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!"

TO VIEW VIDEOS CLICK ON TITLE OF ARTICLE.

Articles:

Cayenne Is Watching Your Check Engine Light

cay

Did you know that most of the cars driving around Los Altos, CA carry more computer power than the Apollo 121 Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969?  Hi it's Cayenne again and let's see what we can learn today!

New cars sold in the Los Altos area have as many as twelve networked computers and over five miles (eight kilometers) of wiring. In fact, for the last decade or so, auto computers have been controlling about 85 percent of your vehicle's functions.

Cars have sensors for manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold air pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen content. All of this electronic wizardry is pretty complicated. So how do Los Altos motorists know when there is a problem?

It's simple; the Check Engine light comes on. The computer monitors all the sensors and uses that information to decide what to adjust such as the fuel mix, spark timing and idle speed. In addition, the computer monitors its own circuits. When it finds a fault, it turns on the Check Engine light and stores a trouble code in the computer.

It can be pretty disturbing for Los Altos drivers when the Check Engine light comes on. We wonder just how urgent it is. Generally speaking, it is not critical like a temperature or oil pressure light. When you get one of those it means STOP NOW! When the Check Engine light shows up, you should come in to Allied Auto Works in Los Altos to find out what the matter is as soon as possible.

Since 1996, there has been a strong emissions control component to the Check Engine diagnostic. But if your Check Engine light flashes on and off, you know that it is more urgent and you need to get it checked immediately to prevent damage. You should slow down and avoid towing or heavy loads until you can get it checked out.

Your personal and trust Allied Auto Works technician has special diagnostic equipment that will retrieve the trouble code from the computer and help him determine what is wrong. From there, we can fix it and get you back on the road.

Stop by if you're check engine light is on.

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road & 1540 Miramonte Ave.
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227 (Grant) & 650.947.7228 (Miramonte)
Have a great day!
Cayenne

Categories:

Dashboard

Cayenne Wants You To Line Them Up: Wheel Alignment Service At Allied Auto Works

cay

Hello Los Altos car owners! This is your friendly educator Cayenne,                                                   Let's talk about alignment. One of the most important parts of preventive maintenance for your vehicle is keeping the wheels in alignment. Poor alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly, which can significantly reduce their lifespan. This means you will have to replace them more often, which can be costly in Los Altos.

It can even damage your suspension system, which is an expensive repair. But even more importantly, uneven tread wear can lead to blowouts on the road, a dangerous and potentially deadly safety risk for Los Altos auto owners and their passengers.

It may not take an accident or bad driving habits to “knock” your tires out of alignment. Tires can go out of alignment with just everyday CA driving. Los Altos road hazards, pot holes, uneven or gravel roads, even the bumps and bounces of normal Los Altos interstates and surface streets can gradually put your sedan tires out of alignment.

So it’s good auto advice to have your sedan's alignment inspected periodically. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will have recommendations on how often you should get an alignment check: usually every year or two. But if you think your sedan tires might be out of alignment, you should take your sedan into Allied Auto Works now.

When you take your sedan in for an alignment in Los Altos, your personal and trust Allied Auto Works service advisor will start by inspecting the steering and suspension systems. If something is broken or damaged there, it will need to be repaired in order to get good alignment of the wheels.

If all looks good in the steering and suspension departments, the sedan will then be put on an alignment rack where an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels can then be aligned to the car maker’s specifications. The ideal alignment for any vehicle is set by its engineers and may vary from vehicle to vehicle.

There are three types of critical adjustments that may have to be made to correctly align a vehicle’s tires. The first is called “toe.” This refers to tires that are out of alignment because they point inward or outward at the front of the tire. Think of a person who is pigeon-toed or splay-footed, and you get the idea.

The second adjustment is the camber. This adjustment affects the angle at which the tires meet the road. Think of a solid building in contrast to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The last adjustment is the castor. This adjustment measures the angle of the tire in relation to the front axles. So, a piece of auto advice that just might be good for life as well: keep everything in alignment, and you’ll be able to steer where you want to go in Los Altos.

Cayenne and Allied Auto Works Want You To Drive Safely.

Categories:

Alignment

Cayenne's Commitment to Make Your sedan Last At Allied Auto Works

cay

Hi Cayenne here and today we are going to bark about how to make your Sedan last you.     For advice on how to make your sedan last longer, visit us at Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road & 1540 Miramonte Ave.
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227 (Grant) & 650.947.7228 (Miramonte)

These days many people in the Los Altos area are really committed to making their cars last a long time. First thing: you've got to start with what you've got. It'd be ideal if people started with a brand new car, never missed a scheduled service item, paid attention to the severe service maintenance schedule and had regular inspections. But if you've had the vehicle for a while, or bought it used, its maintenance history is what it is; and that's where you start.

Go through the maintenance schedule for your sedan and see what's been done and when. Have your Los Altos service advisor at Allied Auto Works do an inspection and come up with a list of stuff that needs to be done. Review the list and prioritize the work, talk about budget and make a plan to get caught up.

Making a plan is so important. Suppose you go in for an oil change and learn you need your cooling system serviced, a transmission service and are coming up on a timing belt replacement in the next 5,000 miles. You might be pretty overwhelmed.

To make it even more stressful, these are all very important systems that are expensive to repair if there's a failure. In consultation with your Los Altos service advisor, you might decide to take care of the transmission on this visit, set an appointment for the cooling system service next month and get an estimate for the timing belt replacement so you'll be prepared for it in a few months.

Having a plan for taking care of these important services will set your mind at ease.

Until next time, this is Cayenne

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne Wants You To Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Allied Auto Works

cay

Cayenne on the road again so let's bark Tires!   When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.

Buying tires at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos is a lot like buying shoes, except that Los Altos motorists' vehicles don’t have changeable apparel and don’t need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of CA road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.

Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Los Altos area drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around Los Altos need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough CA mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.

The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the Los Altos area tire market, although prices don’t vary much from brand to brand.

Tire chain stores in Los Altos often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires, but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in Los Altos are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don’t hesitate to ask your Allied Auto Works tire professional who makes their private brand.

The cheapest tires on the CA tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don’t have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, Los Altos folks get what they pay for.

At Allied Auto Works, we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40-thousand-mile tire,” or a "60-thousand mile tire." This refers to the number of miles a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.

Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you’re really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It’s always better for Los Altos car owners to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.

That said, if you’re driving on Tier 3 tires, it’s a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That’s the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires, and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for Los Altos drivers.

So, some good auto advice for Los Altos auto owners would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you’ll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there’s some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t have to purchase tires as often.

Good car care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.

Enjoy the Ride,

Cayenne

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Fresh Air Inside Your Car With Cayenne

cay

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,

Cayenne

 

Categories:

Cabin Air Filter

Cayenne's Take On Wiper Blades In CA

cay

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

.

Cayenne's Advice On Upsizing Wheels and Tires With Allied Auto Works

cay
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

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Cayenne's Winter Los Altos Air Conditioning Service

cay

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!

Categories:

Air Conditioning

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

cay       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!

 

Thanks,

Cayenne

Cayenne Hitting The Brakes In Los Altos & Mt. View

cay

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.

Hitting The Brakes In Mt. ViewBut 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,

Cayenne

Categories:

Brakes
Allied Auto Works Grant Road is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Grant Road near Wooland Acre's - The Highlands (650) 968-7227 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.