Los Altos Auto Repair

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Cayenne Stays Headed in the Right Direction, Los Altos

cay

Hello, Cayenne here have you ever been on a drive and your car seems not to be turning smoothly in the direction you want to go?  When's the last time you checked your power steering and its fluid.  Well, I am going to drive in the right direction, just drive forward while we bark out power steering.

Power steering is standard on nearly every vehicle in Los Altos, CA, these days. Now there are some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the general setup is a pump that's driven by a belt powered by the engine.

Contact the automotive professionals at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos for questions about your power steering.

The pump generates power that assists drivers as they steer their vehicles around Los Altos, CA. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it's a good idea to have Allied Auto Works inspect them at every oil change.

A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full-service oil change at Allied Auto Works because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so it's important to use the correct type – just ask your service advisor at Allied Auto Works.

In addition to providing a boost, the fluid cleans, cools, and lubricates the power steering system. Over time, the lubricants and detergents diminish so Los Altos drivers need to replace their old fluid with clean, fresh fluid periodically.

Excess moisture can collect in the power steering fluid as well. That can lead to rust and corrosion as well as reduce the effectiveness of the fluid. Many outline power steering service intervals in the owner's manual. Unfortunately, this service is sometimes left off the maintenance schedule. For Los Altos drivers who are not sure, every two years is a good rule of thumb. 

At Allied Auto Works, we use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with new fluid.

Now, if you are experiencing high steering effort, erratic power assist, or loud whining coming from the pump, you may have a power steering problem. Another sign is having to frequently top off the fluid.

Holding the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time can wear your pump out quickly. We want you to be sure to service your power steering system regularly at your service center, or Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, to keep you headed in the right direction.

I leave with my direction joke of the day,

What do you call a large reptile who's great with directions?

A good navi-gator.

Cayenne

 

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
https://www.alliedautoworks.com/

Categories:

Steering

Duke Asks "Do You Know Your Blind Spots?"

dukes

Hey, it's Duke and did you know most dogs' eyes are more laterally placed (wider apart on the face) than are the eyes of humans, they have a resultant wider field of view. This provides for a greater ability to scan the environment and to pick up sudden movements.  Dogs do not have an abnormally large “blind spot” and they can see the depth of field (3D). resulting in a visual field of 240 degrees compared with the human field of 200 degrees.  Humans have binocular field of vision which results in blinds spots especially while driving.  So we are not going to turn a blind eye today on this subject but help you see things in a different light.  Let's get barkin'!

 

All Los Altos drivers have blind spots – and no, I'm not talking about the fact that you really don't sing like Adele. I mean the areas of the road that you can't see when you're driving around Los Altos.

First, let's talk about our own blinds spots, and then we can talk about others...

To begin, we can greatly reduce blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make adjustments in your vehicle before you start to drive.

First, Los Altos drivers should adjust their rearview mirrors to give the best possible view directly to the rear of their vehicle. Los Altos folks don't need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or their dazzling smile. It's pretty obvious, that the rearview mirror should reflect the rear.

Next, lean your head until it almost touches the driver's side window. Adjust your side mirror so that you can just barely see the side of your car. Now, lean your head to the middle of the car and adjust the outside mirror so that you can barely see the right side of the car.

When Los Altos drivers adjust their mirrors this way, they'll have maximum coverage. Of course, driving is a dynamic process – things change every second on CA roads and busy highways. So it's wise to take a quick look to the side when passing to make sure that another vehicle hasn't moved into an area you couldn't see in your mirrors.

As you drive around the Los Altos area, avoid staying in others' blind spots. You can't count on them to be watching their mirrors and looking out for you.
Here are some tips for passing a heavy vehicle on CA roads:
Avoid the blind spots. If you can't see the driver's face in one of his mirrors or in a window, he cannot see you!
Don't follow too close. If you can't see one of the truck's mirrors, you're too close.
Make sure there is plenty of room to pass. Trucks are long and take time to get around. If you're on one of our local two-lane highways, wait for a passing zone.
Don't linger when passing. Because the blind spots are so big on the sides, you want to get through them quickly. If you can't pass quickly, drop back.
Pass on the left whenever possible. A trucks' blind spot is much larger on the right.
The team of automotive professionals at Allied Auto Works wants you to watch those blind spots – but feel free to sing in the shower all you want.

I leave you with my car joke of the day,

Q: "What’s the difference between a Ferrari and six trash bags full of recyclable cans?"

A: "I don’t have a Ferrari in my garage."

Duke

 

duke

 

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
https://www.alliedautoworks.com/

Categories:

Automotive News

Cayenne's Service to Improve Fuel Economy With These Crazy Gas Prices

cay

Hey, it's your favorite red-head, Cayenne and you know this weekend I went with my owner to fill up the car and on my!  $106 to fill the tank.....there goes all the extra money for my dog treats.  Well today, you guessed it, we are going to bark the gas out of fuel economy and what services can help.

The price of gas in CA has got people in Los Altos talking. It seems that Los Altos folks who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear or provide four-wheel drive, are hit especially hard. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve fuel economy.

First, let's start with how we drive around CA. People in Los Altos may not realize that they can really save on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts - you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don't drive with one foot on the brake. That's also a drag on fuel economy, and it wears out your brakes faster, too.

Another thing Los Altos drivers can do is drive more slowly - but only when it's safe. Sometimes on the freeway, we drive an extra five ... ten . . . twenty ... over the speed limit. We do it to save time, but it only saves a few minutes out of maybe an hour-long drive, and we may use 10 to 15 % more gas. Just leave a little bit earlier, save some money and arrive more relaxed.

Los Altos drivers can also try and combine all of their errands for the day into just one trip, rather than several. If you can put off a trip today that can be combined with one tomorrow, you can save some time and money.

Using your cruise control can save money too. Driving in CA at a constant speed really improves fuel economy. Be sure to only use your cruise control under safe conditions; you can look in your owner's manual for some good tips on using your cruise control.

Did you know that reducing the weight in your vehicle saves gas? Clean out the trunk or back seat from time to time so that you are not paying to carry a lot of stuff around Los Altos that you do not need in the vehicle. If you live in CA where there is snow and ice, clear it off your vehicle; it adds weight and messes with aerodynamics too.

Another tip is to avoid long idle times, which includes warming it up when you start. Modern engines do not require a long warm-up to get going;  just take it easy for a few minutes.

Be sure to get a new gas cap if yours leaks or is worn.

Now, let's start talking mechanical. Bottom line - the better you maintain your vehicle, the less fuel you will use. It all adds up in a big way. For example, replacing your dirty engine air filter will pay for itself in improved fuel economy before your next oil change - and will keep saving you after that.

A clean, well-maintained fuel system really pays big dividends. A clogged fuel filter wastes gas. So does a dirty fuel system, grimy fuel injectors and plugged-up PCV valves. A fuel system service decreases the gas you use, and increases the power, so drivers in Los Altos can't go wrong with that.

Some of us ignore our Check Engine light. But fixing the problem that caused the light to come on will usually save some fuel as well. It may be a bad oxygen sensor that can really rob your fuel economy.

And, it may be time for a tune-up. Tune-ups should improve your fuel economy. Don't overlook the routine maintenance items, like scheduled oil changes, transmission, and cooling system service. Dirty or low fluids actually use more fuel. Just look at your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service intervals in the owner's manual, or ask your Allied Auto Works service advisor for the schedule.

Don't forget your tires. Underinflated tires waste gas. And if your wheels are out of alignment, you won't get the fuel economy you need.

None of these things are very complicated or expensive for people in Los Altos, Cupertino, Sunnyvale or anywhere in the South Bay to stay on top of. When you maintain your car properly, you save gas today and prevent repairs tomorrow.

I leave you with my joke of the day,

"Today I got gas for $1.57. Unfortunately it was at Taco Bell."

Cayenne

 

cay

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
https://www.alliedautoworks.com/

 

Categories:

Fuel System

Duke's Advice On Right Automotive Fluids for Los Altos, Cupertino and Sunnyvale Drivers

duke

Hey, it's Duke and my mom said to make sure you drank plenty of water to keep well hydrated and healthy.  Your car also needs plenty of fluids and well today we are barking fluids.  So let's pour into our subject!

All those automotive fluids can be confusing for Los Altos Cupertino and Sunnyvale drivers. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won't work as well and could even cause damage.

In addition to new grades of engine oil, many vehicles now leave the factory with synthetic oil. People in the South Bay should always use the grade recommended by their manufacturer.

All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your vehicle cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.

Most passenger vehicles on South Bay roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your vehicle power brake system is specifically designed to use ONE of these types – you need the right one. Higher numbers do not necessarily mean a higher, upgraded fluid.

Now, the thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids; using the right fluid is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you've got that down, it's easy to remember to check with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Allied Auto Works or your vehicle owner's manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.

Give Allied Auto Works a call today and tell them Duke you.

I leave you with my fun quote of the day, "The only weight I ever lifted weighed 24 ounces.  It was a Schlitz.  I always replaced my fluids." ~ Art Donovan

Duke

duke

Allied Auto Works
650.968.7227
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
https://www.alliedautoworks.com/

 

Categories:

Fluids

Ask Cayenne About the Importance of Service Intervals

cay

What a beautiful day here in Los Altos!  Hi Cayenne here and today in Duke & Cayenne's blog, we're going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your vehicle isn't the only aspect of your life with recommended intervals: What about yearly dog exams,  six-month dental cleanings and regular physical exams? Then there's dog grooming, order dog bones,  laundry, mowing the lawn, dog toys to order, paying your electric bill, changing your furnace filter - you get the idea.



Now, what would happen if you didn't follow these intervals? For one thing, your teeth may get more cavities. You might not discover health issues that benefit from early detection and treatment. And you'd have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your overgrown lawn and have your power shut off.

We all realize there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don't, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life diminishes and it inevitably costs more money.

Have you ever wondered, "How often should I bring my car in for scheduled maintenance?" You can let your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works technician remind you of the manufacturer's recommendations. He has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your vehicle. Rely on Allied Auto Works professionals to help you make good car care decisions, that's our job.

For those in Los Altos who want to be more proactive with their vehicle care, here are some simple ways to remember what has a maintenance interval:

First: fluids. If it's liquid, it's got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.
Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you're thinking tires, think brakes and shocks.
And what makes your car go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning.

Of course, there are more items, but if you remember to take your vehicle into Allied Auto Works for these things, your friendly and knowledgeable service advisors will help you with the rest.

Oh and don't forget to order those dog bones and get your dog's nails done, we have to look good you know as we go for a ride with the windows down on these beautiful California days,

Cayenne

cay

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
https://www.alliedautoworks.com/

Duke's Takes A Byte (Your Vehicle's Computers)

duke

Duke here and I love to take a good bite out of juicy steak, whoops that's the wrong byte.  Bytes we're talking dog trackers, Alexa, smartphones, kitchen appliances, vacuum cleaners, and televisions.  You name it—it has a computer in it.  And your vehicle is no exception.  Nobody has to tell you that computers are a part of so many things in our lives.  So you guessed it, we will take a bite out of bytes and look at our vehicle's computers.  

The earliest cars relied on the technology of their time, and there was no such thing as a computer.  But now, it's not unusual for a vehicle to have as many as 150 computers in it. They perform a variety of functions. An important one is diagnosing your vehicle's problems.  There are various sensors throughout modern vehicles that measure thousands of data points.  When something is not working correctly, they send a signal to another computer that stores that information. The data can be read by someone who has a special computer that plugs into a port in your car.  It displays certain codes that help technicians track down the culprit. 

But it's not just the diagnostics that are computerized.  Everything from your vehicle's fuel injection to anti-lock brakes is.  Convenience features such as power windows, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a wi-fi-hot spot, streaming video and navigation are all sophisticated computers.  Then there are the safety features; airbags, traction control, automatic emergency braking and a host of others are all dependent on computers.

It is important that those computers work correctly because they interface with many of the other computers on board.  To properly diagnose problems with those computers requires training and special equipment. Your service facility has invested considerable resources into both, and they are equipped to properly evaluate and repair and/or replace malfunctioning components. 

Some lament the days when backyard mechanics could pull out their tools and do their own repairs.  Those days are fast disappearing with the computerization of vehicles.  But look at the bright side.  Your vehicle does so much more, has so many more features and travels far more safely than those past generations drove.  And they're bound to get better and more sophisticated down the road.

"The first computer dates back to Adam and Eve. It was an Apple with limited memory, just one byte. And then everything crashed."  

Duke

 

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
https://www.alliedautoworks.com/

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

cay

Cayenne here and let's talk about transmission service. It can be easy for Los Altos drivers to forget about getting their transmission serviced because it doesn't need it very often. It's easier for people in CA to remember to change the engine oil - you know, every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But proper transmission servicing keeps your vehicle running smoothly and helps you avoid repairs down the road.  So today, I will transition you into transmission service, and guess what?  Allied Auto Works is here to help you.  Let's get barkin'


The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit you can see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually, it's much higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and lose efficiency.

As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn't lubricate and cool the vehicle transmission as well - leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the transmission. At best, your transmission won't operate smoothly. At worst, it could lead to damage.

When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels and improves fuel economy. That's why it is recommended to change your transmission fluid at regular intervals. Your owner's manual has a schedule for transmission service and, of course, your service advisor at Allied Auto Works can tell you what is recommended.

Hot and dusty Los Altos area conditions, towing, hauling, stop-and-go driving, and jackrabbit starts all begin to increase the load on the transmission and its internal temperature. That means Los Altos vehicles with these types of transmission requirements need to change the fluid more often. A good rule of thumb is every 35,000 miles, 55,000 kilometers, or two years. If your owner’s manual suggests more frequent intervals or if you're driving under severe service conditions around the Los Altos area, you will need to change it more often.

Most Los Altos auto service centers (including Allied Auto Works) have the ability to perform a transmission service while you wait and the cost is quite reasonable. It's downright cheap when you think about how much a major transmission repair can cost! Our pros at Allied Auto Works will know the right type of transmission fluid to use. If it's getting to be time to have your transmission serviced, do your vehicle a favor and have it done.

To hear does not mean to understand. ~Haitian proverb

Cayenne

 

cay

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
https://www.alliedautoworks.com/

 

Categories:

Transmission

Duke Has The Need for Speed (Wheel Speed Sensor Maintenance)

duke

Hi, Duke here on this beautiful California day.  When I see a squirrel I track and then bam......the need for speed.  Well, today we will speed into the need for speed on our vehicles and bark about the wheel speed sensor and maintenance.

 

Today's vehicles have some pretty amazing technology in them, including a computerized braking system we all pretty much take for granted these days.  Antilock brake systems (ABS) have been around for years but they help drivers stop in much shorter distances reliably than ever before.  When you see your ABS warning light come on, it's important to find out what's causing the problem. It's a safety issue.

Often the problem when the ABS light comes on is a faulty wheel speed sensor.  (In some cases the traction control light will also come on, perhaps because of a non-working wheel speed sensor.) Your vehicle uses speed sensors to measure the rotational speed at each wheel. That sensor sends the speed data to a computer that can then adjust braking power and prevent your wheels from locking up. 

If any of the wheel speed sensors aren't working right, the ABS warning light will go on and the vehicle's computer will turn off the antilock brake system.  You'll still have working brakes, but you will lose the functionality of that computerized system.

When your vehicle warns you the ABS has a non-working sensor, you can have a technician check to see what's going on. It could be one of the sensors is dirty and cleaning will solve the problem.  But it also could be that one or more sensors need to be replaced. 

A technician will use computerized diagnostic equipment to determine what and where the problem is, replace any bad parts and then check to make sure the system is fully operational. 

Antilock brakes and traction control are significant technologies that help prevent your vehicle from slipping on less-than-perfect road surfaces, especially useful during wintery weather.  Make sure they're helping you drive the way they designed to.

"One time the police stopped me for speeding, and they said "oh, you know the speed limit is 55 miles per hour." I said, "yeah, I know, but I wasn't going to be out that long."~Jason Love

Duke

duke

 

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
https://www.alliedautoworks.com/

Categories:

Brakes

Cayenne's Puzzling Puddle (Leaks Under Vehicle)

cay

Cayenne here and do you love puzzles?  Trying to find the right piece to finish a puzzle or solve a mystery but sometimes your car can leave you a puzzle like a puddle under the car.  Where did that come from?  Puzzling and frustrating.  So today we will bark about how to figure out where that mystery leak is coming from and solve the puzzling puddle (leaks under my vehicle).

Ever notice a little spot of liquid under your vehicle after you've parked in your driveway or garage? It may have been something as simple as water left from air conditioning condensation.  But then again, it could be a sign that there's trouble brewing in one of your vehicle's systems.

You can help your service facility diagnose the problem by getting a little sample of the drip.  At the same time, you may save yourself a tougher clean-up task by preventing the leaky fluid from really messing up the driveway or garage floor.  The first thing is to put something under the vehicle. A flattened-out cardboard box will do fine.  You may also want to slip a little disposable aluminum tray or pan under it to catch a bit of the fluid.  Chroma and consistency can help a technician quickly figure out what kind of fluid you're dealing with.  You can take your sample with you when you go to your service facility.

Also note how much of the substance is there over what period of time, when you started to notice it and its location relative to the vehicle.  Is it on the passenger's or driver's side? Front, middle or back? Vehicles have different designs, so where their equipment is located will depend on the make and model. 

The leaky fluid will have a certain look to it and consistency.  If it's blue, it may be windshield washer fluid and a sign that your washer fluid tank has a leak.  If it's green, it could be antifreeze.  Orange may mean rusty water or transmission fluid.  Brown? Might be oil.

There should be no leaks in your powertrain if things are maintained properly.  A small leak may not seem like a big deal, but sometimes it can get much bigger quickly.  A coolant leak, for example, may suddenly go from pinhole to flood, draining your cooling system and putting your engine in danger of overheating. 

It is a really good idea to have a professional check out your leaks as soon as you notice them.  And the more clues you can provide, the happier the technician will be as the search for the problem gets underway.

 

"For me, the most enjoyable part is the puzzle, the process of solving, not the solution itself."  ~ Erno Rubik.

Cayenne

cay

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
https://www.alliedautoworks.com/

Duke's Odometer Rollback on Your Los Altos, CA Vehicle

duke

How do Los Altos drivers know if an odometer is telling the truth?  Duke here and today I going to get to the bottom of the odometer mystery, is that mileage correct?



Well, back in '86, Congress passed the Truth-in-Mileage Act to protect CA consumers against mileage fraud. It says a CA seller must certify the mileage reported is the actual mileage.

To have your odometer checked in Los Altos, CA, stop by Allied Auto Works:

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024

 

If it isn't, the seller must say why; for example, maybe the odometer is past its mechanical limits. Some older odometers only go to 99,999 and then start over at 0. Or, the odometer has been tampered with, broken or replaced.

If the seller tells you the mileage isn't accurate, there's not much chance of putting a good number to it. And there's the unscrupulous seller who claims the reading is true, but it isn't. What can Los Altos vehicle owners do?

You can go to www.CarFax.com, where, for a small fee, they'll give you a comprehensive vehicle history search on your vehicle, showing local Los Altos, CA, ownership history, accident reports, total-loss events, manufacturer buybacks, Lemon reports and warranty status.

You can get a mileage history by checking with the local CA DMV (or wherever you happen to be) and other verified sources looking for inconsistencies in the mileage reported when the car was bought and sold. If there are signs of odometer rollback, now you'll know.


If so, proceed with caution. Or, negotiate a lower price. Or just walk away. There's always another vehicle. 

"If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?"  ~Steven Wright

Duke

duke

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227
https://www.alliedautoworks.com/

Categories:

Older Vehicles
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