Los Altos Auto Repair

Working Time: Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Allied Auto Works(650) 968-7227

Articles:

Duke Barks No to H20 !! (Driving Through Standing Water)

duek

Duke here and with the winter season into spring we get a lot of rain which can create problems with flooding and standing water.  So today I am going to bark to you about how you can handle these situations.  Let's flow into this!

In a year marked by unusually heavy flooding in North America, drivers are very aware of the possibility they may find themselves driving where water has come over the road.  It can be a daunting and frightening situation.  Flooding waters can move quickly and unpredictably, so you have to keep your wits about you when you encounter that situation.

Here a sample of one vehicle manufacturer's guidelines on what to do.  First, the vehicle is designed to go through some water, but you must be careful.  Never attempt to drive through water deeper than the bottom of your tires.

You can get out of your vehicle to check the depth of the water, but you can never be sure that you aren't going to drive into a spot where the road has washed away.  You can't see below the surface of the water, and suddenly you could find yourself in a place where the road drops off unexpectedly.  In swift-moving storm runoff, your vehicle could literally be floating away with the current, putting your life and those of your passengers in mortal danger. 

Never go more than 5mph/8 km/hr when you drive through standing water.  That minimizes the waves you create.  If you DO find yourself in water that is touching your drivetrain components, that water can damage them.  And if you get water in your engine, it can lock up in seconds and stall.  The potential damage can be catastrophic.

You may have found yourself driving in water deep enough to reach your drivetrain components, and it's essential that you have a technician check the fluids to make sure they haven't been contaminated.  That includes engine oil, transmission, and axle.  Driving with fluids contaminated with water can severely damage those components. 

duke

The bottom line is to avoid driving through water at all if you possibly can.  Check your vehicle's owner's manual to see if there are specific guidelines for driving YOUR vehicle in standing water.  It's information that could save your life.

DUKE

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

Cayenne Keeps It Flowing with a Fuel Filter Replacement at Allied Auto Works

 

 

cay

Good day, Cayenne here and today we will flow right into our subject today, fuel filter replacement and how it works to keep the fuel flow going.  Let watch my video first!

 



The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around Los Altos use fuel filters.

Generally speaking, there's not a lot of dirt in our Los Altos area auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That's because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your vehicle is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up.

That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your vehicle ages. It'll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often.

A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration. That's because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enough just can't get through the filter. Obviously, that could be dangerous if your car or truck can't get enough power to get you out of harm's way.

For just that reason, fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter is severely clogged, some fuel can bypass the filter altogether. Of course, that means that dirty, unfiltered fuel is getting through to be burned in the engine.

This dirt can then clog and damage your fuel injectors. Now injectors are not cheap to replace, so you don't want to cause them damage just because you didn't spend a few bucks to replace a fuel filter.

You know, in a way, the fuel filter can be the poster child for preventive maintenance. It's a little part, it's simple and it's cheap to take care of. But if it's neglected, it could lead to thousands of dollars in repair bills.


Those auto service schedules in your owner's manual are there for a reason. If ever you don't understand a recommended service, just ask your Los Altos service advisor at Allied Auto Works.   They will be happy to explain.

Cayenne

cay

For more information about your fuel filter, visit Allied Auto Works at 2073 Grant Road in Los Altos, CA 94024.
Please call 650.968.7227 to make an appointment.

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

 

Categories:

Fuel System

Duke Gets You There With Power Steering Service

duke

Hey, it's Duke and Happy New Year to ya!  Well, I am sure you were on some adventures this past holiday driving your vehicle all over the state visiting relatives.   The power steering did a lot of work getting you there so today I am going to make sure you get to your next destination by educating you on power steering service at Allied Auto Works.  So let's get barkin' I always say and watch my video below first!

 



Today we're going to talk about power steering service in Los Altos. If you took an informal poll around Los Altos you'd probably find that most vehicle owners have never heard of power steering service. That's not surprising. Even though power steering is standard on every vehicle, most people in Los Altos aren't aware that it needs periodic service.

If you're younger than a certain age, you've probably never driven a vehicle without power steering. To get an idea of the difference; if you've ever cut a board with a hand saw, you know it's a lot of work. Using a power saw is easy-peasy by comparison.

Without power steering, your arms have to do all the work to steer the wheels, and that's hard, especially around downtown Los Altos. That's why old cars had such big steering wheels: to get enough leverage to steer.

Most vehicles in Los Altos have a hydraulic power steering system. The serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid. This actuates a hydraulic cylinder that provides power to help steer.

Some vehicles in Los Altos use an electric pump to pressurize the fluid rather than a belt-driven pump. We're also seeing vehicles with electric motors providing the power assist, not using power steering fluid at all. We'll see a lot more electric systems as more hybrids and electric vehicles hit the market.

At least for now, the vast majority of power steering systems use power steering fluid that needs to be serviced. The fluid needs to be changed for a couple of reasons. For one, it attracts moisture. Water has different hydraulic qualities than power steering fluid, and that makes a difference in steering performance. Water is also corrosive and can damage power steering components. The fluid also just gets dirty and needs to be changed. Removing the old fluid and flushing out the system gets rid of dirt and deposits. The clean, fresh fluid lubricates and provides better corrosion protection.

So ask your service advisors, Matt or Travis at Allied Auto Works or check your owner's manual to see when power steering service is recommended. It'll extend the life of your power steering components.

Happy Trails to you,

Duke   

duke

 

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

Categories:

Steering

Cayenne's Best Test For The New Decade 2020-Happy New Year!

cay

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!  Hi, Cayenne here and as we welcome in a New Year and Decade I sure a lot of you are looking for the next new vehicle to buy.  Well, when I buy a new dog bed or toy, I have to give the test.  Sleep in it, is it comfy?   Does the toy amuse me or bore me? So today I am going to share the best test for your vehicle choice before your purchase.  Well let's get barkin'!

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.

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 rearview 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 driver drove a full-sized SUV and loved it until they 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.

Now back to my nice new comfy dog bed, the couch!

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Automotive News

Duke's Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for Los Altos Drivers

duke

Duke here and today I am going to inject you with a wealth of knowledge on fuel Injection for your vehicle so let's get barkin'!

 

Los Altos residents know that engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your vehicle engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine's cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.

There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with airbefore it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the vehicle engine.

Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional vehicle engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.

Why the big difference in power? Direct injection systems allow fuel to be squirted into the vehicle engine at hundreds of times the pressure of a conventional engine. This atomizes the fuel better (breaks it down into tinier droplets), which means more of it gets burned, which translates to more power for your engine. It also results in cleaner emissions.

Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver the right amount of fuel at exactly the time the vehicle engine needs it. They are also engineered to inject fuel with a specific spray pattern. This spray pattern allows for maximum fuel efficiency and proper atomization. Direct injection engines require a much higher degree of precision than conventional engines. For this reason, they are equipped with more sophisticated computers.

When fuel injectors get dirty, their precision drops off. The spray pattern won't be precise, and the timing of fuel delivery may be off. This decreases fuel efficiency and fuel economy as well as delivering less power to the engine.

Los Altos residents should understand that fuel injectors are not cheap to replace. Direct injection fuel injectors are even more. And we're talking a mortgage payment to buy a set of new fuel injectors for a diesel engine.

So keeping your fuel injectors clean is just good auto advice. The best way to do this is to change your air and fuel filters regularly and practice other habits of good vehicle care and preventive maintenance. Cleaning additives in your fuel can also help.

If you do end up with gum or varnish in your fuel system, you'll need a professional fuel system cleaning. This will clean out your whole system, including the injectors. The good news is that with proper maintenance, Los Altos drivers will enjoy better fuel economy and their fuel injectors will last for a long time.

Contact Allied Auto Works for more tips to help you improve your performance and safety.

And tell them Duke sent ya

Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Fuel System

Cayenne Sniffs Fresh Air Inside Your Car

cay

Aaaaah, nothing like a breath of fresh air but what about the air inside your car?????  Hi Cayenne here and today we will bark about what kind of air quality is inside your car.  So take a deep breath and watch my video first!

 

 

Air quality has certainly become a hot issue in our modern world. We install air filters on our ventilation systems and in our vacuum cleaners. There's a filter that cleans the air going into our vehicle's engine — so why not one for the air in the passenger compartment?

Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers haven't been ignoring the issue. Cabin air filters are becoming a standard feature on newer vehicles. These filters can clean particles out of the air down to three microns, which accounts for pollen, dust and most pollutants. Los Altos residents who suffer from allergies or have a respiratory disorder should be a lot more comfortable. And even if you don't have a medical need for the filter, the cleaner air in your car just might help you breathe better, figuratively as well as literally.

Cabin air filters are still fairly new in the Los Altos area, so you'll have to check your vehicle owner's manual to see if you have one. If you do, your routine car care will have to include changing the filter as part of your preventive maintenance. The owner's manual will give recommendations on how often the filter has to be changed, but if the air where you live in CA is particularly dirty or if you're prone to hay fever, you may want to change it more often.


Your friendly service advisor at Allied Auto Works can also offer suggestions on how often to change your cabin air filter in your Los Altos area. They're the ones who actually see the dirty filters, after all.

There is no standardized location for cabin air filters. Los Altos residents can usually find them in the vehicle engine compartment or under the dashboard, but they might be somewhere else. So the ease of changing the filter will depend on its location. Some are readily accessible, but others make you wonder how they got installed in the first place. Bring your car into Allied Auto Works and we will locate your cabin air filter for you.

However, if you have a newer vehicle, it's good auto advice to find out if it has a cabin air filter. If it does, you should change the filter regularly. A sure sign that a filter needs to be changed is that the interior of your vehicle will start to smell bad. That smell is exactly how some Los Altos drivers discovered that they had cabin air filters in the first place!

Cabin air filters are just one more way we have to stay safe, stay healthy and stay on the road in CA.

Now you can relax and exhale,

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Cabin Air Filter

Duke Says Beware of Cheap Tires

duke

Duke here and do you like to shop for shoes in Los Altos?  When buying a running shoe, is quality important?  Does durability matter as long as the shoes look fabulous?  Would you rather have one pair of long-lasting shoes or two pairs of lower quality shoes at the same price?    Tires work the same way, there are quality tires and then cheap tires.    We will bark about this subject today.  Watch my informative video first!

 



Is the warranty important when buying tires?

Los Altos drivers should also think about the safety aspect of tires. The tires do a lot of work – they carry the weight of the vehicle and you and your passengers. You want to be sure they hold the road and provide good traction on CA freeways and surface streets. If you carry heavy loads or tow a trailer on CA highways, the tires need a high load rating.

Ask your friendly and knowledgeable Los Altos tire professional at Allied Auto Works. I think it's important that Los Altos residents understand the effect of price on a tire's quality, performance and durability. When I was a kid, my dad would say, “Pay twice as much and buy half as many.”

The same principle applies to tires. The major tire brands that you're familiar with in Los Altos are known as Tier 1 tires. These tires are high quality and well-engineered. Comparable vehicle Tier 1 tires are usually priced similarly.

Stepping down, you come to private label tires. Some large CA tire store chains carry tires with their own brand. It's important to know that most private label tires are built by the same Tier 1 companies that you are familiar with – so you are pretty safe in choosing them. To be sure, you can ask your Allied Auto Works tire professional which manufacturer makes their private brand.

The lowest priced tires on the market in Los Altos are Tier 3 tires which are usually imported from China or South America. Since you get what you pay for, you can't expect a Tier 3 tire to deliver the same performance and durability as the others.


What's the difference in the tires with high mileage warranties? It's the rubber compounds and the amount of tread material. As you might expect, you'll pay more for the longer-lasting tire.

Your tires are the only parts of your vehicle that touch the road. You're only as safe as your tires are well built. Buy value – not price.

Duke

duke

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

 

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Cayenne's Guide to Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle

cayHappy Winter, Cayenne here and this week we are going to address proper fluids for your vehicle.    It's easy for us, water is our main fluid but our car has lots of fluids it needs to make sure it is running at its best.  So I will guide through this.  Let's get barkin!

The automotive professionals at Allied Auto Works would like to give Los Altos drivers an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, vehicles are becoming more sophisticated every day.  Fluids such as oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace.

The Los Altos do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their vehicle with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many CA ] owners rely on the advice of their friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works service advisor to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their vehicle and their driving habits in the Los Altos area.

Let's start with engine oil. Los Altos drivers who have been paying attention will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the CA scene in the last several years. Modern engines are built to much tighter tolerances and have very complicated valve trains. The oil must be thin enough to lubricate complicated parts when the engine is cold. The weight of an oil is expressed in terms like 20-W-50 or 5-W-30. The vehicle manufacturers recommend the weight of oil for each vehicle they make. The recommendation is based on engine design. Your Los Altos service center will know what weight your vehicle manufacturer recommends - and it's important to follow those recommendations. Your service advisor at Allied Auto Works can also offer suggestions for special formulations and can tell you all about conventional and synthetic oils.

Antifreeze, or engine coolant, is another area that has become more complicated. For a long time, vehicle manufacturers only recommended a couple of different types of coolant. Now, several different formulations are needed because of the high-tech materials that vehicle manufacturers are using to build the cooling system. Using the wrong type of coolant in your vehicle can actually void your warranty, so it's important to get that right.

Transmission fluid is becoming specialized for Los Altos vehicles as well. New transmission designs have particular requirements that require specific formulations. Recently, new, somewhat confusing, standards for brake fluid have also been released.

Not too long ago, there was a good chance that all of the vehicles at your house would use many of the same fluids. However, as automotive technology advances, the array of basic automotive fluids CA drivers need will grow. And, some of the formulations will cost a little more for Los Altos drivers. Fortunately, Allied Auto Works will continue to update their training to keep pace with technology so that you'll get the right fluids your vehicle needs. It's all part of the commitment we make to your driving peace of mind.

 

Till next week with Duke, this is your favorite coonhound,

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Fluids

Duke Says Don't Be Wishy-Washy

dukeHey Duke here and don't  you get annoyed when someone can't make a decision, they go back and forth.  Wishy-Washy I call it.  Well, the other thing you do not want to be Wishy-Washy is your car's windshield washer fluid.  So today, I am going to bark straight to the point so no Wishy-Washy advice here.   Let's get barkin'!

Perhaps you've found yourself driving when something all of a sudden splashes on your windshield, obstructing your view. You know that sinking feeling when you try to turn on the windshield washers and no fluid comes out. Now you're blinded even more. What can you do?

The best thing is to make sure your windshield washer fluid is always topped off and ready for these situations. You probably figure you'll grab a bottle of that blue stuff you see in the store. But is that really the right choice?

One thing you know ISN'T the right choice is plain water. It can freeze when temperatures drop. Plus, when it's close to the freezing mark outside, spraying water on your windshield can freeze, turning it literally into frosted glass and blinding you suddenly. Water freezing in your vehicle's washer lines can also damage them.

There are different types of windshield washer fluid made for different climates. Many have alcohol to prevent them from freezing; their label will usually tell you at what temperature they'll start to freeze.

Some washer fluids will have detergents in them so they can cut through contaminants and dirt. Still, other washer fluids have a chemical in them to prevent streaking.

Also, keep in mind some washer fluids are made to be put in your fluid reservoir as is; others are made to be diluted.

No matter what washer fluid you pick, make sure you have plenty of it in your vehicle. Our pros at Allied Auto Works can top off your levels with the right kind of fluid. That's also a good reminder to have your windshield washer system working properly. Your technician can check not only the washers but the wiper blades and motor to make sure all are in top condition. The worst time you can discover it is usually when you need it most.

Well, I hope you liked my straight forward advice today, straight from  your favorite hound's mouth,

Duke

duke

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

Cayenne's Thanksgiving Travel Advice "How to Get Better Gas Mileage"

cay

 

CAYENNE HERE AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING!    For a lot of you traveling to another destination for the holiday starts now and we want to make sure we can get the best mileage out of our vehicle on these long journeys with some of my advice.  Watch my video first and then let's get barkin'!

There is no escaping it: things work better when you take care of them. Something most of us in Los Altos can relate to is our computers. You've probably noticed how they get slower and slower over time. It takes longer to start up and programs take forever to load. Eventually, many of us just get a new computer at our nearest Los Altos computer store. But computer experts know that there are things you can do to delay the need for a new computer purchase. You can run utilities that clean off temporary files and clean your memory registry. You can optimize your hard drive and a number of other things.

What you're doing is maintaining your computer to make it efficient. It's the same thing with your vehicle. You maintain it to make it more efficient. It works the way it was designed to and that means it uses less fuel while you drive around Los Altos. And you save money.

To help organize our discussion, let's think of things that rob us of fuel economy in two ways: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion.

Friction. Anything that increases friction increases drag or load on the vehicle engine. It has to work harder to overcome the drag – and that takes more fuel. The first thing that comes to mind is engine oil. Low oil means there's not enough to fully lubricate the engine so there's more friction. Dirty oil won't lubricate as well as clean oil. The same principles apply to transmission fluid. Getting your oil changed and transmission serviced on schedule at Allied Auto Works will reduce friction and help you get better fuel economy.

Another friction related problem is underinflated tires. When your vehicle tires are low on air, it's like driving on CA highways through sand – your vehicle has to work harder to move every mile. Check your tire pressure at least once a month.

Wheels out of alignment and dragging brakes also increase friction. And your tires and brake pads will wear out much sooner as well. At Allied Auto Works, we provide quality brake and wheel alignment services.

Let's move on to Fuel. You have to get the right amount of clean fuel to the combustion chamber at precisely the right time. A dirty fuel system has varnish and gum interfering, and the fuel injectors may be unable to deliver the correct amount of fuel at the right pressure  and in the spray pattern — that the engineers intended. A vehicle fuel system cleaning at Allied Auto Works will get all of that working right and really improve fuel economy.

Replacing your fuel filter on schedule will help keep your fuel clean. Replacing a sticky PCV valve will allow unburned fuel from the engine to be returned to the intake system to be used. Replacing worn spark plugs will burn your fuel as efficiently as possible.

All of these things can help you save money on gas at Los Alto's pumps.

Give Allied Auto Works at call today.

SAFE TRAVELS AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING,

CAYENNE

cay

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

Categories:

Fuel System
If You Are Using A Screen Reader And Are Having Problems Using This Website, please call Grant Road near Wooland Acre's - The Highlands (650) 968-7227 For Assistance.