Los Altos Auto Repair

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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: September 2022

Duke Says Just In Case Your Wondering? (Transfer Case Exchange)

duke

Hey Duke here and just in case your wondering what we are going to bark about today........It's the Transfer Case.  

Ever wonder how all-wheel-drive or 4-wheel-drive vehicles get the power from the engine to the front and rear wheels? The magic happens in what's called a transfer case.  In some all-wheel-drive vehicles, it's sometimes called a power take-off unit or PTU.

Inside the transfer case is a set of gears.  To keep those gears meshing smoothly, they must be lubricated and kept cool.  What kind of fluid does my vehicle use? Depending on your vehicle's type of transfer case, it is filled with either an automatic transmission fluid, a gear oil that's a bit thicker, or a transfer case fluid designed to be used for your transfer case.

As with all lubricating fluids, the transfer case fluid has things that break down the older they get.  They have corrosion inhibitors, detergents, and anti-foaming agents that keep the lubricant from getting air bubbles in it. Transfer cases don't have filters in them to clean out impurities.

If you don't have your transfer case fluid exchanged for fresh, you risk damage to the case, and that can run into thousands of dollars.  So the wise driver makes sure the fluid is changed according to the manufacturer's recommendations.  For many vehicles, that is every 30,000 mi/50,000 km, but some require it more frequently.   Your vehicle service facility can advise you on what your vehicle's optimal interval is.

During the fluid exchange, any metal filings that may have come off are cleaned off the drain and fill plugs that are usually magnetized to catch the stray metal pieces.

If you hear grinding noises coming from under your vehicle or if it is having trouble shifting gears or going in and out of 4-wheel-drive, those could be signs your transfer case needs service. In that case, have our technicians check it out.  The best plan of action?  Keep your transfer case fluid maintained and it should keep you heading down the road for years to come.

 

Now in case you are wondering who invented the 1st automatic transmission here it is:  

The 1904 Sturtevant "horseless carriage gearbox" is often considered the first automatic transmission for motor vehicles. Developed in Boston in the United States, this transmission had two forward gear ratios and engine-driven flyweights which controlled the gear selection.

Duke

duke

 

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

Cayenne Breathes New Life into Your Engine (MAF sensor replacement)

Good day, Cayenne here, and I love taking a breath of fresh air in the morning and also in the late afternoon when the barbeque is cooking.   Just breathe it in and believe it not your vehicle breathes in fresh air too.  So today we are going to take a deep breath and bark about breathing new life into your engine.  Let's get barkin'!

If you’ve noticed your vehicle is hard to start, stalling, or has lost power, the culprit may be a part with an odd name: the MAF sensor.  You may have never even heard of a MAF sensor, but it’s important that it be working correctly, or you may be experiencing some fairly significant engine issues.

All vehicles bring in air and direct it through an air filter before it goes into your engine, where it mixes with fuel to provide power to get you going. There’s a tube-like device with a sensor inside it that measures how much of that mass of air is passing through. That’s why it’s called a mass air flow sensor, or MAF sensor.  If the MAF sensor isn’t working right, the engine’s computer can’t figure out the right amount of fuel to mix with it, and your engine may hesitate or stall.  Sometimes this will cause your Check Engine Light to come on, and any time it does that, make sure you have your vehicle checked by a professional, so you’ll know what’s going on.

When you take your vehicle into your service facility, a technician will thoroughly check the system to see just where the problems are.  If your air filter is dirty, your MAF sensor may get dirty too, which might be causing the problems.  You may find your fuel economy isn’t what it used to be either.

There are other things that can cause the same symptoms, too, such as a leak in a vacuum hose. It’s also possible that the electrical connector between the MAF sensor and the engine has broken. 

The technician can use electronic diagnostic equipment to help pinpoint the exact problem or problems, replace worn parts, and test drive your vehicle to make sure it’s working correctly.

It’s also a good idea to make sure your air filter is changed regularly. A dirty air filter can contribute to a MAF sensor failure. One of the big benefits of having your vehicle regularly maintained at one facility, is they know your vehicle. So, they keep track of which of your vehicle’s parts should be periodically replaced before problems develop. 

If you keep clean air heading into your engine, it can help your engine work efficiently, and with the power it was engineered to deliver. Isn’t that a breath of fresh air?

I leave you with my quote of the day,

"For breath is life, and if you breathe well, you will live long on earth." ~Sanskrit proverb

Cayenne

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

Categories:

Fuel Economy

Duke's Gets A Charge Out Of Battery Replacement at Allied Auto Works

 

duke

 

Hello Duke here and welcome to Allied Auto Works. Today I thought we would create some energy and focus on batteries. It seems like everything in Los Altos runs on batteries. Of course, the batteries we're most concerned with here at Allied Auto Works are those in our customer's vehicles.  So let's get some static and start barkin' on this electrifying subject!

Just like the batteries in our smoke detectors or TV remote, Battery they wear out and need to be replaced. This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold vehicle engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live in CA, specifically how cold it is. (Many Los Altos drivers have first-hand experience trying to start their car on a cold winter morning.) The two factors are that the colder your vehicle's engine is, the more power it takes to turn the engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with.

The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient when the temperature dips. Let's say it's 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees C) in Los Altos. At that temperature, 100% of the battery's power is available. At freezing, only 65% of battery power is available, but it requires 155% as much power to start the engine as it did at 80 degrees F (27 degrees C).

As you can see, the colder it gets, more power is needed, but the available power drops.

So if you live where it's cold in CA, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it's moderate or hot. The battery that originally came with your vehicle was based on averages. At Allied Auto Works, we like to remind Los Altos drivers that they should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as their vehicle manufacturer recommends but may want to upgrade if they live where it gets really cold.

I leave you with my battery joke of the day.  

What did the Battery say on his Blind Date?

I have a lot of energy, and I am a pretty positive guy. But I do have a negative side.

DUKE



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

 

Categories:

Battery

Cayenne Turns Right, Left and Goes Straight: Wheel Alignment For Automobiles

 

cay

Hello California on this hot Summer day, it is 102 degrees today in the shade.  Cayenne here and maybe on these hot summer days you are heading over to the coast, maybe to Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay to get some heat relief, and as you are driving; you notice your car is pulling to the right or maybe the left, but for sure it is not staying straight.  Well, today I will steer your straight into wheel alignment for your vehicle.  So let's get barkin' and head straight into it.



Los Altos drivers may have an alignment problem if their car drifts or pulls to one side, the steering wheel's off center, they notice uneven tire wear or the car doesn't feel like it handles right as they drive down Los Altos, CA, streets and roads.

When all of a vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other objects around Los Altos are great ways to knock a car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels start pulling in a slightly different direction, and the problems begin.

The team at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos wants you to know that driving for an extended time when your car is out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. Sometimes the tire can be worn so badly that it will fail.

At the very least, those who drive with wheels out of alignment will have to replace their tires sooner. You could end up with premature wear to your suspension system, which can be expensive. The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars.

Now, let's discuss some alignment basics. Wheels are adjustable for toe, caster, and camber. The ideal alignment for your car was designed by its engineers.

So, what is involved in an alignment check at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos? First, there's an inspection of the steering and suspension to see if anything is bent or broken. Tire condition will also be evaluated.  Next, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack, and we take an initial alignment reading.

If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle's centerline. If the back wheels aren't adjustable, the direction they push is determined, and the front wheels are aligned to match.

Like most things, vehicle manufacturers have recommended a mileage interval to check alignment. But if you run into a curb, pothole, or something else that's given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive around the Los Altos area. It's better for vehicle owners to have their alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear; by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked at Allied Auto Works when necessary is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also ensures that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety in CA.

Come see us for more information about your tire alignment. We look forward to serving you and keeping you on the straight and narrow.

"Ever driven a car with no steering wheel?

It's pretty straight forward."
 
Cayenne

 

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

Categories:

Alignment
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