Los Altos Auto Repair

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Allied Auto Works(650) 968-7227

Monthly Archives: March 2021

Cayenne Wants a New Vehicle. Or Do I? (Vehicle Maintenance Payoffs)

cay SHOPPING......what gal does not like to go shopping for new dog toys, leash some new sweaters?   Hi Cayenne here and lately I been thinking that maybe it's time for my owner to get a new vehicle.  I mean us dogs love our car rides and the smell of new leather but do I really need a new vehicle or is the one I have depended on these past few years still in good shape.  Well we are going to dig into this a little further today to make sure we are making the best choice in this matter.  Let's get barkin' 

 

Spring is a peak season for vehicle sales; companies aggressively market new models and offer all sorts of incentives.  So you may be tempted to buy a shiny new beauty.  But should you?

If you've regularly maintained the vehicle you're driving now, you probably don't NEED a new one.  Even if your current one needs some repairs, how do those costs compare to what you'd spend on a new vehicle?

A brand new vehicle starts to depreciate the second you drive it off the lot. How much? Experts say you'll lose half of its value during the first 5 years of owning a new vehicle. So if you pay $30,000 for a new one, you'll lose $15,000 in 5 years.  That's a lot.

If you have paid off your current vehicle, think of having to start making car payments again.  Let's say your new payment would be $350 a month.  Bet you can think of a lot of things you can buy with an extra $350 a month.

Many considering a new vehicle don't factor in how much their insurance and license tag fees will increase.  You may save yourself hundreds of dollars in insurance and license tag fees every year if you keep your old vehicle.

That gets us back to the original question.  Do you need a new vehicle? The reliability and durability of most models have made dramatic improvements in the last couple of decades.  It's not unusual for a vehicle to reliably reach the 200,000 miles/325,000 km mark these days.  That's due to new engineering in powertrains, corrosion protection, and lubricants. 

The best bet to keeping a vehicle on the road longer is scheduled regular maintenance and inspection.  Replacing parts before they fail is often cheaper than waiting till they do fail; frequently that prevents a damaging domino effect that affects other systems in the vehicle. Finding a service facility you can trust and developing a relationship with that facility ensures your scheduled service and maintenance will be done correctly, minimizing breakdowns. 

Sure, at some point you may find you need a big repair that will cost more than your vehicle is worth, or rust will destroy vital components. But it's wise to use reason rather than emotion when you're making any decision about your vehicle, and sticking with your current one could be the most sensible choice.

Old things are better than new things because they've got stories in them,

Cayenne

 

cay


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

Categories:

Inspection

Duke Answers The Question: "Why Do I Need to Change My Serpentine Belt?"

duke

Duke here and I have a lot of customers lately asking me lately "Why do I need to change my Serpentine Belt?"  Well, today I am going to bark about this so let's get started!

Any Los Altos driver who understands preventive maintenance knows that “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” is bad auto advice. Replacing a part before it breaks is much less costly for Los Altos residents than repairing the engine damage that comes after a part breaks or fails. A good example of this is the serpentine belt.

The serpentine belt gets its name because of its circuitous path around the engine. The serpentine belt is driven by the engine and powers a number of systems, as follows:

1. The serpentine belt spins the compressor that generates the cool air for the air conditioning system.
2. The serpentine belt powers the alternator. The alternator generates electricity for use in the vehicle's electrical systems and to charge the battery. Without the alternator, the battery wouldn't last more than a few miles.
3. In many Los Altos residents' vehicles, the serpentine belt runs the pumps for both the power steering and the power brakes. In other vehicles, the power steering pump may be electric and the power brakes may use a vacuum boost.
4. On many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump keeps coolant circulating through to maintain appropriate operating temperatures. In some CA vehicles, a timing belt runs the water pump.

When a serpentine belt fails, all of these systems fail as well, which can lead to engine impact.

Replacing parts before they break saves money for Los Altos residents by preventing more repairs and the frustration of having your vehicle in the shop for an extended period of time. If you're looking for an adage to apply to good car care, you might remember the old story of how “for want of a nail, the kingdom was lost.”

Duke

 

duke

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

Categories:

Timing Belt

Cayenne's A Cold Day in Los Altos ??? ? Air Conditioning Service at Allied Auto Works

cay

Hello it's Cayenne and even though Spring is around the corner, the mornings are still chilly and most people are not even thinking about their A/C at this time.  Guess what, I here to bark to you that it's important now more than ever to make sure your A/C is in tip-top condition when those warmer California days come.  So let's chill and get barkin' on Air Conditioning Service with Allied Auto Works. 

Most Los Altos drivers worry about a breakdown or a tire blowout on a busy CA highway but don't worry too much about the failure of their air conditioning system. A breakdown on the side of the road can be a miserable and dangerous affair during Los Altos rush hour, but so can a long ride in a hot vehicle.

A lot of Los Altos drivers judge their vehicles' air conditioning systems as “non-essential” and so may neglect them in favor of repairs and maintenance that keep the vehicle running. But preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is simple and inexpensive, while auto a/c repair can be very expensive.

Los Altos drivers should have the refrigerant in their air conditioning system checked regularly to ensure it is adequate and clean. Air conditioning systems often fail because air and water have contaminated the refrigerant. Air reduces the efficiency of the refrigerant, and water can cause rusting of the system's components. If your refrigerant is contaminated, the system should be evacuated and recharged. This will actually extend the life of your air conditioning system, preventing repairs, and keep it at peak performance.

At Allied Auto Works, we advise our Los Altos customers to run their air conditioner periodically in the winter. This will keep the seals from drying out and cracking, saving them the inconvenience of this relatively minor repair.

Check with your vehicle owner's manual or with your friendly service advisor, Matt at Allied Auto Works for information about how often your vehicle air conditioning system should be serviced.

 

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. ~Proverb

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Air Conditioning

Duke's Severe Service Requirements

duke

Duke here and can you believe it; March has finally arrived and restrictions are lifting during this challenging time which also means you will be driving more.  A lot of my dog friends have asked me if their owners should be using their severe service maintenance schedule, which is in the owner's vehicle manual. It can be somewhat confusing, so I decided to consult an expert, Cricket Killingsworth.......so let's get barkin' with her today!

Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She's been in the automotive business for over 30 years and is a speaker, a trainer, and a writer.

Cricket says there's so much confusion on this topic because "Most owner's manuals actually have two maintenance schedules. Sometimes these are called 'regular service' and 'severe service.' Sometimes they're simply called Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. A severe service schedule recommends that things like an oil change, air filter replacement, and transmission service be done more often: either in fewer miles or in less time."

Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers create a specific schedule for each vehicle they manufacture. So there isn't one generic schedule that applies to all vehicles. In addition to your owner's manual, Los Altos automotive repair centers (including Allied Auto Works) subscribe to information services that provide the auto maintenance schedules for every vehicle - so they can help Los Altos drivers know when to take care of needed services. Below is a typical definition of severe service.

  • Most trips are less than four miles/six and a half kilometers
  • Most trips are less than 10 miles/16 km and outside temperatures are below freezing
  • You drive regularly in very hot CA weather
  • The engine is at low speed most of the time (not on the freeway)
  • Stop and go driving
  • You drive in dusty or muddy conditions
  • You routinely tow a trailer, haul heavy loads or carry a car-top carrier around Los Altos

It's common sense for Los Altos drivers: Just a few minutes at higher speeds allows the moisture in the oil to evaporate. Very short trips, or trips of less than 10 miles when it's very cold, don't allow the engine to heat up enough to get rid of the water. And water in the oil leads to damaging sludge. Also, towing and heavy loads raise operating temperatures and cause fluids to break down faster. Dusty and muddy driving around Los Altos means that more dirt will get past the air filter to contaminate the fuel system and engine oil.

The bottom line is that you need to decide for yourself if the regular or severe service schedule is right for you, based on your driving habits. Look at your owner's manual or talk with your Allied Auto Works service advisor who can help you know which schedule to follow.

Here is what a fleet manager said recently: "Since city miles are generally tougher on vehicles than highway miles, we use the manufacturer's severe service schedule as the basis for our preventative maintenance program. We massage those schedules over time, increasing or decreasing the service intervals so that they make the most sense. There is a little bit of art to go along with the science."

Make an honest evaluation of your driving habits. Unless you do mostly CA highway driving in moderate weather, you'll likely have a fairly good amount of severe service mixed in. Some Los Altos drivers just want to play it safe and follow the severe service recommendations, rather than analyzing how they drive each month.

Ask us for help evaluating your driving and service needs and tell them Duke sent ya,

Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Maintenance
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