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Yearly Archives: 2018

Cayenne's Guide to Caring for Your Transmission

cayHello this is Cayenne and today we are going to bark about how to care for your transmission. " What is a transmission and what is it 's purpose you ask?" Well let's watch my video below and find out.

 

Most vehicles have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of Los Altos drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in Los Altos. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there's an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you're doing.

Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That's what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on CA roads. And it automatically shifts back down to climb Los Altos hills, pass or start up again.

Vehicle automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common.

At Allied Auto Works, we routinely service transmissions with six speeds and several have seven or even eight speeds. As you can imagine, this means more parts. Any they all have to fit into roughly the same space.

Transmissions are computer controlled these days, with some high end transmissions having two or three computers. Transmissions are engineered to last. But they are also engineered to tighter tolerances. If a portion of the transmission is starved for lubrication, it can lead to failure.

Not enough fluid can starve the transmission, or dirty transmission fluid can clog small passages in the transmission. Then the lubricant is blocked and can't get to all the parts to protect them, so they wear out prematurely. The technicians at Allied Auto Works see far too many transmissions that needlessly failed due to neglect.

And, as you can imagine, repairing one of these new transmissions at any Los Altos service center can be quite costly. That's why owner’s manuals have a schedule for how often you should change the fluid and what type of fluid to use.

It's really important for Los Altos area drivers to carefully follow the manufacturer's transmission service schedule.

At Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, we hope you never become shiftless in Los Altos because you didn't take care of your transmission.

Well til next week, this is your Automotive Educator Cayenne!   

cay

 

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

 

Categories:

Transmission

Duke's Advice On Fuel Injectors

dukeHappy Holidays it's Duke here and today I am going to inject you with some knowledge on Fuel Injectors.  Watch my video below and then let's get barkin' on this subject!

 

 

The last new American vehicles sold in Los Altos with a carburetor rolled out of the CA dealerships in 1990. Since then, all new vehicles here in Los Altos, and nationally, have had fuel injectors. In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much gas to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute. Fuel injectors deliver fuel far more precisely than carburetors. That translates into better fuel economy and more power for Los Altos drivers. Virtually all fuel injectors for gas engines are known as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. Port fuel injectors operate at about 40 to 80 pounds per square inch of pressure.

A few vehicle manufacturers have introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines recently. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure - hundreds of times the pressure of port injection systems. Although more complicated, direct injection technology promises greater power with improved fuel economy, so CA drivers can expect to see more of it in the future.

As Los Altos residents can see, the level of precision required of fuel injectors is very high. It's important that they operate properly in order for your vehicle to run right.

High temperatures under your hood and variations in Los Altos gas quality cause fuel injectors to become fouled with wax, dirt and carbon. Injectors can become partially clogged, preventing them from delivering the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure. The design of each engine requires a specific spray pattern from the fuel injector that might be altered when the injector is dirty. When injectors are dirty, the fuel doesn't burn as efficiently, resulting in poor fuel economy and loss of power. So it is important to keep your vehicle fuel injectors clean.

Skilled service technicians at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos can perform a fuel system service for you. That is a fuel system service - not just fuel injector cleaning. That is because the fuel has a lot of ways to become dirty or contaminated between the Los Altos gas pump and your fuel injectors. A fuel system service at Allied Auto Works starts with a fuel filter replacement. This filter cleans the gas as it leaves the tank. The various parts of the fuel intake system need to be cleaned from time to time to remove harmful gum deposits and varnish. Finally, the fuel injectors are cleaned so that they operate properly for you and deliver the right amount of fuel at the right time.


Our pros at Allied Auto Works use a process for cleaning your vehicle fuel system that includes state-of-the-art cleaning chemicals as well as some old fashioned scrubbing. Proper maintenance of your fuel system means that you will enjoy strong performance and prevent repairs down the road.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday,

Duke    

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

Categories:

Fuel System

Cayenne's Combustion Choreography: Timing Belt Replacement at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos

 

cayHello Cayenne here and  have you ever seen a ballet performance?  Have you wondered how all of those dancers manage to travel all over the stage jumping and twirling and never crash into each other? That's the job of a choreographer and your timing belt  is the choreographer of  your vehicle.  So let's get barkin to see what I mean!

Our auto engines are also highly choreographed. Pistons travel up and down inside cylinders. Valves at the tops of the cylinders open to let air and fuel in or exhaust out. These valves have to open and close at precisely the right time or the engine will run poorly if at all. The movement of the valves and pistons must be in harmony with each other. This choreography is the job of the timing belt or timing chain.

Timing belts, or chains, rotate the shafts that control the opening and closing of the valves. Timing chains are metal and durable enough that they may never need to be replaced.

Most vehicles, however, use a timing belt. Timing belts are tough and flexible, and considering the work they do, they last a long time for Los Altos auto owners . But they do wear out. If they break, the consequences for Los Altos drivers can spell disaster.

No matter what kind of engine you have, a broken timing belt will cause the engine to shut down or will lead to major engine damage. But in some engines, the valves protrude down into the cylinders enough that if the timing belt breaks, the pistons can smash the valves, bending or breaking them. If the engine is spinning fast enough, the broken parts can then shred the cylinder head. This adds to thousands of dollars of engine damage.

The only way the damage can be avoided by Los Altos auto owners is by replacing the timing belt on schedule. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing the timing belt at 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers), but others can go as long as 90,000 or 100,000 miles (145,000 to 160,000 kilometers). Check the schedule for preventive maintenance in your owner's manual. If you're due or overdue for a timing belt replacement, don't put it off. Get it done now at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works technicians probably aren't great dancers, but they can offer you some great auto advice on how to keep your engine properly choreographed. Don't hesitate to consult them about replacing your timing belt or any other car care concerns you may have.

Til next week with Duke, this is Cayenne!        https://www.alliedautoworks.com/Files/Blog/Images/blogicon01-256_zpse8a54c0a.png

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

Categories:

Timing Belt

Duke's Wasteful Thinking

duke

With the weather getting colder, you might be tempted to start your vehicle up, let it idle for 15 or 20 minutes and then get in the nice, cozy cabin.  Some vehicles offer remote starting that let you do that from the comfort of your home or apartment.  But is letting your vehicle idle like that good for it?

Hi Duke here and I thought we would ponder on this subject today so let's get barkin!

Manufacturers say it doesn't harm the vehicle.  They say it's because modern vehicles are made differently from those in the past.  Just about all newer vehicles employ fuel injection which uses computers to adjust the amount of gasoline that goes into the cylinders.  The engine gets only the fuel it needs, taking conditions into account.

Older vehicles, on the other hand, used to use carburetors.  When you started a cold engine, the carburetor wasn't able to adjust the gasoline amount depending on conditions.  Some of the gasoline would mix with oil and the pistons wouldn't get the same lubrication as they would with undiluted oil.

So yes, you can warm up your newer vehicle for your own personal comfort.  But consider how much fuel you are wasting.  That is not only throwing away money, it's a waste of natural resources.  And it puts more carbon into the atmosphere. 

Automakers have to be mindful of what fuel economy their vehicles can achieve.  So the flip side of the remote starts they offer is a "stop-start" feature.  When you stop your vehicle, even at a stoplight, your vehicle will turn the engine off.  When you take your foot off the brake and step on the accelerator, it starts up right away.  That feature can save as much as 10 percent of the fuel your vehicle uses. 

Your vehicle may not have that start-stop feature, but you can still save fuel by shutting off your engine manually if you are waiting somewhere, like a parking lot or perhaps sitting outside your child's school waiting to pick him or her up.  It saves you money and contributes to a healthier atmosphere for our planet.

Now that wasn't wasteful, have a great rest of your day!

Duke    duke

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227

Cayenne Helping Los Altos Drivers Get the Right Tires!

cayHey it's Cayenne and I'm spinning upside down today since it is all about the tires.  So let's watch this video below and get rollin!

 

Every Los Altos vehicle owner has to purchase tires at some time or another, so it's a good idea to understand what the choices are. The best seasonal performance is achieved by purchasing tires to match the season you are driving in. Summer tires are designed for hot temperatures. The tread is engineered for good traction on dry or rainy CA roads. But the rubber compound in summer tires gets stiff when temperatures drop below 45°F (7°C), and snow and mud can pack into the tread, reducing the traction of the tire.

Winter tires are designed for good traction on snowy surfaces. The tread actually throws snow off of the tire as the wheel turns. The rubber compound in a winter tire is soft so that it will remain flexible at temperatures below 45°F (7°C). At higher temperatures, however, the softer rubber wears down rapidly.

All-season tires sacrifice some of the extreme performance of summer or winter tires, but they maintain adequate traction in either type of Los Altos weather.

So your first consideration when buying a tire is where you live in CA, and where you usually drive. If you require maximum summer and winter performance you can go with dedicated summer and winter tires; you would just need to change out your tires each spring and fall.

For serious winter driving in CA, look for tires with a severe snow rating. These tires are labeled with a mountain-and-snowflake logo.

Your second consideration is the quality of tire to purchase. Summer, winter and all-season tires come in a variety of grades and styles at CA tire stores. Los Altos drivers will want to purchase a tire that will give them good wear and that will handle their driving style and road conditions. Your Allied Auto Works tire professional can give you auto advice as to which type of tire will best fit your needs.

Los Altos vehicle owners who drive off-road around CA may want to look at a high-grade tire that is designed for off-road use. These tires are designed to handle the extra wear of off-roading while still giving good performance on Los Altos streets and roads. There are a number of options to choose from so that you can find the right tire whether you are only an occasional off-road explorer or a serious rock climber.

New wheels can be purchased in the South Bay as a statement of style or to add personality to your vehicle. There are almost unlimited options. If you change the size of the wheels on your vehicle, however, you will need to get some professional help to make your vehicle compatible with its new wheels. Talk to your Allied Auto Work's Service Managers Travis or Matt for more information about tires.

Here's to rollin' down the highway,

Cayenne       cay

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

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Duke Wants You To Breathe Deep With Your Cabin Air Filter

dukeHi Duke here and with all the bad air quality we have had the past few weeks, I thought is was important to bark to you about your Cabin Air Filter and how it helps you breathe better.  So let's watch my video below on this subject!

 

Bad air quality while you're driving around Los Altos is nothing to sneeze at. But seriously, more and more vehicles these days come equipped with a cabin air filter. Since they're fairly new on the scene, a lot of folks don't know about them yet.

These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment, or cabin, of your car or truck. They do the same job as the furnace filter you have at home. They can filter out particles as small as three microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.

So your cabin air filter can clean out dust, pollution, pollen and spores to keep the air in your car nice and clean. And just like your furnace filter, they need to be replaced when they get dirty. Check your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at Allied Auto Works, but they typically need to be replaced at around 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000-24,000 kilometers).

The filter is usually either under the hood or under the dashboard. Some are a little tricky to get to, so you'll want to have Allied Auto Works take care of replacing them.

As we said, many people don't realize they have a cabin air filter and go to their shop complaining about a funky smell in the ventilation system. It turned out to be a cabin air filter that was long overdue for replacement – really dirty and starting to smell. A quick replacement and they were on their way and smelling fine.

Los Altos residents who are allergy sensitive can really benefit from a cabin air filter, as it keeps allergens to a minimum. If you're one of them, you'll want to stay on top of your filter replacement schedule.

Of course if you do a lot of driving around the Los Altos area in dusty or polluted conditions, you'll need to change your cabin air filter more often.

Here is to breathing fresh air,

Duke      duke

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

Categories:

Cabin Air Filter

Cayenne's Lecture On The Water Pump

cayHi Cayenne here and today we are going to bark about the water pump on your vehicle and what it's important function is.  So let's watch my video below and get barkin' on this cool subject!

 

Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your vehicle from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:

  • the radiator
  • the radiator cap
  • the hoses
  • the thermostat
  • the water pump

The water pump's like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout your vehicle. It's a small pump that's driven by the engine; usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear.

The water pump only operates when the engine's running. Water pump failure is pretty routine. We see it often at Allied Auto Works. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles/64,000 km, but most fail by 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Consult your owner's manual or friendly and knowledgeable service advisor's Matt & Travis at Allied Auto Works to see what's recommended.

Since a water pump either works or it doesn't, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It's possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine.

So how can Los Altos drivers tell when the water pump is failing? If you can hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump, it's got a problem. If you can see coolant in that area, you've got a leak.

Some water pumps are driven off the timing belt. They might be under a plastic cover so you can't see the water pump. Look for coolant on the driveway. If you see some, have Allied Auto Works check it out.

Most timing belts need to be changed at 60,000 miles/97,000 km – some longer. It's a good idea to change your water pump at the same time if it's one of those that's driven off the timing belt. To start with, 90% of the work's already done with the timing belt change. And if you don't and develop a leak later, you'll have to change the belt again along with the water pump because the belt will have been contaminated by the leaking coolant.

Allied Auto Works can replace a failed water pump with a brand spankin' new one or with a rebuilt pump. Rebuilt will save you some money, but ask your service advisor at Allied Auto Works what he thinks. Don't feel too bad if your water pump gives out. They will all wear out eventually. We can get you back on the road and on with your life.

Here's too the Water Pump,

Cayenne   cay

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

Categories:

Cooling System

DUKE Helps You Decipher the Menu Board: Part 2

dukeMenu, did you say menu board that means food right?  Hi Duke and no unfortunately it is not about food (my favorite subject) but more importantly the menu board and choices for your vehicle. So let's get barkin' on this subject!

CA service centers have a menu board that lists the services they provide. Some Los Altos drivers may not be familiar with all of the items on the board so here is a quick description of some of the typical services that might be listed.

Allied Auto Works fuel system cleaning: Over time, the vehicle fuel system gets gum and varnish built up. A fuel system cleaning gets rid of that and cleans out the fuel injectors. Saves gas, by the way.

Allied Auto Works headlamp replacement: Halogen and standard headlamps gradually fade. It's usually good to change them every year or so.

Allied Auto Works inspections: Los Altos drivers get inspections for many reasons. Maybe they're going on a trip or just want to make sure their vehicle's ready for a CA summer or winter. Maybe they just bought a used vehicle and want to give it the once over. An inspection may reveal some things that are broken or are getting close to having a problem.

Allied Auto Works oil change: There are several options: Some Los Altos centers offer just an oil change and new filter as an option. Most will also check and top off all of your other fluids and do a quick visual inspection with a full service oil change. In my way of thinking, the full service option is best because it makes sure you have adequate fluids and may uncover an emerging problem. There may also be options for higher mileage fluids or an upgrade to synthetic oil.

Allied Auto Works PCV valve replacement in Los Altos: PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve. It's a little part that releases pressure from the engine. It can get gummed up and that can lead to engine damage. It just needs to be changed now and then.

Allied Auto Works power steering service: Often overlooked. Your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works technician will evacuate the old fluid, clean out the system and replace it with clean fluid. Keeps the vehicle system running well for a long time.

Allied Auto Works serpentine belt service: That's the belt that powers the vehicle engine's accessories like the alternator, air conditioner, power steering and brakes. You'll want to replace the serpentine belt before it breaks, because that'll shut you down.

Allied Auto Works shocks and struts: This starts with an inspection of the suspension components. Shocks last a long time and wear out slowly, so many Los Altos drivers don't notice when it's time to change them. If they're worn or leaking, they need to be replaced.

Allied Auto Works transmission service: This involves removing the transmission fluid and replacing it with clean fluid. It's like an oil change for your transmission.

Allied Auto Works tire rotation and wheel balancing: The tires are rotated from front to back using the recommended rotation pattern. This helps tires wear more evenly. Wheels need to be balanced from time to time to keep them turning without any wobble or bounce. Helps the ride and saves tire wear.

Well after all the information,  I bet your hungry because I know I am!

Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne's Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for Los Altos Drivers

cayHey Cayenne here and today I going to inject you with knowledge on Fuel, Fuel Injection that is;  so let's get barkin' on this subject and watch my video below!

 

 

Los Altos residents know that engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your vehicle engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine's cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.

There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with airbefore it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the vehicle engine.

Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional vehicle engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.

Why the big difference in power? Direct injection systems allow fuel to be squirted into the vehicle engine at hundreds of times the pressure of a conventional engine. This atomizes the fuel better (breaks it down into tinier droplets), which means more of it gets burned, which translates to more power for your engine. It also results in cleaner emissions.

Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver the right amount of fuel at exactly the time the vehicle engine needs it. They are also engineered to inject fuel with a specific spray pattern. This spray pattern allows for maximum fuel efficiency and proper atomization. Direct injection engines require a much higher degree of precision than conventional engines. For this reason, they are equipped with more sophisticated computers.

When fuel injectors get dirty, their precision drops off. The spray pattern won't be precise, and the timing of fuel delivery may be off. This decreases fuel efficiency and fuel economy as well as delivering less power to the engine.

Los Altos residents should understand that fuel injectors are not cheap to replace. Direct injection fuel injectors are even more . And we're talking a mortgage payment to buy a set of new fuel injectors for a diesel engine.

So keeping your fuel injectors clean is just good auto advice. The best way to do this is to change your air and fuel filters regularly and practice other habits of good vehicle care and preventive maintenance. Cleaning additives in your fuel can also help.

If you do end up with gum or varnish in your fuel system, you'll need a professional fuel system cleaning. This will clean out your whole system, including the injectors. The good news is that with proper maintenance, Los Altos drivers will enjoy better fuel economy and their fuel injectors will last for a long time.

Contact Allied Auto Works for more tips to help you improve your performance and safety and tell them Cayenne sent ya!

cay

 

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

Categories:

Fuel System

Duke's Service Tip: Why Synthetic Oil Is Good For Your Vehicles

dukeHello CA!  Duke Here and  today's vehicle care topic is: Synthetic Oil vs. Petroleum Based Oil.  So let's watch my video below and bet barkin' on this slick subject!

 

Synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil. If you aren't currently using it, why not? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why, we'd need a microscope, so we'll have to settle for using our imaginations. The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is slipperier, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?

Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there's less friction. This results in myriad benefits: better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn't sludge up like conventional oil so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up. (We see that too often at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos.)

Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals for many models. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your Allied Auto Works service advisor about how you drive in and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil for your vehicle. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.

Most of us have a busy life and occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead, admit it. Since we're not perfect, doesn't it make sense to use a motor oil that's got your back?

What about price? Petroleum based oil may appear to win out on this point, but let's consider all the facts. Although synthetic oil costs more, it lasts longer, protects your vehicle engine better and increases fuel economy. You'll likely save money in the long run. If you're serious about making your vehicle last longer, consider using synthetic motor oil.

Give Allied Auto Works a call today and tell them Duke sent ya!     duke

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

 

Categories:

Fluids
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