Los Altos Auto Repair

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

TO VIEW VIDEOS CLICK ON TITLE OF ARTICLE.

Articles:

Duke's Differential Service at Allied Auto Works: Viva la Difference

duke

 

Hey it's Duke did you know every vehicle on CA roads has a differential, and it is important to the proper operation of the vehicle.  But most Los Altos residents don't have a clue what it is.  So today we will bark Viva la Difference on differential service.  So let's get the wheels spinning on the subject!


The differential compensates for differing wheel speeds. For example, when you turn, the inside tire on the turn travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel. So the inside wheel of the vehicle must move at a slower speed than the outside wheel. Without a differential, the wheels would hop and scrape while turning.

Have you ever seen the large bulge in the middle of the rear axle of a truck? That's the differential. In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located on the back axle. Four-wheel drive vehicles and SUV's have differentials on both the front and the rear axle.

You might expect that the differential is located on the front axle of a front-wheel drive vehicle. You'd be right. But the differential is called a transaxle on a front-wheel drive vehicle because its location allows it to be combined with the transmission.

In an all-wheel drive vehicle, an additional differential or transfer case is located between the front and rear axles. Differentials are strong: They have to be because of the job they do. But those tough parts need proper lubrication. You don't want your differential to seize up. That results in damage to your vehicle.

So you need to have your vehicle differential serviced regularly. It's not a complicated job. At Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, we've been servicing differentials for years. The used lubricating fluid is simply drained and then replaced. Some vehicles require specific additives in the differential fluid; your Los Altos service center will ensure you are getting what your vehicle needs.

The intervals in time or mileage for servicing your differential vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. Check with your owner's manual or Allied Auto Works service advisor to find out how often your vehicle differential needs to be serviced.

I leave you with this,

Your car has a differential...

...if you drive in reverse, does it become an integral?

Duke

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

Cayenne Barks "It's Brake Time (Brake Calipers)!"

cay

Whoa, stop, put the brakes on!   Cayenne here and yes we are puttin' all the stops here and barkin' about brakes and brake calipers today so let's get started.

Race car drivers have demonstrated the advantages of disc brakes, so most modern vehicles use them.  Sometimes just the front wheels have disc brakes, but many vehicles now have them all the way around. 

A major component of the disc brake is called a caliper.  It works by squeezing brake pads against the disc or rotor, kind of like a bicycle hand brake.  The brake pads themselves are what contact the rotor, causing friction to build and the wheel to slow down, but it's the calipers that apply the pressure to the pads.

Caliper design has evolved over the years, and there are two common types.  One is called a floating caliper.  It has one or two pistons on one side of the disc. When you push down the brake pedal, the piston or pistons in your caliper put pressure on that one side.  A mechanism connected on the other side of the disc applies pressure as well, squeezing your disc so the vehicle stops.  Floating calipers are less expensive since they have fewer parts.

The other type is called a fixed caliper.  They use pistons on both sides of the disc, sometimes several.  They are often used in more high-performance or heavy-duty vehicles.

Calipers can have rubber seals to keep out dirt, debris and moisture, but when that rubber wears out, sometimes the calipers can get contaminated.  They can stick or start leaking; they can even rust.  Then your caliper can get stuck applying that "squeeze" when you are not pressing on the brake pedal.  Or they can get stuck in the other position, not applying stopping power when you press the pedal.

When this happens, it's not unusual to feel your vehicle pull to one side when you brake.  You might notice a burning smell from the constant friction if the caliper is stuck on, plus you may feel the heat from the wheel after you park and get out of your vehicle.  Sometimes you'll hear a high-pitched sound or clunk if your calipers are binding up. 

That's your cue to have them checked out at your vehicle service center.  If your calipers aren't working correctly, it can be a safety hazard.  Sticking calipers can affect your ability to steer and stop; this is the kind of "brake time" you need so you can get them back on track and working properly.

I leave you with my joke of the day,

What part of the car is the laziest?
The wheels, because they are always tired!

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Brakes

Duke's Easy Way to Save Cash in Los Altos

duke

Cash.......did someone say cash?  Hey, Duke here, and I am going to bark my easy way for you to save some dough, cash that is......money, money, money.  These days I'm sure all of us want to know how to do that.  Do you know the average price for a nice dog bone is $10? I say let's get spend some time on this subject now and save some cash$$$$$!

The hottest CA news story may be different every day, but there's one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Los Altos. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things people in Los Altos can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the environment. You can really improve your fuel economy by how you drive – but first, here's a review of things you can do for your vehicle that'll save gas no matter how you drive.

The first one for Los Altos drivers is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Los Altos service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask Allied Auto Works. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Los Altos gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.

Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn't let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter in reduced fuel economy. And worn spark plugs can cost about the same. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every 1,000 miles/1,600 km driven. Check the vehicle owner's manual for replacement recommendations.

The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with the information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that's messed up it can cost Los Altos vehicles up to 3 miles per gallon/1.3 km per liter. And of course, there's dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That's another .4 miles per gallon/.17 km per liter right there.

One item Los Altos residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose, or missing gas cap can cost another 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter. Adding up all of these worn, missing, or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon/4.85 km per liter in reduced fuel economy! And with current gas prices in the Los Altos area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save Los Altos drivers at the pump. 

Now, most vehicles aren't missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don't forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter, and other services spelled out in your owner's manual.

Allied Auto Works knows all this stuff and can tell you when you're scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Allied Auto Works – which may also be updated with recall notices and maintenance schedule items from your vehicle manufacturer.

I leave you with this conversation that I barked with the President,

"President Biden ever since you came into office, things are already looking up," Duke said in his remarks. "Gas is up, rent is up, food is up."

The Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne Is Wired! (Battery Cable Service)

cay

Hi it's your crazy hound dog Cayenne and you know sometimes I get that burst of energy in me like I am WIRED or you get it when you have your cup of JOE but how about your car?  Well, it needs to be WIRED with its Battery Cables.  So today we are going to a jolt out of Battery Cable Service.

Colder weather brings out the worst in a vehicle's battery.  On a very cold day, you may have experienced that your engine cranks slowly when starting.  But while it may be the battery itself, it may also be the parts that transfer the power to other the other electrical components, the battery cables.  After all, you have to have some way to get the current out of the battery and out to where it needs to go.

Battery cables have a couple of enemies: corrosion and age.  You may have looked under the hood and noticed a light-colored powder or crust around the terminals.  That's what happens when acids corrode the ends of the battery terminals.  Corrosion inhibits the connection and may reduce the amount of power getting to the electrical accessories to the point where they are not working correctly, if at all.

Here are some symptoms of problems with your battery cables. You might notice a clicking sound when you turn the key, some of your vehicle's electrical parts (like the sound system or the horn) don't work or, in some cases, the vehicle won't start at all.

When you take your vehicle to a repair facility, the technician will use instruments to check voltages to see how much current is getting to what location. That includes a starter draw test during which the battery's voltage is checked when the starter is cranked.  The technician will also visually inspect the cables and the charging system. To make sure the alternator is putting out the right voltage, the technician will measure that as well. 

If the problem is found to be the battery cable assembly, the entire set may have to be replaced. Sometimes they can be repaired. 

During the colder months, it's vital that your vehicle has the proper power going to its electrical components.  Having a vehicle that won't start or run smoothly is not something you want to battle with when you're already up against challenging weather.  Keep your electrons flowing… and your vehicle moving.

I leave you with my joke of the day 

"What kind of car does an electrician drive?

A Volts-wagon"

Cayenne

 

cay


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

Categories:

Battery

Duke Has A New Battery in Los Altos

duke

Hey, Duke here and today I am going to get a charge out of you.  We are going to bark batteries and if it is time well to replace the old battery with a new electrifying battery then we need to get barkin'!

Hello Los Altos drivers, let's talk about batteries. Car batteries are just like any rechargeable battery. They will eventually wear out and die. If you are shopping for a new battery in Los Altos, here's some auto advice to help you.

There are two measurements to consider when purchasing a new battery: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity. The power required to start a cold engine is measured in cold cranking amps. The number you need is determined by what kind of vehicle you drive and where you live. In general, higher-cylinder engines require more cold cranking amps than lower-cylinder engines. In other words, an eight-cylinder engine needs more cold cranking amps than a six-cylinder one. Also, diesel engines require more cold cranking amps than gasoline engines.

The weather where you live in CA also determines the number of cold cranking amps you need. The colder the vehicle engine, the more power it takes to get it started. Also, cold CA weather reduces the electrical efficiency of the battery, which reduces the amount of energy available in the battery to start the engine. Thus, in freezing temperatures, you need more power to start an engine, but you have less power available to get it started.

Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos can help you choose an appropriate battery for your vehicle and your lifestyle. If you need extra power owing to cold weather or a need for more reserve capacity, you may want to choose a heavy-duty battery. Just make sure it fits into your vehicle. An oversized battery may give you the power you need, but it's a serious safety hazard if the terminals come into contact with other parts of the vehicle.

Keep in mind that preventive maintenance performed at Allied Auto Works and good vehicle care can extend the life of your battery. Judicious use of electric gadgets and good driving habits are wise and can help you get the most out of your battery.

"What did the Battery say on his Blind Date?

I have a lot of energy and I am a pretty positive guy. But I do have a negative side."

Duke

 

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

Categories:

Battery

Cayenne Stays Headed in the Right Direction, Los Altos

cay

Hello, Cayenne here have you ever been on a drive and your car seems not to be turning smoothly in the direction you want to go?  When's the last time you checked your power steering and its fluid.  Well, I am going to drive in the right direction, just drive forward while we bark out power steering.

Power steering is standard on nearly every vehicle in Los Altos, CA, these days. Now there are some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the general setup is a pump that's driven by a belt powered by the engine.

Contact the automotive professionals at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos for questions about your power steering.

The pump generates power that assists drivers as they steer their vehicles around Los Altos, CA. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it's a good idea to have Allied Auto Works inspect them at every oil change.

A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full-service oil change at Allied Auto Works because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so it's important to use the correct type – just ask your service advisor at Allied Auto Works.

In addition to providing a boost, the fluid cleans, cools, and lubricates the power steering system. Over time, the lubricants and detergents diminish so Los Altos drivers need to replace their old fluid with clean, fresh fluid periodically.

Excess moisture can collect in the power steering fluid as well. That can lead to rust and corrosion as well as reduce the effectiveness of the fluid. Many outline power steering service intervals in the owner's manual. Unfortunately, this service is sometimes left off the maintenance schedule. For Los Altos drivers who are not sure, every two years is a good rule of thumb. 

At Allied Auto Works, we use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with new fluid.

Now, if you are experiencing high steering effort, erratic power assist, or loud whining coming from the pump, you may have a power steering problem. Another sign is having to frequently top off the fluid.

Holding the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time can wear your pump out quickly. We want you to be sure to service your power steering system regularly at your service center, or Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, to keep you headed in the right direction.

I leave with my direction joke of the day,

What do you call a large reptile who's great with directions?

A good navi-gator.

Cayenne

 

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

Categories:

Steering

Duke Asks "Do You Know Your Blind Spots?"

dukes

Hey, it's Duke and did you know most dogs' eyes are more laterally placed (wider apart on the face) than are the eyes of humans, they have a resultant wider field of view. This provides for a greater ability to scan the environment and to pick up sudden movements.  Dogs do not have an abnormally large “blind spot” and they can see the depth of field (3D). resulting in a visual field of 240 degrees compared with the human field of 200 degrees.  Humans have binocular field of vision which results in blinds spots especially while driving.  So we are not going to turn a blind eye today on this subject but help you see things in a different light.  Let's get barkin'!

 

All Los Altos drivers have blind spots – and no, I'm not talking about the fact that you really don't sing like Adele. I mean the areas of the road that you can't see when you're driving around Los Altos.

First, let's talk about our own blinds spots, and then we can talk about others...

To begin, we can greatly reduce blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make adjustments in your vehicle before you start to drive.

First, Los Altos drivers should adjust their rearview mirrors to give the best possible view directly to the rear of their vehicle. Los Altos folks don't need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or their dazzling smile. It's pretty obvious, that the rearview mirror should reflect the rear.

Next, lean your head until it almost touches the driver's side window. Adjust your side mirror so that you can just barely see the side of your car. Now, lean your head to the middle of the car and adjust the outside mirror so that you can barely see the right side of the car.

When Los Altos drivers adjust their mirrors this way, they'll have maximum coverage. Of course, driving is a dynamic process – things change every second on CA roads and busy highways. So it's wise to take a quick look to the side when passing to make sure that another vehicle hasn't moved into an area you couldn't see in your mirrors.

As you drive around the Los Altos area, avoid staying in others' blind spots. You can't count on them to be watching their mirrors and looking out for you.
Here are some tips for passing a heavy vehicle on CA roads:
Avoid the blind spots. If you can't see the driver's face in one of his mirrors or in a window, he cannot see you!
Don't follow too close. If you can't see one of the truck's mirrors, you're too close.
Make sure there is plenty of room to pass. Trucks are long and take time to get around. If you're on one of our local two-lane highways, wait for a passing zone.
Don't linger when passing. Because the blind spots are so big on the sides, you want to get through them quickly. If you can't pass quickly, drop back.
Pass on the left whenever possible. A trucks' blind spot is much larger on the right.
The team of automotive professionals at Allied Auto Works wants you to watch those blind spots – but feel free to sing in the shower all you want.

I leave you with my car joke of the day,

Q: "What’s the difference between a Ferrari and six trash bags full of recyclable cans?"

A: "I don’t have a Ferrari in my garage."

Duke

 

duke

 

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

Categories:

Automotive News

Cayenne's Service to Improve Fuel Economy With These Crazy Gas Prices

cay

Hey, it's your favorite red-head, Cayenne and you know this weekend I went with my owner to fill up the car and on my!  $106 to fill the tank.....there goes all the extra money for my dog treats.  Well today, you guessed it, we are going to bark the gas out of fuel economy and what services can help.

The price of gas in CA has got people in Los Altos talking. It seems that Los Altos folks who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear or provide four-wheel drive, are hit especially hard. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve fuel economy.

First, let's start with how we drive around CA. People in Los Altos may not realize that they can really save on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts - you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don't drive with one foot on the brake. That's also a drag on fuel economy, and it wears out your brakes faster, too.

Another thing Los Altos drivers can do is drive more slowly - but only when it's safe. Sometimes on the freeway, we drive an extra five ... ten . . . twenty ... over the speed limit. We do it to save time, but it only saves a few minutes out of maybe an hour-long drive, and we may use 10 to 15 % more gas. Just leave a little bit earlier, save some money and arrive more relaxed.

Los Altos drivers can also try and combine all of their errands for the day into just one trip, rather than several. If you can put off a trip today that can be combined with one tomorrow, you can save some time and money.

Using your cruise control can save money too. Driving in CA at a constant speed really improves fuel economy. Be sure to only use your cruise control under safe conditions; you can look in your owner's manual for some good tips on using your cruise control.

Did you know that reducing the weight in your vehicle saves gas? Clean out the trunk or back seat from time to time so that you are not paying to carry a lot of stuff around Los Altos that you do not need in the vehicle. If you live in CA where there is snow and ice, clear it off your vehicle; it adds weight and messes with aerodynamics too.

Another tip is to avoid long idle times, which includes warming it up when you start. Modern engines do not require a long warm-up to get going;  just take it easy for a few minutes.

Be sure to get a new gas cap if yours leaks or is worn.

Now, let's start talking mechanical. Bottom line - the better you maintain your vehicle, the less fuel you will use. It all adds up in a big way. For example, replacing your dirty engine air filter will pay for itself in improved fuel economy before your next oil change - and will keep saving you after that.

A clean, well-maintained fuel system really pays big dividends. A clogged fuel filter wastes gas. So does a dirty fuel system, grimy fuel injectors and plugged-up PCV valves. A fuel system service decreases the gas you use, and increases the power, so drivers in Los Altos can't go wrong with that.

Some of us ignore our Check Engine light. But fixing the problem that caused the light to come on will usually save some fuel as well. It may be a bad oxygen sensor that can really rob your fuel economy.

And, it may be time for a tune-up. Tune-ups should improve your fuel economy. Don't overlook the routine maintenance items, like scheduled oil changes, transmission, and cooling system service. Dirty or low fluids actually use more fuel. Just look at your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service intervals in the owner's manual, or ask your Allied Auto Works service advisor for the schedule.

Don't forget your tires. Underinflated tires waste gas. And if your wheels are out of alignment, you won't get the fuel economy you need.

None of these things are very complicated or expensive for people in Los Altos, Cupertino, Sunnyvale or anywhere in the South Bay to stay on top of. When you maintain your car properly, you save gas today and prevent repairs tomorrow.

I leave you with my joke of the day,

"Today I got gas for $1.57. Unfortunately it was at Taco Bell."

Cayenne

 

cay

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

 

Categories:

Fuel System

Duke's Advice On Right Automotive Fluids for Los Altos, Cupertino and Sunnyvale Drivers

duke

Hey, it's Duke and my mom said to make sure you drank plenty of water to keep well hydrated and healthy.  Your car also needs plenty of fluids and well today we are barking fluids.  So let's pour into our subject!

All those automotive fluids can be confusing for Los Altos Cupertino and Sunnyvale drivers. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won't work as well and could even cause damage.

In addition to new grades of engine oil, many vehicles now leave the factory with synthetic oil. People in the South Bay should always use the grade recommended by their manufacturer.

All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your vehicle cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.

Most passenger vehicles on South Bay roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your vehicle power brake system is specifically designed to use ONE of these types – you need the right one. Higher numbers do not necessarily mean a higher, upgraded fluid.

Now, the thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids; using the right fluid is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you've got that down, it's easy to remember to check with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Allied Auto Works or your vehicle owner's manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.

Give Allied Auto Works a call today and tell them Duke you.

I leave you with my fun quote of the day, "The only weight I ever lifted weighed 24 ounces.  It was a Schlitz.  I always replaced my fluids." ~ Art Donovan

Duke

duke

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

 

Categories:

Fluids

Ask Cayenne About the Importance of Service Intervals

cay

What a beautiful day here in Los Altos!  Hi Cayenne here and today in Duke & Cayenne's blog, we're going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your vehicle isn't the only aspect of your life with recommended intervals: What about yearly dog exams,  six-month dental cleanings and regular physical exams? Then there's dog grooming, order dog bones,  laundry, mowing the lawn, dog toys to order, paying your electric bill, changing your furnace filter - you get the idea.



Now, what would happen if you didn't follow these intervals? For one thing, your teeth may get more cavities. You might not discover health issues that benefit from early detection and treatment. And you'd have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your overgrown lawn and have your power shut off.

We all realize there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don't, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life diminishes and it inevitably costs more money.

Have you ever wondered, "How often should I bring my car in for scheduled maintenance?" You can let your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works technician remind you of the manufacturer's recommendations. He has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your vehicle. Rely on Allied Auto Works professionals to help you make good car care decisions, that's our job.

For those in Los Altos who want to be more proactive with their vehicle care, here are some simple ways to remember what has a maintenance interval:

First: fluids. If it's liquid, it's got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.
Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you're thinking tires, think brakes and shocks.
And what makes your car go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning.

Of course, there are more items, but if you remember to take your vehicle into Allied Auto Works for these things, your friendly and knowledgeable service advisors will help you with the rest.

Oh and don't forget to order those dog bones and get your dog's nails done, we have to look good you know as we go for a ride with the windows down on these beautiful California days,

Cayenne

cay

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

Allied Auto Works Grant Road is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Grant Road near Wooland Acre's - The Highlands (650) 968-7227 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.