Los Altos Auto Repair

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Cayenne Asks Drivers "What Is The Most Distracting Food?"


It's Cayenne and we are talking my favorite subject:  FOOD!CAYENNE


So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around Los Altos?

Is it:

  1. A Hamburger;
  2. Coffee;
  3. A Soft Drink
  4. Gummy Bears or a
  5. Nice juicey Steak Bone?

Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears and my favorite, the steak bone are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving, but if you chose 'coffee', then give yourself an extra two points; coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in Los Altos and around the country.

Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!

You'll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the type of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You'll thank yourself later for two reasons, one being that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and the other is that you won't have to worry about getting that cinnamon roll frosting out of your dashboard after that near miss.

Keep drinks in spill-proof containers, too, so you can keep your eyes on the Los Altos road without worrying about where that spill is headed.

So; taking a food break… Or filling out accident reports. We don't have to ask you which you prefer: It's a no brainer.

Allied Auto Works, along with Cayenne , wants you to keep both eyes on the road. Please eat safely and keep your eyes on the road.

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road or 1540 Miramonte Ave.
Los Altos, CA 94024
Give us a call at: 650.968.7227 or 650.947.7228

Now where did I bury that Steakbone?     cayenne

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne's Lesson on Diesel Maintenance For CA

 

Hello Cayenne here again and today it's all about Diesel, dog

At Allied Auto Works we hear from a lot of people who are excited about the new diesel engines that will soon be available in passenger cars and SUV's. But our CA friends are often curious about the preventive maintenance requirements. People may not know that diesel engines have long been used extensively in Europe and Asia. In fact, in some markets, there're nearly as many diesel powered passenger cars as there are gasoline.

Here's who's announced or is expected to announce new diesels for North America: BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Subaru. Of course, the US auto makers will be expanding their diesel offerings as well. Diesels will become a very big deal here in CA.

You may ask, why has it taken so long getting to CA and North America? There are a bunch of reasons like fuel tax policies and such, but the biggest hurtle was that CA diesel fuel had a high sulfur content – too high for the latest generation of highly refined diesel engines. Recent government mandates to remove sulfur now opens up CA to the engines the rest of the world's been enjoying for a long time.

Why are diesels so popular worldwide? Well, for starters, diesels get up to 30% better fuel economy than gas engines. And they last a lot longer. And modern diesel engines are refined, quiet and powerful – and there's none of that black smoke we used to see.

Some people may think that diesels create more pollution. But, you need to rethink diesels. Environmental pollution standards for diesel cars and light trucks are scheduled to be as strict as they are for gasoline vehicles. A modern diesel engine is as clean as a gas engine.

You may also have heard a lot in the news about bio-diesel. The exciting thing about diesels is that they're not limited to fossil fuels. They can run on fuel made from vegetable oil. There are refineries that make diesel fuel from cellulosic waste like woodchips from lumber mills. There's even this cool new process where a special strain of algae is used to convert carbon dioxide, water and sunshine into bio-diesel. That's still a ways off, but you can see that diesel can become a sustainable source of fuel.

And, there are not a lot of trade off's with diesel in terms of performance. A modern passenger car diesel is very smooth, quiet and quick. Most folks wouldn't notice any difference. For those who tow trailers and haul heavy loads, diesels will be an improvement.

Now diesel engines are heavy duty, so they cost more than gas engines. But they get better fuel economy – so the break-even point is largely dependent on the difference between CA gas and diesel prices at the pump and how many miles you drive. And diesels have a higher resale value.

Now, let's get back to diesel maintenance. You have to keep in mind that most of the new diesels are just coming in, or will be over the next couple of years, so we don't have the maintenance schedules to make direct comparisons yet.

But going off what we already have in CA, we can expect fluid drain intervals to be similar to gasoline engines. Diesels do require very clean fuel, air and oil, so their filters are much higher capacity than gasoline filters and cost more. The engine air filter needs to be changed more frequently as well.

Repair costs are similar. As with gasoline engines, proper maintenance is the key to long engine life and to avoiding repairs. So pretty much what we have come to expect with gas vehicles; coolant system service, transmission service, power brakes, power steering, differential, filters, fuel system, and so on. And the payoff for you, if you're the kind that likes to keep your vehicles for a long time, is that a properly maintained diesel engine can last for hundreds of thousands of miles.

This is Cayenne and have a great day,

 

dog

 

Categories:

Fuel System

Cayenne Talks All About Your TPMS In Los Altos

  

Hi Cayenne here and well finally some rain here in California and what a better topic to talk about then tire failure,


Los Altos car owners know that under-inflated tires wear out more quickly. Under-inflation is also a major cause of tire failure for CA auto owners. More flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances are all results of under-inflated tires.

It's hard for many Los Altos drivers to tell when a radial tire is under-inflated. If your vehicle manufacturer 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 federal law required auto manufacturers to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System - or TPMS system - in all vehicles. The system is a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25 % below the car maker's pressure recommendations.

The law covers all passenger cars, SUVs, mini vans and pick-up trucks. The system must also indicate if it has a malfunction. This technology has been used in race cars for years. They are able to head off problems from under-inflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track. It's up to your car's car maker to determine which of many TPMS systems available they use to comply with the law.

Obviously, all of this doesn't come free. 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.

The costs are partially offset by savings in fuel and tread wear. There is also a saving in property damage and travel delay. Also, the government predicts fewer fatal accidents. They estimate there will be between $3,000,000 to $9,000,000 for every life saved.

Your safety is our priority at Allied Auto Works. We want you on the road and accident free. We've traditionally provided things like tire rotations, snow tire mounting and flat fixes at a very low cost. We've been able to quickly and cheaply provide the service, and we pass the low cost on to our valued Los Altos clients as an expression of our good will. That's why we're concerned about how you perceive the changes that this new law has required.

Every time a tire is changed: taken off to fix a flat, a new tire installed, or a snow tire mounted, the service advisor now has to deal with the TPMS system. Sensors need to be removed and reinstalled. The sensors have to be reactivated after the change. And, unfortunately, the very act of changing the tire damages some sensor parts from time to time - it's inevitable and can't be avoided.

Even a simple tire rotation requires that the monitor be reprogrammed to the new location of each tire. When a car battery is disconnected, the TPMS system needs to be reprogrammed. TPMS sensor batteries must be replaced periodically along with failed parts.

Los Altos 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.

CA service professional 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 Los Altos 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 do so at a fair price. Rememer, this change will help you avoid the most common vehicle failure, and possibly a catastrophic accident.

Well I hope you learned alot about TPMS today and stay safe and dry during our much need rain.

This Cayennne and till next time,

dog

 

 

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Cayenne Wants You To Keep Your Los Altos Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter

 

cay Cayenne here again and today we are talking about breathing, your car I mean.

This is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your Los Altos car burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to costly problems. Of course, your manufacturer recommends intervals for changing your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car affects when your filter needs to be changed.

Dusty conditions in and around Los Altos or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often. Your Allied Auto Works technician can check your filter for you. In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.

When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your car needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel economy and performance.

Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most cars. These high performance filters cost a little more, but they increase horsepower and may improve fuel economy to boot.

So have your air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much and it should easily pay for itself in better fuel economy before your next oil change.

Stop by Allied Auto Works at 2073 Grant Road or 1540 Miramonte Ave, Los Altos, CA 94024, and we'll take a look at your air filter for you. Feel free to give us a call at 650.968.7227 (Grant Rd.) or 650.947.7228 (Miramonte) to make an appointment and tell them Cayenne sent you.

 

cay

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne's Recommended Los Altos Service Intervals


Well it is another sunny day here is Los Altos, Cayenne here,  


Everyone in Los Altos, CA knows we are advised to go to our Los Altos dentist twice a year.  Oral-conscious Los Altos residents have a teeth-cleaning and examination. Once a year, we get x-rays to look for problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye. When our dentist is done, he/she tells us what was found – "Everything’s fine, see you in six months." Or "You’ve got a small cavity starting, let's schedule an appointment to take care of it." By the time you leave, you have a plan for addressing any necessary issues.

This system works so much better than waiting for a painful problem before going into the dentist. Small problems are fixed before they turn into big problems. And you avoid those huge bills.

If Los Altos folks understand the wisdom of using this system for handling dental care, why do many resist when facing the same system for our car maintenance?

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road & 1540 Miramonte Ave
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227  650.947.7228

Following the automobile manufacturer's recommended intervals can be confusing. First, there are recommendations for so many things: oil changes, transmission, coolant, air conditioning, power steering, brakes, fuel system, filters, belts, hoses, alignment, rotation, balancing ...you get the point.

Every item has a recommended interval and it's hard to keep it all straight – even if you’re part of the 1% of the CA auto owners that read their owners’ manual.

And if you have more than one sedan, the complexity is multiplied. You'd need a computer to keep track of everything. Well, that's how your Los Altos service center does it. For example, Allied Auto Works subscribes to automotive databases that have your vehicle's recommended intervals. You may have wondered how they know what else to recommend when you take your car in for an oil change – it's all in the database.

Well, it's not all in the computer. There are other variables that can’t be accounted for in the schedule. Things like Los Altos weather conditions, altitude, and where and how you drive in CA. Talk about these things with your personal and trust Allied Auto Works technician and you may decide that the severe service schedule in your owner's manual is more appropriate.

Since anything that's not freeway driving in moderate Los Altos weather is considered severe, most of us do at least some of that around Los Altos, CA and it should be taken into account.

Let's take your basic oil change as an example – what issues are involved? The oil you put in your car is a blend of base oil and special additives. There are detergents to clean the inside of your engine and corrosion inhibitors. A good quality motor oil will not only lubricate your engine, it will help it stay clean inside and run cooler.

Now, these additives deplete with use and time. That's why most maintenance recommendations include both a time and mileage element – like 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.

It's easy to think, "Gee, I've only driven 2,000 miles in the last 3 months. I can wait on that oil change." But you need to remember that the inside of your engine is a harsh environment. The oil is contaminated with combustion by-products that starts degrading its effectiveness even when it's just sitting there.

A lot of people in Los Altos don't realize how harmful it is to skip an oil change. There are a lot of metal parts moving around in your engine. Small bits of metal wear off and are floating around in your oil. They can be carried to more delicate areas of the engine where they cause damage. Your oil filter is designed to trap metal particles and other dirt, but if it's clogged up because you haven't changed it, it can't trap any more.

Oil sludge is another problem. Sludge is oil that has turned to a gunky jelly – think 'Vaseline'. Obviously, sludge doesn't lubricate. It can also clog small oil passages so that all the parts don't get properly protected by the oil. That'll lead to premature wear.

If you've missed some oil changes, don't despair. Just talk with your service advisor at Allied Auto Works. Fess up – you'll feel better. And he can help you get back on track. Following recommended intervals is the key to keeping your car on the road and avoiding costly repairs.

Take a look at the auto tips video in this post for more information.

 

Until next week, enjoy this crazy sunny weather, I know am

Cayenne  dog

 

Los Altos Alignment Service Cayenne Style


That's right today it is about Alignments d

Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn’t feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

Driving for an extended time when you're out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. This can be dangerous and expensive. You'll have to replace your tires sooner, but even worse - you may cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive.

The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars. The adjustment can go three different ways. The first adjustment is called toe. The next adjustment is called camber. And finally, there is castor. The engineers who designed your vehicle determined the alignment settings that will give you the best handling and safety.

There are several things involved in an alignment check. First, there's an inspection of the steering and suspension - it should be checked to see if anything's bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle's center line. If the back wheels aren't adjustable, a technician at Allied Auto Works can determine the direction they push and then aligns the front wheels to match.

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road  
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
OR
1540 Miramonte Ave
650.947.7228

Like most things, your manufacturer has suggested a mileage interval for having your alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that's given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive. It's better to have your alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear - by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked when needed is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety.

 

Well that is all for today, hope you learned alot from me,  Cayenne

 

d

Categories:

Alignment

Cayenne's Challenge: How Do You Save Gas In Los Altos CA?


Happy New Year!  Today we are barking about saving gas and who do not want to know how to do that with the price of gas these days.  

 dog


No one in Los Altos, CA likes to spend a chunk of change at Los Altos gas pumps. Rising CA fuel prices, however, have spurred Los Altos drivers to focus on how to improve their gas mileage. North Americans literally drive billions of miles less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we are car-loving Americans, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.

Let's look at a real life example of one of our AutoNetTV producers. He has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here's what he did to cut his fuel costs:

First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.

Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.

So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a ton of trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his fuel efficiency.  Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.

Here's a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Los Altos, CA. First get caught up on your routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost gas mileage. If it's time for a tune-up, git'er done at Allied Auto Works. That's a big item.

If your check engine light is on, have your personal and trust Allied Auto Works tech figure out why and fix it. Check engine problems can be real gas wasters.

Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra hundred pounds can cost a mile per gallon.

Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most Los Altos folks is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy on CA interstates and city streets: don't speed and plan ahead.

Finally, you may have noticed that we haven't mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That's because there aren't any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of "miracle fuel saver" scams in CA. Don't shell out any money to swindlers, you need it to buy gas!

Do some research and check with your tech at Allied Auto Works before spending your hard earned cash.

 

Till next week, this is Cayenne your Allied Auto Works Dog Advisor

dd

Categories:

Fuel System

Cayenne's Right Automotive Fluids For Los Altos Drivers

What grade of oil should I use?

Hi it is Cayenne and we are barking fluids today.  dog

All those automotive fluids can be confusing for Los Altos car owners. 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 for Los Altos motorists and could even cause damage.

In addition to new grades of engine oil, many sedans now leave the factory with synthetic oil. Los Altos motorists should always use the recommended grade and type of oil in their engine.

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 sedan cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.

Most passenger vehicles on Los Altos roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your sedan 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 vital thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids and that using the right fluids is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you’ve got that down, it’s easy to remember to check with your personal and trust Allied Auto Works service professional or sedan owner’s manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.

Give us a call and tell them Cayenne sent you,  dog

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

 

650.947.7228

1540 Miramonte Ave.

Los Altos, CA 94024

Categories:

Fluids

Cayenne's All Lined Up: Wheel Alignment Service At Allied Auto Works

cHello Cayenne here with educational blog of the day,

When all of your vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Hitting a road hazard or even just the normal bumps and bounces of everyday driving in Los Altos can cause your sedan's wheels to be out of alignment.


Driving for an extended time in Los Altos when your wheels are out of alignment results in uneven tire wear. This is dangerous … and expensive. Worst case scenario, you have a blowout on a crowded CA freeway. It can also cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive to repair. At the very least, you may have to replace your tires years too early.

Here are some alignment basics from me and Allied Auto Works:

The first adjustment is called toe or do the wheels point in towards each other or away from each other at the front of the tire.
The next adjustment is called camber or do the wheels tip in or out at the top.
And finally, there is castor. Castor measures the angle where the front axles attach to the vehicle.

The ideal alignment for your sedan was designed by its engineers. Alignment service at Allied Auto Works starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then your personal and trust Allied Auto Works technician will look at tire condition.

From there, the sedan is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels are then aligned to sedan auto manufacturers’s specifications.

Your sedan owner’s manual probably has a recommendation for how often your alignment should be checked – usually every couple of years. If you suspect an alignment problem, get it checked at Allied Auto Works before you suffer expensive tire or suspension damage.

Well here's to driving on the straight path,  

Cayenne   c


Categories:

Alignment

Cayenne Barks, "Have You Checked Your Headlights?"

 
Nice to see you  again,  c

Today I am going to school you on Headlights!

Like everything on the Los Altos automotive market, there have been great strides in headlight technology in recent years. CA car owners can be safer at night because of it. Good headlights improve visibility on Los Altos interstates, enabling you to see farther. They also improve your peripheral vision, helping you to see the sides more clearly. The more you can see, the quicker you can react to road conditions. This is vital because nearly half of traffic fatalities take place at night. And as Los Altos's population ages, everything that helps older eyes is welcome.

Most new sedans sold in Los Altos come with halogen headlamps. A decade ago, halogens were exotic and expensive. Now that they are standard equipment, the price has come way down. Many luxury cars are equipped with high intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps. You have probably seen them on Los Altos highways, they're very bright and have a bluish tint.

From behind the wheel, there is no doubt that HID headlamps are the best thing going. However, many Los Altos auto owners complain about HID lights in oncoming traffic or when they approach from behind. In fact, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called for public comment, they received a record number of complaints about HIDs. This has lead to several studies - your tax dollars at work. Some expect future regulation of HID lamps.

All halogen headlamps dim over time. Experts recommend that they be changed out once a year. AutoNetTV suggests you replace your headlamps in the fall at the end of Daylight Savings Time. It's easy to remember - when you change your clock, change your headlamps. Remember to replace all headlamps at the same time - then all your lights will be equally bright. You will appreciate it during those long CA winter nights.

If you have an older sedan with old-school headlamps, you might be able to get a halogen replacement. You'll be amazed at the difference this upgrade will make.

In addition to regular halogen lamps, you can upgrade to premium lamps that filter some of the yellow light, making a bright white light that's more like natural sunlight. This light's easier on the eyes and should improve reaction time.

Now, you may be able to step up to HID headlamps, depending on the kind of car you drive. These lamps should last the life of your car, but cost several hundred dollars a pair. If you want other Los Altos motorists to think you're running HID lamps, you can even buy regular halogens that have a bluish tint. Does she or doesn't she? Only her Allied Auto Works service specialist knows for sure.

Over time, plastic headlight covers can get cloudy or yellowed. In fact, AAA reports that nine out of ten headlights are dirty or yellowed, greatly reducing vision. In addition to helping you replace your headlamps, many service centers such as Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, CA can restore headlight covers. Headlights can be restored at a fraction of the cost of replacing.

Well I hope you learned alot and how important those headlights are.  I will be seeing you soon,

c  Cayenne

 

Categories:

Parts
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