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Duke Keeps It Flowing with a Fuel Filter Replacement at Allied Auto Works

duke

Duke here and today we are going to filter out the mystery of what a fuel filter actually does in your vehicle.  So let's get the fuel flowing and filter through it. 



The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around Los Altos use fuel filters.

Generally speaking there's not a lot of dirt in our Los Altos area auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That's because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your vehicle is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up.

That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your vehicle ages. It'll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often.

A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration. That's because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enough just can't get through the filter. Obviously, that could be dangerous if your car or truck can't get enough power to get you out of harm's way.

For just that reason, fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter is severely clogged, some fuel can bypass the filter all together. Of course that means that dirty, unfiltered fuel is getting through to be burned in the engine.

This dirt can then clog and damage your fuel injectors. Now injectors are not cheap to replace, so you don't want to cause them damage just because you didn't spend a few bucks to replace a fuel filter.

You know, in a way, the fuel filter can be the poster child for preventive maintenance. It's a little part, it's simple and it's cheap to take care of. But if it's neglected, it could lead to thousands of dollars in repair bills.

Those auto service schedules in your owner's manual are there for a reason. If ever you don't understand a recommended service, just ask your Los Altos service advisor at Allied Auto Works. We'll be happy to explain.

For more information about your fuel filter, visit Allied Auto Works at 2073 Grant Road in Los Altos, CA 94024.
Please call 650.968.7227 to make an appointment.

.....and here is my fuel joke of the week

What type of fuel do painters prefer?

Whatever makes the van gogh..
 
 
duke
DUKE

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

 

Categories:

Fuel System

Cayenne Is Hitting the Brakes in Los Altos

cay

Whoa! Stop and put those brakes on. Cayenne here and you probably figured it out.  We are hitting the brakes and hard.  Safety should always be an element of your vehicle care. So even if you don't care about how your vehicle looks, you should practice preventive maintenance to protect yourself — and other Los Altos drivers — on the road. And good safety starts with good brakes.

Brakes need a regular inspection. There are parts that wear out or wear down, and it's best to replace them before you have serious problems.

Of course, if you are having trouble with your brakes, NOW is the time to fix them. If your brake warning light is on, that's a good sign that you need your brakes checked. You can also tell something is wrong with your brakes by the feel of the pedal or unusual sounds while braking. If the brake pedal is low, feels spongy when you press it or is hard to push, that indicates a problem with your brakes. If you hear squealing, grinding or clunking noises when you brake, that can also indicate serious problems. If vibrations accompany braking, then it is to get your brakes checked.

Brakes come in two basic types. With disc brakes, a rotor is attached to the axle of the vehicle. Padded calipers straddle the rotor and close when the brakes are applied. The resulting friction causes the rotor — and the axle — to stop turning. With drum brakes, brake pads (also called shoes) press against the inside of a drum to create friction and stop the drum, and hence the vehicle's wheels, from turning.

When Allied Auto Works services your brake system, your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor checks all of the brake pads for wear. If they are too thin, they need to be replaced. This is an inexpensive repair at Allied Auto Works compared to what procrastination will cost you. If pads wear away completely, then the rotors and drums can be damaged. They will have to be either resurfaced or replaced, and that can be expensive. But if your vehicle brake pads are worn out, then your brakes are compromised and your stopping power is greatly reduced. You could easily wind up in an accident.

Brake pads come in several different grades, such as regular, metallic and ceramic. The higher grades are more expensive, but they also work better. CA drivers who want better and smoother braking should consider upgrading. However, Los Altos drivers should NEVER use a brake pad that is lower than their vehicle manufacturer's recommendation.

After your brake pads are checked at Allied Auto Works, it's also wise to have your brake fluid checked. This is a critical element in your brake system. When you press your brake pedal, you are compressing the brake fluid, creating pressure that activates the brake pads. If your fluid pressure is low, it will decrease your braking power. The pads just won't be able to press hard enough against the rotor or drum to stop your vehicle. Just as with worn pads, insufficient brake fluid can lead to an accident in Los Altos.

Water can build up in your brake fluid, which can cause corrosion in your braking system. Eventually, this can cause your brake fluid to leak. So Los Altos drivers should also change their brake fluid periodically. Your vehicle owner's manual will have guidelines on how often it should be replaced, or you can ask a service advisor at Allied Auto Works. 

Remember, Los Altos folks, safety first. It's auto advice for all Los Altos drivers on the road. You're not just protecting others; you're protecting yourself.

Safety never takes a day off,

Cayenne

 

 

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

Categories:

Brakes

Duke's Good Service at Allied Auto Works Equals Good Fuel Economy in Los Altos

duke

Hi Duke here, and in the last few months, drivers in CA have started to see our gas prices come down from $7.00/gallon to about $4.89/gallon, but still, we are higher than the rest of the country and with the price of food now also, we could all probably use a little help in saving some money where ever we can.

Whether we're trying to save money, save gas or save the environment, most of us Los Altos drivers have an interest in decreasing fuel consumption. We've all heard about ways to save money on gas in CA, but does it really add up to much? How much can we boost our fuel economy through preventive maintenance and more courteous driving?

The US government has a website that actually answers that question. Let's look at some of the data and find out if any of these fuel-saving ideas are really worth the effort. We've all heard that a tune-up can improve gas mileage. It turns out that it can save us 4% at the pump. At $3.50 a gallon, that's 14¢ per gallon in savings, and at $4.00 a gallon, that's a 16¢ per gallon savings.

Other common repair items can also save you at the pump. For example, if your oxygen sensor is faulty, it's not delivering the information to your engine's computer that allows it to calculate the right fuel-to-air ratio. The result? The fuel doesn't burn efficiently. Replacing that faulty sensor can save you 40% at the pump. That's certainly a reason to improve your car care and have the automotive professionals at Allied Auto Works inspect things once in a while.

A faulty oxygen sensor will activate the check engine light. So will a lot of other problems that are big fuel wasters. Finding out why your light is on and fixing the problem will also improve your fuel economy. Bring your car into Allied Auto Works in Los Altos and we will take care of it for you.

What about tires? Los Altos drivers have all heard that keeping them inflated will improve our gas mileage. True? Yep. It's a 3% savings for that one. And even small drops in tire pressure can start to add up, so a weekly tire check is in order.

Using the correct weight in motor oil is another way you can save at Los Altos area gas pumps. It adds up to a 2% savings.

What about that courteous driving? That doesn't cost us anything and doesn't require our Los Altos service center to implement anything. Is it worth the bother?

Again, the answer is yes. Sudden acceleration, such as charging away from stoplights, sudden stops and quick lane changes all add up in lowered fuel economy. Taking it easy when you drive on CA roads amounts to a 5% savings around town and a whopping 33% savings on the freeway. Is it worth your time to slow down? How much do you get paid?

Speeding is another way we ding ourselves at the gas pump. We've all heard that it's okay to drive five miles over the speed limit, but that actually hurts our wallets. Eventually, it could add up to more than a speeding ticket. An extra five miles over the speed limit ends up costing us 7% per gallon. Fifteen miles over? 23% Now there's a reason to slow down.

Another thing Los Altos vehicle owners can do to improve that costs nothing is to toss the junk out of our trunks. In other words, clean out the car and stop hauling around non-essentials. Don't treat your vehicle like a storage locker. Dumping one hundred pounds of extra weight adds up to a 2% savings at the pump.

So when you tell someone you were going somewhere anyway and they're welcome to come along, that's okay. But if someone tells you they need to come along and it's no harm to you since you were going anyway—well, now you can tell them, “Sorry, dude, but you're an extra fifteen cents a gallon!”

All joking aside, let's all do ourselves a favor and fatten up our wallets by practicing good car care and better driving habits in CA.

Duke 

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

Categories:

Fuel Economy

Cayenne Is A Non-Starter (Alternator Problems in Cold Weather)

cayBrrrr Cayenne here and it has been cold the last few mornings. It's hard to get moving and started on the day.  Maybe your car is having the same the problem......getting started.  So you guessed it, we are going to bark about a non-starter with alternator problems in cold weather.

As the temperatures dip, we all know there could be problems starting our vehicles. After all, batteries can grow old and not hold a charge as well as when they were newer. Or starters can go bad.  But there's one more component to keep an especially sharp eye on during winter: your alternator.

The alternator is sort of like a small generator. It sends power out to various parts in your vehicle that need electricity.  That includes the battery, which needs charging to keep its power topped off.  The alternator creates electricity by taking mechanical energy from the engine and turning it into electricity.  It is connected to the engine by belts and pulleys. 

In cold weather, the material the belt is made from is less flexible than it is in warm weather.  That means it may not be turning the pulleys as effectively since it doesn't have the same grip. Also, when it's colder, lubricants, including the engine oil, are a little stiffer; parts just don't move like they do when the weather's warmer.  With that extra strain, sometimes it takes the alternator longer to recharge the battery. That, in turn, may leave the battery with a little less power to start the engine when it's cold.

You may have a warning light on your instrument panel that looks like a battery.  If it lights up or if you notice your headlights flickering or not shining quite as brightly as they usually do, it could mean a weak alternator. But it also could be an aging battery, corroded battery terminals, a loose belt, or another charging system part. Yes, it's complicated. 

Pinpointing the cause involves testing the battery and charging system with diagnostic equipment.  If it does turn out to be an alternator, there are options besides replacing it with a brand-new, original equipment part.  Ask your service advisor for recommendations. Obviously, you want your vehicle to start reliably, especially in cold weather.  Take care of your charging system and it will take care of you.

Here is my car joke of the day.

"The car won't start," said a wife to her husband. "I think there's water in the carburetor."
"How do you know?" said the husband scornfully. "You don't even know what the carburetor is."
"I'm telling you," repeated the wife, "I'm sure there's water in the carburetor."
"We'll see," mocked the husband. "Let me check it out. Where's the car?"
.
"IN THE SWIMMING POOL !!!!!!"

Cayenne

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

Categories:

Alternator

Ask Duke About the Importance of Service Intervals

duke

Hi Duke here and today in Duke & Cayenne's weekly 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 six-month dental cleanings and regular physical exams for your favorite canine? Then there's laundry, mowing the lawn, paying your electric bill, changing your furnace filter, oh, getting my supply of weekly beef bones - 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 advisor will help you with the rest.

Here is my car joke of the day,

 "With the rise of self-driving vehicles, it's only a matter of time before we get a country song where a guy's truck leaves him too."

Duke

duke

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

Cayenne's Battery Replacement at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos

cay

Hello Cayenne here, welcome to Duke & Cayenne's Education Corner here at Allied Auto Works.  If this is your first time here, get ready to be schooled by two hounds who can teach any dog some new tricks on a weekly visit.  So as Duke and I always say "Let's get barkin!"

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, Battery they wear out and need to be replaced . This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold vehicle 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 Los Altos drivers have first-hand experience trying to start their car on a cold winter morning.) The two factors are that the colder your vehicle'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. Let's say it's 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees C) 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 80 degrees F (27 degrees C).

As you can see, the colder it gets, more power is needed, but the available power drops.

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 vehicle 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 vehicle manufacturer recommends but may want to upgrade if they live where it gets real cold.

And as we enter into the New Year 2023, I leave you with my quote of the week,

"Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits." ~Author unknown

Cayenne

 



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

 

Categories:

Battery

Duke Helps You Save Fuel by Watching Your Weight

duke

Happy New Year! Duke here and now that we are at the start of the new year, we are going to bark about weight.  This is not the weight you are thinking about even though I must say I need to lose a few dog pounds since the holidays.  I am talking about saving fuel by watching your weight on your vehicle.  So let's step on scale and roll into it. 

Most Los Altos drivers are all talking right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. CA folks want to save the environment and our pocketbooks.

And we Los Altos drivers all know — or should know — that preventive maintenance will help maintain maximum fuel efficiency. But is there something more we can do? After all, some of us Los Altos road warriors can't cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.

Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get around Los Altos. And that means buying more gas and producing more emissions.

Of course, your vehicle's weight isn't negotiable. And you can't do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn't an article about diet and exercise.

But look around your car. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight while driving around Los Altos? Do you really need your golf clubs every time you leave your neighborhood? Store sports equipment in the garage. Load it when you need it and store it when you don't. Who knows? The extra exercise just might reduce the other type of weight in your vehicle.

The same goes for anything else in your vehicle: make-up kits, music collections, extra electronics, spare clothing: whatever your particular extras may be. Pack it when you need it, store it when you don't.

Clean out your vehicle. You'd be surprised how much weight you're lugging around in plain old junk. Toss old papers, leftover food and regular old dirt. Even if it's not a lot of weight, you'll feel better when you get into your car. A good cleaning is also part of good car care.

Now, don't toss stuff you really do need. You do need that spare tire — the one in your trunk. And a kit of emergency essentials is not a bad idea. But just carry around the day-to-day essentials. You can pack a more extensive kit and store it in your garage, then toss it in the car when you go on a longer trip; but you don't have to lug it around all the time.


After all, are you a driver? Or are you a junk chauffeur?

Lose the junk and save some money.

Duke

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

Categories:

Fuel Economy

Cayenne Gets It Charged in Los Altos for Extended Battery Life

cay

Hello, Cayenne here, and today you will get a charge out of extended battery life for your vehicle.  So without further ado, let's get barkin' on this electrifying subject!

Here's an interesting statistic for our in Los Altos, CA, drivers: Only 30 percent of car batteries make it to 48 months. And the life expectancy varies by where you live. It ranges from 51 months in extremely cold areas to just 30 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 vehicle 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 drivers 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. The alternator just can't keep up.

The result is shortened battery life. So what can we 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 24 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 around CA 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 friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Allied Auto Works.

I leave you with my electrical joke for the day, 

"Why did the light bulb fail his math quiz?"  

"He wasn't too bright."

Cayenne

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



Categories:

Battery

Duke's Don't Do It Yourself (Perils of DIY Vehicle Repair)

duke

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, Duke here and with all the traveling you will be doing over the holidays, sometimes we want to be the DIY for our vehicles.  This can be tricky especially with all the computers and technology.  So today we will bark about the perils of trying to DIY on vehicle repair.  

Your vehicle is a complicated machine, and yes, it would be nice if you could take care of all of its problems yourself.  There was a time when vehicles were simpler and it wasn't too hard for a weekend mechanic to replace brakes, adjust a carburetor, or perform a tune-up.  But vehicles are far more complicated these days, with traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, airbags and fuel injection just a small sample of the new technologies. 

Like a lot of things these days, technology changes in leaps and bounds.  Anyone who repairs vehicles has to stay up on the latest computers, sensors, suspensions, steering, electronics, hydraulics and more.  Many power steering, braking and heating and air conditioning systems that used to be mechanical are now being replaced by electronic systems.  Computers are an integral part of much of the latest automotive technology, something you didn't see a lot of until as recently as the 1990s.

Today's most highly-trained technicians are able to keep up with how to perform the latest repairs and services by continuing education about their craft.  When once an auto repairman could do fine with a lift and a good set of tools, now specialized electronic analysis equipment and tools are must-haves when it comes to vehicle repair.

Because of how fast technology changes, access to the latest repair databases and manuals is also important.  Manufacturers require certain service procedures to be performed precisely, and any other way can leave a vehicle compromised when it comes to performance and safety. 

Your vehicle is capable of traveling at high speeds on challenging surfaces with ever-increasing traffic issues and unpredictable obstacles.  You need your vehicle to be working up to its engineered potential.  That's why you should leave repairs and services to professionals.  They work on vehicles every day, and years of experience with hundreds of repairs equip them to deal with the unexpected as well as the routine. 

When you develop a trusting relationship with a reputable service facility, you can have confidence that the maintenance, service and repairs are being done by people who know what they're doing.  Your safety and your vehicle's performance and reliability are well worth it.

Safe travels and Merry Christmas

Duke  

 

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

 

Cayenne Saving Lives in Los Altos with Tire Pressure

cay

Cayenne here and today we are going to bark about TPMS.  What is that you ask?  Tire Pressure Monitoring System, so let's get barkin' and how TPMS can help save lives.


All new passenger vehicles on our Los Altos, CA, roads now have tire pressure monitoring systems – TPMS for short. They are designed to alert you if your tires are underinflated. Since they are fairly new, a lot of people have questions about them.

First off, the most important thing is that you still need to check your tire pressure every week – or at least every time you gas up. The TPMS system alert comes in when your tire is 20 percent below the factory recommendation. So if the recommended pressure is 34 pounds per square inch, the TPMS warning won't come on until the pressure is at 28 pounds. That's significantly underinflated, enough to raise safety concerns.

The worst is tire failure. A severely underinflated tire can overheat and fail. Also, handling degrades to the point that you may not be able to steer out of trouble. Also underinflated tires wear out faster and they waste fuel. So it's costly to not stay on top of proper inflation.

What's the practical value of the TPMS system? Well, it's twofold. First, it can alert you when your tire is losing pressure due to a puncture or a bent rim. That's an important warning that you might not have gotten until next time you gassed up.

The second is that we all occasionally forget to check our tire pressure. So it's a fail-safe system to let you know there's a problem brewing.

Other things can cause your TPMS system to go off. The system also monitors itself. The sensors that are mounted in the wheels have little batteries that send a signal to the monitor. The batteries go dead over time and the TPMS system will let you know. And the sensors could break. Also road salt from our CA roads can ruin them.

There's also a hassle factor that your Los Altos, CA, tire center has to contend with. For example, when you have your tires rotated in Los Altos, the TPMS system has to be re-calibrated so that it knows which tire is on which corner of the car. Same is true for when you have new tires or winter tires installed. Flat repairs, as well.

That takes extra time. And it requires the right equipment and training. Special – and expensive – tire change machines need to be used with some sensors. It's all complicated by the fact that there are a number of different TPMS systems in use so the tire professionals at Allied Auto Works need equipment and training for each kind. Tire centers have had to raise the price of some of these basic services to offset their increased costs.

Also if you add custom wheels on your vehicle, you need to put in new TPMS sensors if your originals won't work on the new rims. If you don't your TPMS light will be on constantly and you won't have the benefit of the warning system.

All in all, the mandated TPMS systems will save lives, so they're worth the added hassle and expense.

My quote for today:  "The question to ask of any day is, "Did I make some complicated thing simple — or did I make some simple thing complicated?" ~Robert Brault"

Cayenne

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

Categories:

Tires and Wheels
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