Whoa, slow down, Cayenne here and if you can't stop fast enough to ready my blog, well maybe we need to bark some brakes today! So let's take a minute and hear what I have to bark today.
Richard Petty once told me and AutoNetTV, “You’ve gotta have good brakes. If you’ve got good brakes you can keep yourself out of a lotta trouble.”
That’s why a regular brake inspection is on every Los Altos car’s maintenance schedule. An inspection at Allied Auto Works will check your brake system and let you know if there are any problems.
Of course, if you’re having trouble with your brakes, get your car into Allied Auto Works right away. Here are some symptoms to watch for:
- Low or spongy brake pedal
- Hard brake pedal
- A brake warning light that stays on
- Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
- Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes
If you are experiencing any of these, it’s time to get your brakes checked.
There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that’s attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle.
Drum brakes are more common on back wheels. Both types have pads or shoes that press against the brakes and slow the vehicle. Brake pads and shoes are made out of very tough material to withstand the heat and force generated when stopping your car. Eventually, they wear out with use, and become too thin and need to be replaced.
If the brake pads wear away completely, you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced. That’s not only expensive, but also dangerous because your vehicle won’t stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.
Brake service will also include a check of your brake fluid. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid actives the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid means not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. You should change the brake fluid when your manufacturer recommends to avoid these problems.
There are different grades of brake pads; good, better and best. Higher grades cost more, but give better braking performance and smoother operation. It’s OK to upgrade your brake pads. But, never use a grade that’s lower than what the manufacturer recommends.
So, be sure to properly maintain your brakes, because it’s a lot cheaper than paying the body shop after an accident.
Come in to Allied Auto Works for an brake inspection before damage occurs. You can call ahead for an appointment by calling 650.968.7227.
And tell them Cayenne put the brakes on you, Till next week, this is your helpful automotive blogger
Duke here and as you know, dogs have great vision day and night but people on the other hand especially when driving don't always see everything coming and going. So today we will bark about the importance of your headlamps in your vehicle........so let's see the light, you thought I was going to say barkin!"
If you've ever been driving around Los Altos and had a headlamp go out, you've probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won't have the same brightness, which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.
To have your headlights inspected, visit us at Allied Auto Works. We're at 2073 Grant Road in Los Altos, CA 94024. Or give us a call at 650.968.7227.
Experts at Allied Auto Works recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It's easy to remember if you do it when Daylight Saving Time changes in the fall. That way you'll have bright headlamps for those long CA winter nights.
There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can't believe the difference. If you do a lot of night driving you might want to use a premium halogen bulb that filters out the yellow hues and gives a very white light that's a lot like daylight.
You may have noticed those bluish headlights on luxury cars. They are high intensity discharge or, HID lamps. They really light up the road. You can upgrade to HID on some vehicles. These cost quite a bit, but they'll last for the life of your car. If you want your friends to think you have HIDs, you can get halogens with a bluish tint - no one needs to know.
Seriously, though, night driving is all about reaction time – time to stop – time to get out of the way. You can't react to what you can't see. You need headlamps that'll give you a good view down the road and good peripheral vision as well. Your headlights need to be aimed correctly so you can see and to keep your lights from shining off into oncoming traffic.
You may have seen older vehicles with headlights that are awfully dim and maybe even yellow. That's because the plastic headlight lenses have gotten cloudy and yellowed with age. They can be replaced, but many Los Altos service centers offer a service to restore the lens that's a lot cheaper.
You can't drive if you can't see. AAA reports that nine out of ten vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlamps. So run the window squeegee over your headlights when you gas up to clear the dirt and bugs. Get your lenses restored if they need it and don't forget to replace your standard or halogen bulbs every fall.
Well I hope everything is more clear now and how important those headlamps are! Till next week, this is Duke.
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
PCV, hmmm...... what does that stand for? Pork, Chicken and Venison? No unfortunately it does not. Hi Cayenne here and today we will answer that question. What does PCV stand for and what is a PCV Valve? So let's get barkin!
Most drivers in Los Altos, Cupertino and Mt. View know something about preventive maintenance on a vehicle. We know we should routinely replace the oil and wiper blades and other fluids. But have you heard of a PCV valve ? This little car part needs to be replaced regularly or it can cause some serious problems in your vehicle engine.
PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. The crankcase holds your motor oil and is located at the bottom of your engine.
When fuel is burned in your engine, it produces waste gases that are mostly vented out through your exhaust system. But some of these gases push their way past the pistons and into the crankcase. There, these gases can mix with motor oil to produce oil sludge, which can damage vehicle engine parts through corrosion and by clogging engine passages. Los Altos vehicle owners should be advised that if the engine is running at high speeds, these gases can also cause pressure inside the crankcase to build up. This pressure, in turn, can blow gaskets and damage seals, leading to oil leaks.
The waste gases that leave the engine are comprised of about 70% unburned fuel. They used to be vented off the crankcase into the atmosphere. But starting in 1964, laws mandated that these gases be recaptured. Manufacturers began installing PCV systems, which recycled the gases into the air intake system where they could be mixed with fuel and sent to the engine to be burned.
The PCV valve is a one-way valve attached to the crankcase. Waste gases exit the crankcase through the valve but cannot enter.
Over time, the waste gases leave deposits on the PCV valve that can gum it up. So it needs to be replaced occasionally. This is an inexpensive part of preventive maintenance that is often overlooked, but which can have very expensive consequences. It's good auto advice to keep this little valve clean and working well.
In order to maintain efficient circulation, the PCV system also has a breather tube that allows clean air to enter the crankcase. This air is usually filtered through the engine air filter. But some vehicles have a separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. If this is the case with your vehicle, proper maintenance of the PCV will include replacing this element. To find out whether your vehicle has this type of PCV system, check your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at Allied Auto Works.
The PCV system reduces harmful vehicle emissions. The maintenance it requires is simple and inexpensive at Allied Auto Works. A fouled or damaged PCV system can lead to serious engine damage for Los Altos drivers.
Let's all learn to practice good car care. It's good for our wallets, and it's good for our CA environment. Now I think I will go cook me up some Pork, Chicken and Venison.
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
HAPPY NEW YEAR Everyone! 2018 is finally here. Duke here and I thought today would be a good time to start off the year with the top 10 automotive services. Make sure you are not overlooking these. So let's get barkin'!
Organization is the key to managing a busy life in CA. So setting up an annual calendar for vehicle care can keep Los Altos residents on top of preventive maintenance. But you can't just write “oil change” every few months on the calendar. Modern vehicles have many systems that are vital to the safe operation of a vehicle, and they all need to be inspected. Los Altos residents can't afford to overlook any of them.
The following is a list of preventive maintenance services that are often overlooked by vehicle owners in the Los Altos area. They are not presented in any particular order.
1. Allied Auto Works Power Steering Service. Moisture gradually builds up in your power steering fluid, which can lead to corrosion in your steering system. The fluid also gets dirty, which can gum up your steering system. The fluid needs to be replaced periodically.
2. Allied Auto Works Wheel Alignment. Wheels that are out of alignment will cause a vehicle to pull to one side. This is dangerous for Los Altos residents and can lead to accidents. Also, it causes uneven and rapid tire wear, which means tires must be replaced more often.
3. Allied Auto Works Differential Service. They are part of the drive train system that transfers power from the engine to the wheels. Damage or wear in this system can make a vehicle undriveable.
4. Allied Auto Works Cabin Air Filter. Your vehicle may or may not be equipped with a cabin air filter. Its job is to remove dust and pollen from the air that enters the passenger compartment of the vehicle. If this filter clogs, it can stink. So check your owner's manual to find out if your vehicle has a cabin air filter. If so, come visit us at Allied Auto Works and get it changed according to the recommended schedule.
5. Allied Auto Works Timing Belt Replacement. Most passenger cars and some vans and trucks have timing belts. Los Altos residents can check their owner's manual to find out if their vehicle has one. If so, you can't drive without it. And if it breaks while on the road, you may be looking at thousands of dollars of repairs. So it is important to inspect it occasionally. If your vehicle has close to 60,000 miles/100,000 kilometers or more on it and you haven't had your timing belt replaced, then you need to find out the recommended replacement interval NOW.
6. Allied Auto Works Transmission Service. Transmission fluid gets dirty and has to be replaced. If not, you risk repairs.
7. Allied Auto Works Air Conditioning Service. The refrigerant in your air conditioner needs to be replaced periodically. This fluid doesn't just refrigerate air; it provides lubrication to the air conditioning system and conditions seals. Lack of fluid can damage components.
8. Allied Auto Works Brake Service. Even if your brakes are quiet and working well, the brake fluid still might need to be changed. Over time, moisture builds up in brake fluid. Water has a different viscosity than brake fluid, so the brakes can't compress properly when there's too much moisture in the fluid — and you shouldn't need to be told how it is to drive with brakes that are compromised. Moisture in your brake fluid can also corrode parts in your brake system, causing it to fail altogether.
9. Allied Auto Works Coolant System Service. Antifreeze is another fluid that needs to be changed regularly. If not, it actually becomes corrosive and begins to damage your cooling system. Eventually it can eat holes in your radiator.
10. Allied Auto Works Fuel System Cleaning. Over time, your fuel system just gets gummed up, which can interfere with the flow of fuel in a number of ways.
Of course, your next question should be: How often do I need to get all of this done? Well, the answer varies depending on which service we're talking about, the make and model of your vehicle, the climate where you live in CA, your usual driving conditions and your driving habits.
But don't lose heart. Your owner's manual will give you a recommended service schedule for most of the service items listed. And you can get quality auto advice from your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works service advisors to help you meet the service intervals that suit your vehicle.
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
Round and round they go, Cayenne here and today we will bark about maintaining our tires.....so let's get those wheels in motion!
With the recent focus in the Los Altos area on improving fuel economy, we've been told how important it is to maintain our tire pressure.
Los Altos drivers know that tires wear out, but we want to make them last as long as possible because they're not cheap to replace. In addition to saving gas, properly inflated tires last longer. Underinflated tires will wear out more quickly.
Some people in Los Altos wonder if they should add a few extra pounds of pressure when they fill up their tires. Bad idea. In fact, there are very good reasons not to overinflate your tires. For one, the middle of the tread will wear unevenly because the full tread is not contacting the road properly. That also adversely affects your handling.
Stop by Allied Auto Works to see about tire maintenance for your vehicle.
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
Every vehicle in the Los Altos area has a sticker on the driver's side door jamb that tells you the vehicle manufacture's recommended tire pressure. This recommendation is an integral part of the vehicle's suspension tuning. A lot of engineering actually goes into the recommended tire pressure, so it's important for drivers to follow it.
What else do Los Altos drivers need to know about tire maintenance? Tire rotation and balancing are very important. Let's start with rotation. Because the front tires handle the brunt of turning forces, the shoulders of the front tires wear more quickly than the rear tires. At Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, we rotate the tires so that they all get to do some duty on the front, and they'll all wear evenly over their live.
For most vehicles, front tires are rotated to the rear and vice versa. Others recommend a cross rotational pattern. Some vehicles use an asymmetrical tire so those tires need to stay on either the right or left side – it'll say which on the tire. Some high performance cars have asymmetrical tires and different sizes on the front and rear. These can't be rotated at all. Your owner's manual will have details for your vehicle or ask your service advisor at Allied Auto Works.
How often should people near Los Altos rotate their tires? Your owner's manual will have a recommendation. Your technician at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos can do a visual inspection to let you know if it looks like it should be done. The interval is typically around 5,000 miles/8,000 km.
You know, some people don't think new tires need to be balanced. What they aren't taking into account is the wheel. Between the wheel and the tire – even a new tire – there's enough variation to require balancing.
When you add the valve stem and tire pressure monitoring sensors required on new cars, balancing is definitely important. When a tire's out of balance, it's actually hopping down the road. Los Altos vehicles with tires out of balance will feel the vibration through the steering wheel if a front tire's out of balance and through the seat if it's a rear tire.
Proper wheel balance promotes tire life and increases safety for Los Altos drivers and their passengers. Historically, lead weights have been attached to the wheel to bring it into balance. Lead gives some environmental concern, so steel weights are starting to be substituted.
The team at Allied Auto Works also wants to remind you that it is important to always use the same size tire on an axle. Different size tires on the front or on the back can lead to some real handling problems. And tire manufacturers recommend that when you get two new tires, they be installed on the rear because that's where you need the most traction to avoid spinning out.
Keep on Truckin'