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Los Altos Auto Repair

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Allied Auto Works(650) 968-7227

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Cayenne's Watching Your Check Engine Light

cay

It's another beautiful day here in Los Altos!  Hi Cayenne here and did you know that most of the cars driving around Los Altos, CA, carry more computer power than the Apollo 121 Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969?


New cars sold in the Los Altos area have as many as 12 networked computers and over five miles (eight kilometers) of wiring. In fact, for the last decade or so, auto computers have been controlling about 85 percent of your vehicle's functions.

Cars have sensors for manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold air pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed, and oxygen content. All of this electronic wizardry is pretty complicated. So how do Los Altos drivers know when there is a problem?

It's simple; the Check Engine light comes on. The computer monitors all the sensors and uses that information to decide what to adjust such as the fuel mix, spark timing, and idle speed. In addition, the computer monitors its own circuits. When it finds a fault, it turns on the Check Engine light and stores a trouble code in the computer.

It can be pretty disturbing for Los Altos drivers when the Check Engine light comes on. We wonder just how urgent it is. Generally speaking, it is not critical like a temperature or oil pressure light. When you get one of those it means STOP NOW! When the Check Engine light shows up, you should come into Allied Auto Works in Los Altos to find out what the matter is as soon as possible.

Since 1996, there has been a strong emissions control component to the Check Engine diagnostic. But if your Check Engine light flashes on and off, you know that it is more urgent and you need to get it checked immediately to prevent damage. You should slow down and avoid towing or heavy loads until you can get it checked out.

Your friendly and knowledgeable technicians at Allied Auto Works have special diagnostic equipment that will retrieve the trouble code from the computer and help him determine what is wrong. From there, we can fix it and get you back on the road.

Stop by if you're Check Engine light is on and tell them Cayenne sent ya!

cay

 

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

Categories:

Dashboard

Duke's Custom Wheels and Tires for Your South Bay Ride

duke

Duke here and today we are putting the wheels in motion.  Custom wheels and tires for your ride in the South Bay.  Now that most businesses are back open, the wheels are on the move on your vehicle.  Maybe it's time you spruce your vehicle up with something eye-catching as you roll on down the road. 

It seems like everywhere you go in the Los Altos area you see custom wheels. Big trucks, little cars, mini-vans - it doesn't matter - are expressing themselves with custom wheels. Some CA auto owners want smaller tires and wheels - some want larger - and some want them enormous. So where do you start if you want new wheels? At Allied Auto Works, we suggest you start with your budget. We know, that sounds so practical. But if the look you're after goes beyond just new tires and wheels and enters into the world of suspension modifications, you need to be prepared for the additional cost.

Let's start with something easy - you want to give your ride a unique look and the stock wheel size is just right for you. One of the concerns you will have is that the new wheels have the same offset as your vehicle factory wheels.

Your tire and wheel professional at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos can help you find the right size wheel or install adapters to make your new wheels fit. All you have to do is pick from the hundreds of styles available.

So, what about South Bay drivers who want to upsize? Well, if you want bigger wheels, but you want to keep the same overall tire diameter, that's pretty easy for the team at Allied Auto Works. The same offset concerns apply. You need to know that the tires will likely be a little bit wider than the originals and you don't want them to rub when you make sharp turns. Advice from  Allied Auto Works in Los Altos will help you avoid this.

Heading the other direction, some vehicle owners in the South Bay area like to run smaller than standard wheels and lower the suspension. All of the same fitment issues still apply as well as calibration issues. Don't think that vehicle suspension modifications are a bad thing. Many systems actually improve ride, function, and performance over the stock set-up.

Regardless of your budget, you want your vehicle to continue to do all the things you need it to do. Some of those show cars and trucks you see on TV and South Bay showrooms look good but have been modified in ways that may not suit your needs. For example, if you put large rims on your SUV with low profile tires, you may be in for busted rims if you go off-roading a lot around the Bay area. There just isn't enough sidewall to absorb the impact of thumping over rocks.

Some stuff the largest tires and wheels possible in their vehicles but have to severely restrict suspension travel so that the tires aren't rubbing all day. That can lead to a very harsh ride around CA. Again, talk with your Allied Auto Works wheel professional about all of these things: how you drive in Los Altos, what look you are going for, your budget, and what compromises you are willing to make.

At the end of the day, you're going to be rollin' out of Allied Auto Works with one sweet ride.

Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Cayenne Is Hitting The Brakes In Cupertino, Los Altos Or Where Ever You Live

 

cay

 

STOP, WHOA AND PUT THOSE BRAKES ON!  Cayenne here and today we are hitting the brakes in Cupertino, Los Altos or where ever you live.  So ease up on the brake and let's roll into this.

 

Hello Los Altos, let's talk about brakes. HittingBut the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There's also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.

Let's step back. A new vehicle or truck rolls off a local Los Altos showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.

Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles/kilometers start to add up on the vehicle. Los Altos drivers tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads and shoes on drum brakes are called the friction material. That's because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it's not until they are worn so thin as to be out of 'specs'  that they lose their ability to stop.

The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over long distances around CA, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail - a scary possibility. That's why a regular brake inspection at Allied Auto Works is important for your vehicle and your family's safety. At Allied Auto Works we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.

That leads us to brake fluid service at Allied Auto Works. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the vehicle fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at Allied Auto Works cleans out deposits, water, and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.

The tires are what connect the vehicle to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the more quickly you'll stop.

This is especially important on wet Los Altos area roads and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. CA vehicle owners need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.

So I am glad you took a BRAKE to read my blog today and found it helpful.  See you next week with Duke,

Cayenne

CAY

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

Categories:

Brakes

Duke Asks: What Happens When a Serpentine Belt Breaks?

 

duke

Duke here and today we are going to snake around the question, "What happens a serpentine belt breaks?"  Let sliver into this subject!

The serpentine belt is aptly named since it snakes around under your hood. It may lack its namesake's fangs, but it sure packs a wallop when it breaks.

The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine systems. It runs the alternator, which charges the battery; the water pump (on some vehicles), which cools the engine; the air conditioning, which cools the driver and passengers; and the power steering pump, which allows for easier steering. When the belt breaks, all of these systems shut down.

Okay, so maybe you can live without air conditioning and power steering for a while, but your battery can't live very long without an alternator, and when the cooling system goes down, your vehicle engine will overheat. That's why Los Altos drivers should never wait to get a serpentine belt replaced.

Serpentine belts are fairly inexpensive at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos. And they look downright cheap when you compare them to the cost of an overheated vehicle engine, a tow truck, time lost on the road, inconvenience, and the potential safety consequences of being stranded.

Good car care means never putting off preventive maintenance. Do yourself a favor. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works technician to glance under your hood and give that serpentine belt a quick look-over.

Duke

 

duke

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

Categories:

Timing Belt

Cayenne Helps You Budget for Maintenance in Los Altos

cay

Hi Cayenne here and today we will bark about how you need to budget the maintenance you need in your car so it doesn't break the bank and since money does not grow on trees, we could all use some help.

Sometimes busy Los Altos 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 Los Altos drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's Los Altos 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 Los Altos area auto service centers.

Los Altos drivers 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. Vehicle care in CA  simply costs more than it used to. So if you think about it, Los Altos 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 Allied Auto Works: If you like new vehicles and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new vehicle 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!

“The simplest definition of a budget is "telling your money where to go.”

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Maintenance
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