Monthly Archives: February 2024

Duke's Automotive Tips: Alternator


Duke here, and today, on my automotive tips, we are going to get electrified about the alternator. Your alternator makes electricity to start and run your engine and all of the vital electrical systems in your vehicle. That’s everything from the onboard computers to the turn signals. And, of course, there is the entertainment system, seat heaters, power windows, and everything you plug into the power outlets. After your alternator makes enough electricity to do all that, it recharges your battery with what’s left over.

When Los Altos drivers constantly have a low or dead battery, the alternator is usually a prime suspect. However, the alternator is just one vital component of the starting/charging system, and a problem with any of the other components could be the actual cause.

In addition to the alternator, the charging/starting system includes the battery, starter, serpentine belt system and all of the electrical cables that connect them. Your Allied Auto Works service advisor has a systematic process of testing components and connections to get to the source of your trouble. The initial symptoms determine where to begin the diagnostic process, and he follows the procedure until he tracks down the culprit.

For example, diagnostic tests at Allied Auto Works could reveal that the alternator is not generating enough electricity to keep the battery charged. Is the alternator bad? Not necessarily. A worn serpentine belt tensioner could be allowing the belt that spins the alternator to slip. So, the perfectly good alternator is not spinning at the proper speed. The solution for Los Altos drivers is to replace the serpentine belt system – not the alternator.

The good news for Los Altos drivers is that our highly-trained technicians at Allied Auto Works can properly diagnose all your vehicle troubles and make the necessary repairs to get you back on the road in Los Altos.

Give Allied a call today and tell them Duke sent ya.

I leave you with my quote of the week,

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.” —Jim Rohn


Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024



Cayenne Asks "What Is a Differential and Do You Have One?"


Good day, Cayenne here,  and do you know what a differential is?  If you do, do you have one?  Well, today we will bark on this differential matter.  So as Duke and I always say, "let's get barkin!"

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Los Altos, CA, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Los Altos drivers don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of Los Altos customers' minds. It's not uncommon for drivers to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

Call Allied Auto Works in Los Altos at 650.968.7227 for information about differential service, or stop by our Los Altos, CA, auto center at 2073 Grant Road, 94024.

To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Los Altos high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That's to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It's a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Los Altos, CA area weigh between 3,000 and 6,000 pounds (1,400 and 2,800 kg) – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That's a lot of work and requires very heavy-duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.

The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So, vehicle manufacturers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.

The professionals at Allied Auto Works will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then, they’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Allied Auto Works service advisor can look up the vehicle manufacturer's recommended service interval, or you can check your owner's manual. Give us a call at 650.968.7227 for more information about your differential service.

I leave you with my quote for thought of the week,

“There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” —Mister Rogers


Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024


Drive Train

Duke Asks, " What Is the Most Distracting Food While Driving?"


Hey it's Duke and so what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around Los Altos?

Is it:

  1. A Hamburger;

  2. Dog Bone

  3. Coffee;

  4. A Soft Drink or

  5. Gummy Bears?

Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving. But if you chose 'coffee,' then give yourself an extra two points.  Coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in Los Altos and around the country. Well, believe it or not, the dog bone could be distracting if you are driving around with your favorite canine. 

Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents, over a million and a half each year!

You'll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the types of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You'll thank yourself later for two reasons: one, that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and two, you won't have to worry about getting that cinnamon roll frosting out of your dashboard after that near miss.

Keep drinks in spill-proof containers, too, so you can keep your eyes on the Los Altos road without worrying about where that spill is headed.

So, taking a food break… or filling out accident reports. We don't have to ask you which you prefer; it's a no-brainer.

My joke for this week,

What do car racers eat for breakfast?




Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024


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.