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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: June 2024

Cayenne's Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for Los Altos Drivers

cay

Hello California on this beautiful Summer day!  Cayenne here and today I am going to inject with some schooling on fuel injection.  So let's get barkin' on this fuel-burning subject!

Los Altos residents know that engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your vehicle engine, where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine's cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.

There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with air before it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the vehicle engine.

Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional vehicle engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.

Why the big difference in power? Direct injection systems allow fuel to be squirted into the vehicle engine at hundreds of times the pressure of a conventional engine. This atomizes the fuel better (breaks it down into tinier droplets), which means more of it gets burned, which translates to more power for your engine. It also results in cleaner emissions.

Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver the right amount of fuel at exactly the time the vehicle engine needs it. They are also engineered to inject fuel with a specific spray pattern. This spray pattern allows for maximum fuel efficiency and proper atomization. Direct injection engines require a much higher degree of precision than conventional engines. For this reason, they are equipped with more sophisticated computers.

When fuel injectors get dirty, their precision drops off. The spray pattern won't be precise, and the timing of fuel delivery may be off. This decreases fuel efficiency and fuel economy as well as delivering less power to the engine.

Los Altos residents should understand that fuel injectors are not cheap to replace. Direct injection fuel injectors are even more. And we're talking about a mortgage payment to buy a set of new fuel injectors for a diesel engine.

So, keeping your fuel injectors clean is just good auto advice. The best way to do this is to change your air and fuel filters regularly and practice other habits of good vehicle care and preventive maintenance. Cleaning additives in your fuel can also help.

If you do end up with gum or varnish in your fuel system, you'll need a professional fuel system cleaning. This will clean out your whole system, including the injectors. The good news is that with proper maintenance, Los Altos drivers will enjoy better fuel economy and their fuel injectors will last for a long time.

Contact us for more tips to help you improve your performance and safety.

Wishing you all a safe and wonderful 4th of July week, I leave you with quote,

"Fourth of July — it was good enough for George Washington, it's good enough for me." ~W. C. Fields, 1933

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Fuel System

Duke's Distracted Driving

duke

Duke here, and as a hound, when I get on track of a scent, I stay on task and only that task so I don't get distracted.  I have a very high success rate by staying focused on one thing......that squirrel.  When asked, most people think they are good at multitasking. Scientific studies, however, reveal that only around 2% of the population can truly demonstrate the capacity to effectively multi-task. For the rest of us who are not so biologically wired, no amount of practice can increase our effectiveness at multi-tasking. It turns out that multitasking is almost a superpower. Think of fighter pilots: capable of maintaining their orientation in three-dimensional space and performing specific and highly complicated functions while accessing life-threatening situations and coming up with an appropriate response. Admit it – you can’t do that.

Yet, when it comes to driving, we seem to think we are very capable of safely operating a motor vehicle with myriad distractions. 77% of young adults feel somewhat confident that they can safely text and drive, while 55% claim it’s easy to text and drive. Can they possibly be right? Let’s look at some statistics.

Nearly 23% of all accidents in the United States involve cell phones. Every day, 11 people are killed and over 900 are injured in texting-related accidents. In fact, texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated. Just think back at your own experiences: how many of your “near misses” as a pedestrian or in a vehicle have involved a driver with a cell phone in their hand?

There are three types of driving distractions:

  • Visual (eyes off the road)
  • Manual (reaching for something or manipulating an object)
  • Cognitive (mind off the task of driving)

Of course, texting or using a cell phone involves all three. Eating, applying make-up, arguing and working on-board features like the stereo and navigation system are all very real distractions. You may be interested to know that hands-free cell calls are not substantially safer than using a handheld phone. Any time you glance away from the road (like looking at a text or incoming phone call), your eyes are off task for at least 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour/90 kph, you will cover the length of a football field in that time. Would you ever consent to strapping on a blindfold and driving off down the road for that distance?

So what do you do? First, accept the fact that you are not part of the 2% of all the people on the planet who can truly multi-task (if you are one of the lucky ones, you would know by now because your performance does not degrade no matter how many additional tasks are added). Next, don’t EVER drive distracted. Incoming text: it will wait for later. Juicy hamburger: eat it in the parking lot. No exceptions, ever. And don’t accept anything less from drivers of vehicles in which you are a passenger.

Another way to avoid distractions is to keep up with scheduled maintenance and necessary repairs so that your vehicle itself doesn’t become a distraction. We can help you with that.  Give us a call today.

Today, I leave you with this thought,

"The shorter way to do many things is to only do one thing at a time.” – Mozart

Duke

 

duke

 

 

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

Categories:

Auto Safety

Cayenne Breathes Fresh Air Inside Your Car in Los Altos

cay

Some say I have quite a nose for smells.  I must agree!  Hi Cayenne here, and today we are going to bark about air quality inside the car.  So take a deep breath, and let's get barkin'!

Air quality has certainly become a hot issue in our modern world. We install air filters on our ventilation systems and in our vacuum cleaners. There's a filter that cleans the air going into our vehicle's engine, so why not have one for the air in the passenger compartment?

Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers haven't been ignoring the issue. Cabin air filters are becoming a standard feature on newer vehicles. These filters can clean particles out of the air down to three microns, which accounts for pollen, dust and most pollutants. Los Altos residents who suffer from allergies or have respiratory disorders should be a lot more comfortable. And even if you don't have a medical need for the filter, the cleaner air in your car just might help you breathe better, figuratively as well as literally.

Cabin air filters are still fairly new in the Los Altos area, so you'll have to check your vehicle owner's manual to see if you have one. If you do, your routine car care must include changing the filter as part of your preventive maintenance. The owner's manual will recommend how often the filter has to be changed, but if the air where you live in CA is particularly dirty or if you're prone to hay fever, you may want to change it more often.


Your friendly service advisor at Allied Auto Works can also offer suggestions on how often to change your cabin air filter in your Los Altos area. They're the ones who actually see the dirty filters, after all.

There is no standardized location for cabin air filters. Los Altos residents can usually find them in the vehicle engine compartment or under the dashboard, but they might be somewhere else. So, the ease of changing the filter will depend on its location. Some are readily accessible, but others make you wonder how they got installed in the first place. Bring your car into Allied Auto Works and we will locate your cabin air filter for you.

However, if you have a newer vehicle, it's good auto advice to find out if it has a cabin air filter. If it does, you should change the filter regularly. A sure sign that a filter needs to be changed is that the interior of your vehicle will start to smell bad. That smell is exactly how some Los Altos drivers discovered that they had cabin air filters in the first place!

Cabin air filters are just one more way we have to stay safe, stay healthy and stay on the road in CA.

I leave you with this quote about breathing,

Breathe and you know that you are alive. ~Annabel Laity

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Cabin Air Filter

Duke's "Current" Affairs (Blown Fuses)

duke

Hello South Bay residents!  What a beautiful day here in California.  Take a nice car ride with the windows down and the wind in my face.  But wait, you may be driving along and find that suddenly your radio stops working.  There are no numbers on the display.  Then, when you get home, you notice the garage door opener doesn't do a thing when you press the button. Hmm, this was working just fine this morning.  Are the two problems somehow related?  Let's start barkin' and find out!

No, your vehicle doesn't need an exorcism. This has all the signs of an electrical issue, and when you experience symptoms like those, you've probably blown a fuse.  Most vehicles have fuses, just like most houses have circuit breakers (some houses still have fuses). They cut the power when it reaches a pre-determined threshold that could cause major damage if it was allowed to continue.  You might say fuses take one for the team.

Most modern automotive fuses are plastic with a thin strip of metal in them designed to melt when a calibrated amount of power passes through.  The philosophy is it's better for an inexpensive fuse to be destroyed than your sound system or your engine's main computer.

It can be tricky to figure out what fuse has blown and why.  Modern vehicles have many computerized electronic components; they can easily be damaged if too much electricity gets to the wrong spot.  At Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, we have technicians trained to trace which fuse has blown and why.

While sometimes a simple fuse replacement will fix the problem, other times, some other electrical components may have failed, causing the circuit to overload. Our technicians have special equipment to track down where the power problems are, get to the root of the problem, and fix it at the source.

Keep in mind that fuses are there to protect your vehicle. When they shut down your radio, garage door opener, vanity mirror, or anything else, just be thankful they're doing their job. They may have saved you from a much more expensive repair. They've sent an important signal to you about your electrical system. That's why it's good to keep up with "current" affairs.

I leave you with this thought today,

“The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.” - Albert Einstein

Duke

duke

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

Cayenne Barks About Your TPMS in Los Altos

cay

Hello Cayenne here and do you know what TPMS stands for?  No, it's not for Tasty Pork Meat Steak, that does sound good though.  It means Tire Pressure Monitoring System.  Yeah not as tasty sounding to me but important. So today we will bark TPMS and what it means for your vehicle. 

Los Altos drivers know that underinflated tires wear out more quickly. Underinflation is also a major cause of tire failure for CA auto owners. More flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances are all results of underinflated tires.

It's hard for many Los Altos drivers to tell when a radial tire is underinflated. If your owner’s manual recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your tire is considered significantly under-inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.

Uncle Sam to the rescue! A recent U.S. federal law required vehicle manufacturer’s to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System - or TPMS system - in all vehicles. Many Canadian vehicles have them as well.  The system is a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25% below its pressure recommendations.

Obviously, all of this doesn't come free for Los Altos car owners. Government studies have estimated the net costs. Of course, the TPMS system itself will cost something. Maintaining the system will have a cost, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100.

CA service centers have purchased new scanning equipment to work with the TPMS sensors and updated expensive tire change equipment to better service wheels equipped with the new monitoring systems.

Allied Auto Works service advisors have been trained on many systems and new tire-changing techniques. All of this adds up to significantly increased cost to the service center to perform what was once a very inexpensive service. So if you've noticed the cost of flat repairs, tire changes, and rotations going up, please keep in mind that it's because of government mandated safety equipment. Your Los Altos service center just wants to keep you safely on the road - and it's committed to do so at a fair price. Remember, this change will help you avoid the most common vehicle failure, and possibly a catastrophic accident.

I leave you with a quote for today,

"There's a book that tells you where you should go on your vacation. It's called your checkbook." ~Author unknown

Cayenne

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

Categories:

Tires and Wheels
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