Duke and Cayenne | Allied Auto Works Grant Road

Duke and Cayenne’s Automotive Corner

"Welcome to Duke and Cayenne’s Automotive Education Blog. Each week, Duke and Cayenne open their book of knowledge to bark with you. Check back often to see how they can teach an old dog new tricks. Never stop learning!"

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Cayenne & Allied Auto Works Service For Your Exhaust System

cay

Hi Cayenne here and I am just exhausted thinking about the exhaust system but it is important. So here goes!

Your sedan’s exhaust system is more than just a tailpipe and a muffler. In fact, it is one of the most complex systems on your sedan. Maintaining it is good Allied Auto Works auto advice for Los Altos drivers, but it’s also good health advice and good environmental advice.

The exhaust system includes your emissions system. Because this system may affect your health and the health of our Los Altos area environment, it is subject to strict government regulations. Satisfying these regulations demands some high-tech, computer-controlled equipment, which means that the emissions system is a lot more sophisticated than it was thirty years ago. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend that you have your sedan exhaust and emissions systems checked by a qualified technician at regular intervals.

The exhaust system starts with the exhaust manifold. Allied Auto Works Service For Your Exhaust SystemThe manifold is attached to the sedan engine. It collects exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe. Gaskets seal the connection of the manifold to the engine and to other joints. A cracked or loose manifold or a leaking or damaged gasket can allow dangerous gases to enter the passenger compartment of a vehicle. One of these gases is carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless and deadly. For this reason, it is critical that Los Altos drivers keep their exhaust system in good repair.

The pipes that connect the various parts of the exhaust system can rust or be damaged by rocks or other road debris. Such damage can cause dangerous gases to leak into the air. So it is essential that exhaust pipes get a diagnostic examination regularly.

The catalytic converter is the next vital component of your sedan exhaust system. It sort of looks like a muffler. Its job is to change dangerous gases into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any regular maintenance, but it can wear out. If it fails, you will need a new catalytic converter to pass an emissions test in CA. Call Allied Auto Works at 650.968.7227 if you suspect a problem with your catalytic converter.

Oxygen sensors in the exhaust pipe monitor the oxygen content of the exhaust. This helps the sedan engine’s computer keep the fuel-to-air mixture at optimal levels.

The muffler is also part of your sedan exhaust system, but it deals with a different kind of emission. It keeps your sedan from emitting bad sounds. Mufflers act like finely tuned musical instruments. They create a feedback of sound waves to absorb or decrease the noises made by your engine. Different mufflers can create different sound waves, so you can actually “tune” your car to produce a particular sound, anything from whisper to rumble.

It is critical for damaged mufflers be replaced immediately at your Los Altos automotive service center, especially if they are leaking. Not only will the extra noise annoy your Los Altos neighbors, a leaky muffler could be serious.

The entire exhaust system is attached to your sedan by hangers and clamps. These fasteners can rust, come loose or break. The critical components of the exhaust system can get very hot, so when the hangers or clamps fail, these hot components can come into contact with other parts such as wires and hoses. These can melt, causing serious and expensive damage to your vehicle. Good car care requires that you have your exhaust system inspected regularly.

Let’s not forget the tailpipe. It’s the last vital piece in the exhaust system — and of your sedan, for that matter. Exhaust fumes exit your sedan through the tailpipe.

If your sedan has any of the following symptoms, it may have a problem with the exhaust system: it’s hard to start, it runs rough, it’s noisy, it’s smoking. Also, if your “check engine” light comes on, especially if it’s flashing, it is important to get your sedan to Allied Auto Works in Los Altos right away. Often, the “check engine” light indicates a problem with the emissions system.

Caring for your sedan exhaust system yields cosmetic benefits like quieting your engine sounds, but also may impact your health and safety. Your life, or the life of a loved one, may actually be on the line.

Well go out and get the exhaust system checked today!

 

Cayenne

Categories:

Exhaust

Cayenne Helps You Solve Suspension Problems with Allied Auto Works in Los Altos

cay

Hi Cayenne here and today it might get a little rough or bumpy because it is all about the Suspension!

A vehicle’s suspension system is tough. It can last for years and tens of thousands of miles for Los Altos car owners. But it can be damaged quickly by hitting a pothole, curb or rock, and it can wear more quickly if you frequently drive off-road or on bumpy roads. A workhorse vehicle — one that hauls heavy loads — is also going to be hard on its suspension system.

Because the useful life of your suspension system contains these elements of unpredictability, it is important for Los Altos auto owners to have them inspected periodically. Worn, broken and missing parts can be identified during an inspection. An ineffective suspension system will curtail the driver’s control over a vehicle, so when it is damaged it frequently leads to the worst kind of vehicular damage — dangerous and expensive accidents.

The suspension system is composed of springs and shock absorbers (or shocks). Springs suspend the weight of the vehicle above its axles. They allow the vehicle to “bounce” over bumps, which reduces the force of the impact on the vehicle. Shocks reduce the rebound of the “bounce,” smoothing out the ride of the vehicle. They also force the tires to retain constant contact with the road. Shocks are responsible for “handling performance,” or the ease with which the driver controls the vehicle.

The springs in the suspension system are heavy-duty and rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers are tough, too, but they will wear out.

Your sedan might be equipped with struts. Struts are a combination spring and shock absorber. Struts, like shocks, have a limited life span.

Inspecting shocks or struts for damage and wear should be part of your preventive maintenance routine. Since a good suspension system is ultimately a vital safety feature of your vehicle, it’s always better to be proactive about its care. In this case, good car care can prevent accidents.

There are some signs that will warn you that your suspension system may be in need of vital attention. One of the signs might be a cupped wear pattern on your tires. This is caused by the shocks bouncing unevenly. Other important signs of bad shocks manifest themselves in the handling performance of your vehicle. You may notice a drifting sensation when cornering, often referred to as a “floaty” feeling. If the front of your vehicle dips significantly when you brake or if it rocks back and forth after stopping, it’s time for new shocks. Your personal and trust Allied Auto Works service advisor will check your shocks visually. If they’re leaking, they need to be replaced.

Any of these symptoms warrants an inspection of the suspension system. You should also get your suspension system inspected if you are involved in an accident involving one of your wheels. Los Altos car owners should never put off suspension repairs. If you actually experience suspension system failure, it can cause a serious accident. If one of your shocks needs to be replaced, then replace all four of them. This allows for even handling of the vehicle. Replacing just one of the shocks is rarely good auto advice.

When you replace your shocks or struts, use parts that are equivalent to or better than the original shocks on the sedan. The original equipment was developed for the weight and expected use of the vehicle, and Los Altos drivers should never downgrade.

Upgrading, however, is another matter for Los Altos motorists. If your suspension system gets a workout or you just want to improve your sedan’s handling performance, then you should examine upgrading to a better shock. If you haul heavy loads around Los Altos or tow a trailer, then you should definitely reflect on getting heavy-duty shocks.

Most Los Altos car owners are not likely to show off their suspension system to anyone admiring their sedan, but it’s important just the same. In the end, it’s something all of us Los Altos drivers can be zealous about.

Now that's smooth sailing,

Cayenne

 

Categories:

Suspension

Cayenne's Budget Advice For Maintenance in Los Altos

cay

Cayenne here and today were are barking about budgeting for maintenance.

Sometimes busy Los Altos residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Los Altos in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today’s automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Los Altos motorists spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today’s vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today’s Los Altos auto owners would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience; and it’s likely that yesterday’s Los Altos car owners didn’t care much for it, either. So on today’s vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Los Altos area auto service centers.

Los Altos car owners should certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Car care in Los Altos is simply more expensive than it used to be. So if you think about it, CA car owners can avoid many costly sedan repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Edmunds.com has a great calculator to help you estimate car repair costs. Los Altos drivers can enter the year, make and model for your vehicle, and the calculator will give you an estimate of what it will cost to service and repair your vehicle for the next five years. It also estimates the costs for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel.

These estimates can be used to set up a reasonable budget to manage your car repair and maintenance expenses. Of course, they are just estimates. All Cupertino car owners know that life hands out a lot of surprises — some good, some bad, so there’s no way to know exactly what your sedan will need. But a good estimate helps you make a good budget, and a good budget is always helpful when it comes to car repairs.

Let’s look at one example. For a 2003 Toyota Camry, here is Edmunds’ estimate for the cost of repairs and maintenance for the next three years (as of the time of this writing):

Yr. 1Yr. 2  
Yr. 3 
3-Yr. Total 
Maintenance748    
225      
794     
1767 
Repairs352      
4094761237 
                           Total1,1006341,2703,004 
Monthly Average925310683 

According to this estimate, the owner needs to set aside about $83 a month to defray the costs of car care. That sounds like a lot until you compare it to the payment on a new automobile. And even if car repairs are more costly than expected, that $83 is going to make the bills a lot less painful.

Just a bit of auto advice from Allied Auto Works: If you like new cars and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new car every few years because you’re afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and CA auto insurance with an older Los Altos vehicle, and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for vital preventive maintenance in CA, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less costly!

The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket. ~ Cayenne

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne Barks, "Is Your Los Altos Driving Severe?"

cay

 

Cayenne here and today we are getting severe with our service schedules,

People near Los Altos CA often ask Allied Auto Works how often they should have a particular service done. It's a great thing to ask. You can look at your owner's manual, or have your Los Altos CA service advisor at Allied Auto Works look up your vehicle in a service database. What you find is often a surprise to people – there are actually two service schedules.

One is the regular schedule and the other is the severe service schedule. Service intervals are shorter on the severe service schedule. When asked, most folks in Los Altos CA will say that their driving is normal and that the 'regular' schedule probably applies to them. 'Severe service' sounds pretty extreme – 'I don't drive like that'.

Well, here is what the manufacturers say constitutes severe driving conditions; you can draw your own conclusions.

  • Most of your trips are less than four miles.
  • Most of your trips are less than ten miles and outside temperatures are below freezing.
  • The engine is at low speed most of the time – not on the highway. You operate your vehicle in dusty areas.
  • You regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads.
  • Drive with a car-top carrier.
  • Stop and go driving.
  • Driving in very hot or very cold weather.

If that's severe driving, what constitutes regular driving? Well, it would look something like this: I live somewhere with moderate temperatures all year round – I'm thinking San Diego here. And I live close to a freeway on-ramp. Everywhere I need to go is right off the freeway, at least four miles from my home. I can drive at a steady 60 miles per hour when I'm on the freeway.

I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like my normal driving. It sounds more like ideal conditions. I live where it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I run short errands around Los Altos. Occasionally we load up for family trips.

For me, normal driving includes elements of severe service driving. So here's what I tell people: think about how you drive, where you live, where you go and what you are expecting to with your vehicle in the near future.

Picture a line with 'regular' on one end and 'severe' on the other, and make a judgment on where you fall. If your regular oil change recommendation is 5,000 miles and the severe service recommendation is 3,000 – when should you change your oil? For me, it's closer to 3,000 miles. For my wife, it's closer to 5,000 miles. Your Los Altos CA auto service advisor at Allied Auto Works will be happy to have this discussion with you and help you sort it out.

Just a quick word on why severe service intervals are shorter. One has to do with heat. That can either be external heat from the weather or engine and transmission heat from stop and go driving or working extra hard moving heavy loads or towing. The heat causes the fluids like oil and transmission fluid to break down more quickly and then they aren't as effective.

Another factor is water. Moisture naturally collects in fluids as they cool. In your motor oil, for example, if you don't drive long enough for the oil to fully heat up, the water won't evaporate. Water in the oil can lead to the buildup of damaging sludge.

If you live where the air is dusty or polluted, fluids will become contaminated and filters will get dirtier more quickly.

So make an honest evaluation of your driving conditions. You've made the commitment to take care of your vehicles, so it only makes sense to follow the right schedule.

Here is to doing it right,

Cayenne

 

Cayenne's Blind Spot Safety For Los Altos Driving

cay

Think You Are Seeing Spots, Blind Spots I Mean, Hi it is Cayenne with my weekly education blog and today it's all about blind spots!                                        

Blind spotsmay be a good thing when it comes to a spouse’s annoying habits, but when driving an automobile in Los Altos, they are definitely to be avoided. So, while it’s not good marital advice, it’s good auto advice to minimize your own blind spots and stay out of other Los Altos motorists' blind spots, especially when it comes to large, heavy vehicles like trucks and buses.

First, minimize your own blind spots. Do this before you pull out of the driveway or parking space. Adjust your rearview mirror so that you see as much of the area behind you as possible. And, no, this doesn’t include the passengers in the back seat. The rearview mirror isn’t designed to be a baby monitor.

Next, lean to the side until your head almost touches the driver’s side window. Now adjust the driver’s side mirror so that it just catches the side of the sedan. Then, lean to the middle of the car and adjust the passenger’s side mirror in the same way. These adjustments will ensure you the widest possible view behind your vehicle.

Of course, you can’t eliminate blind spots entirely. There is always an area behind any vehicle where the driver just can’t see what’s there. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. Toddlers are just the right size to hide in a pickup’s or SUV’s blind spot. The blind spot on an RV or tractor-trailer can actually hide your crossover! You should always check behind any vehicle before getting in and backing up. And if you sit in the sedan for a few minutes before backing up, it is essential to get out and check again, especially if you are pulling out of a neighborhood driveway in Los Altos. No precaution is too extreme if it saves the life of a child.

Once you have taken care of your own blind spots, be aware that other Los Altos auto owners have them, too. And avoid them. Trucks and buses have large blind spots, and they have blind spots on all four sides, so they should always be given extra room on Mt. View roads. They are also heavy, which means they need more room to stop, and their length means they need a wider area for turns, and their large size makes them less maneuverable than a car.

Trucks may cause about 60% of the accidents involving a truck and a car, but 78% of fatalities in such accidents are with the smaller vehicle. The number of fatalities in CA, as well as the number of crashes, could be cut significantly if Los Altos drivers learned to properly share CA roads with trucks.

Never follow a truck too closely. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his side mirror, then he can’t see you. If you need to pass a truck, it is vital to make sure you give yourself enough time to pass the rig. Wait for the right opportunity rather than “cutting it close.” On a two-lane CA highway, it’s always a good idea to wait for a passing zone if they are available. A little patience could save your life or the lives of others. Turn on your turn signal so the truck knows what you’re planning, and pass on the left whenever possible. Remember those blind spots? They are much larger on the right side of a truck.

Once you’ve committed to passing the truck, don’t muck about. Pass it quickly and give yourself plenty of room to move back over. It is critical to wait until you can see both headlights in your rearview mirror before pulling back in front of the truck. Once again, use your sedan turn signals. After you pull in front of the truck, decelerate to the regulated driving speed slowly. Remember that the truck has a long stopping distance, which translates into a long slowing distance. And, since trucks are so big, we often perceive them as traveling more slowly than they really are. Trucks are a lot of weight moving at a high speed, and we need to treat them accordingly.

Never pull to the right of a truck at an intersection unless you are absolutely certain it is not going to turn. Check if its turn signals are on or if it has angled to the left or right. (Trucks often begin a right turn by angling to the left to widen their turning area.) Trucks need a lot of room on city streets, and they probably can’t see you if you pull along their right side. Too many cars have ended up in Los Altos body shops because the motorists thought they could beat that truck to the right turn, or they only noticed the seemingly open lane, and not the truck angling into a turn.

While learning to share Los Altos area roads and highways with trucks and other large vehicles may not seem like preventive auto maintenance, it does, in fact, go hand-in-hand with good Los Altos car care. Keeping your sedan out of the body shop can save you big bucks and prevent the stress of a major accident, along with the injuries that could come with it.

Cayenne and the team at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos urges you to stay safe, and stay on the road!

I will see you next time,

Cayenne

 

Categories:

Safety

Breathe With Cayenne & Get Fresh Air Inside Your Car

cay

Cayenne here,  I want you to take a deep breath.  Now let’s talk about air quality in Los Altos. It’s a global issue, but affects us wherever we are. Many decades ago, Los Altos auto owners began to become aware of how air pollution negatively affects health. But what about the air inside your vehicle?

Cabin air filters are now coming on most new sedans in Los Altos. These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment. They can filter particles down to three microns, so that’s good enough to clean out dust, pollen and most pollutants. If you suffer from allergies in Los Altos, this is very good news. Your car can be a haven during your Los Altos commute.

Los Altos Drivers: Get Fresh Air Inside Your CarNow, it’s only been in the last few years that cabin air filters have become common in Los Altos. You can look in your owner’s manual to see if you have one. If you do, there’ll be a recommendation for replacing it when it gets dirty. If you live in an area of Los Altos where there’s a lot of dust, pollen or pollution, you may need to change it more often.

You can also ask your personal and trust Allied Auto Works technician in Los Altos. How hard is it to change an air filter on a car? It depends on your vehicle. Some are quite accessible; others take some doing to get to them. They’re usually in the engine compartment or under the dashboard.

Because cabin air filters are so new on the scene, some Los Altos people haven’t heard of them – even drivers who have cabin air filters in their sedan. Allied Auto Works service advisors have discovered that many Los Altos customers who complained about an unpleasant odor in their sedan simply had a dirty cabin air filter.

Well at least it's not fish, cabin air filters can be taken care of,

Cayenne

Categories:

Cabin Air Filter

Cayenne's Take On When It Hits Below 45 Degrees: Consider Winter Tires

cay

Hi Cayenne here and I know with our mild California weather we have been having all Winter and into Spring, it's hard to rememer when we were 45 degrees last but this is good information for you to have. 

 Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and Los Altos drivers couldn’t wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. CA motorists ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever.

Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the Los Altos area are much better designed for the wide range of dangerous conditions that come with CA winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at Los Altos temperatures below 45°F, which reduces their traction. That’s a vital concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet Los Altos conditions. But it also means that Los Altos drivers are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it’s dry.

The tread design on winter tires has been improved to actually move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves actually throw packed snow out of the tread as the tire rotates. This means the tread is open and ready to move more snow when it rolls around again. Summer tires can actually pack up with snow, which makes them more harmful than a bald tire.

Many winter tires use a micro-pore compound that lets the tire bite into ice and snow. They have wider grooves around the tire that help expel snow. They have a rounder casing to better cut into the surface of snow. Modern winter tires available at CA tire shops also have sipes, or thin slits cut into the tread. The edges of these sipes can grab ice and snow so that the tire retains traction on almost any surface. The sipes also help to expel water and slush from the tread. In short, a lot of time and engineering has gone into improving winter tires.

The all-season tire that is popular among Los Altos drivers is actually a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for Los Altos car owners in either season, but aren’t great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather, but lousy performance in winter. Los Altos motorists need to put more thought into their tire choices these days, but that also means they get a lot better performance for their cash.

If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed at your Los Altos service center or Allied Auto Works. It’s best to purchase four snow tires and put them on all the wheels of your vehicle. But if you only want two, you need to put them on the rear of your vehicle, even if you drive a front-wheel drive vehicle. Los Altos car owners always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.

Imagine this: You take a corner on an icy Los Altos road and your rear end starts to slide. What happened is that the front end slowed for the turn, but the rear end hasn’t figured that out yet. If you have high-traction tires on the front of your vehicle, that makes the problem worse. You’re slowing the front end faster and harder, which makes the back end fishtail even more.

Putting the higher traction tires on the rear will give Los Altos drivers more control for turns, regardless of the type of vehicle driven. Of course, that makes putting high-traction tires on all of your wheels even smarter. Why not give all of your tires the best traction they can get? Some Los Altos assume that four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles only need winter tires on two wheels. Why? Doesn’t it make sense to give all four wheels the same level of traction and control? Four-wheel or all-wheel drive cannot compensate for poor traction.

Another false assumption held by many Los Altos drivers is that if you have traction control and anti-lock brakes, you won’t need winter tires. Traction is vital for good acceleration, steering and stopping. And tires provide traction. Traction control and anti-lock brakes can only improve on that traction. The better the traction, the better the traction control and anti-lock brakes will work. In other words, the better the tires, the better those systems will work for Los Altos drivers.

A Canadian law requires all passenger vehicles, rental cars and taxis registered in Quebec to have winter tires on all four wheels from November 15th until April 1st.

If you’re shopping for winter tires and live where there is a lot of snow in CA, look for a mountain with a snowflake in it molded into the tire’s sidewall. This symbol means the tire complies with severe snow standards. All-season tires have an M&S stamped on the sidewall. M&S stands for mud and snow.

For more important auto advice about tires for any CA season, talk to your personal and trust Allied Auto Works tire professional. They can help you choose the right tire for your area and for your driving needs. For the best performance from your tires, whatever the season, don’t forget preventive maintenance. Keep your tires up to pressure for best durability, safety and performance, but don’t overinflate them.

Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us Los Altos auto owners and if you own a dog, you get gold star for that.

Well until next time, this is Cayenne

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Cayenne's Brake Service at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos

cay

Brakes really aren't optional equipment for Los Altos drivers. And taking care of them isn't optional either.  Hi Cayenne here and were are going to put the brakes on today!  Let's get started.

A regular brake inspection is on every CA car's maintenance schedule. At Allied Auto Works, our team will check your brake system and let you know if there are any essential problems. Of course, if you're having trouble with your brakes, get your car into your Los Altos or Cupertino service center right away. And watch out for these problems:

  • Low or spongy brake pedal
  • Hard brake pedal
  • A brake warning light that stays on
  • Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
  • Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes

There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that's attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle. Drum brakes are more common on back wheels. Pads, called shoes, push against the inside of the drum to slow the vehicle.

There are several things that need to be serviced on the brake system. First, the brake pads and shoes wear out with use, and become too thin to really help. If the brake pads wear away completely you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced and that can be expensive. But putting it off is dangerous because your sedan won't stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

Brake fluid is also critical. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid activates the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid, not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and detrimental brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. Los Altos motorists should change the brake fluid when their car maker recommends it.

There are different grades of brake pads sold in the Los Altos area. There are regular, metallic and ceramic - higher grades are more expensive, but give better braking performance and smoother operation. It's OK to upgrade your brake pads. But, never use a grade that's lower than what the vehicle manufacturer recommends.

Be sure to properly maintain your brakes because it's a lot cheaper than paying your nearest Los Altos area body shop after an accident.

Well it's time to put this to a halt and I looking forward to BARKING with you next week!

Cayenne

 

Categories:

Brakes

Cayenne & Allied Auto Works Tire Safety: Washington vs. Lincoln

cay

Hi and welcome to Cayenne's automotive blog.  That's right that's me in the photo, Cayenne!   Today, let’s talk about the effect of tire tread depth on braking. When talking about stopping power, most Los Altos and Mt. View car owners tend to focus on our brakes. But our tires are where the rubber meets the road. So having good brakes isn’t enough. Safe Mt. View drivers need to have tires with enough traction to translate braking power into stopping power.

Allied Auto Works Tire Safety Washington vs. LincolnLet’s focus on stopping in wet Mt. View conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can’t move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.

That’s called hydroplaning. If it’s really bad, Mt. View motorists can actually spin out of control - endangering themselves and the other drivers around them. At best, you won’t stop as fast.

So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your sedan tire and you’ll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They’re designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.

And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new Allied Auto Works tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop your sedan on wet Mt. View roads.

So that’s why it’s so important for CA drivers to replace their sedan tires when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.

By comparison, you’ve probably seen the wear indicator that’s molded into tires. When tires are worn 3/32 of an inch, the tread wear bar is visible. So the recommended standard has twice the tread depth as a completely bald sedan tire.

At Allied Auto Works, we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Mt. View highway. A safe stop from CA freeway speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.

There’s an easy way to tell when a tire’s worn to 4/32 of an inch. Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your sedan tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Many Mt. View drivers have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln’s head - the old method. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount. Of course, sedan tires are a major purchase. Most of us in Mt. View want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there’s a real safety trade-off. It’s your choice.

Big Wheels Keep On Turn'in  ~ Cayenne

 

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Cayenne's Battery Replacement At Allied Auto Works

cay

Hello, welcome to Allied Auto Works and my blog, Cayenne's Corner.   Today's focus is batteries. It seems like everything in Los Altos runs on batteries. Of course, the batteries we’re most concerned with here at Allied Auto Works are those in our customer's vehicles. Just like the batteries in our smoke detectors or TV remote, car batteries wear out and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things Los Altos drivers should know when looking for a new battery.

Look for two measurements that come into play: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity.

Let’s start with cold cranking amps. Battery Replacement At Allied Auto Works This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold sedan engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live in CA, specifically how cold it is. (Many CA car owners have first-hand experience trying to start their car on a cold winter morning.) The two factors are that the colder your sedan's engine is, the more power it takes to turn the engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with.

The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient when the temperature dips. At Allied Auto Works, we consult the table shown below. Let’s say it’s eighty degrees Fahrenheit in Los Altos. At that temperature, 100% of the battery’s power is available. At freezing, only 65% of battery power is available, but it requires 155% as much power to start the engine as it did at eighty degrees.

As you can see from the chart, the colder it gets, more power’s needed, but the available power drops.

Percent of Power AvailableCelsiusFahrenheitPower Required 
1002780100 
65032155 
40-220210 
25-3220350 

So if you live where it’s cold in CA, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it's moderate or hot. The battery that originally came with your sedan was based on averages. At Allied Auto Works, we like to remind Los Altos drivers that they should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as their auto manufacturers recommend, but may want to upgrade if they live where it gets real cold.

And the type of engine you have will impact the battery you need: A six-cylinder engine requires more cold cranking amps than a four. An eight cylinder needs even more. And diesel sedans require more than a gasoline engine with the same number of cylinders.

Now on to reserve capacity: It’s a measurement of the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has at a given load. The number is more important to Los Altos auto owners these days because of parasitic drain. Parasitic drain is the battery energy that’s used when the key is off in your sedan. So, the power drawn by the security system, the remote start system, even the power the computers require to maintain their memory.

Reserves are also needed when you make very short trips around Los Altos. You’re not driving long enough for the battery to recover the energy it used to start the engine. So go with the minimum recommended by your manufacturer or Allied Auto Works and upgrade if you need more.

Talk with us at Allied Auto Works about your options. If you need more from your battery, a larger, heavy-duty battery may be called for. At Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, we remind our customers that it’s very important that the new battery fits your sedan: the terminals can’t be touching other parts.

Batteries are a big ticket item for most CA car owners, so the warranty gives piece of mind. There’re two kinds of car battery warranties: pro-rated and free replacement. With the pro-rated, you get a credit for a portion of the battery if it fails during the warranty period. With a free replacement warranty, you get just that, a free replacement. Be sure to ask us at Allied Auto Works about the warranty so you know what you’re getting.

Well I hope you got a charge out of today's lesson, Cayenne

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Battery
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