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Monthly Archives: March 2020

Duke's For Brakes' Sake (Brake Rotor Service in Los Altos)

duke

 

Hey Duke here and think of how much abuse your brakes take. Day in and day out, they stop your vehicle when it's going fast and when it's going slow. Maybe your vehicle has been vibrating when you brake, or maybe it seems like your stopping distance is a little bit longer than it used to be.  Well, today for brake's sake we will bark about this issue.  Let's get barkin'!

Then it's time to get your brakes checked out. After all, you have to be able to stop if you want to be safe. Nearly all newer vehicles have disc brakes on the front, and many have that type of brake on all four wheels. That makes it likely you'll be getting disc brakes fixed at some time in your vehicle's lifetime.

Knowing how disc brakes work is as easy as riding a bicycle. If your bike had hand brakes, you'll probably remember a mechanism that squeezed a couple of pads on each side of your bicycle wheel when you applied the brakes. Disc brakes are similar; but instead of the bike wheel, there's a metal disc instead. If that disc is warped or has irregularities in it, it's going to vibrate.

It used to be that rotors were thick, and when they warped, a technician could "turn" them to scrape off a layer of metal so their sides were straight again. The latest vehicles are using thinner, lighter rotors with a slightly different construction. Now, it's likely that rotors that are resurfaced this way will not have enough metal left to work safely. In fact, some manufacturers advise only replacing rotors that are worn out.

Newer designs have reduced rotor prices, and in many cases, the labor cost of turning the rotors is higher than buying new. There are times, though, where your rotors can be resurfaced and still meet manufacturer specifications.

If you have a rotor replaced on one side of your vehicle, it might be a good idea to replace rotors on the other side, too.

Maybe you're looking for the new rotors to last longer than the ones that were on there. New technologies can offer a longer lifespan in a premium rotor. Armed with knowing the type of driving you do, you and your Allied Auto Works service advisors, Matt and Travis can make the best decision on which direction you want to go with your new brakes.

 

Have a wonderful day,

Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Brakes

Cayenne's Advice On "How Do You Save Gas in CA?"

cay

Cayenne here and today my advice is going to be on saving gas.....so before I run out of fuel on this subject, let's get barkin"!


No one in Los Altos, CA, likes to spend a chunk of change at the gas pump. Rising CA fuel prices, however, have spurred Los Altos drivers to focus on how to improve their fuel economy. North Americans literally drive billions of miles/kilometers less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we love our vehicles, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.

Let's look at a real-life example. This man has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four-day camping trip. Here's what he did to cut his fuel costs:

First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.

Now, this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.

So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his costs.  Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved by 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.

Here's a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Los Altos, CA. First, get caught up on your routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost fuel efficiency. If it's time for a tune-up, get it done at Allied Auto Works. That's a big item.

If your Check Engine light is on, have your service advisor at Allied Auto Works figure out why and fix it. Check Engine problems can be real gas wasters.

Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help Los Altos drivers as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra 100 pounds can cost a mile per gallon.

Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most Los Altos folks is their right foot. Zooming away from stoplights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy on CA roads and Los Altos streets: don't speed, and plan ahead.

Finally, you may have noticed that we haven't mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That's because there aren't any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of "miracle fuel saver" scams in CA. Don't shell out any to swindlers; you need it to buy gas!

Do some research and check with your service advisor at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos before spending your hard-earned cash.

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Fuel System

Duke's Brake Service for Safe Stopping in the Bay Area

duke

Whoa! Stop! It's The Duke and today's lesson is all about safe stopping with your brakes.  So let's get barkin' about this important subject.

Let's talk about something critical for all Los Altos drivers: your brakes. Your vehicle is heavy, and it takes a lot of muscle to bring it and your passengers to a safe stop – so everything needs to be in good working order.

Here's an explanation on how your disc brakes work:

The wheel hub keeps your wheel attached to your vehicle. The brake disc – or rotor – is attached to the hub and rotates with the wheel as you drive around Los Altos. Your brake pads clamp onto the rotor to slow the wheel.

The brake caliper straddles the rotor and squeezes the rotor to slow it down. The calipers contain brake pads which press on the rotor when you put your foot on the brake. The brake piston causes the calipers to squeeze and release as you use your vehicle brakes.

Your brake pads start to wear the first time you step on the brakes. Eventually, the pads wear out and need to be replaced. If you don't replace the pads when they're worn out, the metal parts of the brake will grind against the rotor and carve grooves into the surface. We've all heard grinding brakes and it's not a pretty sound.

If a rotor isn't scored significantly, your friendly and knowledgeable Allied Auto Works technician can put it on a lathe and smooth it out. If the grooves are too deep or if the rotor is warped or cracked, you need to replace it.

Sometimes brake pistons can stick and must be replaced. Typically it's cheaper to replace the entire caliper at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos than to rebuild the piston.


So there you have it – an important lesson on how your disc brakes work. If you replace brake pads on time, it will not only keep your vehicle stopping safely but could save you cash on unnecessary repairs down the road.

Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Brakes

Cayenne's Wash Me, Wash Me Right (How to Wash a Vehicle)

cay

 

Hello on this beautiful spring day, Cayenne here and you know what I really like is going to my favorite dog groomer and getting my beauty treatment.  My coat looks so silky and shiny.  I look like a new dog.  Well, your vehicle also loves to have a beauty treatment so it can look good on the road.  So today I am going to wash you over with advice on washing that car right!

 

Most would agree they'd rather drive around in a clean, shiny vehicle than one coated with a layer of dirt.  When warmer weather comes around, some of us are bound and determined to wash our own vehicles.  And to protect the paint and its luster, there are a few things to keep in mind when you get out the bucket and soap.

  • Cool body.  It's not a good idea to wash a vehicle when the body is hot.  If it's been sitting out in the sun or you've been riding around on a sunny day, make sure you cool your vehicle off by either moving it to the shade or wetting it down with cool water. The problem with washing a hot vehicle is that it's going to dry so fast, minerals in the water can form hard-to-remove spots on the paint.  And some of those can be really difficult to get out.  Best to avoid it.
  • Slippery when wet.  Make sure you wet your vehicle down thoroughly before you get the washing mitt out.  Experts keep a couple of buckets of soapy water on hand, and they use soap especially engineered to remove dirt from a vehicle without stripping off the wax that might be on it. 
  • The washing mitt.  Experts say to use a mitt with hundreds of moisture-absorbing strands on it.  Start washing at the top and move down.  If you keep dipping the mitt in the buckets frequently, a minimal amount of dirt will stick to it and that will prevent scratching the paint. 
  • Wheels last.  Wait until you've finished washing the body before washing the wheels.  Some detailers prefer special wheel-washing tools or brushes. 
  • Rinse it well.  Hose the vehicle off thoroughly to get all the soap off, then dry immediately.  Some people swear by a chamois, others like cloth better.  Cotton or microfiber towels will do.  

The next time you have your vehicle in for maintenance, you might ask Matt or Travis, your service advisors for recommendations on vehicle washing accessories.  They are usually up on the brands that produce the best results.  You may not be a detailing pro, but there's no reason your vehicle can't look like you are.

Here's to looking good!

Cayenne

      cay

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

Duke's Wipe Out! New Wiper Blades forSouth Bay Drivers

duke

WIPE OUT!   No, we are not barking about the song Wipe Out by The Safaris, we are barking WIPER BLADES!  Hi Duke here and today I will bark to how important it is to have new wiper blades especially at the start of a new season and since Spring starts on March 19 no better time than now to get you motivated and get the new wiper blades.

When people in Los Altos talk about vehicle safety, they think of tires and brakes. But do we think about our windshields? Isn't the ability to see a prime safety factor when it comes to driving around CA? Yet we often don't even notice our windshields until we can't see through them or our wiper blades fail.

It's estimated that around 46 million people are driving with wipers that won't keep their windshields clear during a storm — that's 46 million people with impaired vision during a storm. For safety's sake, Los Altos drivers need to change the way they think about wiper blades. Most of us, 78% in fact, only change our wiper blades after they fail. In other words, we don't get new ones until the old ones become a safety hazard. Instead, we need to make wiper blades part of our preventive maintenance routine.

Wiper blades should be changed twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. In CA areas that experience harsh winter weather, special blades are available that prevent ice and snow from collecting on the wiper. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Allied Auto Works about wiper blades that repel ice and snow.

No matter what blades you use on your vehicle in the winter, don't expect them to clear the ice and snow from your windshield after your vehicle has been parked for a while. Using your wipers will shred your blades and may even damage your wiper motor. And don't drive on Los Altos roads with a frosted windshield. That's a serious safety hazard. It can cause accidents, and you could be held liable.

Wiper blades are subjected to harsh conditions in CA. They're out in the Los Altos sun and in the cold. Over time, they become hard and brittle and lose their flexibility. Then they start to tear. Without flexibility, wipers just can't clear a windshield of water or snow. And torn wipers can actually scratch your windshield. Then the entire windshield has to be replaced — along with the wiper blades. It's a prime example of how preventive maintenance could have saved you repair bill.

Los Altos drivers can purchase new wiper blades at Allied Auto Works or at any Los Altos auto parts store. They cost about the same. But at Allied Auto Works we'll also throw in the installation.

Once you have good wipers installed, don't forget to top off your windshield washer fluid. If you take your vehicle in for a full-service oil change at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, your washer fluid will get topped off then. But it's good auto advice to purchase a jug of washer fluid to keep at home — just in case. And pack it in the car when you go on long trips.

While we're on the subject, Allied Auto Works advises Los Altos drivers to always fill their washer fluid reservoir with windshield washer fluid. Don't ever use water. Water can freeze in the reservoir, which can damage it. It can also freeze onto your windshield. Besides, plain water just can't get a windshield clean. Think about it. Do you use plain water to clean your bathroom mirrors? And a bathroom mirror doesn't get exposed to anything near the gunk that can end up on your windshield. Windshield washer fluid was designed to do one thing — to clean windshields. Let it do its job.

A clean windshield is not just good vehicle care for Los Altos drivers — it's also a safety feature. Let's keep it that way.

Duke  duke

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

 

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