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Cayenne's Synthetic Oil for Los Altos Autos

cay

Hey, it's Cayenne, and you do really know what synthetic oil is and how it can benefit you and your vehicle?  If you are a driver in Los Altos and aren't currently using synthetic motor oil in your vehicle, maybe now's the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum-based oil.

Synthetic oil doesn't gel or gum up like petroleum-based oil, and it doesn't vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop-and-go driving around Los Altos, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil, with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle.

Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why, we'd need a microscope, so we'll have to settle for using our imaginations.

The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?

Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there's less friction. That means better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power, and better fuel economy. Synthetic oil doesn't sludge up like conventional oil, so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up.

Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil. Also, ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.

Most of us here in Los Altos have a busy life and might occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead, admit it. Since we're not perfect, doesn't it make sense to use a motor oil that's got your back?

Now, synthetic oil costs more. But it lasts longer, protects better, and increases fuel economy. You'll likely save money in the long run. If you're serious about making your car last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.

Give us a call to schedule an oil change, or visit us at our Allied Auto Works website.

A year from now, you may wish you had started today. --Karen Lamb

Cayenne

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

Categories:

Maintenance

Duke's Advice "Change is Good!" (Oil Change)

duke

Duke here, and you've heard that expression: change is good.  When it comes to your vehicle's oil, change is not only good, it's vital for the health of the engine.  But there's one question that puzzles many drivers: how frequently should my vehicle's oil be changed? There is not one simple answer, but I'm here to bark to you about some guidelines that will help. So let's change it up and roll into this topic!

It used to be pretty much a rule of thumb that vehicles got their oil changed once every 3 months or 3,000 miles/5,000 kilometers.  But times have changed.  Oil formulations have gotten better and engine designs have made longer oil change intervals possible. 

Most experts advise you to read the recommendations from the manufacturer that designed and built your vehicle.  Their designers and engineers know more about your vehicle than anyone else.  They spell out their recommended oil change interval and type of oil in your owner's manual.  Many automakers say you can go at least 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers between oil changes and recommend even longer intervals.  If you use synthetic oil, it doesn't have to be changed as often. 

Ever wonder why you have to change your oil?  Your vehicle lives in a dirty environment.  Contaminants build up in your engine oil and, after time, inhibit the oil's lubricating properties.  Without optimal lubrication, increased friction inside the engine starts wearing down the metal parts, shortening the engine's life.

Not only do vehicle manufacturers recommend oil change intervals in the manual, but many also now alert drivers by a light or other electronic indicator on your dash.  It doesn't exactly say, "Hey, time to get your oil changed. This oil's starting to wear on me." But it does give you a pretty good hint.  Some of these warning systems simply measure the distance you've traveled.  More sophisticated vehicles have sensors that measure temperature, driving time, and engine revolutions to determine when the oil is getting past its useful life.  Here's one situation where it's easy to see the light.  Do yourself a favor, and don't wait too long before coming in for an appointment at Allied Auto Works. 

Oh, and driving habits matter, too.  Short trips with a lot of stop-and-go driving will stress your engine and oil more than longer trips at highway speeds. 

And here's another plus side to regularly changing your oil at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos.  Our technician will also keep an eye on the rest of your vehicle to spot anything that might need attention.

The bottom line is this: Oil changes are good for your vehicle in so many ways and are probably the most important maintenance service you can get.

I leave you with this famous "change" quote for the week,

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." — John F. Kennedy

Duke

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

Categories:

Oil Change

Cayenne Is Exhausted! (Exhaust Service)

cay

YAWN!  Cayenne here, and I am exhausted from my busy week getting ready to do my weekly blog. You know it was exhausting because it is about Exhaust Service.  So before I go back and take another snooze, we better bark about Exhaust Service now. 

Most of us know a bad muffler when we hear it.  That loud, rumbling sound is unmistakable. Did you also know you can get a ticket for driving with a loud exhaust system?

If your exhaust system has a leak, it may be allowing poisonous gases inside your vehicle and could make you seriously ill (or even kill you!) if you breathe too much in.

Unfortunately, your exhaust system faces a lot of destructive forces out on the road.  Rust is the worst, not just in colder climates where salt and brine are used as de-icers.  Exhaust systems can rust from the inside out when moisture condenses inside the pipes.  Vibrations and jolts from rough roads (and the occasional run-in with a rock or a curb) can wreak havoc with exhaust systems.  Even a bad oxygen sensor can send too much fuel into the catalytic converter, and the resulting heat can wind up destroying this very expensive component.

Your exhaust system is made up of several parts, and all need to be in good shape in order for you to be sure that the gases created by your engine's combustion get properly moved out and away from the vehicle. The good news is that many newer exhaust systems are made of durable materials like stainless steel.  But all exhaust systems are subjected to some of the roughest elements streets can dish out. So having your exhaust system periodically inspected and serviced is a good idea.

There are a lot of parts to keep track of in an exhaust system, including the muffler, manifold, catalytic converter, oxygen sensors, and the muffler (or maybe your vehicle has more than one).  We strongly recommend having your exhaust system periodically checked so we can catch a problem before it turns into something major… and may be dangerous.  We can recommend repair or replacement that suits your driving habits and budget. 

Oh, and remember one final benefit to a tip-top-shaped exhaust system.  Your vehicle will dump far less pollution into the atmosphere if it's working the way engineers designed it.  We'll all breathe a little easier when our exhaust systems are doing their job right.

I leave you with my exhausted joke for this week,

What's the difference between tired and exhausted?

When you run in front of a car, you get tired

When you run behind a car, you get exhausted.
 
Cayenne

 

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

Categories:

Exhaust

Duke Shakes It up in Los Altos!: Why Wheel Balancing

duke

Duke here, and you know our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, we generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to balance a vehicle's wheels.  So today, we are going to bark about wheel balancing and how to stop the shakes.  Let's get barkin'!

A tire is usually out of balance when mounted onto a wheel. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, Los Altos drivers want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your technician at Allied Auto Works spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counterbalance the uneven weight. Most people in Los Altos are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.

High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll, and tires can become unbalanced. Los Altos drivers can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. You'll feel a vibration in your seat if a back tire is unbalanced. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your vehicle — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you've lost a balancing weight.

The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph/97 kmh. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the road rather than rolling. So, at 60 mph/97 kph, it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's what creates the vibration. When tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components, and suspension parts.

Getting a balance job at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos can prevent repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your vehicle as well as its handling performance. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at Allied Auto Works, you'll also need to get your tires balanced. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced, too.

However, some Los Altos vehicle owners only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner's manual to see what is recommended for your vehicle. Balancing your tires is part of preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many components. So practice good vehicle care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It's quality auto advice from Allied Auto Works. Massage chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle Los Altos drivers' nerves.

I leave you with my empowering quote for this week,

"Someday is not a day of the week." --Denise Brennan-Nelson

Duke

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

 

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Cayenne's E-85 Fuel Safety Advice at Allied Auto Works

cay
 

Today at Duke and Cayenne's Automotive Corner, we want to bark with you about a very important safety issue: E-85 Fuel advice. This automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: firefighting experts. You've probably heard of E-85 gasoline being offered in the Los Altos area. Some newer vehicle models are specifically built to run on E-85 – the rest are not.  So let's spark the conversation and start barkin'!

Does your vehicle use E-85 gasoline? Bring it down to Allied Auto Works at 2073 Grant Road in Los Altos, CA 94024, to find out, or give us a call to make an appointment by calling 650.968.7227.

E-85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption. E-85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, a grain-based alcohol, and 15% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. The result is lower exhaust emissions to our local Los Altos community.

All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol; in fact, a lot of gasoline sold in the Los Altos, CA, area contains some ethanol. The problem comes when well-meaning residents without Flex Fuel-certified vehicles put E-85 into the tank.

At a 15% concentration, the potential for problems arises. Because of the chemical differences between ethanol and gasoline, special seals and gaskets are needed for Flex Fuel vehicles. In a normal engine, the ethanol in E-85 gas will eat away seals and gaskets. This leads to gas and oil leaks.

Your Los Altos auto owners can imagine the fire hazard caused by leaking gasoline. CA fire fighting experts caution drivers to only use E-85 if they know their vehicle is certified to handle it. They expect vehicle fires to increase because of using the wrong fuel in non-Flex Fuel vehicles.

We didn't start the fireIt was always burning, since the world's been turningWe didn't start the fireNo, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it ~ Billy Joel

Cayenne

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

 

Categories:

Warranty

Duke's Fuel Injection Basics for Los Altos

duke

Duke here, and today I will inject you with fuel injection basics for your vehicle.  All modern Los Altos vehicles come with fuel injection systems, so it's a topic Los Altos drivers need to know something about. The mighty fuel injector is a valve that delivers the gas or diesel fuel to the right place, in the right amount at the right time—to be mixed with air and burned in the engine.  Let's get barkin' more on this subject!

So, how many fuel injectors does your vehicle have? There's one for each cylinder. So four, six, or eight for most folks in Los Altos, CA. Some vehicles have 10 or 12 cylinders. The engine control computer makes adjustments to the fuel injector as it monitors the engine and other sensors. Fuel injectors are pretty high-tech.

Allied Auto Works can help Los Altos drivers with a fuel injector cleaning service. What's the benefit? In order to work right, the fuel injectors have to deliver the fuel at a precise pressure at a very precise time. It's important that the fuel is sprayed in a particular pattern as determined by the engine design.

Over time, varnish can start to build up in the fuel injectors, affecting the pressure, pattern, and timing of the fuel charge. The result is that the fuel doesn't get burned as efficiently as it could. That robs performance and hurts fuel economy.

What about dirty fuel? How does that affect the fuel injectors? The fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel system. It starts at the fuel tank. Frankly, the best way to keep your fuel injectors working well is to use high-quality fuel. It's tempting to shop for bargains in Los Altos with fuel prices as high as they are, but major brands in the Los Altos, CA, area have better detergents and additives and deliver consistent quality.

What about a good fuel filter? The fuel filter is a component of the fuel system. Its job is to filter out the dirt and rust that collect in the fuel tank. If it's clogged up, the dirt will bypass the filter and head upstream to the fuel injectors.

It's important to replace the fuel filter when your manufacturer recommends it. That's part of a comprehensive fuel system cleaning.

There are different kinds of fuel injection systems. Port fuel injection systems, the kind most gasoline engines have, operate at 60 pounds per square inch. The injectors for the new gas direct injection engines for Los Altos drivers are starting to require 10 to 30 times as much pressure. Some diesel engines for passenger vehicles have injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch. There's no room for dirt and gum in a precision part like that.

There are a lot of good products available in Los Altos, CA, that can clean fuel injectors. They're best used to prevent fouling in the fuel injectors. Many can't clean a seriously gummed-up injector – that requires a professional deep cleaning, like those we offer at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos. But putting the cleaner in the fuel tank after you've had Allied Auto Works take a look at your fuel system will help keep it clean. Be sure to read the label for directions.

Give us a call if you think your vehicle may be ready for a fuel injector cleaning.

My inspirational quote for the week:

"Make each day your masterpiece." --John Wooden

Duke

 

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

 

Categories:

Fuel System

Cayenne's Advice On To Fix or Not To Fix (Tire Repair)

cay

Good Day, Cayenne here, and you know that sinking feeling when you realize one of your tires has a problem.  It may be making an odd noise or behaving oddly when you're driving.  You may hit a pothole or curb, and one suddenly goes flat.  Or you may head back to your vehicle and discover it has one tire deflated without a clue of what must have happened to it.  Well, today we will discuss when it is worth fixing OR not fixing the tire.  Let's get the wheels in motion and start barkin'!

With a lot of different tires hitting the streets these days, the issue of whether to have a tire repaired or replaced can be tricky, and we strongly recommend you have a trained technician help you make that decision. 

One of the most common causes of flat tires is picking up a screw or nail in the tread area.  Many of those can be patched and plugged if the puncture isn't more than ¼ inch/6 mm in diameter. Most tires can handle two of these types of repairs, but any more and you should buy a new tire. 

If there's a puncture or bulge in the sidewall or shoulder, the rule of thumb is it's not repairable.  The sidewall doesn't have the reinforcements that the tread area does.  In fact, any puncture that's more than a ½ inch/12 mm away from the edge of the tread should not be fixed. 

Many newer vehicles have no spare tires (to save weight and fuel) and instead have a type of tire called "run-flat."  Sometimes, the only way you know they're deflated is when the tire pressure monitor alerts the driver.  Driving on them for more than 50 miles/80km can render them unrepairable.  They may be fixable if you pull off to the side of the road before driving on them too long. Our technicians can evaluate whether they can be driven further or should be replaced.

Other vehicles with no spare include a can of tire sealant and a compressor.  If you use it, tire experts say to have the tire professionally repaired as soon as possible.

If you have had a flat tire, try not to drive on it unless it's necessary to get your vehicle away from a dangerous situation.  Our technicians can evaluate any tire you may be having problems with and recommend whether repair or replacement is the best option. Your safety is riding on your tires.  

I leave you with my inspirational quote for the week,

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. --Napoleon Hill

Cayenne

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

Categories:

Tires

Duke's ICE - In Case Of Emergency In Los Altos CA

duke

Duke here and today we are going chip away on some ICE.  ICE stands for In Case of Emergency and what we need to do.  So before I melt on this hot day here in Los Altos at 94 degrees, let's dig into ICE. 

When accidents occur in Los Altos, CA, the victims' emergency contacts are extremely important. Too often, those involved aren't able to provide rescuers with phone numbers and medical information.

When CA police and rescue workers must sift through pockets, glove compartments, wallets, purses and cell phone directories, they waste precious time.

In the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident, you have people in the Los Altos, CA, area who you'll want to be contacted to arrange help, give consent to treatment and inform Los Altos paramedics of medical conditions, allergies or medications.

A brilliantly simple solution is now spreading through Los Altos and around the globe: ICE. ICE – standing for In Case of Emergency – is a way to identify emergency contacts in your cell phone directory.

Simply put 'ICE' before a contact name in your cell phone, like 'ICE – Dad,' 'ICE – Nancy.' or 'ICE – Doctor Roberts.' Rescuers will be able to quickly identify your emergency contacts, saving valuable time.

Bob Brotchie, a Cambridge, England, paramedic, came up with the idea and a promotional campaign in England in 2005. This idea is gaining attention in Los Altos, CA, and in other countries. Los Altos rescue workers all know of how many times they are unable to find a wallet or purse on an accident victim, yet most Los Altos area folks over 14 years of age are seldom without their cell phone.

There are national and worldwide disaster databases, but participation can cost up to $200 a year. 'ICE' is free to the 276 million cell phone users in the U.S.

It is easy for you and your families to designate some ICE contacts in your cell phone. Remember to keep the listings current.

Please join Allied Auto Works in getting the word out. Help us put Los Altos, CA, on ICE!

I leave you with an ice joke for this week,

"Why did the man put his money in the freezer? Because he wanted cold hard cash."

Duke

 

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

Cayenne's Clean Start (Battery Cleaning)

cay

Hi, Cayenne here on this beautiful summer day.  You know this nothing I love better than feeling fresh and clean after going to the groomer.  It gives me a clean start to the day; just like your vehicle's battery needs to give you a start to your day, your battery needs cleaning too.   So today, we will bark about battery cleaning and how to give your vehicle a clean start to the day. 

Your vehicle is loaded with electrical devices. Computerized components are everywhere, so good electrical connections are important.  Those begin with your vehicle's battery, so it's important that its connections are in top shape.

Ever had a flashlight that didn't work, took out the old batteries to replace them, and noticed they were all corroded? The same thing can happen to your vehicle's battery. 

The battery type used in most vehicles is lead acid, which can be very corrosive.  Corrosion can build up around your battery's terminals, preventing the electrical connection from being as solid as it needs to be.  You may have even seen discoloration around your battery's terminals if you look under the hood, a sign of corrosion.

Or you might notice visible signs of fraying or loose battery cables. All of your vehicle's components are affected by vibrations from the engine and road surface imperfections, and the battery cables take a lot of jostling every time you drive.  Frayed cables won't conduct as much electricity as intact ones.  Plus, there's the possibility that a frayed cable may touch a piece of metal in the engine compartment, which can cause shorts and other problems.

Some signs to watch out for might tell you if your battery terminals are corroded, or your cables aren't making good contact with them.  You might find your vehicle isn't starting as easily as it used to. You also might see the battery warning light illuminated on your dash. That light resembles a rectangle with a "-" and "+" sign inside.

Our technicians can ensure your battery and cables operate optimally with regular service and cleaning.  A technician will clean the terminals and portions of the cables that are connected to them.  They may also add an anti-corrosion agent to the cables/terminals. Nothing like giving your vehicle a clean start!

I leave you with my empowering quote for the week,

Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions. --Albert Einstein

Cayenne

 

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

Categories:

Battery

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

duke

Hey Duke here and did you 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.  So today we are going inject you with knowledge of fuel injection and let's get barkin'!

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 us for more tips to help you improve your performance and safety and tell them Duke sent ya,

Duke

 

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

Categories:

Fuel System
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