Los Altos Auto Repair

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Duke and Cayenne | Allied Auto Works Grant Road

Duke and Cayenne’s Automotive Corner

"Welcome to Duke and Cayenne’s Automotive Education Blog. Each week, Duke and Cayenne open their book of knowledge to bark with you. Check back often to see how they can teach an old dog new tricks. Never stop learning!"

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Monthly Archives: February 2023

Duke Says It's No Yolk! Rotten Egg Smell (Sulfur Smell Causes)

duke

Hey, it's the Duke and I just got back from nice run, breathing in the fresh, clean air.  But have you ever gotten in your vehicle and said what is that awful smell?  Don't blame it on the dog.  It is probably your vehicle with that rotten egg smell.  So today we will crack the mystery out of that foul smell (no yolk intended).

The pungent smell of rotten eggs can send people running for the hills.  So when that odor is inside your vehicle, yikes!  Yolks!  The good news is that a trained service technician can search the source of that smell and stanch the stench… that comes from another word that begins with S. - Sulfur.

Fuel contains small amounts of hydrogen sulfide, but they're enough to stink up a vehicle when it's not properly burned.  You may know that the smell of rotten eggs can often be a sign of a catalytic converter that isn't working the way it should.  That could be due to age, damage or an abundance of oil that's clogging it up. 

If a sensor in charge of managing the fuel has failed, the engine can run with too rich of a fuel mixture.  That can overload the catalytic converter and allow some of the byproducts to escape without interruption from the chemical reaction that is supposed to prevent them from going out the tailpipe.

There's another possibility, but it's usually only in stick-shift vehicles.  That's leaking old transmission fluid.

Catalytic converter repairs are best left to a professional. Technicians at your vehicle service facility have equipment and training that can help them pinpoint the cause of this funky fragrance.  Once the cause is found, repairs made and/or parts replaced, the smell should go away fairly rapidly.

I leave you with my rotten egg joke of the week,

Why can't a rotten egg become a comedian?

He only has bad yolks

Duke

 

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

Cayenne and H20 No! (Driving Through Standing Water)

cay

Good day to all, this is Cayenne here and in a year marked by unusually heavy flooding in North America, drivers are very aware of the possibility they may find themselves driving where water has come over the road.  It can be a daunting and frightening situation.  Flooding waters can move quickly and unpredictably, so you have to keep your wits about you when you encounter that situation.  So today we will flow into what to do driving through standing water.  Let's get barkin'!

Here is a sample of one vehicle manufacturer's guidelines on what to do.  First, the vehicle is designed to go through some water, but you must be careful.  Never attempt to drive through water deeper than the bottom of your tires.

You can get out of your vehicle to check the depth of the water, but you can never be sure that you aren't going to drive into a spot where the road has washed away.  You can't see below the surface of the water, and suddenly you could find yourself in a place where the road drops off unexpectedly.  In swift-moving storm runoff, your vehicle could literally be floating away with the current, putting your life and those of your passengers in mortal danger. 

Never go more than 5mph/8 km/hr when you drive through standing water.  That minimizes the waves you create.  If you DO find yourself in water that is touching your drivetrain components, that water can damage them.  And if you get water in your engine, it can lock up in seconds and stall.  The potential damage can be catastrophic.

You may have found yourself driving in water deep enough to reach your drivetrain components, and it's essential that you have a technician check the fluids to make sure they haven't been contaminated.  That includes engine oil, transmission and axle.  Driving with fluids contaminated with water can severely damage those components. 

The bottom line is to avoid driving through water at all if you possibly can.  Check your vehicle's owner's manual to see if there are specific guidelines for driving YOUR vehicle in standing water.  It's information that could save your life.

I leave you with my water joke of the week.  

"There are two reasons why you should never drink toilet water.

Number one. And number two."

Cayenne

 

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

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
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