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 2023

Duke's Advice "Change is Good!" (Oil Change)

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Duke here, and you've heard that expression: change is good.  When it comes to your vehicle's oil, change is not only good, it's vital for the health of the engine.  But there's one question that puzzles many drivers: how frequently should my vehicle's oil be changed? There is not one simple answer, but I'm here to bark to you about some guidelines that will help. So let's change it up and roll into this topic!

It used to be pretty much a rule of thumb that vehicles got their oil changed once every 3 months or 3,000 miles/5,000 kilometers.  But times have changed.  Oil formulations have gotten better and engine designs have made longer oil change intervals possible. 

Most experts advise you to read the recommendations from the manufacturer that designed and built your vehicle.  Their designers and engineers know more about your vehicle than anyone else.  They spell out their recommended oil change interval and type of oil in your owner's manual.  Many automakers say you can go at least 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers between oil changes and recommend even longer intervals.  If you use synthetic oil, it doesn't have to be changed as often. 

Ever wonder why you have to change your oil?  Your vehicle lives in a dirty environment.  Contaminants build up in your engine oil and, after time, inhibit the oil's lubricating properties.  Without optimal lubrication, increased friction inside the engine starts wearing down the metal parts, shortening the engine's life.

Not only do vehicle manufacturers recommend oil change intervals in the manual, but many also now alert drivers by a light or other electronic indicator on your dash.  It doesn't exactly say, "Hey, time to get your oil changed. This oil's starting to wear on me." But it does give you a pretty good hint.  Some of these warning systems simply measure the distance you've traveled.  More sophisticated vehicles have sensors that measure temperature, driving time, and engine revolutions to determine when the oil is getting past its useful life.  Here's one situation where it's easy to see the light.  Do yourself a favor, and don't wait too long before coming in for an appointment at Allied Auto Works. 

Oh, and driving habits matter, too.  Short trips with a lot of stop-and-go driving will stress your engine and oil more than longer trips at highway speeds. 

And here's another plus side to regularly changing your oil at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos.  Our technician will also keep an eye on the rest of your vehicle to spot anything that might need attention.

The bottom line is this: Oil changes are good for your vehicle in so many ways and are probably the most important maintenance service you can get.

I leave you with this famous "change" quote for the week,

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." — John F. Kennedy

Duke

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

Categories:

Oil Change

Cayenne Is Exhausted! (Exhaust Service)

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YAWN!  Cayenne here, and I am exhausted from my busy week getting ready to do my weekly blog. You know it was exhausting because it is about Exhaust Service.  So before I go back and take another snooze, we better bark about Exhaust Service now. 

Most of us know a bad muffler when we hear it.  That loud, rumbling sound is unmistakable. Did you also know you can get a ticket for driving with a loud exhaust system?

If your exhaust system has a leak, it may be allowing poisonous gases inside your vehicle and could make you seriously ill (or even kill you!) if you breathe too much in.

Unfortunately, your exhaust system faces a lot of destructive forces out on the road.  Rust is the worst, not just in colder climates where salt and brine are used as de-icers.  Exhaust systems can rust from the inside out when moisture condenses inside the pipes.  Vibrations and jolts from rough roads (and the occasional run-in with a rock or a curb) can wreak havoc with exhaust systems.  Even a bad oxygen sensor can send too much fuel into the catalytic converter, and the resulting heat can wind up destroying this very expensive component.

Your exhaust system is made up of several parts, and all need to be in good shape in order for you to be sure that the gases created by your engine's combustion get properly moved out and away from the vehicle. The good news is that many newer exhaust systems are made of durable materials like stainless steel.  But all exhaust systems are subjected to some of the roughest elements streets can dish out. So having your exhaust system periodically inspected and serviced is a good idea.

There are a lot of parts to keep track of in an exhaust system, including the muffler, manifold, catalytic converter, oxygen sensors, and the muffler (or maybe your vehicle has more than one).  We strongly recommend having your exhaust system periodically checked so we can catch a problem before it turns into something major… and may be dangerous.  We can recommend repair or replacement that suits your driving habits and budget. 

Oh, and remember one final benefit to a tip-top-shaped exhaust system.  Your vehicle will dump far less pollution into the atmosphere if it's working the way engineers designed it.  We'll all breathe a little easier when our exhaust systems are doing their job right.

I leave you with my exhausted joke for this week,

What's the difference between tired and exhausted?

When you run in front of a car, you get tired

When you run behind a car, you get exhausted.
 
Cayenne

 

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

Categories:

Exhaust

Duke Shakes It up in Los Altos!: Why Wheel Balancing

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Duke here, and you know our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, we generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to balance a vehicle's wheels.  So today, we are going to bark about wheel balancing and how to stop the shakes.  Let's get barkin'!

A tire is usually out of balance when mounted onto a wheel. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, Los Altos drivers want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your technician at Allied Auto Works spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counterbalance the uneven weight. Most people in Los Altos are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.

High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll, and tires can become unbalanced. Los Altos drivers can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. You'll feel a vibration in your seat if a back tire is unbalanced. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your vehicle — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you've lost a balancing weight.

The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph/97 kmh. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the road rather than rolling. So, at 60 mph/97 kph, it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's what creates the vibration. When tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components, and suspension parts.

Getting a balance job at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos can prevent repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your vehicle as well as its handling performance. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at Allied Auto Works, you'll also need to get your tires balanced. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced, too.

However, some Los Altos vehicle owners only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner's manual to see what is recommended for your vehicle. Balancing your tires is part of preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many components. So practice good vehicle care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It's quality auto advice from Allied Auto Works. Massage chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle Los Altos drivers' nerves.

I leave you with my empowering quote for this week,

"Someday is not a day of the week." --Denise Brennan-Nelson

Duke

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

 

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Cayenne's E-85 Fuel Safety Advice at Allied Auto Works

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Today at Duke and Cayenne's Automotive Corner, we want to bark with you about a very important safety issue: E-85 Fuel advice. This automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: firefighting experts. You've probably heard of E-85 gasoline being offered in the Los Altos area. Some newer vehicle models are specifically built to run on E-85 – the rest are not.  So let's spark the conversation and start barkin'!

Does your vehicle use E-85 gasoline? Bring it down to Allied Auto Works at 2073 Grant Road in Los Altos, CA 94024, to find out, or give us a call to make an appointment by calling 650.968.7227.

E-85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption. E-85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, a grain-based alcohol, and 15% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. The result is lower exhaust emissions to our local Los Altos community.

All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol; in fact, a lot of gasoline sold in the Los Altos, CA, area contains some ethanol. The problem comes when well-meaning residents without Flex Fuel-certified vehicles put E-85 into the tank.

At a 15% concentration, the potential for problems arises. Because of the chemical differences between ethanol and gasoline, special seals and gaskets are needed for Flex Fuel vehicles. In a normal engine, the ethanol in E-85 gas will eat away seals and gaskets. This leads to gas and oil leaks.

Your Los Altos auto owners can imagine the fire hazard caused by leaking gasoline. CA fire fighting experts caution drivers to only use E-85 if they know their vehicle is certified to handle it. They expect vehicle fires to increase because of using the wrong fuel in non-Flex Fuel vehicles.

We didn't start the fireIt was always burning, since the world's been turningWe didn't start the fireNo, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it ~ Billy Joel

Cayenne

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

 

Categories:

Warranty
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