Los Altos Auto Repair

Working Time: Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Allied Auto Works(650) 968-7227

TO VIEW VIDEOS CLICK ON TITLE OF ARTICLE.

Yearly Archives: 2018

Cayenne's Fuel Saving Tip: Allied Auto Works Tune Up

cayHi Cayenne here and have you ever gone 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.

Now this is no surprise; I'm going to relate the orchestra to your vehicle.  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.  Check out my video below:


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 advisors Matt and Travis at Allied Auto Works what they think.

...Just be careful not to say you want to make beautiful music together – that kinda makes us uncomfortable.  Till next week with Duke, this is Cayenne!   

cay

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

Categories:

Fuel System

Duke Asks "Need a New Battery? Call Allied Auto Works Today!"

dukeToday I thought I would get a charge out of you, The Duke here and today we will ponder on needing a new battery.  Watch my video below.

 

 

Hello Los Altos drivers! Need a new battery? There is a good chance that you do – 70% of batteries need to be replaced within four years. As your battery discharges and then recharges as you drive around Los Altos, bits of the surface of the battery plates disintegrate. As this process continues over a few years, the alternator has to work harder to supplement the battery charge. Over time, enough of the battery is damaged that it can no longer hold a charge and it needs to be replaced. This also speeds up wear on the alternator.

Your Allied Auto Works service advisor can help you determine the right vehicle replacement battery for the way you drive around Los Altos, as well as the CA climate and durability needs.

Contact Allied Auto Works for information on battery replacement.

Give Allied Auto Works a call today and tell them Duke sparked in the right direction,

duke

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

Categories:

Battery

Cayenne Schools You On How Your Check Engine Light Works

 

cayHi Cayenne here and have you ever had an experience like this in Los Altos, CA? You drive through the one of those automatic car washes. When you get to the end, where the dryer is blowing, your Check Engine light starts flashing!   You fear the worst, but within a block or two, the light stops flashing, but stays on. By the next day, the light is off.     You wonder; "What was going on?" Well, it's actually a good lesson in how the Check Engine light works........so let's get barkin' on this and  light it up!

 



Your air intake system has a sensor that measures how much air is coming through it. When you went under the high-speed dryer, all that air was blasting past the sensor. Your engine computer was saying, there shouldn't be that much air when the engine is just idling. Something's wrong. Whatever's wrong could cause some serious engine damage.

Warning, warning! It flashes the Check Engine light to alert you to take immediate action.

It stopped flashing because once you were out from under the dryer, the airflow returned to normal. Now the engine control computer says the danger is past, but I'm still concerned, I'll keep this light on for now.

Then the Check Engine light goes off in a day or two.

The condition never did recur, so the computer says whatever it was, it's gone now. The danger is past, I'll turn that light off.

Now a flashing Check Engine light is serious. You need to get it into Allied Auto Works as soon as possible. But if it stops flashing you can wait a few days, so you have time to see if the problem will clear itself or if you need to get it checked. How does the computer know when to clear itself?

Think of it this way. The engine control computer is the brain that can make adjustments to manage the engine. Things like alter the air-to- fuel mix, spark advance and so on. The computer relies on a series of sensors to get the information it needs to make decisions on what to do.

The computer knows what readings are in a normal range for various conditions. Get out of range, and it logs a trouble code and lights up the Check Engine warning.

The computer will then try to make adjustments if it can. If the computer can't compensate for the problem, the Check Engine light stays on.

The computer logs a trouble code. Some people think the code will tell the technician exactly what's wrong.

Actually, the code will tell the technician what sensor reading is out of parameters. It can't really tell him why, because there could be any number of causes.

Let's say you're feeling hot. You get your heat sensor out – a thermometer – put it under our tongue and in a minute or two you learn that you have a fever of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

You know your symptom – a fever – but you don't know what's causing it. Is it the flu, a sinus infection or appendicitis?

You need more information than just that one sensor reading. But it does give you a place to start and narrows down the possible problems.

There are reports on the internet telling you that you can just go down to an auto parts store and get them to read your trouble code or buy a cheap scan tool to do it yourself.

There are two problems with that. First, the computer stores some trouble codes in short term memory and some in permanent memory. Each manufacturer's computer stores generic trouble codes, but they also store codes that are specific to their brand.

A cheap, generic scan tool, like you can buy online or that the auto parts store uses, doesn't have the ability to retrieve long-term storage or manufacturer specific codes. Your Los Altos, CA, service center has spent a lot of money on high-end scan tools and software to do a deep retrieval of information from your engine control computer.

The second problem is that once you've got the information, do you know what to do with it? For example, a very common trouble code comes up when the reading on the oxygen sensor is out of whack.

So the common solution is for the auto parts store to sell you a new oxygen sensor — which is not cheap — and send you off on your way. Now your oxygen sensor may indeed have been bad and needed replacing. But the error code could have come from any of a dozen of other problems.

How do you know the right solution? Back to the fever analogy, do you need surgery or an aspirin? Leave it to the pros at Allied Auto Works. Give them a call and let them help you resolve your check engine light issue and tell them your canine friend, Cayenne sent you.      cay

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

Categories:

Dashboard

Duke's Guide to Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

 

duke

Duke here and how much do you know about fluids that go into your vehicle?  Are you putting in the correct fluids for your car or truck?  Well today we will spill it all out for you on fluids and using the corrects ones in your mode of transportation  so let's get barkin'!

 

 

 

 

 

Today's Allied Auto Works post focuses on using coolant. If you pour in the wrong kind, it won't protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your vehicle owner's manual. Of course, your Allied Auto Works service advisor will know the proper coolant for your vehicle.

Brake fluid is confusing for some Los Altos drivers. Back when we opened Allied Auto Works, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some Los Altos residents 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 vehicle.

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 vehicle 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 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 vehicle engine design. Modern engines have more parts and much tighter tolerances.

That's where the new grades of engine oil come in. They have to be formulated to lubricate, protect and clean all of those vehicle 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.

 

dukeWell I hope today you got a better understanding on how important all those fluids in your vehicle are and choosing the proper ones to make your ride smooth and fluid.

Duke

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


Categories:

Fluids

Cayenne Is Keeping Your Air Fresh When Driving With a Clean Cabin Air Filter

cay

Pop quiz: What is a cabin air filter?

A. A filter for your Los Altos house?
B. A fresh, piney scent?
C. A filter for the passenger compartment of your car?

Clever you, it's C.

Hi Cayenne here and you got it we are going to bark Fresh Air in your car  so let's get  nose goin'!

 


A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment of your vehicle. It filters out common CA air particles like dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, exhaust gas, odors and even sparrows.

These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.

Not all Los Altos vehicles have cabin air filters. They are fairly new on the scene in CA. Last check, about 40 percent of new vehicles sold in Los Altos come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year.

Cabin air filters make driving a lot more pleasant for people in Los Altos. Your vehicle can be a haven during our CA allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. Of course, like all filters, the cabin air filter eventually gets clogged. When this happens, your heating and air conditioning flow can become restricted. The filter can even get kind of smelly.

Check your owner's manual for replacement guidelines. If your vehicle owner's manual doesn't mention your cabin air filter, ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Allied Auto Works for a recommendation. It's usually every year or 12,000 miles /19,000 kilometers. Change it sooner if you drive in dusty conditions around the Los Altos area, or if you start to notice a funky smell coming from your vents.

The team at Allied Auto Works urges Los Altos drivers to keep their cabin air filter cleans. It may not help with your brother-in-law in the backseat, but it will make your driving experience around Los Altos more enjoyable.

cay   Come by and we'll take a look at your cabin air filter for you so you come  out smellin' fresh!  

Cayenne

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

 

Categories:

Cabin Air Filter

Duke Goes By the Numbers: Tire Replacement at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos

duke

Ever notice that your tire is covered with writing? It's like some hieroglyphic art form. Of course, Los Altos drivers know that it's not just graffiti, but to most of us, it might as well be. Would you like to know what all those codes on your tire mean? It won't lead you to buried treasure, but it could help you make a better tire purchase at your local Los Altos tire store.  Hi Duke here and today we will bark about what those numbers mean...… so let's get a spin on that and get barkin'!



Prominently featured on your tire is a set of numbers and letters that looks something like this: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The first number is the width of the tire in millimeters, or the width between the sidewalls of the tire when it is fully inflated and not carrying a load. When Los Altos drivers replace tires, they need to match this width number, or the tires won't fit properly in the wheel wells.

The 50 is the aspect ratio of the tire, which is measured by taking the height of the sidewalls and dividing it by the tread width. If you drive off-road around the Los Altos area, it should have a high aspect ratio. For high performance on the road, you want a lower aspect ratio.

The R simply means this is a radial tire.

The 92 is the load rating index, or in other words, a rating of how much load a tire can safely carry. If you frequently haul heavy loads around Los Altos, you will want a tire with a high load rating.

The last letter in our “code” sequence is the speed rating on the tire. Not all tires have this rating. In general, the closer the letter is to the end of the alphabet, the higher the speed rating. In other words, Z is the highest rating and A is the lowest. One exception: H comes between U and V. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.

If you'd just as soon ignore all of the markings on your tire, that's okay. When you need to replace your tires just ask your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works tire professional for his auto advice on the best tires for you and your vehicle. Replacing tires is a standard part of preventive maintenance for Los Altos drivers vehicles. We all have to do it sooner or later. And the better we understand what we're buying, the better our vehicle will perform and the safer we will be on CA roads. 

Remember good vehicle care is informed vehicle care,

The Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Cayenne's Cool Breeze: Air Conditioning Service at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos

 cayCayenne here and you know there is nothing like a hot summer day but sometimes the temperature can be too much here in California and you want to make sure when you hop in your car that A/C can produce that nice cool breeze.  So let's start barkin' and get the breeze on A/C systems and service!


Most CA auto owners know that their vehicles need regular preventive maintenance like changing the oil and filters, rotating the tires and refilling the washer fluid. But did you know that your air conditioning system needs routine maintenance as well? Taking care of your air conditioning system can extend its life and prevent costly repair bills.

Why is it important for Los Altos area drivers to get routine maintenance on their air conditioning system? First, the refrigerant contains an added lubricant. As the refrigerant circulates through the air conditioning system, its parts are lubricated. This constant lubrication keeps the parts functioning well. But over time, this lubricant is used up, and without it, the parts will eventually seize up and fail.

Los Altos folks should understand, however, that the air conditioner will continue to pump out cool air even without the lubricant, so you won't know the system is sick until it actually dies. So good vehicle care includes regularly checking the refrigerant and lubricant in your vehicle air conditioning system and replacing it if needed.

The second reason your air conditioning system needs preventive maintenance is that air and water can get into the system. Air, water and the contaminants they contain will reduce the efficiency of the air conditioning system and can cause corrosion of the system's parts. Keeping the air conditioning system clean is a practice that will extend its life and keep you from losing your cool on hot Los Altos days.

How often should you get a routine car air conditioner inspection? It varies from vehicle to vehicle. Check your owner's manual for the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation.

Here's a good piece of advice from Allied Auto Works for CA vehicle owners that will extend the life of their air conditioning systems: You should run your air conditioner in the winter every once in a while. This circulates the refrigerant, which lubricates the seals. That way, they won't dry out during cold Los Altos weather.

I feel cool already.  Have a great Summer Day!

Cayenne       cay



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

Categories:

Air Conditioning

Duke's Fuel Saving Tip: Tire Pressure Saves Fuel With Allied Auto Works

dukeDuke here and what a beautiful day here in Los Altos.  I thought today we would bark about your tire pressure and how it saves on fuel.........so let's get barkin' on this subject!

 



Underinflated tires waste gas for lots of folks in the Los Altos area. Think how hard it is to walk in sand – you just have to work harder because of the resistance. When your tires don't have enough air in them, their rolling resistance is dramatically increased and it simply takes more gas to get from here to there.

Always check your tire pressure when you gas up at one of our local Los Altos service stations. If they're low – even just a little bit – bring them up to proper pressure. There's a sticker on the inside of your driver's door that gives the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure.

And don't rely on your tire pressure monitoring system to alert you to when you need more air. The TPMS system is set to warn you when pressure drops 20 percent below recommendations. That's severely underinflated and you needed more air a long time ago. And if you have a slow leak – get it fixed right away at Allied Auto Works.


Get some air and save some gas.

DUKE

duke

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

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Cayenne's Cleaning The Fuel System the Professional Way at Allied Auto Works

cayDirty fuel, that's no good!  Hi Cayenne here and today I am going to bark dirty, dirty fuel systems that is.  So let's get barkin' on this dirty subject!

Your fuel system needs to be clean to do its job properly. When it gets dirty, the results are lower engine performance, reduced fuel economy and impaired safety. It can even lead to costly repair bills for Los Altos drivers. So keep your fuel system clean as part of your routine preventive maintenance.

Fuel injectors have replaced carburetors in most of today's vehicles. These injectors deliver better fuel economy than a carburetor, but they can be compromised by rust, dirt and other contaminants. They need to be clean to maintain the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume of delivered fuel so that the vehicle engine can run at peak efficiency.

There are products on the market that Los Altos vehicle owners can add to their gas tank that will help keep your fuel injectors clean. These products will keep a clean fuel system clean but have trouble cleaning a system that has already gotten gummed up.

If your fuel system needs a major cleaning, Allied Auto Works can help. We have the tools and chemicals necessary to clean up your fuel system. We can remove accumulated carbon, grit, gum and varnish and get your fuel system and those all-important fuel injectors back up to snuff. Once your fuel system is clean, you'll notice the difference in improved power and better fuel economy. You may not notice that your vehicle is now producing fewer emissions, but our CA environment will be better for it.

Los Altos drivers should consider adding a cleaning product to their gas tank after a fuel system cleaning. Those cleaners will help prevent your fuel system getting gummed up again, plus they can prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system.

Ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Allied Auto Works if your vehicle is in need of a fuel system cleaning. That kind of auto advice can save you big bucks in repair bills down the road.

Your owner's manual and Allied Auto Works service advisor can help you with other car care advice that can help improve the safety and performance of your vehicle. Allied Auto Works in Los Altos can also help you set up a schedule to perform that maintenance and help you customize that schedule so it accounts for the climate and road conditions in your area.

Los Altos drivers should remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to vehicle care, that old adage has proven itself true.

Well I don't know about you but I going to take a bath after all this dirty talk.....until next week, this is Cayenne 

cay

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

Categories:

Fuel System

Duke's Under Pressure in Los Altos: TPMS

 

dukeHey it's Duke and I am feeling some pressure lately.   Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat tire fixed in Los Altos, or have your tires rotated?  It might be the result of your TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System.  So let's get barkin' on this pressure issue!

 

 


The federal government began requiring a TPMS system on 2008 model year passenger vehicles and light trucks. Some 2006 and 2007 models may have them as well. The system has a warning light that is mounted on the dashboard that will go on if one of the tires becomes severely underinflated.

Why the new requirement? Because underinflated tires are the number one cause of tire failure. Tire blowouts cause crashes and sometimes fatal accidents. Underinflated tires also need longer stopping distance and can skid, both of which also present dangers on CA roads. Many flat tires can also be prevented by proper tire inflation, and though this may seem an economic consideration, Los Altos drivers who have changed a flat on the side of the road recognize that this has serious safety concerns as well.

Advances in tire technology, specifically the development of radial tires, has made it harder for Los Altos drivers to recognize when a tire is underinflated. At a recommended pressure of 35 psi, a tire is seriously underinflated at 26 psi. But the tire doesn't look low on air until it reaches 20 psi. This raises concerns about vehicle owners being able to tell when their vehicles are a safety hazard on the road. Hence, the TPMS.

So, like seatbelts, the TPMS system is expected to save a lot of lives. The technology has been in use in race cars for years, and now it's being mandated for all passenger cars, SUV's, minivans and pick-ups. Besides warning drivers in the Los Altos area when their tires need air, the system is required to indicate when it is malfunctioning.

This increased safety won't come without increased costs. Estimates regarding the cost of maintaining the TPMS on your vehicle run from $27 to $100. Also, there will be an added cost for tire repair. Los Altos service centers have had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with TPMS sensors and other equipment to repair tires and wheels equipped with TPMS. The pros at Allied Auto Works have to be trained to use the new equipment. These costs will have to be passed on to Los Altos drivers.

Further, whenever a tire is changed, Allied Auto Works will have to deal with the TPMS. Sensors will have to be removed, then re-installed and re-activated. Sometimes the act of changing a tire will damage a sensor, and it will need to be replaced. These extra services will come at an added charge to Los Altos drivers.

Tire rotations will require that the TPMS be re-programmed. And whenever a vehicle's battery is disconnected, the TPMS will require re-programming as well.

The TPMS itself will require attention – it contains batteries and sensors that will wear out and need to be replaced.

So, if you've noticed an increase in the cost for vehicle care at your Los Altos tire center, it may not be the economy. It could be the cost of the TPMS in newer vehicles. Before you dash off an angry letter to Congress, however, stop and consider what you're paying for. If predictions are correct, the TPMS will save lives, and that will be a benefit to all of us.

Of course, no warning system will save lives in Los Altos if drivers don't pay attention to it. And remember that the warning doesn't come on until the tire is severely under inflated; you still should check your tire pressure at least once a month. You can prevent accidents and potentially save lives without a warning system by keeping their tires properly inflated.

Safe driving!

Duke

   duke

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

Categories:

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