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Los Altos Auto Repair

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Allied Auto Works(650) 968-7227

Monthly Archives: May 2020

Duke Asks: "Why Do I Need to Change My Serpentine Belt?"

duke

Happy Memorial Day on this hot California day.  Duke here and today I ask you this, "Why do you need to change your serpentine belt? "  Let's investigate this a little further before you answer.

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.”

Stay Safe and Healthy,

Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Timing Belt

Cayenne's Guide to Saving Fuel: Get Rid of Dirty Oil

cayCayenne here and it is another dog day with shelter-in-place and today I thought since most of us are trying to watch how much we spend during this period, that saving fuel would be a good place to start.  I know you might not be driving a lot right now and the price of fuel has gotten cheaper even though still here in California it is still one of most expensive per gallon in the United States.   So with all the extra time we have at home probably keeping our homes clean you might have forgotten about how dirty you car's oils can get which can cause fuel consumption.  So let's get barkin' on this dirty subject and clean house!

A lot of us drivers are asking ourselves the same question lately: how can we save on fuel? Los Altos area residents are all cutting back, if not in fuel consumption, then in other areas of our lives.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is an important way people in Los Altos can conserve fuel by improving fuel economy. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to keep the oil in our vehicle adequate and clean.

Oil lubricates your vehicle engine and keeps it running smoothly. If you're running low, there is increased friction in your engine. Friction creates drag, which means it takes more fuel to keep the vehicle motor running. This all translates to lower fuel economy.

Check your oil to make sure the engine is getting all it needs. Your owner's manual and service advisor at Allied Auto Works will tell you the proper weight and type of oil for your vehicle.

Responsible Car Care

Dirty oil grits up your engine, which also increases friction. So even if there's enough oil, you're still getting that extra drag that reduces your fuel economy. That's why your owner's manual recommends getting your oil changed regularly. It's good auto advice.

While you're checking your oil, you should take a quick look at your transmission fluid as well. Your transmission also needs clean, adequate fluid to work efficiently. An inefficient transmission also translates into lower fuel economy.

Your service advisor at Allied Auto Works will be able to check your oil and other fluids, top you off or change your oil if necessary.
Your owner's manual will have recommendations on how often you should check your oil and transmission fluid. But you can also consult with the pros at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos. The types of roads you drive on in CA, the climate where you live and the air quality in your area can all affect how often you should change your oil.

And don't forget that this will improve our environment here in Los Altos as well. Improved efficiency translates to fewer emissions. Changing your oil as scheduled doesn't just help your vehicle (and your pocketbook), it helps keep the air clean as well.

Well till next week with Duke, Stay Safe, Practice Social Distancing and Keep that Car Clean,

Cayenne

 

cay

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

Categories:

Fuel System

Duke's Easy Way to Save $$$ in the South Bay

duke

Duke here and with everything that is going on with COV-19 from health, safety, and to our economy, I thought today I would give you some advice on how to save some cash with your car.  Everyone is money conscientious right now even me with the price of beef bones and still have not seen my dog- stimulus check yet I am here to help you.  Let's get barkin' because as they say money does not grow on trees.

The hottest CA news story may be different every day, but there's one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in the South Bay. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things people in Los Altos, Cupertino, San Jose and Sunnyvale can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the environment. You can really improve your fuel economy by how you drive – but first, here's a review of things you can do for your vehicle that'll save gas no matter how you drive.

The first one for Santa Clara County drivers is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most South Bay service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask Allied Auto Works in Los Altos. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill-up. Many gas stations have an air hose, but I believe that is not free.  

Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn't let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter in reduced fuel economy. And worn spark plugs can cost about the same. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every 1,000 miles/1,600 km driven. Check the vehicle owner's manual for replacement recommendations.

The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that's messed up it can cost vehicles up to 3 miles per gallon/1.3 km per liter. And of course, there's dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That's another .4 miles per gallon/.17 km per liter right there.

One item Los Altos residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter. Adding up all of these worn, missing, or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon/4.85 km per liter in reduced fuel economy! And with current gas prices in the San Jose area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save drivers at the pump. 

Now, most vehicles aren't missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don't forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter, and other services spelled out in your owner's manual.

Allied Auto Works knows all this stuff and can tell you when you're scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Allied Auto Works – which may also be updated with recall notices and maintenance schedule items from your vehicle manufacturer.

Remember to Stay Safe and Spend Wisely During These Times,

Duke

duke

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

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne's Advice On Why Alignment Matters (Vehicle Alignment Maintenance)

cay

Good Day Everyone, Cayenne here and today we are taking the bumpy road on alignment and why it matters.  It's one of those things that can happen on a multi-day road adventure or a quick trip to the grocery store.  You hit a pothole, go too fast over a speed bump, nail a curb.  When it happens, you think, "I wonder if that was hard enough to do any damage?"  But things seem ok and you continue on your way

Keep in mind that any blow to your vehicle's suspension can throw it out of alignment.  It can be a hard knock from the road or from another vehicle, such as being involved in a minor accident.  When your suspension is out of alignment, it means that the wheels aren't all pointing where they should.  And after a while, it can make your tires wear unevenly and cause problems with steering and handling.

Let's go back to that pothole or curb you hit hard.  Even though you think there was no damage done, if you wait until you see tire wear, you may need to replace all four tires, not an inexpensive proposition.

That's why it's a good idea to make sure your alignment is regularly checked by a qualified technician. If you get regular oil changes (a MUST!), consider having an alignment check while your vehicle is in.  That's especially important if you drive roads that resemble the lunar surface.  If you buy new tires, it's also strongly recommended that you have your alignment checked. 

You can have your front wheels aligned or all four, and if your vehicle is newer, it's not a bad idea to spend a little extra for the four-wheel alignment check.  Good alignment pays off with better steering and handling, less tire wear, and—BONUS—better fuel economy since aligned wheels offer less resistance when they roll on the road.

Here is too smooth driving on the path to adventure.......we will back to normal soon, stay safe

Cayenne

 

cay

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

Categories:

Alignment
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