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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Duke's Fuel Saving Tip: Alignment for Your Los Altos Vehicle

It's Duke again and today I am going to bark about how to save on Fuel with your vehicle's alignment!  So let's get barkin'!!!!!

duke

 



Imagine you've left Los Altos and you're up in the arctic on a dog sled.

Your dog team is pulling straight and true. You can cover a lot of ground quickly. Now imagine what would happen if one or two of the dogs wanted to go their own way and were pulling off to the side.

That would slow you down. You would have to work harder to keep the sled going where you want it. The dogs are all working as hard as before, but you're covering less ground for the same effort.

You're wasting kibble.

The same is true of your vehicle when the wheels are out of alignment. That wheel that's pulling to the side is dragging down the rest of the car; so you push a little harder on the gas pedal to keep up your speed. You're wasting gas.

So have your wheel alignment checked at least once a year. It is important to get it checked right away if you feel the car pulling to one side.

Sometimes we Los Altos residents bump a curb or hit a pothole and knock our wheels out of alignment. An accident can take the wheels out of alignment as well.

Los Altos, Cupertino, Mt. View and Sunnyvale residents need to make sure they're tracking straight. You'll get better fuel economy and your tires'll last longer.

Now, mush!     DUKE

DUKE

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

Categories:

Alignment

Cayenne Is Protecting Your Vehicle from Theft in Los Altos, Cupertino, Sunnyvale and San Jose, CA

cayI know it might not look like it, but I 'm helping protect your vehicle from THEFT!  Yes it's Cayenne here and will bark today about THEFT and how to protect your vehicle from it........so let's get barkin'!

 



Every car in Santa Clara County (Los Altos, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mt. View and San Jose) is at risk for theft. So it's up to us to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles:

  1. Common sense
  2. Visible and audible devices
  3. Immobilizing devices
  4. Tracking devices

Let's review each of these. First, common sense: you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen in CA where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it's against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.

And don't leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. Los Altos drivers would be wise to park in well-lit areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If possible, park near the end of a row and near a light. Back your car into a parking space or your driveway to make your car more visible to passersby and harder for a thief to work under the hood without being seen.

People in Los Altos should know that it's important to roll up their windows completely and avoid leaving their car in public lots for a long time. If you park in a lot that has an attendant, only give them the ignition key.

Keep valuables out of sight: purses, wallets, cell phones, clothes and even change are attractive "smash-and-grab" targets. And pay to have your Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, etched into your windows – it makes your car less attractive to a thief who wants to send your car to a chop shop.

There are lots of visible and audible devices available for Los Altos drivers. A steering wheel lock is highly visible and will deter some thieves. Loud alarms can alert you and others that your vehicle is being tampered with. But if your alarm does go off, be careful. Observe what's going on; get descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles, including license plate numbers.

Now, if you catch a thief in the act, call 911 but don't approach the person. Your safety is more important than the car.

And here's a great one - immobilizing devices. They actually shut off your car's electrical or fuel supply. So without a key, or knowing where the hidden switch is located, a thief can't drive your car away.

Finally, drivers can also get a tracking device that allows Los Altos police to track their car down and recover it quickly.

Remember, where you live, work and drive around Los Altos, CA has a great impact on your decisions. If you're in an area with high theft rates, you may want to spend more money on security systems. And check with your auto insurance company to see if they offer discounts for adding any of these items.

Of course, the common sense suggestions from me, Cayenne and  Allied Auto Works don't cost anything and go a long way toward keeping your car safe from thieves.

cay

 

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

Categories:

Automotive News

Duke Asks "Considering an Alternative Fuel Vehicle in Los Altos?"

 

 

 

dukeHey it's Duke again and have you ever thought about buying an alternative fuel vehicle?  Well today, we will bark about this issue and see if this is the type of vehicle for you.  So let's get barkin'!

There is a clear and vocal demand in Los Altos and nationally for a reduction in air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. This is what is driving the CA market for alternative fuel vehicles. There are a number of these vehicles on Los Altos area roads today, and many more being developed. Yet each of these vehicles has its own advantages and disadvantages. Los Altos auto owners should learn what these advantages and disadvantages are before running out and purchasing one of these alternative fuel vehicles at your nearest Los Altos dealership.

Los Altos drivers should carefully research the car care before buying an alternative vehicle, as it may or may not coincide with the standards for gasoline vehicles. You should look at costs and as well: these vehicles may help save our environment here in Los Altos, but that might not represent a savings to your wallet. You'll need to decide what you can afford, and what will work for your lifestyle. Also, your choice of vehicle may be affected by what fuels are available in your area. Switching to an alternative fuel vehicle is not a bad decision, but it should be a carefully considered one.

Flex Fuel Vehicles
Flex fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Because of the 85% ethanol content, this fuel is commonly called E85 in CA.

Ethanol is made from corn. So flex fuel vehicles lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. But they also raise the price of corn, which is a basic foodstuff in some areas of the world. Whether replacing fossil fuels with corn is a good idea is hotly contested right now.

One piece of Allied Auto Works auto advice before we move on: do not put E85 into your vehicle unless it has an engine designed for flex fuels. Because of the high ethanol content in E85, engines need special seals and gaskets to function properly on this fuel. Running an ordinary engine with E85 can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel
Diesel engines are nothing new on CA freeways, and many get great gas mileage. Diesel fuel can now be made from vegetable oil and other renewable sources. A diesel fuel made from algae will soon be on the market in the Los Altos area.

Natural Gas
Natural gas is less expensive than gasoline in Los Altos and burns more cleanly. Also, gasoline engines can be adapted to run on compressed natural gas, and many natural gas vehicles are already on Los Altos roads. You can even install a special pump in your home gas line to use to fuel your vehicle. If you are interested in converting your gasoline engine to run on CNG in Los Altos, ask your Allied Auto Works service advisor about it.

On the other hand, an engine running on natural gas is not as powerful as one running on gasoline. Also, the tank you need to store natural gas is large—it takes up nearly the entire trunk of your car. Further, refueling stations are still few and far between in some CA areas, or even unavailable, in many parts of the country.


Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles were all the rage in CA some years ago. But their limitations were quickly realized by Los Altos auto owners. These vehicles won't come into their own until we find ways to improve their batteries. Currently, the cars have a short range before their power runs out, and can only be realistically used close to home. However, they are easy to recharge, since they can be plugged in at home, and there are many researchers working on improving the battery technology in these vehicles. They may yet be the vehicles of the future.

Hybrids
Hybrids have been one of the most successful alternative fuel vehicles here in Los Altos and throughout the county. A hybrid gets its name because it has both a gas or diesel engine and an electric motor.

There are two types of hybrids. The full-hybrid relies on the electric motor for power, but the gas (or diesel) engine generates power for the battery. Thus, while still consuming fossil fuels, it uses less of them than a standard automobile, and also reduces harmful pollutants. Also, it overcomes the range problem of the strictly electric vehicle.

In a mild hybrid, the electric motor assists the gas or diesel engine in powering the car. Thus, it uses more gasoline or diesel than full hybrids and has higher emissions. But mild hybrids are available in larger body models like full-size pickups and SUV's.

A Note of Caution about Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
One last note before we leave the subject of alternative fuel vehicles. The battery in an electric or hybrid vehicle is not as tame as the one in a standard vehicle. They carry enough voltage to kill you. These are not do-it-yourself vehicles when it comes to preventive maintenance or car care. Only a trained technician should work under their hoods.  Our technicians at Allied Auto Works are fully trained to work on electric or hybrid vehicles.

Well I guess you did not know there were so many choices in the alternative vehicle category.  I hope my information today was able to answer questions you may have had if you have been thinking about one of these type of vehicles.  Well till next week with my favorite Coonhound, Cayenne, this is Duke!

duke

 

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

Categories:

Automotive News

Cayenne's How to Budget for Maintenance in Los Altos, Cupertino and Sunnyvale

cayCayenne here and Happy New Year to all!  I am going to start my New Year teaching you all about how to budget for maintenance on your car.  So with no further adieu......let's get barkin'!

 

Sometimes busy Los Altos, Cupertino and Sunnyvale residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around CA in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Los Altos residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's South Bay drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience; and it's likely that yesterday's South Bay drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at South Bay area auto service centers (Los Altos, Cupertino, Sunnyvale and Mt. View).

Los Altos drivers should certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Car care in CA is simply more  than it used to be. So if you think about it, Silicon Valley drivers can avoid many vehicle repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Just a bit of auto advice from Cayenne &  Allied Auto Works: If you like new cars and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new car every few years because you're afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and CA auto insurance with an older vehicle, and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for preventive maintenance you have done at Allied Auto Works, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less!

Wow this sounds like a no brainer from me, Cayenne and think about all those dog bones you could buy on the money you save..............hmmmmmm,  Til next week with DUKE

cay

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

Categories:

Maintenance

Duke's Fuel Injection Basics for Los Altos

HAPPY NEW YEAR  AND THIS IS YOUR FIRST AUTOMOTIVE TIP FOR 2017 FROM ME, DUKE!  Today it's all about fuel injection basics.  So as we always bark.......let's get barkin'!

   DUKE

 

 




All modern Los Altos vehicles come with fuel injection systems, so it's a topic Los Altos drivers need to know something about. The mighty fuel injector is a valve that delivers the gas or diesel fuel to the right place, in the right amount, at the right time; to be mixed with air and burned in the engine.

So how many fuel injectors does your car have? There's one for each cylinder. So four, six or eight for most folks in Los Altos, CA. Some vehicles have 10 or 12 cylinders. The engine control computer makes adjustments to the fuel injector as it monitors the engine and other sensors. Fuel injectors are a pretty high-tech.

Allied Auto Works can help Los Altos drivers with a fuel injector cleaning service. What's the benefit? In order to work right, the fuel injectors have to deliver the fuel at a precise pressure at a very precise time. It's that the fuel is sprayed in a particular pattern as determined by the engine design.

Over time, varnish can start to build up in the fuel injectors, effecting the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel charge. The result is that the fuel doesn't get burned as efficiently as it could. That robs performance and hurts .

What about dirty fuel – how does that affect the fuel injectors? The fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel system. It starts at the fuel tank. Frankly, the best way to keep your fuel injectors working well is to use high quality fuel. It's tempting to shop for bargains in Los Altos with fuel prices as high as they are, but major brands in the Los Altos, CA area have better detergents and additives and deliver consistent quality.

What about a good fuel filter? The fuel filter is component of the fuel system. Its job is to filter out the dirt and rust that collect in the fuel tank. If it's clogged up, the dirt will bypass the filter and head upstream to the fuel injectors.

It's to replace the fuel filter when your recommends it. That's part of a comprehensive fuel system cleaning.

There are different kinds of fuel injection systems. Port fuel injection systems, the kind most gasoline engines have, operate at 60 pounds per square inch. The injectors for the new gas direct injection engines Los Altos drivers are starting to see require 10 to 30 times as much pressure. And some diesel engines for passenger vehicles have injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch. There's no room for dirt and gum in a precision part like that.

There are a lot of good products available in Los Altos, CA that can clean fuel injectors. They're best used to prevent fouling in the fuel injectors. Many can't clean a seriously gummed up injector – that requires a professional deep cleaning, like those we offer at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos. But putting the cleaner in the fuel tank after you've had Allied Auto Works take a look at your fuel system will help keep it clean. Be sure to read the label for directions.

Give Allied Auto Works a call if you think your vehicle may be ready for a fuel injector cleaning 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:

Fuel System
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