Posted on 2/6/2015
What A Beautiful Day so let's bark about Air with me, Cayenne! Air quality has certainly become a hot issue in our modern Los Altos 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 sedan’s engine — so why not one for the air in the passenger compartment?
Foreign and domestic car makers 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. Mt. View drivers 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 Los Altos, so you’ll have to check your sedan 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 critical 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 personal and trusted Allied Auto Works tech 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 motorists can usually find them in the sedan 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 sedan, 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 sedan will start to smell bad. That smell is exactly how some Los Altos car owners 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 Los Altos.
Breathe the air,
Posted on 1/28/2015
Hi Cayenne here and if you're gonna drive around the Los Altos area, you've got to be able to see! So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important. We've all experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our windshield is just dirty.
It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. But windshield wipers are like most other vehicle parts– they require regular attention in order to work their best.
You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If it's going to be a particularly harsh winter in Los Altos, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall. Winter blades are designed to resist freezing.
Speaking of winter and freezing conditions, if your car has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don't use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That'll just tear up the blades and cause them to wear out more quickly. It may even damage the wiper motor.
Over time, wiper blades become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don't cover the windshield effectively.
Worn wiper blades aren't just a safety hazard; they can also scratch your windshield. That may require replacing the entire windshield; a big cost for such a little part.
Replace worn blades right away. Your local service center can provide you with a quality replacement blade. They cost about the same as they would at the store; but installation is included at Allied Auto Works.
Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though your local Los Altos service center will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home, or in the car if you are on a long trip.
Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy bottled water, may freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won't do a good job of cleaning your windows.
And remember that some vehicles have two reservoirs: one for the windshield and one for the back window – which may be under the hood or somewhere in the back.
So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road, and give us a call at Allied Auto Works or come by our shop at 2073 Grant Road or 1540 Miramonte Ave, Los Altos, CA 94024. Call to make an appointment at 650.968.7227 (Grant) or 650.947.7228 (Miramonte).
Here's to seeing you again, Cayenne
Posted on 1/23/2015
Welcome to my Blog, this is Cayenne and Autonet TV,
At AutoNetTV we love doughnuts and of course Cayenne loves bones. So let's pretend you have three doughnuts right in front of you for today's discussion about upsizing wheels and tires. Hey, don't eat them now - your going to need them later.
Many Los Altos motorists want to accessorize their car - you know, make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some new wheels. There are thousands of wheel designs at Los Altos area tire shops to get you the look you want. And for many Cupertino drivers, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that cars came from the factory with 15 or 16 inch wheels. Now 16, 17 and even 18 inchers are standard. And the factories are offering optional wheel packages up to 20 inches or more.
So let's talk about what to consider when you want to upsize your wheels. It's not exactly a DIY project, so you need to know a thing or two before you get started. The most important term to know is rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is simply the overall height of your tire. Unless you want to modify your sedan suspension, you'll want to keep your rolling diameter the same when you upsize your wheels.
Let's think about those three golden doughnuts in front of you. They're all about the same size. So if we pretend they're tires, they would have the same rolling diameter. The doughnut hole is the size of the wheel. Now pretend we've made the hole bigger on some. That's like having a bigger wheel - but the rolling diameter is the same.
It's important to keep the rolling diameter the same for several reasons. First of all, if the tire is bigger, it might not fit in the sedan wheel well. Next the speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brake system are all calibrated for the factory rolling diameter. In order for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, the rolling diameter must stay within 3% of the factory recommendation. If you ignore that, you run the risk that your anti-lock brakes won't work properly.
Some drivers have cars with electronically controlled suspension that will be negatively affected by changing the rolling diameter. Let's think about the doughnuts again. You see, as the size of the wheel gets bigger, the sidewall gets shorter. The tire holds less air, so the sidewalls are made stiffer to compensate.
Low profile tires from top automakers use special compounds that give the sidewall the strength it needs without compromising ride quality. As you increase your wheel size, you'll typically get a slightly wider tire. This means that you have a larger contact patch. The contact patch is part of the tire that contacts the road. Because there's more rubber on the road, the vehicle will handle better. And braking distances will be shorter. A lot of Los Altos folks with trucks or SUVs love the extra control.
CA motorists need to watch out that the contact patch isn't so big that the tires rub in turns or over bumps. What we're talking about here is fitment. Your tire professional at Allied Auto Works can help you get this right. He'll install your new wheels, add spacers if needed to make sure your brakes fit inside your new wheels, and get you rolling.
Also, if you drive off-road in CA a lot, you may need a higher profile tire to protect your new rims. And make sure your new tires have the load rating you need if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads. Again, your tire professional at Allied Auto Works knows how to help.
And don't forget about tire pressure. If you have larger rims, your new tires will hold less air and they'll need to run a slightly higher pressure. Forget that and you'll wear your tires out fast. Finally, get an alignment at Allied Auto Works after you get your new shoes. AutoNetTV wants you to safely have the look you want.
Stop by Allied Auto Works to learn more about how you might upsize your wheels or tires.
You'll find us at 2073 Grant Road and 1540 Miramonte Avenue in Los Altos, CA 94024.
Keep those wheels rollin............Cayenne
Posted on 1/16/2015
Air Conditioning advice in the Winter, Yes says Cayenne. Working up a sweat is a great thing to do in a gym around Los Altos, but not in your car. When Los Altos motorists' car's AC System has a problem, they'll often feel it right away. The question is, how long do you put up with it? You know, the old comfort versus cost dilemma. But a more comfortable drive around Los Altos has a lot of benefits, and keeping the AC System well maintained can help prevent pricey repairs.
A common cause for AC failure is water and air in the system. The system does not work as well with air in it. And water can cause rust that leads to damage of the A/C components. Also refrigerant, the stuff that makes the air cold, can leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system, making it work harder to try to cool the air. That is why periodically evacuating the air conditioning system and recharging it keeps the proper amount of clean refrigerant in the system for Los Altos drivers so it cools better and lasts longer.
Los Altos drivers should also run the air conditioner regularly, even in the winter, so that it lubricates itself and keeps the seals from drying out. The seals can crack and that leads to leaks. Your auto manufacturer's owner's manual will have recommendations for how often to service your air conditioner. Some service centers also have this information as part of their computer databases. Your personal and trust Allied Auto Works service advisor can give you more information.
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road & 1540 Miramonte Ave.
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227 (Grant) 650.947.7228 (Miramonte)
Of course, if your AC currently isn't working right, then now is the time to get it checked. Many service centers in Los Altos such as Allied Auto Works can inspect and test your air conditioning and offer evacuation and recharge services. This goes a long way to avoiding having to bring your air conditioner in for pricey repairs.
Recent environmental laws have stopped the manufacture of Freon, a refrigerant that was common in cars made before 1993. There is a very limited supply of Freon so the price is very pricey in CA. It may not be worth its weight in gold, but it probably is worth its weight in silver. If you have an older vehicle that uses Freon, you may want to consider having it retrofitted to use the new EPA-approved R134a refrigerant. It will pay for itself in the long run.
Well I hope you learned something about Winter A/C Service, this is Cayenne and til next week!
Posted on 1/8/2015
It's Cayenne and today it's urgent! 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 critical 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 created a promotional campaign in England in 2005. This dynamic 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 fourteen years of age are seldom without their cell phone.
There are national and worldwide disaster databases, but participation can cost up to two hundred dollars a year. 'ICE' is free to the 276 million cell phone users in the U.S.
It is easy for Los Altos car owners and their families to designate some ICE contacts in their cell phone. Remember to keep the listings current.
Please join Cayenne & Allied Auto Works in getting the word out. Help us put Los Altos, CA on ICE!
Posted on 1/2/2015
Cayenne here and hello Los Altos, let's talk about brakes. Braking, as all CA drivers know,is slowing or stopping your vehicle. As you can imagine, brakes are engineered to work well on a particular vehicle application. For example, you would expect more powerful brakes on a heavy-duty pickup that routinely hauls big loads and pulls trailers, than you would on a compact car. And a Corvette that can go over 180 miles per hour would have much different braking needs than the family mini-van you drive around between Los Altos, Los Altos and Mt. View.
But the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.
Let’s step back. A new sedan or truck rolls off a local Los Altos showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.
Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles start to add up on the sedan. Los Altos auto owners tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads, and shoes on drum brakes, are called the friction material. That’s because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it’s not until they are worn so thin as to be out of manufacturers' specs that they lose their ability to stop.
The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over many miles around CA, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail - a scary possibility That’s why a regular brake inspection at Allied Auto Works is important for your sedan and your family's safety. At Allied Auto Works we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.
That leads us to brake fluid service at Allied Auto Works. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the sedan fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at Allied Auto Works cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.
The tires are what connect the sedan to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the quicker you’ll stop.
This is especially important on wet Los Altos area expressways and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. CA auto owners need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.
Well time to go for my daily run,
Posted on 12/23/2014
Good Afternoon, Cayenne here and today we are leanring the basics of batteries.
It's important for Los Altos drivers to know battery basics. First, let’s talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold CA weather. Most Los Altos drivers think it’s cold weather because that’s when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold sedan engine.
However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Los Altos trips because the alternator doesn’t have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Los Altos drivers can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the CA summer and every three months during the winter.
As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren’t capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your sedan alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.
If you’re pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your personal and trust Allied Auto Works tech for a battery test to see if it’s recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery, but you’ll save unnecessary wear and tear on your sedan alternator.
Give us a call
Allied Auto Works
650.968.7227 or 650.947.7228
2073 Grant Road & 1540 Miramonte Ave.
Los Altos, CA 94024
See you soon!
Posted on 12/18/2014
Happy Holidays, Cayenne here and today we will be discussing fuel injection systems. All modern Los Altos vehicles come with fuel injection systems, so it’s a topic Los Altos motorists 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.
So how many fuel injectors does your car 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 a pretty high-tech.
Allied Auto Works can help Los Altos motorists 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, effecting 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 efficiency.
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 vital 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 vital to replace the fuel filter when your automobile 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 Los Altos drivers are starting to see require 10 to 30 times as much pressure. And 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 by Los Altos car owners 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 sedan may be ready for a fuel injector cleaning.
Managers: Matt Ahern & Travis Damberger
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road & 1540 Miramonte Ave
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227 (Grant- Matt) 650.947.7228 (Miramonte-Travis)
Have a joyous holiday, Cayenne
Posted on 12/12/2014
Cayenne here again and Los Altos car owners want their tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to extend tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation.
When wheels are out of balance, they wobble and vibrate. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. If a front wheel is out of balance you’ll feel it in the steering wheel. If it’s a rear wheel you’ll feel it through your seat. To fix this, your tech at Allied Auto Works puts weights on your wheels to balance them out.
That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a sedan wear out faster than the rear tires. As they push through turns from Los Altos to Mt. View, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire.
Proper tire inflation will also help Los Altos folks' tires last longer. Under-inflated tires wear more on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Over-inflated tires wear too fast in the middle.
Four wheel drive trucks and SUV’s tend to wear their tires more unevenly so rotation is even more important with them. Give Allied Auto Works a call to get our recommendation for your sedan.
See your owner’s manual or ask your service specialist at Allied Auto Works for your recommended tire rotation schedule. It’s usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.
Tires are pricey and they are one of the most critical safety components on your vehicle. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road & 1540 Miramonte Ave
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227 (Grant) 650.947.7227 (Miramonte)
Have a great week,
Posted on 12/4/2014
Hi Cayenne here and today we are talking balance. So you love your job, your dog, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? Los Altos auto owners can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on CA highways. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it's a back tire, you'll feel the vibration in your seat.
Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at Allied Auto Works, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the service professional will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it's too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 MPH, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's where you get your vibration.
Most Los Altos drivers are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after balancing all four wheels.
Most high-quality tires sold in Los Altos hold their balance pretty well for auto owners. They just get out of balance gradually with normal wear and tear. If you suddenly feel a vibration, it is probably because you lost a wheel balancing weight along the way. Definitely get a balance at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos if you feel a vibration, change your rims or have a flat repaired. Putting off a needed balance job leads to excessive and harmful tire wear, wear to your shocks, struts, steering and suspension parts. Wheel balancing not only improves your ride and handling, but also can save you some costly repair bills and possibly an accident. Additionally, you will get better gas mileage.
Some Los Altos motorists have their tires balanced at every rotation. Others do it every other time. Check your owners' manual for your requirements, or ask your personal and trust Allied Auto Works service professional. Doing this will put you on the path to mechanical wheel balance.