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 Guide To Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

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Today Cayenne's post focuses on using the proper fluids for your vehicle. Significant advancements in automotive technology have lead to the development of high-tech fluids to keep modern cars operating at peak performance. This is due to both engineering advances and new high-tech materials used to build sedan automotive systems.

A simple example of this is the cooling system. For decades it was primarily made out of iron, steel and rubber hoses. There was one kind of coolant that protected these components from corrosion.

Now cooling system components are made with various metal alloys and plastics. These materials require different additives to protect them from corrosion. Since the materials used vary among sedan auto manufacturers, we now have a number of different kinds of coolant.

It's essential for Cupertino and Los Altos car owners to use the right coolant. Allied Auto Works Guide To Using the Correct Fluids in Your VehicleIf you pour in the wrong kind, it won’t protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your sedan owner’s manual. Of course, your Allied Auto Works automotive advisor will know the proper coolant for your vehicle.

Brake fluid is confusing for some Cupertino and Los Altos drivers. Back when we opened Allied Auto Works 27 years ago, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some Los Altos people mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That’s not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is designed for your sedan.

Ditto for transmission fluid. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at Allied Auto Works: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in sedan automatic transmissions, there have been several new types of fluids developed to protect and lubricate them.

Nowhere are the advances in automotive fluids more evident to Cupertino drivers and Allied Auto Works professionals than in motor oil. Many new weights and formulations have been created to meet the demands of today’s high-tech sedan engine design. Modern engines have more parts and much tighter tolerances. Every year, engines make more power and (thankfully!) get better fuel economy. And along with all the complexity and sophistication, they still have to be durable.

That’s where the new grades of engine oil come in. They have to be formulated to lubricate, protect and clean all of those sedan engine parts, big and little. The oil has to be thin enough to get into little passages, yet resistant to vaporization.

At Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, we believe that in some ways modern automotive fluids are just as impressive as the new engines. Because weights of oil and types of coolant and transmission fluid are so carefully matched to the vehicle, make sure you always use the proper fluid if you are topping off at home.

Check your sedan owner’s manual or ask your Allied Auto Works service technician.
The wrong fluid can cause damage to your sedan engine. If you drive a car or truck around CA with 75,000 miles or more, consider high mileage formulations. These fluids contain extra detergent to clean dirtier older engines as well as additives to condition seals and gaskets. That’ll help prevent leaks. Always be sure that the high mileage fluid is the same weight or type of fluid recommended for your sedan.

Categories:

Fluids

The Allied Auto Works Guide To Custom Wheels-Cayenne Style

cayToday I am talking customs wheels, one of my favorites.  Yes it is Cayenne, and if you’re interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your sedan, there are a few things you should know first.

Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many Los Altos drivers have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don’t fit right and the tires rub against the sedan when they turn or go over a bump.

To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Allied Auto Works tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your sedan. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you’ll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.

But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you’re willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable Los Altos professional’s help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional Los Altos custom wheel shop can help you get the work done right.

The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your sedan are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason drivers should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in Los Altos. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.

Your car’s computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your sedan, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in pricey damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.

If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine’s computer reprogrammed at Allied Auto Works to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn’t just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want, and meet your handling needs. We’re not saying you shouldn’t personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos.

After all, good car care isn’t just about preventive maintenance. It’s also about making good choices.

Keep the good times rollin-Cayenne style

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Cayenne Wants You To Charge It In Los Altos For Extended Battery Life

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Hi Cayenne here and today's topic should be electrifying,

Here's an interesting statistic for our car owners in Los Altos, CA: Only thirty percent of car batteries make it to forty-eight months. And the life expectancy varies by where you live. It ranges from fifty-one months in extremely cold areas to just thirty months in extremely hot climates.

Why is that? It turns out that it's our modern cars with all their electric accessories that are to blame. Things like, GPS, DVDs, and entertainment computers are keeping sedan batteries from maintaining a full charge. The longer a battery goes with a low charge, the sooner it'll die.

It's clear that you Los Altos car owners need to recharge your batteries. This is the job of the alternator. The problem comes when the car's demand for electricity is high and we are driving in stop and go conditions or short trips around Los Altos or Sunnyvale. The alternator just can't keep up.

The result is shortened battery life. So what can we Los Altos drivers do to improve our battery's health?

We need to keep the battery as close to a full charge as possible. That can be hard because sitting for just twenty-four hours in hot weather between charges can be too long. When the weather's cold in Los Altos, sitting for several days will cause discharge.

So some highway driving between Los Altos or Los Altos will help keep a full charge if the battery has not been deeply depleted. Car batteries are not designed to be run down really low, or deep cycled, as it's called. So using your headlights or other power accessories when the car is off can deeply deplete your battery. Using the alternator to recharge from a deeply depleted state is also very dangerous to your battery because it charges too fast. In fact, on average, your battery would only last for ten recharges like that.

If you do find yourself with a dead battery or very low battery, use a good quality battery charger to slowly bring the battery up to full charge. Follow the instructions on the charger or talk to your personal and trust Allied Auto Works technician.

Because our batteries are so often at less than a full charge, the experts at Allied Auto Works suggest that we use a battery charger from time to time to keep the charge up. They recommend once a month during hot weather and once every three months during colder times.

Now, a critical word on safety for Los Altos auto owners. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can severely burn your skin and could blind you. If you find yourself with a dead battery, carefully inspect it before you jump start it. If the case is bulging, cracked or leaking, do not jump start it. Damaged batteries can explode or catch fire. Deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.

At Allied Auto Works, we provide quality automotive service including scheduled maintenance service, brake service and air conditioning service.

Well I don't know about you, but I got a charge out of this today,  Cayenne

Categories:

Battery

Cayenne Wants You To Breathe Free In Los Altos: Cabin Air Filter Replacement At Allied Auto Works

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It's your number one car educationer, Cayenne here again, 

There are a lot of new features, both optional and standard, on Los Altos motorists' vehicles these days. One you may not have heard of is called a cabin air filter. Simply put, its job is to keep the air in the passenger compartment of your car nice and clean.

A cabin air filter is similar to the filter you use on your furnace at home in Los Altos. Cabin air filters can catch particles down to three microns. By comparison, a grain of sand is 200 microns. So cabin air filters are effective against dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores and most pollutants in our Los Altos atmosphere. Good news if you suffer from any types of allergies, or if you live in an area in Los Altos prone to air pollution.

Cabin air filters are generally located in the engine compartment or under the dashboard. They can be tricky to access and replace, so you’ll probably want to go to your personal and trust Allied Auto Works tech to get it done. Check your sedan owner’s manual to find out if your sedan is equipped with a cabin air filter and how often it should be changed. Recommendations vary, but generally a cabin air filter should be changed every twelve to fifteen thousand miles.

Of course, if you are an allergy sufferer in Cupertino, you may want to replace it more often. Also, if you do a lot of driving in polluted or dusty areas in CA, you’ll also want to shorten the cabin air filter replacement period. Dirty air filters just don’t work well, and they can exude an unpleasant odor if ignored for too long.

Most Los Altos folks know that good car care includes keeping your sedan clean, including the air inside the passenger compartment, so changing your cabin air filter should be part of your routine preventive maintenance. It’s good auto advice as well as good medical advice that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You really shouldn’t wait until the interior of your car starts to smell and your eyes start to water before you change your filter. And trying to cover it up with a dangling green pine tree is not the right answer, either!

Cabin air filters can be a welcome relief to Los Altos allergy sufferers, but they’re also a great idea for anyone in Los Altos who just wants to breathe better.

Til next time, this is Cayenne!

 

Categories:

Cabin Air Filter

Cayenne 's Fuel Saving Tip: Los Altos Tune Up

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Hi Cayenne here,

Have you ever gone to Los Altos to listen to an orchestra? The musicians take the stage early and tune their instruments. Each individual instrument must be in tune, but the critical thing is for the entire orchestra to be in tune with each other. That's why they tune up together.

Fuel Economy Now this is no surprise; I'm going to relate the orchestra to your car. Your engine has many component systems that each need to be working properly. And the components need to be working in sync, all timed up together in order for the engine to work efficiently.

We call this, (ta-da) a tune-up. When an orchestra's out of tune you get a bad concert. When your vehicle's out of tune you get bad performance and bad fuel economy.

So check your owner's manual for recommended tune-up intervals. Or ask your Los Altos service advisor at Allied Auto Works what he thinks.

...Just be careful not to say you want to make beautiful music together – that kinda makes us uncomfortable.

Categories:

Fuel System

Cayenne's Technicians Receive Training In Allied Auto Works In Los Altos

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When your car breaks down in the Los Altos, CA area, or just needs some routine service, it can make Los Altos car owners a little nervous. Because your car’s so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible. And with the problem fixed right the first time.

We’ve been checking into some of the important training our Los Altos CA technicians receive, and we’re very impressed. It’s amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. So it’s not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over weekend.

Today there are four cylinder engines around Los Altos that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to 60 mph.

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their MPG keeps inching up. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to Los Altos car owners at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.

Then there’s the electronics. Some cars on CA interstates area have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Los Altos auto owners take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.

It’s a real challenge for the service professionals at  Allied Auto Works and other Los Altos auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center as well. In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.

So where do Los Altos service professionals go for training? There’re many sources. It’s usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.

And AutoNetTV produces monthly training for Los Altos automotive service centers called The Pro Channel. If you were to watch the Pro Channel segment on re-flashing the engine control computer, you’d be amazed at how much is involved: special software, hardware interfaces and a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill.

Service centers in Los Altos, CA have a lot of other resources available as well. No one can know everything, so service centers like Allied Auto Works subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them with they run into a difficult problem.

It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. Los Altos car owners want everything to be simple, straight forward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn’t.

So, be more relaxed next time you take your sedan in. Los Altos auto owners can trust their personal and trust Allied Auto Works technicians. You’re in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at Allied Auto Works. Visit AutoNetTV.com to see more great auto tips videos about many service topics.

At Allied Auto Works, we provide quality automotive service including scheduled maintenance service, brake service and air conditioning service.<br><br>

 

Come visit my technicians at Allied Auto Works and rest assure they are the best at what they do,  this is Cayenne.

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne Is Super Slick at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos: Synthetic Oil

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Good Day, it is Super Slick Cayenne and we are talking synthetic oils today, 

When you get an oil change, it’s always a safe bet to just use the type of oil the car maker recommends. But sometimes we’re asked if we’d like conventional or synthetic motor oil. We glance at the price tags on the two options and choose the cheaper one. But in this case, the more expensive oil might be the better bargain for Los Altos auto owners.

Conventional oil is made from petroleum. Its molecules form long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil is either more highly refined petroleum or completely man-made. Its molecules are more uniform. This provides vital advantages over conventional motor oil.

First of all, the molecular structure of synthetic motor oil makes it more slippery than conventional oil so it lubricates better. This translates to better wear protection for Los Altos drivers, cooler operating temperatures, more engine power and increased fuel economy.

Further, synthetic oil is more heat-resistant than conventional oil, and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It provides better protection for severe conditions like stop-and-go driving around Los Altos and very hot or freezing CA temperatures.

Also, synthetic oil doesn’t generate harmful oil sludge like conventional oil. This prevents small engine passageways from becoming clogged, which can significantly extend the working life of your sedan engine.

Manufacturers are aware of the advantages of synthetic oil, and many of them are using it to fill their sedans before delivering them to be sold. Many car maker's owner’s manuals now come with the recommendation to use only synthetic oil. Because synthetic oil wears better and protects better than conventional motor oil, it can be changed less often. If your sedan came with a recommendation for synthetic oil, you may have noticed that the recommended period between oil changes is longer than what you’re used to. However, if you switch to conventional oil, you need to be aware that you can’t follow this longer service interval. You’ll have to change your oil more often.

On the other hand, if you are using conventional oil and you switch to synthetic oil, you may be able to lengthen the time between oil changes. You can communicate with your personal and trust Allied Auto Works service specialist. He can offer you good auto advice about oils and service intervals based on your driving habits and requirements.

Oil changes are the hallmark of vital preventive maintenance at Allied Auto Works. All Los Altos auto owners need them. So we should get excited about a product that reduces how often we need them. Synthetic oil is more pricey, yes, but it can pay for itself by lasting longer than conventional oil. And when you add in the hidden savings of an extended engine life and improved fuel economy, not to mention increased engine power, there’s a good chance that synthetic oil actually saves in the long run. All Los Altos auto owners pay for car care. But understanding what we’re paying for can make us more savvy shoppers.

Til next time, this is Cayenne and I'm slicking out of here.

Categories:

Fluids

Cayenne Keeps Her Cool In Los Altos: Air Conditioning Service

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Hi Cayenne here and I like keeping cool, do you?

Most Los Altos auto owners don't even think about their car air conditioning system unless it fails. That’s because many Los Altos and Sunnyvale motorists don't really understand that auto A/Cs need periodic service. Let me share some of the reasons why they fail.

First, like every machine, the sedan air conditioner parts need - you guessed it - lubrication. The lubricant is actually mixed in with the refrigerant (that’s the stuff that makes the air cool). Remember that even if the air conditioner is still blowing out cool air, the oil that lubricates the parts may be used up: and unlubricated parts can fail in all CA cars.

Keep Your Cool In Los Altos: Air Conditioning Service

Now here’s a tip for Los Altos auto owners: Run your air conditioner every so often during CA winters. This circulates the lubricant to help keep the seals from drying out.

The air conditioner actually removes some of the moisture in the air. So if you have trouble with fogging on your sedan windshield during CA winters or during a rain storm, running the A/C on the defrost setting should help. Now on some Los Altos cars you can’t run the A/C at the same time as the defroster. Don’t ask me why, but I suspect lawyers were involved.

Also, air and water can get into the A/C system. That can reduce the efficiency of the system and also lead to corrosion that causes damage. Los Altos car owners should periodically purge the system and replace the refrigerant to remove the air and water.

Los Altos drivers would be wise to learn the important early warning signs of A/C trouble: 1) The air’s not as cold as it used to be. 2) Unusual noises when the A/C cycles on. Those are signs to get your vehicle into Allied Auto Works in Los Altos before the damage gets worse.

By following the recommended service intervals in your sedan owner’s manual, you can help prevent mechanical failure of your air conditioning system. Your A/C system contains some costly components like the compressor, condenser, dryer, etc. Anything Cupertino and Sunnyvale car owners can do to lengthen the life of their A/C is well worth it.

Categories:

Air Conditioning

Cayenne's Transmission Care In Los Altos CA

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Cayenne wants you to call Allied Auto Works to make an appointment to check your transmission in Los Altos.
2073 Grant Road or 1540 Miramonte Ave.
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227  or 650.947.7228

Do you have any plans around Los Altos CA for the weekend? Maybe you and some friends and are taking the boat up to the lake. Maybe you'll be having a lot of fun water skiing and doing a little fishing.

You got the boat all ready. It's all gassed up. You packed lots of snacks and the cooler's stocked – ready to go.

How about your tow vehicle? It has plenty of gas and you've even vacuumed it out, but is your auto maintenance up to date?

Stop and think. You'll have some heavy traffic on your way out of town. Hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it may be hot weather. And all the time you're going to be towing around several thousand extra pounds.

That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission. Your transmission's going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. What's a fun little blast to the lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.

It's important that you have enough transmission fluid. If you're running low, the transmission will run to hot and won't have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing.

And if it's time for a transmission service, you really should have it done at Allied Auto Works before your trip. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, you need to have it serviced on schedule to make sure it runs efficiently.

Automatic transmissions contain a maze of passages that the fluid has to pass through to keep it shifting smoothly. If you neglect transmission service, the passages can get clogged up and you start to have problems. Neglect your transmission for too long, and it can fail. Believe us – you don't want to pay for a major transmission repair.

You know, most of us in Los Altos CA do a lot of our driving under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips or driving in very hot or very cold weather. Also, dusty roads, city driving around Los Altos, and basically any driving that's not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions is severe driving. We all need to think about whether or not we need to follow the severe service schedule.

So, consider going in for a full service oil change before you leave for the lake to make sure everything has been looked at. Ask for a trip inspection while you're at it. Your Los Altos CA service technician at Allied Auto Works can check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.

Don't forget the sunscreen. and the dog bones.  And to thank your Los Altos service technician, how about bringing him back a nice trout?

Categories:

Transmission

Cayenne's Economics of Maintenance For Los Altos Auto Owners

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Hi Cayenne here and buying a new car in Los Altos is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?  Well I'm here to help.

People in Los Altos who've been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?

For purposes of our discussion, let's assume you live right here in Los Altos and have a five year old vehicle. It's now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there'll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don't know what to expect. For help we turned to Edmunds.com.

Edmunds.com has compiled maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They're able to use manufacturer's maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.

Of course, these projections can't predict what will happen to your vehicle in Los Altos, but they do give you information to use in your decision.

Let's look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.

So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it's actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.

Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Los Altos:

  • Ford Escape - $116 a month
  • Chevy Silverado - $131 a month
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee - $138 a month
  • Hyundai Accent - $85 a month.

Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Los Altos service advisor at Allied Auto Works. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there's any particular problem common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.

And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.

There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.

We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.

Give us a call if you have any questions:
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road & 1540 Miramonte Ave.
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227  & 650.947.7228

Categories:

Maintenance
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