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: July 2022

Cayenne Is Wired! (Battery Cable Service)

cay

Hi it's your crazy hound dog Cayenne and you know sometimes I get that burst of energy in me like I am WIRED or you get it when you have your cup of JOE but how about your car?  Well, it needs to be WIRED with its Battery Cables.  So today we are going to a jolt out of Battery Cable Service.

Colder weather brings out the worst in a vehicle's battery.  On a very cold day, you may have experienced that your engine cranks slowly when starting.  But while it may be the battery itself, it may also be the parts that transfer the power to other the other electrical components, the battery cables.  After all, you have to have some way to get the current out of the battery and out to where it needs to go.

Battery cables have a couple of enemies: corrosion and age.  You may have looked under the hood and noticed a light-colored powder or crust around the terminals.  That's what happens when acids corrode the ends of the battery terminals.  Corrosion inhibits the connection and may reduce the amount of power getting to the electrical accessories to the point where they are not working correctly, if at all.

Here are some symptoms of problems with your battery cables. You might notice a clicking sound when you turn the key, some of your vehicle's electrical parts (like the sound system or the horn) don't work or, in some cases, the vehicle won't start at all.

When you take your vehicle to a repair facility, the technician will use instruments to check voltages to see how much current is getting to what location. That includes a starter draw test during which the battery's voltage is checked when the starter is cranked.  The technician will also visually inspect the cables and the charging system. To make sure the alternator is putting out the right voltage, the technician will measure that as well. 

If the problem is found to be the battery cable assembly, the entire set may have to be replaced. Sometimes they can be repaired. 

During the colder months, it's vital that your vehicle has the proper power going to its electrical components.  Having a vehicle that won't start or run smoothly is not something you want to battle with when you're already up against challenging weather.  Keep your electrons flowing… and your vehicle moving.

I leave you with my joke of the day 

"What kind of car does an electrician drive?

A Volts-wagon"

Cayenne

 

cay


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

Categories:

Battery

Duke's Automotive Tips: Diagnostic Service

duke

Hi Duke here and imagine waking up one morning with a stomach ache. You pick up the phone, call the doctor’s office and say, “I’ve got a really bad tummy ache. How much will it cost to make me feel better?” Of course you wouldn’t do that. You know that there could be a lot of reasons for your symptoms and that the doctor will have to examine you, ask some questions and probably run some tests before she can tell you what’s wrong and give you treatment options.

This same scenario plays out every day at CA auto repair facilities. When the cause of the concern isn’t obvious, the car will need to undergo a diagnostic examination. The typical car has about 30,000 parts, including several networked computers and miles of wiring. Finding exactly what is wrong can be very complicated and take some time. The most experienced technicians at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos are the ones who tackle the difficult diagnostic jobs. Once they have determined the cause of the trouble, they can work out the plan for how to fix it and tell you how much it will cost.

When you think about it this way, it makes perfect sense that, 1) the Allied Auto Works service advisor cannot provide an estimate before the diagnosis is done, and 2) there is a charge for auto diagnostic services in Los Altos. You expect to pay for an office visit to the doctor and for any necessary tests before you can be presented with your treatment options and costs; same goes for your vehicle.

We know it can be frustrating for Los Altos drivers when something is wrong with your car and you aren’t sure what is going to be involved in getting it fixed. We are passionate about helping you through the process, communicating with you at each step along the way. We have highly trained diagnostic technicians and technologically-advanced diagnostic equipment to uncover the cause of your trouble. We use quality replacement parts to help make sure you stay on the road after the repair is done. That’s our prescription for automotive peace of mind.

Give us a call and tell them Dr. Duke sent you.

And for a laugh I leave with this:

"Chocolate is good for fighting flu-like symptoms, right?" ~Keith Wynn

Dr. Duke

 



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

Categories:

Exhaust

Cayenne's Tips: Giving Your Car Another Couple of Years of Life

cay

It's your favorite hound dog Cayenne.  As the price of used cars has skyrocketed and the availability of new cars has been lean, a lot of people are holding to their tried and true older cars.  Well, I here today to bark to you how to get a few more good years out of your good friend and make them last as long as possible.  So let's get on the road and start barkin'!

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the CA news. Los Altos people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better gas mileage and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Los Alto's motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They're good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy the fact that they're paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their vehicles for 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) or more – as long as it's economical to do so.

There are plenty of Los Altos drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles (240,000 or 320,000 kilometers). We can learn from what they're doing to keep our own vehicles on the road in CA.

The Los Altos drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

That may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it's really not. First, oil is the lifeblood of your engine's engine and needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is bad for your engine.

Another reason the scheduled oil change is so vital for Los Altos car owners. It's simple – an Allied Auto Works professional is going to be looking at your car. Your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won't get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let's use brake fluid as an example, your Allied Auto Works technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or repair.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works service advisor will also visually inspect your vehicle for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car's worth.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your vehicle gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers), you'll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost some money, but they are less than new vehicle payments in Los Altos. With proper service at Allied Auto Works and regular inspections, you'll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.

I leave you with this,

"Why is it a penny for your thoughts but you have to put your two cents in? Somebody's making a penny." ~Steven Wright

Cayenne

 

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

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne Says It's Time for Differential Service at Allied Auto Works

cay

What time is it?  Cayenne here and for me it's always food or sleep time but your vehicle it could differential service time right here at Allied Auto Works.  So why you go check to see the last time you had that differential service we are going to bark about right now before we run out of time.  So let's get barkin'!

Hello Los Altos - let's talk differentials. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, your differential is on the back axle. With front-wheel-drive cars, the differential is upfront. All-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive vehicles have three differentials - front, rear and in the middle. So you see, you've got a differential (or two or three) and it needs service now and then.

What does your vehicle differential do? Well, it compensates for the differences in speed between your outer and inner wheels in a turn. Using the dimensions of a typical car, let's compare the distance the wheels travel from the start of a turn through to the completion of the turn.

The inside wheel travels about 12.6 feet/3.8 meters. How much farther does the outside wheel travel? About 18.8 feet/5.7 meters – over 6 feet/1.9 meters more. This means the outer tire has to rotate 9 times in the same amount of time that the inner tire has to rotate only 6 times - so the outer tire has to spin faster in order to keep up. The differential makes this possible.

The gears in the differential are cooled and lubricated by differential fluid. It's this fluid that needs to be serviced. Small bits of the gears break off and are suspended in the differential fluid. The dirtier the fluid, the faster the gears wear.

So your Allied Auto Works technician drains the old fluid out and replaces it with fresh fluid. Some differentials also need a special additive that is put in at this time.

So when should you have your vehicle differential serviced? Intervals vary from vehicle to vehicle – and may be as short as 15,000 miles/24,000 km – so check your vehicle owner's manual or ask us at Allied Auto Works. If you frequently drive with heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive in hot CA conditions, you may need to change differential fluid more often. Servicing your differential on schedule at Allied Auto Works can save a pricey replacement down the road.

I am going to leave you with my positive quote for the day:  

"Believe in your best, think your best, study your best, have a goal for your best, never be satisfied with less than your best, try your best-and in the long run, things will work out for the best."
~Henry Ford

Cayenne

 



Give us a call.

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

Categories:

Drive Train

Duke's Good Service and Good Fuel Economy

duke

 

Good afternoon on this beautiful day here in Los Altos and you know I went on a little getaway this weekend with my owners and I almost choked on my bone when saw how much it cost to fill up the truck......$133.89. WHAT!!!!!  That is crazy let alone it took a bite out of my bone allowance.  More at the pump and less for me....that ain't right.  Well, you know what we are going to bark about today then, improving fuel economy and saving a buck at the pump.  So let's step on the gas and bark into fuel economy!

Most Los Altos auto owners want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving economy. At Allied Auto Works, we are frequently asked, however, if it is really worth the extra effort. Just how much money can Los Altos drivers actually save?

In today's Allied Auto Works article, we're focusing on the things you can do to improve your vehicle’s economy driving around CA. We'll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at $3.50, and we'll show a chart that also shows the savings at $3.00 and $4.00.

 

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 / $3.50 / $4.00

TUNE UP 4%.12.14.16

The next item is replacing a clogged engine air filter. Your engine needs enough air to burn fuel efficiently for the best mileage. A clean air filter means you get plenty of air. The fact that the air's clean protects your engine. That can save you up to 10 percent or 35 cents a gallon.

 

DOLLARS PER GALLON$3.00 / $3.50 / $4.00

AIR FILTER 10%.30.35.40

Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to 40 percent. That's a whopping $1.40 in savings per gallon. Bring your car to Allied Auto Works in Los Altos and we'll check your oxygen sensor.

 

DOLLARS PER GALLON$3.00 / $3.50 / $4.00

FAULTY O2 SENSOR 40%1.201.401.60


Chances are that if your oxygen sensor is kaput your Check Engine light will come on. Now, there are any number of things that could cause your Check Engine light to come on besides oxygen sensor problems. But if it's on, get it checked out as soon as you can at Allied Auto Works.

Here's an easy one for Los Altos auto owners. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. That could save you three percent or 11 cents a gallon. Even a little drop in pressure will bring down your economy, so check your tires every week.

 

DOLLARS PER GALLON$3.00 / $3.50 / $4.00

TIRE INFLATION 3%.09.11.12

Your vehicle has recommended a specific weight of motor oil. The recommendation is based on engine design and will give you the best protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent in reduced economy, or up to seven cents a gallon.

Another thing Los Altos vehicle owners can do to improve that costs nothing is to toss the junk out of our trunks. In other words, clean out the car and stop hauling around non-essentials. Don't treat your vehicle like a storage locker. Dumping 100 pounds of extra weight adds up to a 2% savings at the pump.

So when you tell someone you were going somewhere anyway and they're welcome to come along, that's okay. But if someone tells you they need to come along and it's no harm to you since you were going anyway—well, now you can tell them, “Sorry, dude, but you're an extra fifteen cents a gallon!”

All joking aside, let's all do ourselves a favor and fatten up our wallets by practicing good car care and better driving habits in CA.

My gas joke for today,

"My friend was robbed at the gas station today. When the police arrived and asked, “Did you recognize the thief?” she replied, “Yes, officer! It was pump number 7.”

Duke

 

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

 

Categories:

Fuel System
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