling system at Allied Auto Works, your technician will check the condition of the coolant. It can become corrosive over time, which can damage a radiator — leading to an overheated engine. Changing the coolant periodically is good vehicle care. Your vehicle owner's manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.

If your engine overheated, your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the vehicle radiator for cracks and the radiator hoses for leaks. He'll also check your water pump. They don't need to be replaced on a regular schedule, but they do need to be checked regularly. They can and do wear out.

The water pump is a critical component of your vehicle cooling system. It pumps the coolant to keep it circulating through the engine. The coolant is cooled in the radiator, then it travels through the engine, where it absorbs heat, then it returns to the radiator, where it releases the heat. And so on. But a water pump is something of a misnomer. The fluid pumped through your vehicle cooling system is not just water. It also contains coolant, which is actually poisonous. You should never consider your radiator as an emergency water supply.

There are many types of coolant. It varies from vehicle to vehicle, and using the wrong kind could damage your engine. Your service advisor will know which kind your vehicle's manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at Allied Auto Works is always a good source for auto advice. We've been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Los Altos for years.

At Allied Auto Works, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.

Duke

 

duke

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

Categories:

Cooling System

Cayenne Answers "Will Proper Auto Maintenance at Allied Auto Works Really Save Gas?"

cay

Hi, Cayenne here and you know my owners always take Duke and me in every year for our annual checkup.  Shots, check our teeth, weight check,  basically our overall health to make sure we are running good because if we keep ourselves maintained we can save costs of unnecessary vet bills.  Your car works the same way, maintain it and it can really save on gas consumption.  So let fuel up on this subject now!

Have you ever thought about all the little things we do to keep our lives running smoothly - like vacuuming? It makes a room feel fresher and more comfortable. We may not consider that we're also prolonging the life of the carpet by keeping it clean. But Los Altos drivers don't always extend those good habits into the garage. Our vehicles need regular maintenance just like our rugs need vacuuming. We may not notice a difference in the feel or appearance of the vehicle, but just as cleaning a carpet carries the hidden reward of prolonging its life, maintaining our vehicles incurs a hidden reward that becomes noticeable at Los Altos gas stations.

When it comes to reduced fuel economy, there are two culprits: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. That means that anything Los Altos drivers can do to decrease friction and increase the efficiency of their engines will translate to savings on fuel. Friction increases the amount of energy it takes to move something. So if we can reduce friction, we can decrease the amount of fuel it takes to run our vehicles. Engine oil is usually at the heart of friction problems in an engine. Too little oil means parts are not getting lubricated, which increases friction; dirty oil doesn't lubricate as well as clean oil. So one secret to good fuel efficiency is to stay on top of oil changes. Don't skip them and don't procrastinate. The same auto advice applies to transmission fluid. Keep it full and keep it clean, and your vehicle will run with less friction and better fuel economy.

If your tires are underinflated, it increases the friction between the tire and the road. Again, there is increased drag, and it takes more fuel to move your vehicle. Los Altos drivers should check their tire pressure every month and keep their tires properly inflated.

Alignment and brake problems can also increase friction. Besides saving fuel, keeping these systems in good repair has the added benefit of saving you on tires and brake pads. These items wear out more quickly when the alignment is off or when the brake system isn't in good working order. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Allied Auto Works.

The second culprit that stealthily steals our gas is inefficient fuel combustion. It depends on the engine getting the right amount of clean fuel to the right place with the right pressure at the right time in the right pattern. The key to peak engine performance is to keep the fuel system clean. Varnish and gum can build up in a fuel system, which will interfere with the fuel injectors. The fuel injectors are responsible for all those “rights” we spoke of. If they're dirty, amounts, timing, pressure and spray patterns can all get out of whack. The result? Reduced fuel efficiency. A fuel system cleaning at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos can get your injectors back on track, improving performance and efficiency.

There are a few other maintenance items that can improve your fuel economy. One is to replace your PCV valve when it gets sticky. This valve allows unburned fuel in your engine exhaust to return to the engine. Los Altos drivers can also replace worn spark plugs and dirty fuel filters. A well-maintained vehicle will require fewer repairs and save at Los Altos gas pumps.

And just think, extra cash in hand can go to some nice steak bones for Duke and me.

Cayenne

cay

 

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

 

Categories:

Fuel Economy

Duke's Guide to Tire Specs

duke

Duke here and it's time to roll in the lazy days of summer with tire specs.  Here is my guide on what to look for.

You know you need new tires, but you're not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the Los Altos service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank.

Tire size can be confusing for many Los Altos drivers. There's so much on the side of the tire, and it's hard to keep straight.

Even though there's a lot on a tire - if you know what it all means, it's actually more helpful than confusing for Los Altos tire shoppers. Let's start with the size number.

For example, let's say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters - the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio - the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road tires will have a higher number and high-performance tires will have a lower number.

The R signifies it's a radial tire. And 16 is the rim or wheel size in inches.

The 92 is the load rating index - it's the load-carrying capacity of a tire. The higher the number, the more it can safely carry. Your empty vehicle can be safe with a lower number, but you'll need a higher rating if you routinely haul heavy loads around Los Altos. The next letter is the speed rating. Not all tires sold in Los Altos are speed rated. The ratings generally follow the alphabet: the further up the alphabet, the higher the speed rating - with the exception of H - it comes between U and V (don't ask why).

There's a lot of fine print that most Los Altos area drivers probably need a magnifying glass to read. But there are a couple of other large print items of interest. One is the tread type: highway, mud, and snow, all season, severe snow, etc.

And then there are the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System markings. The first is a treadwear index. 100 is the baseline - a lower number is poorer and a higher number is better. All things being equal, a tire rated 200 would wear twice as long, on a government test track, than one rated at 100. These wear grades are only valid within the manufacturers' product line - you can't compare with others. And it's important to note that a lower rating might be just what you want - a high performance, sticky tire has a softer rubber compound and won't wear as long, but boy, will it take those corners on twisting CA roads.

The next is a traction grade. This measures the tire's ability to stop on wet pavement in government tests. A - the best, B - intermediate, C - acceptable.

Temperature grade measures a tire's resistance to heat buildup in government tests. A, B, and C - from best to acceptable.

It's safe for Los Altos drivers to go with the vehicle manufacturer's original equipment recommendations that came in your car. But if you want to make adjustments, you'll now be better equipped to communicate with your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works tire professional.

 

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer

Duke

duke

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

 

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Cayenne's Lowdown On Automobile Fluids For Your vehicle

cay

Hi all my automotive friends, Cayenne here and today we are going to flow into fluids for your vehicle


If you've walked through the automotive fluids section of an auto parts store in Los Altos, you'll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what's right for your vehicle?

As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive around the Los Altos area. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid, and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.

First, let's talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with motor oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.

Some vehicles around Los Altos come from the factory filled with synthetic oil and the recommendation to use it for life. The safe bet is to always use what the factory recommends. The recommendation is what's been proven to work in function and durability tests. The recommended oil is also a factor in determining oil change interval schedules.

Sometimes fluids are developed specifically to meet the needs of a particular family of engines. An example would be coolant. Because of the different materials used to build the cooling system, the coolant has to be formulated to protect those parts, which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, from corrosion. We've seen special coolant in CA for General Motors, Volkswagen, Chrysler, and others.

The same is true of transmission fluid and brake fluid in recent years.

The really good news is that the friendly and professional service advisors at Allied Auto Works have databases that tell them the recommended fluids for your vehicle. This takes all the guess work out. If you have some special needs, like a higher mileage engine or want enhanced performance, ask your service advisor for upgrades or additives that'll meet your needs while being consistent with the manufacturer's recommendations.

Well till next week with Duke, have a great rest of your day and check those fluids!

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Fluids

Duke's Fears and Gears (Signs of Automatic Transmission Problems)

duke

Good day, Los Altos, Duke here, and for a big hound dog like me, I do not fear much but when it comes to transmission problems I do fear car owners might not notice when there is a serious problem.  So fear not, I will shift in the right direction.  Let go into manual overdrive and start barkin!

Automatic transmissions rule. The old days of shifting your own gears are a thing of the past for most drivers.  But automatic transmission trouble can be a big inconvenience for any driver if it comes at the wrong time in the wrong place.  Here are some signs to look out for that may mean you are having transmission issues.

When you are driving, your vehicle seems to slip in and out of gear without you touching anything.  That's what some call, not surprisingly, a "slipping transmission." 

When your vehicle shifts from one gear to the next, you hear a loud "clunk." Transmissions are supposed to be nearly silent when they shift, so that noise is telling you something is wrong. 

If you notice there's a puddle of some fluid under your vehicle, your transmission could be leaking fluid.  Try to figure out what color it is (try putting a piece of cardboard underneath to capture some of the fluid).  If it is red or brown, that's a sign it could be transmission fluid. Sometimes you may smell the transmission fluid, too; it has what some consider a "sweet" odor.

You may have a warning light that goes on when your transmission fluid is low (it could be a special transmission symbol or simply the Check Engine light).  That light could also mean the fluid is too hot or has low pressure.

If you shift your vehicle into D (for Drive) and it doesn't move or slowly engages after some delay, you may be seeing the start of a serious problem.

Of course, you don't want a malfunctioning transmission to strand you at some inopportune time. So if your vehicle is showing any of these signs, arrange a time for a technician to check it out.  Not only are broken transmissions an inconvenience, but they can also be a safety hazard, too. 

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Transmission

Cayenne's Cooling Subject "The Water Pump"

cay

Another hot summer California day!  Hi Cayenne here and I thought I would cool you off with knowledge on your water pump.  

Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your vehicle from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:

  • the radiator
  • the radiator cap
  • the hoses
  • the thermostat
  • the water pump

The water pump's like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout your vehicle. It's a small pump that's driven by the engine; usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear.

The water pump only operates when the engine's running. Water pump failure is pretty routine. We see it often at Allied Auto Works. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles/64,000 km, but most fail by 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Consult your owner's manual or friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Allied Auto Works to see what's recommended.

Since a water pump either works or it doesn't, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It's possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine.

So how can Los Altos drivers tell when the water pump is failing? If you can hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump, it's got a problem. If you can see coolant in that area, you've got a leak.

Some water pumps are driven off the timing belt. They might be under a plastic cover so you can't see the water pump. Look for coolant on the driveway. If you see some, have Allied Auto Works check it out.

Most timing belts need to be changed at 60,000 miles/97,000 km – some longer. It's a good idea to change your water pump at the same time if it's one of those that's driven off the timing belt. To start with, 90% of the work's already done with the timing belt change. And if you don't and develop a leak later, you'll have to change the belt again along with the water pump because the belt will have been contaminated by the leaking coolant.

Allied Auto Works can replace a failed water pump with a brand-spankin' new one or with a rebuilt pump. Rebuilt will save you some money, but ask your service advisor at Allied Auto Works what he thinks. Don't feel too bad if your water pump gives out. They will all wear out eventually. We can get you back on the road and on with your life.

Now go chill,

Cayenne   cay

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

Categories:

Cooling System

Duke Answers The Question, "Why Is My Check Engine Light On?"

duke

Duke here and today we will decode the mystery of "Why is My Check Engine Light On?"  Let's get barkin' and unravel its' mystery.

The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some Los Altos drivers and is totally ignored by just as many. Just what it means is a mystery to most people.


Let's get the urgency issues out of the way first. If your Check Engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause engine damage. Naturally, you need to get that taken care of right away. If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn't drive at high speeds, tow or haul heavy loads. Take it easy all the way to your Los Altos service center.

Why

If the light is glowing steadily, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two. If the light doesn't go off, schedule an appointment with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Allied Auto Works to get it checked out.

Some more information on how the Check Engine light works may be helpful for Los Altos drivers. Most of your engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer. The computer is able to adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine condition, and even the way you drive.

In order to make these adjustments, the computer relies on a network of sensors to provide data. The computer knows the proper operating range for each sensor. When a sensor reading is out of range, the computer runs some tests and may turn on the vehicle's Check Engine light.

A simple example is a loose or missing gas cap. This may cause one of the sensors to read out of range. The computer doesn't know if it's a serious condition that caused the reading or just a loose gas cap, so it stores a trouble code and turns on the Check Engine light.

Now when you tighten up the gas cap, the sensor readings will be in the correct range. The computer will keep checking on the report for a day or two. Since a bad reading didn't come up again, it turns off the Check Engine light. The computer will also try to make adjustments to compensate for some readings. If it can do so, it'll then turn off the Check Engine light.

If the problem can't be resolved then the light will remain on, and you should get your vehicle looked at. Your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Allied Auto Works will plug a scanner into the on-board diagnostic port and read the trouble code stored in the computer. The trouble code will give the technician a starting place as he diagnoses the cause of the problem.

 

Mystery Solved,

Duke

duke

 

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

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