Los Altos Auto Repair

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Allied Auto Works(650) 968-7227

Articles:

Cayenne's Says It's All About Your TPMS in Los Altos Or Where Ever Drive In The South Bay

cay

Hi, Cayenne here and today were are going to park about TPMS, which stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring System.  Why do you ask?  Well if your car has been sitting a lot the past year (yea blame it on COV-19), the tire pressure in tires may have gotten low.   Restrictions have been lifted around California and the economy is on a roll so to speak and well those tires may need a little TLC...Tire Lovin Care.  So let's get barkin'!


Los Altos drivers know that underinflated tires wear out more quickly. Underinflation is also a major cause of tire failure for CA auto owners. More flats, blowouts, skids and longer stopping distances are all results of underinflated tires.

It's hard for many Los Altos drivers to tell when a radial tire is underinflated. If your owner’s manual recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your tire is considered significantly under-inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.

Uncle Sam to the rescue! A recent U.S. federal law required vehicle manufacturer’s to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System - or TPMS system - in all vehicles. Many Canadian vehicles have them as well.  The system is a dashboard-mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25% below its pressure recommendations.

Obviously, all of this doesn't come free for Los Altos car owners. Government studies have estimated the net costs. Of course, the TPMS system itself will cost something. Maintaining the system will have a cost, replacement of worn or broken parts, and tire repair cost increases. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100.

CA service centers have purchased new scanning equipment to work with the TPMS sensors and updated expensive tire change equipment to better service wheels equipped with the new monitoring systems.

Allied Auto Works service advisors have been trained on many systems and new tire-changing techniques. All of this adds up to significantly increased cost to the service center to perform what was once a very inexpensive service. So if you've noticed the cost of flat repairs, tire changes, and rotations going up, please keep in mind that it's because of government-mandated safety equipment. Your Los Altos service center just wants to keep you safely on the road - and it's committed to doing so at a fair price. Remember, this change will help you avoid the most common vehicle failure, and possibly a catastrophic accident.

I leave you with this driving quote as we get back on the road,

Cayenne

"I MAY NOT HAVE GONE WHERE I INTENDED TO GO, BUT I THINK I HAVE ENDED UP WHERE I INTENDED TO BE.” – DOUGLAS ADAMS

 

cay

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

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Duke "The Cable Guy" (Battery Cables and Maintenance)

duke

Hi, Duke here and what a beautiful day here in California and this week we re-open the state and that means more cars on the road both day and night.  So lights, camera, action and you vehicle does not start.  What happened?  When did you check that battery last.  Has it been sitting this past year.  Well today we will bark about the battery cables and maintenance......so let's light'em up!

If you've ever noticed your vehicle's lights are dim or not working at all, the problem could be many things.  But one possibility is your battery cables aren't doing their job.  A power outage in your vehicle is similar to one in your house and needs to be repaired to get things back to normal.

Battery cables connect your vehicle's battery to the vehicle itself.  A positive cable provides the power and a negative cable that connects to the vehicle chassis and provides a ground for electrical components. 

A failing battery cable may cause your vehicle not to start.  Your starter may turn over very slowly.  Or you may just hear a series of clicks.  One other clue is on your dash—the battery warning light. 

There are many things that can cause power issues in a vehicle, but it's important to keep battery cables clean and maintained.  Salt and corrosion are enemies to any power system.  A technician can keep things in top shape, disconnecting the cables, inspecting them, and cleaning their ends and the battery terminals.  Cables, by the way, are often made up of smaller strands of wire.  If they are frayed, some of those smaller wires can touch metal parts of the vehicles that they shouldn't.  The result? Electrical system malfunctions.

So if you see any of these signs that something is not quite right with the power in your vehicle, consult your service advisor and get it checked out.  Feel the power!

May the force be with you,

Duke

duke


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

Categories:

Battery

Cayenne Loves 4x4s (Maintenance of 4x4 Vehicles)

cay

Cayenne here and some dogs love 4x4 vehicles, the true 4-wheel drive works of engineering like Jeeps and 4x4 pickups that allow you to seemingly go anywhere on the planet. You can climb up a 40-degree rock trail with some planning and skill (always careful to protect the environment, of course), or you can get through the deepest snow or plow through a mountain of bones.  I love my jeep so you guessed it 4X4s is where it is at this week.  Let's get barkin' into this now!

With The added capability comes additional complexity, drive-train components, and other systems that less capable vehicles don't have.  And that is why when it comes to 4x4s, you have to maintain them a little differently from those vehicles that spend their lives on the pavement.  Here are some of the key things to keep an eye on:

  • Transfer case—This transfers power from the engine to the wheels.  A transfer case has fluid in it that needs to be changed at intervals recommended by the manufacturer.  Your service advisor will let you know how often that is and will keep track of your service dates.  You will need to make sure the transfer case seal is working properly.  Otherwise, transmission fluid could get in and cause damage that is costly to fix.  Some transfer cases have an electric motor that shifts it through gears, and its connections are often exposed to the elements, making them vulnerable to damage and corrosion.  Proper maintenance will keep those connections working like they should
  • Front and rear differentials—These also have to have the right amount of fluid and should be checked regularly.  Your service advisor can let you know when you need that fluid changed as the owner's manual recommends.  It's important the service is performed correctly with the proper lubricant so it will work the way it is designed to.
  • Brake lines—Those 4x4s practically beg to go into wet spots. They also are great machines to conquer snow: road salt, brine and all.  Moisture, salt and brake lines are a recipe for corrosion, so brake lines need to be inspected regularly.  There are anti-corrosion sprays or white lithium grease that can retard corrosion.  Remember, getting there is half the fun, but not being able to stop is no fun at all.

So enjoy your 4x4 and what it can do those other vehicles can't.  Just remember that even though it's tough on the outside, it needs special care to keep it going.  Oh, and remember to take care of the environment when you go off-roading, too. 

 

Where the road ends, the fun begins, 4X4,

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Drive Train

Duke's Spring & Fall Checkup in Los Altos

duke
Hey, it's the Duke and when I was a pup, my dad always made sure his owner took the cars in for Spring and Fall checkups so those car rides could happen. I was telling a dog friend of mine that it's about time to get into Allied Auto Works for a checkup and he said that he read on the internet that modern cars don't need seasonal service.


My dog-friend is (technically) right about some things, but from a practical standpoint, a seasonal check-up still makes sense.

Back when my dad was barking to me about how to let my owners know about taking care of the family vehicle, most of them used a different weight of oil in the winter and in the summer. But most of today's modern engines run the same oil year-round. High-tech engines and high-tech motor oils are better able to handle seasonal changes.

Your owner's manual or Los Altos service advisor at Allied Auto Works can tell you the right oil to use.

Of course, you're concerned about the coolant or antifreeze. You don't want to overheat in the CA summer or freeze up in the winter. Your engine cooling system protects against both of these things. And modern coolant  'antifreeze' as it's sometimes called — is up to doing both very well. It's designed to last for longer distances than most people drive in a year or two.

So how does a Spring and Fall check-up fit in? Let's start with Spring. Summer is coming. That means heat, more driving, and road trips. It just makes sense to check your fluid levels and do a visual inspection to see that everything is up to snuff.

You may not be scheduled to drain and replace the coolant for some time, but you need to make sure you have enough coolant and that you don't have any leaks or hoses that are about to fail.

That's pretty practical: a check-up to see if there are any problems or emerging conditions that could later become a problem, like a cracked belt.

And the same principle applies to getting ready for winter. Cold weather means lots of failed batteries. It takes more power to crank up a cold engine, and cold also decreases the available cranking power the battery has available.

So a battery test in the Fall could tell you if you've got a battery that is running on its last legs. And of course, if you live where winter temperatures get below 45 degrees F (7 degrees C) or you have ice and snow, you'll want to consider changing to winter tires.

So Spring and Fall auto checkups at Allied Auto Works are practical reminders to get ready for the demands of the hot and cold seasons to come.

And odds are that you have one or more routine services that are due anyway. Like a transmission service, brake or power steering fluid, differential service stuff like that. Are your wiper blades still good? Are your headlamps starting to dim?

So Spring and Fall, change your clocks, replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and get a check-up for your cars.

See, my dad was right again.

Come and see us at Allied Auto Works for your Spring and Fall automotive checkup and tell them Duke's Dad sent ya,

Duke

 

duke

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

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne Says "So You Think You Sound Like a Hot Rod (Noisy Exhaust System)"

CAY 

Cayenne here and my first dog ride was in a 67 SS 350 Camaro, now that was a hot rod.  What a beautiful sound when it drove down the road.  But have you heard some cars so loud even I want put in the dog earplugs.  What is that horrible sound and believe me it ain't not hot rod.  Welcome to the noisy exhaust system so let's roar into this subject today!

Driving along, your exhaust system's rumbling so loud that people turn and stare at you pass by.  You're wondering when the police are going to pull you over for illegal noise.

Your mind immediately thinks, aha! A broken muffler. 

Well, your exhaust system is composed of many more parts than just a muffler. 

Your engine makes power because of thousands of tiny explosions from detonating fuel.  Those explosions make a racket, so engineers came up with a system that acoustically dampens that sound in addition to getting rid of harmful exhaust.

In the engine is the exhaust manifold that looks like several pipes that join up into one pipe.  It directs exhaust to the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter converts harmful gases into less harmful gases using certain chemical reactions.  Then comes the muffler that has baffles inside to quiet the sounds of your engine noise.  Finally: the tailpipe.

All of those pipes and parts are joined together by clamps and held up by brackets, and they ride over some pretty bumpy roads.  They are also exposed to elements, like salt, water, rocks, and grit.  Chances are that one of those clamps or brackets has been weakened by corrosion.  When you hit a bump, bingo! The crack widens into a gap and there's a spot for the engine noise to come roaring out instead of being directed into the muffler's quieting chambers.

You might be surprised to know that the exhaust system can rust from inside out.  How? Moisture is one component of exhaust, and moisture on the inside can do the same kind of damage as moisture from the outside. 

It's a good idea to have your exhaust system looked at regularly by a technician.  He or she can evaluate the condition of the metal and recommend when it might be time to replace parts before they break.

Then you'll have a decision to make.  Newer exhaust systems are made out of stainless steel that is much less prone to corrosion issues.  Others are made of aluminized steel that also fights rust.  You've probably already guessed that they can cost more, but the extra price upfront may give you an exhaust system that will last much longer. 

Sure, with a repaired exhaust system, you won't have quite the head-turning vehicle you once had.  You'll just have to live with all the quiet.

It's got a Lincoln motor
And it's really souped up.
And that model A body makes it look like a pup
It's got eight cylinders; uses them all.
It's got overdrive, just won't stall.  ~Lyrics from Hot Rod Lincoln

Cayenne

cay


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

Categories:

Exhaust

Duke's Guide to Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle

duke

Hey, Duke here,  your automotive professional at Allied Auto Works.  I 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.  So today, you guessed it we are going to flow into fluids for your vehicle.  Let's get barkin' on this slippery subject today!



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.

My formula for success?  Rise early, work late, strike oil.  ~ Jean Paul Getty

Duke

 

duke

 

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

Categories:

Fluids

Is Cayenne Conventional or Synthetic? (Switching to Synthetic Oil)

cay

Cayenne here and you know sometimes I really like the real thing say like a beef bone vs a Nylabone.  It's the same thing with our cars do you choose conventional oil or synthetic and what are the advantages over one or the other.  Well, today we are going knee-deep into conventional vs synthetic oil, and is it time to switch.  So let's get barkin'!

If you keep up with technology trends, then you may be intrigued about synthetic motor oil.  It was introduced in the 1960s when Mobil came up with it.  Mobil's oil was different from conventional motor oil because it was first broken down into its basic molecules.  Then, Mobil removed additional impurities from crude oil and "tailored them to the demands of modern engines."

Synthetic oil is becoming more popular now because of its advantages over conventional oil. It's more resistant to sludge forming in an engine.  It is more efficient and protects engines better under temperature extremes.  Because it allows drivers to go longer between oil changes, many feel it's more convenient. 

The downside is that synthetic oil is more expensive, but because it doesn't need changing as often, the cost can be pretty comparable in the long run.

Those who drive high-performance vehicles (think Audi, BMW, Mercedes) are already using synthetic oil if they're following their manufacturer's guidelines.  Other manufacturers recommend a synthetic blend.  So for those who are using conventional oil, you may want to consult your service advisor for some recommendations if you want to switch to synthetic. 

If you're the type who always waits until the last minute or doesn't ever get in quite in time for the recommended oil change interval, the longer gap required between changes with synthetic oil may appeal to you.  In some cases, you can go up to 15,000 miles/24,000 km between changes. 

If you drive in a very cold climate, synthetic oil can flow more easily at startup and may offer quicker engine protection.  On the other hand, in hot climates, synthetic oil can resist heat breakdown better.

Or you may be one of those drivers who have been getting along fine with conventional oil changes.  Millions do.  Just remember that changing your oil is considered the most important maintenance you can do on your vehicle, so make sure it's done at the right time and with the oil that best suits your driving needs.

Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil. ~J. Paul Getty

Cayenne

 

cay

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

Categories:

Oil Change

Duke's Automotive Tips: Where Should New Tires Be Placed

duke

Round and round we go, where we stop nobody knows ....except your car.  Hi Duke here and are you planning on buying new tires soon?  Maybe you only need 1 or 2 and you are wondering where they should be placed on the car.  Well, I'm here to help solve that mystery so let's get barkin'! 

When Los Altos drivers need to replace tires, they need to know how many they should get and on which axle they should be placed. Replacing a damaged tire may leave you with three others with significant wear, which could affect your traction control, stability control, and anti-lock brake systems.

If you can’t afford to replace all four tires at once, you should at least replace two on the same axle. New tires should always be put on the rear axle for stability in slippery conditions. Your friendly and professional Allied Auto Works tire professional can help you know when your worn tires should be replaced, if you can have a damaged tire repaired as well selecting the right tires for your needs.

Give us a call here at Allied Auto Works.

A bad attitude is like a flat tire, you can't go anywhere until you change it,

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 Differential Service at Allied Auto Works

cay

Hello, California on this sunny Mayday, Cayenne here, and today we are going to bark about Differential service with our friends at AutoNetTv and find what it is all about and how it makes a difference for your differential service.

Here at AutoNetTV, we have national viewers, like your neighbors in Los Altos, who write to us with questions or feedback. One common question we're asked is: "What is a differential and what does it do?" You may have been told by your Allied Auto Works service advisor that your differential needs serviced, or it's seen as an option up on the service menu. Differential service at Allied Auto Works covers a lot of things, so let's first talk about what a differential does.

As you drive through a turn, your outside wheels and inside wheels turn at different speeds. Kind of like the cars going around a race track - the ones driving in the outside lanes have a greater distance to travel than the cars in the inside lanes. The differential is what allows the outside and inside drive wheels to rotate at slightly different speeds so that the tires don't hop or skip while taking corners, or lose traction in dirt or snow on Los Altos area roads. Differentials have gears in them that transfer the power from the drive train to your wheels - which is why they're often referred to as gearboxes. The gears need to be very strong to do this work, and they need to be properly protected so that they'll last.

All vehicles in Los Altos have some form of differential. If you have a front-wheel-drive car, your differential is sometimes called a transaxle and is located in the front. If you have rear-wheel drive, the differential is in the back of the car. Los Altos auto owners with a four-wheel-drive vehicle have a differential in the front and the back - and in the middle as well. The center differential adjusts for differences in speed between the front and rear wheels.

Differential fluid lubricates and cools the gears. Over time, the fluid can get dirty from bits of the gears grinding off. The additives that keep the fluid clean and protect the differential break down over time. So your vehicle manufacturer has scheduled intervals for you to have your differential fluid changed. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works service advisor if you are not sure about your recommended schedule.

Getting your Differential Service well can make a difference,

Cayenne

 

cay

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

Categories:

Drive Train

Duke's Trip Inspection at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos

duke

Did someone say ROAD TRIP?  Hi Duke here and believe it or not road trips on happening now that COV-19 restrictions are lifting and well people are ready to go somewhere including us Hounds, we love our car rides.  Well with that in mind your vehicle might need a trip inspection before you go on the next adventure.  So let's get barkin'!

 

Los Altos area drivers love their vehicles. And one of the most enjoyable things about them is taking a road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights, and the open road – it's great! But there's nothing like vehicle trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.

Now Los Altos drivers can't always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicle's perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling – winding CA byways? Purple mountain majesties or fruited plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How far will you travel each day? How much weight will you be hauling – passengers and luggage? Pulling a trailer, rooftop carrier, or ATVs? Will it be dusty?

Prepared with answers to these questions, you can schedule a trip inspection at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos to help you prepare your vehicle for your big adventure. A lot of our Los Altos customers prefer to go through this exercise with their friendly and knowledgeable service advisor to get their input and make sure they haven't overlooked anything.

A great place for Los Altos drivers to start is with the tires. Inspect them for tread wear and proper inflation. Is it time to rotate your tires? Replace them? Are they up to the job? You wouldn't want to drive regular highway tires on a muddy off-road adventure on CA rock-crawling trails. 

Shocks and struts play a major role in both driving comfort and safety. If they need to be replaced, you'll really be glad you did once you hit the road. Is it time for a wheel alignment? Fighting a car that's pulling to one side all day can be tiring and dangerous. 

And don't forget your brakes. Any strange noises, grabbing, soft or hard peddle feel? If there is any doubt, get a brake inspection at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos before you leave.

Moving under the hood, have a belt and hoses inspection. If something is excessively worn or near failure, the stress of a long road trip might just be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Talk to your service advisor at Allied Auto Works.

Your engine air filter will be inspected. Your car's air filter will process 12,000 times as much air as the fuel burned by the engine. If the filter needs to be changed, you'll notice improvements on your trip.

How close are you to your next oil change? Will you be able to complete your trip before it's due? If not, just get it taken care of before you go so that you don't need to interrupt your trip. In fact, a full-service oil change at Allied Auto Works is a great idea because they will top off all your fluids and check to see if any other maintenance items are due, such as transmission or cooling system service.

Do you notice any unusual odors in your vehicle? If so, it could be as harmless as a dirty cabin air filter. But if it's an exhaust leak, it could be fatal for Los Altos drivers and their passengers on a long trip. Of course, you'll want to be comfortable, so get an air conditioning service if you aren't getting the cold air you’re used to. 

Are your wiper blades still working well? If not, that is a quick and inexpensive fix for Los Altos drivers. Headlamps are often overlooked when planning for a trip. If you haven't changed the bulb in six months or so, replacement bulbs will really light up the night on your trip and provide the necessary after-sundown visibility.

All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all become more important as you plan for your trip.

They will always save you money in the long run and may prevent inconvenient stops and delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn't want to miss the world's largest dog bone, would you?

Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Alignment
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