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Los Altos Auto Repair

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Allied Auto Works(650) 968-7227

Monthly Archives: August 2020

Cayenne Answers "Will Proper Auto Maintenance at Allied Auto Works Really Save Gas?"

cay

Hi, Cayenne here and you know my owners always take Duke and me in every year for our annual checkup.  Shots, check our teeth, weight check,  basically our overall health to make sure we are running good because if we keep ourselves maintained we can save costs of unnecessary vet bills.  Your car works the same way, maintain it and it can really save on gas consumption.  So let fuel up on this subject now!

Have you ever thought about all the little things we do to keep our lives running smoothly - like vacuuming? It makes a room feel fresher and more comfortable. We may not consider that we're also prolonging the life of the carpet by keeping it clean. But Los Altos drivers don't always extend those good habits into the garage. Our vehicles need regular maintenance just like our rugs need vacuuming. We may not notice a difference in the feel or appearance of the vehicle, but just as cleaning a carpet carries the hidden reward of prolonging its life, maintaining our vehicles incurs a hidden reward that becomes noticeable at Los Altos gas stations.

When it comes to reduced fuel economy, there are two culprits: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. That means that anything Los Altos drivers can do to decrease friction and increase the efficiency of their engines will translate to savings on fuel. Friction increases the amount of energy it takes to move something. So if we can reduce friction, we can decrease the amount of fuel it takes to run our vehicles. Engine oil is usually at the heart of friction problems in an engine. Too little oil means parts are not getting lubricated, which increases friction; dirty oil doesn't lubricate as well as clean oil. So one secret to good fuel efficiency is to stay on top of oil changes. Don't skip them and don't procrastinate. The same auto advice applies to transmission fluid. Keep it full and keep it clean, and your vehicle will run with less friction and better fuel economy.

If your tires are underinflated, it increases the friction between the tire and the road. Again, there is increased drag, and it takes more fuel to move your vehicle. Los Altos drivers should check their tire pressure every month and keep their tires properly inflated.

Alignment and brake problems can also increase friction. Besides saving fuel, keeping these systems in good repair has the added benefit of saving you on tires and brake pads. These items wear out more quickly when the alignment is off or when the brake system isn't in good working order. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Allied Auto Works.

The second culprit that stealthily steals our gas is inefficient fuel combustion. It depends on the engine getting the right amount of clean fuel to the right place with the right pressure at the right time in the right pattern. The key to peak engine performance is to keep the fuel system clean. Varnish and gum can build up in a fuel system, which will interfere with the fuel injectors. The fuel injectors are responsible for all those “rights” we spoke of. If they're dirty, amounts, timing, pressure and spray patterns can all get out of whack. The result? Reduced fuel efficiency. A fuel system cleaning at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos can get your injectors back on track, improving performance and efficiency.

There are a few other maintenance items that can improve your fuel economy. One is to replace your PCV valve when it gets sticky. This valve allows unburned fuel in your engine exhaust to return to the engine. Los Altos drivers can also replace worn spark plugs and dirty fuel filters. A well-maintained vehicle will require fewer repairs and save at Los Altos gas pumps.

And just think, extra cash in hand can go to some nice steak bones for Duke and me.

Cayenne

cay

 

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

 

Categories:

Fuel Economy

Duke's Guide to Tire Specs

duke

Duke here and it's time to roll in the lazy days of summer with tire specs.  Here is my guide on what to look for.

You know you need new tires, but you're not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the Los Altos service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank.

Tire size can be confusing for many Los Altos drivers. There's so much on the side of the tire, and it's hard to keep straight.

Even though there's a lot on a tire - if you know what it all means, it's actually more helpful than confusing for Los Altos tire shoppers. Let's start with the size number.

For example, let's say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters - the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio - the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road tires will have a higher number and high-performance tires will have a lower number.

The R signifies it's a radial tire. And 16 is the rim or wheel size in inches.

The 92 is the load rating index - it's the load-carrying capacity of a tire. The higher the number, the more it can safely carry. Your empty vehicle can be safe with a lower number, but you'll need a higher rating if you routinely haul heavy loads around Los Altos. The next letter is the speed rating. Not all tires sold in Los Altos are speed rated. The ratings generally follow the alphabet: the further up the alphabet, the higher the speed rating - with the exception of H - it comes between U and V (don't ask why).

There's a lot of fine print that most Los Altos area drivers probably need a magnifying glass to read. But there are a couple of other large print items of interest. One is the tread type: highway, mud, and snow, all season, severe snow, etc.

And then there are the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System markings. The first is a treadwear index. 100 is the baseline - a lower number is poorer and a higher number is better. All things being equal, a tire rated 200 would wear twice as long, on a government test track, than one rated at 100. These wear grades are only valid within the manufacturers' product line - you can't compare with others. And it's important to note that a lower rating might be just what you want - a high performance, sticky tire has a softer rubber compound and won't wear as long, but boy, will it take those corners on twisting CA roads.

The next is a traction grade. This measures the tire's ability to stop on wet pavement in government tests. A - the best, B - intermediate, C - acceptable.

Temperature grade measures a tire's resistance to heat buildup in government tests. A, B, and C - from best to acceptable.

It's safe for Los Altos drivers to go with the vehicle manufacturer's original equipment recommendations that came in your car. But if you want to make adjustments, you'll now be better equipped to communicate with your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works tire professional.

 

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer

Duke

duke

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

 

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Cayenne's Lowdown On Automobile Fluids For Your vehicle

cay

Hi all my automotive friends, Cayenne here and today we are going to flow into fluids for your vehicle


If you've walked through the automotive fluids section of an auto parts store in Los Altos, you'll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what's right for your vehicle?

As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive around the Los Altos area. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid, and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.

First, let's talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with motor oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.

Some vehicles around Los Altos come from the factory filled with synthetic oil and the recommendation to use it for life. The safe bet is to always use what the factory recommends. The recommendation is what's been proven to work in function and durability tests. The recommended oil is also a factor in determining oil change interval schedules.

Sometimes fluids are developed specifically to meet the needs of a particular family of engines. An example would be coolant. Because of the different materials used to build the cooling system, the coolant has to be formulated to protect those parts, which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, from corrosion. We've seen special coolant in CA for General Motors, Volkswagen, Chrysler, and others.

The same is true of transmission fluid and brake fluid in recent years.

The really good news is that the friendly and professional service advisors at Allied Auto Works have databases that tell them the recommended fluids for your vehicle. This takes all the guess work out. If you have some special needs, like a higher mileage engine or want enhanced performance, ask your service advisor for upgrades or additives that'll meet your needs while being consistent with the manufacturer's recommendations.

Well till next week with Duke, have a great rest of your day and check those fluids!

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Fluids

Duke's Fears and Gears (Signs of Automatic Transmission Problems)

duke

Good day, Los Altos, Duke here, and for a big hound dog like me, I do not fear much but when it comes to transmission problems I do fear car owners might not notice when there is a serious problem.  So fear not, I will shift in the right direction.  Let go into manual overdrive and start barkin!

Automatic transmissions rule. The old days of shifting your own gears are a thing of the past for most drivers.  But automatic transmission trouble can be a big inconvenience for any driver if it comes at the wrong time in the wrong place.  Here are some signs to look out for that may mean you are having transmission issues.

When you are driving, your vehicle seems to slip in and out of gear without you touching anything.  That's what some call, not surprisingly, a "slipping transmission." 

When your vehicle shifts from one gear to the next, you hear a loud "clunk." Transmissions are supposed to be nearly silent when they shift, so that noise is telling you something is wrong. 

If you notice there's a puddle of some fluid under your vehicle, your transmission could be leaking fluid.  Try to figure out what color it is (try putting a piece of cardboard underneath to capture some of the fluid).  If it is red or brown, that's a sign it could be transmission fluid. Sometimes you may smell the transmission fluid, too; it has what some consider a "sweet" odor.

You may have a warning light that goes on when your transmission fluid is low (it could be a special transmission symbol or simply the Check Engine light).  That light could also mean the fluid is too hot or has low pressure.

If you shift your vehicle into D (for Drive) and it doesn't move or slowly engages after some delay, you may be seeing the start of a serious problem.

Of course, you don't want a malfunctioning transmission to strand you at some inopportune time. So if your vehicle is showing any of these signs, arrange a time for a technician to check it out.  Not only are broken transmissions an inconvenience, but they can also be a safety hazard, too. 

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Transmission
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