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Category Archives: Automotive News

Cayenne's Advice On Considering an Alternative Fuel Vehicle in Silicon Valley

cayCayenne here and here in Silicon Valley we see a lot of hybrid and electric vehicles.  Are you thinking about taking the alternative route with an alternative fuel vehicle?  Well, today I will bark to about things you should know before you go down that road.

There is a clear and vocal demand in Los Altos and nationally for a reduction in air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. This is what is driving the CA market for alternative fuel vehicles. There are a number of these vehicles on Los Altos area roads today, and many more being developed. Yet each of these vehicles has its own advantages and disadvantages. Los Altos auto owners should learn what these advantages and disadvantages are before running out and purchasing one of these alternative fuel vehicles at your nearest Los Altos dealership.

Los Altos drivers should carefully research the vehicle care before buying an alternative fuel vehicle, as it may or may not coincide with the standards for gasoline vehicles. You should look at costs as well; these vehicles may help save our environment here in Los Altos, but that might not represent savings to your wallet. You'll need to decide what you can afford and what will work for your lifestyle. Also, your choice of vehicle may be affected by what fuels are available in your area. Switching to an alternative fuel vehicle is not a bad decision, but it should be a carefully considered one.

Flex Fuel Vehicles
Flex-fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Because of the 85% ethanol content, this fuel is commonly called E85 in CA.

Ethanol is made from corn. So flex fuel vehicles lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. But they also raise the price of corn, which is a basic foodstuff in some areas of the world. Whether replacing fossil fuels with corn is a good idea is hotly contested right now.

One piece of Allied Auto Works auto advice before we move on: do not put E85 into your vehicle unless it has an engine designed for flex fuels. Because of the high ethanol content in E85, engines need special seals and gaskets to function properly on this fuel. Running an ordinary engine with E85 can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel
Diesel engines are nothing new on CA freeways, and many get great fuel economy. Diesel fuel can now be made from vegetable oil and other renewable sources. A diesel fuel made from algae will soon be on the market in the Los Altos area.

Natural Gas
Natural gas is less expensive than gasoline in Los Altos and burns more cleanly. Also, gasoline engines can be adapted to run on compressed natural gas, and many natural gas vehicles are already on Los Altos roads. You can even install a special pump in your home gas line to use to fuel your vehicle. If you are interested in converting your gasoline engine to run on CNG in Los Altos, ask your Allied Auto Works service advisors, Matt or Travis about it.

On the other hand, an engine running on natural gas is not as powerful as one running on gasoline. Also, the tank you need to store natural gas is large—it takes up nearly the entire trunk of your car. Further, refueling stations are still few and far between in some CA areas, or even unavailable in many parts of the country.


Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles were all the rage in CA some years ago. But their limitations were quickly realized by Los Altos auto owners. These vehicles won't come into their own until we find ways to improve their batteries. Currently, many of these cars have a short-range before their power runs out and can only be realistically used close to home. However, they are easy to recharge since they can be plugged in at home, and there are many researchers working on improving the battery technology in these vehicles. They may yet be the vehicles of the future.

Hybrids
Hybrids have been among the most successful alternative fuel vehicles here in Los Altos and throughout the county. A hybrid gets its name because it has both a gas or diesel engine and an electric motor.

There are two types of hybrids. The full-hybrid relies on the electric motor for power, but the gas (or diesel) engine generates power for the battery. Thus, while still consuming fossil fuels, it uses less of them than a standard vehicle and also reduces harmful pollutants. Also, it overcomes the range problem of the strictly electric vehicle.

In a mild hybrid, the electric motor assists the gas or diesel engine in powering the vehicle. Thus, it uses more gasoline or diesel than full hybrids and has higher emissions. But mild hybrids are available in larger body models like full-size pickups and SUV's.

A Note of Caution about Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
One last note before we leave the subject of alternative fuel vehicles. The battery in an electric or hybrid vehicle is not as tame as the one in a standard vehicle. They carry enough voltage to kill you. These are not do-it-yourself vehicles when it comes to preventive maintenance or car care. Only a trained technician should work under their hoods.

 

No matter what you choose, always do your homework first and may the force be with you,

Cayenne

cay

 

 

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

Categories:

Automotive News

Cayenne's Best Test For The New Decade 2020-Happy New Year!

cay

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!  Hi, Cayenne here and as we welcome in a New Year and Decade I sure a lot of you are looking for the next new vehicle to buy.  Well, when I buy a new dog bed or toy, I have to give the test.  Sleep in it, is it comfy?   Does the toy amuse me or bore me? So today I am going to share the best test for your vehicle choice before your purchase.  Well let's get barkin'!

Would you buy a jacket without even trying it on? Probably not, but it might surprise you that one study shows about half the people buy a vehicle after a short test drive around the block or none at all.  If you're in the market for another vehicle, make sure you check out the most important things so you'll know if that's the right vehicle for you.

Check out the gadgets.  Love a good sound system? Then turn it up loud.  Does it have enough bass for you? See how you like its navigation system if it has one.  Try pairing your Bluetooth smartphone with the vehicle.  Test out how to set the cruise control and how steady it keeps the speed. Back up and check out the rearview camera. If you buy this vehicle, you'll have to live with all of these things every time you drive.

Test the vehicle on roads you know.  See how it handles bumps and potholes, how it takes that tight curve that you drive every day to and from work.  Driving on familiar roads gives you a chance to compare what you know with what you're thinking about buying.

Check the fit.  One suburban driver drove a full-sized SUV and loved it until they got it home and realized it was too high for her old garage.  Remodeling the garage would be the only answer! Try installing your child seats.  Size matters, especially in a vehicle.

Gauge the fuel economy. Many vehicles have a trip computer that will calculate fuel economy quickly.  Here's a tip: you can reset it before your test drive and when you're finished, check it and see what fuel economy you got.  It will be a smaller sampling than would be ideal, but it will give you an idea.

Take as much time as you can.  A lot of sellers will pressure you to restrict your test drive to 10-15 minutes.  Ideally, you'd like to have that vehicle for a week, but that's usually not possible. So try for something in between. Remember, this could be your vehicle for years to come.

Keep in mind that every vehicle will feel strange to you at first. Buying a vehicle is a little like getting married.  You want that marriage to be happy, and you want it to last, so take the time to get to know it as well as you can.

Now back to my nice new comfy dog bed, the couch!

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Automotive News

Cayenne Ask "Can Car Scent Keep You Safe on CA Roads?"

noseHi Cayenne here and as you know coonhounds have a nose for smells but did you ever think about the smell in your car and how it can keep you safe.......hmmmm let's take a sniff at this short but interesting topic!

Here's a travel tip that'll I'll bet you didn't know, and it might keep you safer...

The average American commuter in CA spends two and a half hours daily in their vehicle.

The government says 100,000 auto accidents yearly are caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. (Aggressive driving is the number one traffic safety concern.)

So what does this have to do with how your vehicle smells while you're driving around Los Altos?

Well, which scent did you think makes drivers more alert?

Is it:

  • A. Strawberry
  • B. New Car
  • C. Pine
  • D. Warm Vanilla Breeze

It's C. Drivers are more alert and have less fatigue with pine scent in the vehicle, according to AroMetrics.

And, drivers were less angry with overall improved driving performance with strawberry and pine scents.

And you thought they just smelled nice. 

Well the nose knows!      noae

Cayenne     

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

Categories:

Automotive News

Cayenne Is Protecting Your Vehicle from Theft in Los Altos, Cupertino, Sunnyvale and San Jose, CA

cayI know it might not look like it, but I 'm helping protect your vehicle from THEFT!  Yes it's Cayenne here and will bark today about THEFT and how to protect your vehicle from it........so let's get barkin'!

 



Every car in Santa Clara County (Los Altos, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mt. View and San Jose) is at risk for theft. So it's up to us to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles:

  1. Common sense
  2. Visible and audible devices
  3. Immobilizing devices
  4. Tracking devices

Let's review each of these. First, common sense: you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen in CA where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it's against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.

And don't leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. Los Altos drivers would be wise to park in well-lit areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If possible, park near the end of a row and near a light. Back your car into a parking space or your driveway to make your car more visible to passersby and harder for a thief to work under the hood without being seen.

People in Los Altos should know that it's important to roll up their windows completely and avoid leaving their car in public lots for a long time. If you park in a lot that has an attendant, only give them the ignition key.

Keep valuables out of sight: purses, wallets, cell phones, clothes and even change are attractive "smash-and-grab" targets. And pay to have your Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, etched into your windows – it makes your car less attractive to a thief who wants to send your car to a chop shop.

There are lots of visible and audible devices available for Los Altos drivers. A steering wheel lock is highly visible and will deter some thieves. Loud alarms can alert you and others that your vehicle is being tampered with. But if your alarm does go off, be careful. Observe what's going on; get descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles, including license plate numbers.

Now, if you catch a thief in the act, call 911 but don't approach the person. Your safety is more important than the car.

And here's a great one - immobilizing devices. They actually shut off your car's electrical or fuel supply. So without a key, or knowing where the hidden switch is located, a thief can't drive your car away.

Finally, drivers can also get a tracking device that allows Los Altos police to track their car down and recover it quickly.

Remember, where you live, work and drive around Los Altos, CA has a great impact on your decisions. If you're in an area with high theft rates, you may want to spend more money on security systems. And check with your auto insurance company to see if they offer discounts for adding any of these items.

Of course, the common sense suggestions from me, Cayenne and  Allied Auto Works don't cost anything and go a long way toward keeping your car safe from thieves.

cay

 

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

Categories:

Automotive News

Duke Asks "Considering an Alternative Fuel Vehicle in Los Altos?"

 

 

 

dukeHey it's Duke again and have you ever thought about buying an alternative fuel vehicle?  Well today, we will bark about this issue and see if this is the type of vehicle for you.  So let's get barkin'!

There is a clear and vocal demand in Los Altos and nationally for a reduction in air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. This is what is driving the CA market for alternative fuel vehicles. There are a number of these vehicles on Los Altos area roads today, and many more being developed. Yet each of these vehicles has its own advantages and disadvantages. Los Altos auto owners should learn what these advantages and disadvantages are before running out and purchasing one of these alternative fuel vehicles at your nearest Los Altos dealership.

Los Altos drivers should carefully research the car care before buying an alternative vehicle, as it may or may not coincide with the standards for gasoline vehicles. You should look at costs and as well: these vehicles may help save our environment here in Los Altos, but that might not represent a savings to your wallet. You'll need to decide what you can afford, and what will work for your lifestyle. Also, your choice of vehicle may be affected by what fuels are available in your area. Switching to an alternative fuel vehicle is not a bad decision, but it should be a carefully considered one.

Flex Fuel Vehicles
Flex fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Because of the 85% ethanol content, this fuel is commonly called E85 in CA.

Ethanol is made from corn. So flex fuel vehicles lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. But they also raise the price of corn, which is a basic foodstuff in some areas of the world. Whether replacing fossil fuels with corn is a good idea is hotly contested right now.

One piece of Allied Auto Works auto advice before we move on: do not put E85 into your vehicle unless it has an engine designed for flex fuels. Because of the high ethanol content in E85, engines need special seals and gaskets to function properly on this fuel. Running an ordinary engine with E85 can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel
Diesel engines are nothing new on CA freeways, and many get great gas mileage. Diesel fuel can now be made from vegetable oil and other renewable sources. A diesel fuel made from algae will soon be on the market in the Los Altos area.

Natural Gas
Natural gas is less expensive than gasoline in Los Altos and burns more cleanly. Also, gasoline engines can be adapted to run on compressed natural gas, and many natural gas vehicles are already on Los Altos roads. You can even install a special pump in your home gas line to use to fuel your vehicle. If you are interested in converting your gasoline engine to run on CNG in Los Altos, ask your Allied Auto Works service advisor about it.

On the other hand, an engine running on natural gas is not as powerful as one running on gasoline. Also, the tank you need to store natural gas is large—it takes up nearly the entire trunk of your car. Further, refueling stations are still few and far between in some CA areas, or even unavailable, in many parts of the country.


Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles were all the rage in CA some years ago. But their limitations were quickly realized by Los Altos auto owners. These vehicles won't come into their own until we find ways to improve their batteries. Currently, the cars have a short range before their power runs out, and can only be realistically used close to home. However, they are easy to recharge, since they can be plugged in at home, and there are many researchers working on improving the battery technology in these vehicles. They may yet be the vehicles of the future.

Hybrids
Hybrids have been one of the most successful alternative fuel vehicles here in Los Altos and throughout the county. A hybrid gets its name because it has both a gas or diesel engine and an electric motor.

There are two types of hybrids. The full-hybrid relies on the electric motor for power, but the gas (or diesel) engine generates power for the battery. Thus, while still consuming fossil fuels, it uses less of them than a standard automobile, and also reduces harmful pollutants. Also, it overcomes the range problem of the strictly electric vehicle.

In a mild hybrid, the electric motor assists the gas or diesel engine in powering the car. Thus, it uses more gasoline or diesel than full hybrids and has higher emissions. But mild hybrids are available in larger body models like full-size pickups and SUV's.

A Note of Caution about Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
One last note before we leave the subject of alternative fuel vehicles. The battery in an electric or hybrid vehicle is not as tame as the one in a standard vehicle. They carry enough voltage to kill you. These are not do-it-yourself vehicles when it comes to preventive maintenance or car care. Only a trained technician should work under their hoods.  Our technicians at Allied Auto Works are fully trained to work on electric or hybrid vehicles.

Well I guess you did not know there were so many choices in the alternative vehicle category.  I hope my information today was able to answer questions you may have had if you have been thinking about one of these type of vehicles.  Well till next week with my favorite Coonhound, Cayenne, this is Duke!

duke

 

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

Categories:

Automotive News

Cayenne Helping To Protect Your sedan From Theft In Los Altos, CA

cay


Hi Cayenne here and all dogs like to protect what's theirs, so today I am going to help you protect what's yours, your car!


Every car in Los Altos, CA is at risk for theft. So it's up to us Los Altos motorists to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles:

  1. Common sense
  2. Visible and audible devices
  3. Immobilizing devices
  4. Tracking devices

Let's review each of these. First, common sense: you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen in CA where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it's against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.

And don't leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. Los Altos auto owners would be wise to park in well-lit areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If possible, park near the end of a row and near a light. Back your car into a parking space or your driveway to make your car more visible to passersby and harder for a thief to work under the hood without being seen.

Los Altos motorists should know that it's critical to roll up their windows completely and avoid leaving their car in public lots for a long time. If you park in a lot that has an attendant, only give them the ignition key.

Keep valuables out of sight: purses, wallets, cell phones, clothes and even change are attractive "smash-and-grab" targets. And pay to have your Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, etched into your windows – it makes your car less attractive to a thief who wants to send your car to a chop shop.

There are lots of vital visible and audible devices available for Los Altos auto owners. A steering wheel lock is highly visible and will deter some thieves. Loud alarms can alert you and others that your vehicle is being tampered with. But if your alarm does go off, be careful. Observe what's going on; get descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles, including license plate numbers.

Now, if you catch a thief in the act, call 911 but don't approach the person. Your safety is more important than the car.

And here's a great one - immobilizing devices. They actually shut off your car's electrical or fuel supply. So without a key, or knowing where the hidden switch is located, a thief can't drive your car away.

Finally, Los Altos car owners can also get a tracking device that allows Los Altos police to track their car down and recover it quickly.

Remember, where you live, work and drive around Los Altos, CA has a great impact on your decisions. If you're in an area with high theft rates, you may want to spend more money on security systems. And check with your Los Altos, CA auto insurance company to see if they offer discounts for adding any of these items.

Of course, the common sense suggestions from Allied Auto Works don't cost anything and go a long way toward keeping your car safe from thieves. Take a look at the attached video auto tip from AutoNetTV.

Come see us at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos for practical advice on keeping your sedan safe.
Now don't you feel safer,
Cayenne

Categories:

Automotive News

Lease Or Buy? Cayenne's Advice

cay

Cayenne here and today shoud we Lease? Or buy? These are the options for Los Altos car financing. It's always a tough question for Los Altos car owners. But here is some info that'll help you make an informed decision.

If you buy, you'll pay the full cost of the car, with maybe an initial down payment, then monthly payments on the balance that pays down the loan principal, and the finance charge.

Los Altos auto owners who lease, finance the portion of the cost of the car that's used up during the term of the lease. You'll pay some money up front; fees, security deposit, first month's payment and maybe a capital reduction. The monthly payments include a depreciation cost and a finance charge. When the lease is up, you return the car to your local Los Altos area dealership. 

So how do Los Altos auto owners decide?

First, how much do you have for a down payment? A lease usually requires a smaller down.

How much monthly payment can you afford? Again, lease payments will be much lower for any given down payment.

A lease needs requires better credit, so that's a factor.

How long will you keep the car? Los Altos drivers who keep their cars around for a while will pay less if they buy. But just two or three years? Then leasing is the way to go.

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road & 1540 Miramonte Ave
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227(Grant) 650.947.7228 (Miramonte)

If your car might suffer a ding or two, like, say a work truck would, then buying's better. The Los Altos auto leasing company will want their vehicle back at the lease end in tip top shape, and if repairs are needed, you'll pay.

How many miles do you drive in and around the Cupertino area? Important to consider because leases have a mileage limit, and if you go over, you pay a hefty charge per mile when the lease is up. So high mileage CA auto owners should definitely buy.

Will the car be used in your Los Altos business? Check with your Los Altos accountant, but both financing options have different tax benefits, depending on your circumstances.

Over the short term, leasing is much cheaper for Los Altos drivers. Medium term, leasing and buying costs are about the same. Over the long haul, leasing always costs more in CA.

Leases may sound a bit complicated, and the typical lease decision weighs more on the monthly payment, rather than price. So sometimes Los Altos leasers may pay on a higher purchase price than a buyer would.

Here is a tip: If the Los Altos salesman asks if you'll be leasing or buying, say you're not sure yet. Make your best deal, then look at your Los Altos financing options.

Here's another: With a buy or a lease, if you total the car, you'll owe the full amount of the loan, or the balance of the lease payments, and usually, it's less than the car's fair Los Altos market value  – and that's all your CA auto insurance company will pay. But ask your Los Altos agent about gap insurance, which pays the difference between fair market value and what you owe. Big consideration for a lease.

Remember, you have to return your leased vehicle in excellent condition, and may need to do all the auto maker's recommended service and maintenance, or face penalties. So see your local service advisor at Allied Auto Works on a regular basis, get the required work done and save the service records. It's well worth it.

 

Good Day

Cayenne

Categories:

Automotive News

Cayenne Asks, "Are There Blind Spots In Los Altos CA?"

cayenneHi Cayenne here, do you have blind spots?????

All Los Altos car owners have blind spots – and no, I'm not talking about the fact that you really don't sing like Adele. I mean the areas of the road that you can't see when you're driving around Los Altos.

First let's talk about our own blinds spots, and then we can talk about others...

To begin, we can greatly reduce blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make the adjustments in your sedan before you start to drive.

First, Los Altos auto owners should adjust their rear view mirrors to give the best possible view directly to the rear of their sedan. Los Altos folks don't need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or their dazzling smile. It's pretty simple, the rear view mirror should reflect the rear.

Next, lean your head until it almost touches the driver's side window. Adjust your side mirror so that you can just barely see the side of your car. Now, lean your head to the middle of the car and adjust the outside mirror so that you can barely see the right side of the car.

When Los Altos car owners adjust their mirrors this way, they'll have maximum coverage. Of course driving is a dynamic process – things change every second on Los Altos roads and busy interstates. So it's wise to take a quick look to the side when passing to make sure that another sedan hasn't moved into an area you couldn't see in your mirrors.

Depending on the kind of vehicle you drive (sedan?), you may still have some blind spots. All vehicles have an area behind them that's blind when backing up. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. A pick-up or SUV can hide a small child – an RV, bus or tractor-trailer can hide an entire vehicle. So be careful out there on our Los Altos streets and in your driveway at your Los Altos home!

As you drive around the Los Altos area, avoid staying in other auto owners' blind spots. You can't count on them to be watching their mirrors and looking out for you.

Let's talk about safely sharing our CA roads with heavy trucks and buses. In crashes involving a truck and car, the driver of the car is to blame for about 40 percent of the accidents. But 78 percent of the fatalities are with the car. The laws of physics are against the smaller vehicle, so it is vital for Los Altos auto owners to take extra precautions around trucks and buses.

Heavy vehicles have huge blind spots: to the rear, on both sides and up front. They also can't maneuver like a car. They take twice as long to stop and need twice as much space as you do in your sedan or other type of car. You need to keep wide margins when driving around one of these big rigs on Los Altos area interstates.

Here are some tips for passing a heavy vehicle in the Los Altos area:

Avoid the blind spots. If you can't see the Los Altos motorists's face in one of his mirrors or in a window, he cannot see you!

Don't follow too close. If you can't see one of the truck's mirrors, you're too close.

Make sure there is plenty of room to pass. Trucks are long and take time to get around. If you're on one of our local Los Altos, CA two-lane highways, wait for a passing zone.

Don't linger when passing. Because the blind spots are so big on the sides, you want to get through them quickly. If you can't pass quickly, drop back.

Pass on the left whenever possible. A trucks' blind spot is much larger on the right.

Be attentive and wear your seat belt while driving anywhere around Los Altos, even for short drives. Don't be aggressive when driving around trucks. Because of their size, they appear to be going slower than they really are. Cutting it short around a truck could be disastrous.

Use your turn signals when starting to pass. Once you can see the full truck in your rear view mirror, it's safe to signal and move over. It's important not to cut it short or slow quickly when you pull in front of a truck.

Be careful passing a truck at an intersection in Los Altos. Trucks need to turn wide to maneuver through Los Altos streets. Squeezing between a truck and the curb could put your car in your Los Altos body shop or Allied Auto Works. Look for the truck's turn signals.

The team of automotive professionals at Allied Auto Works want you to watch those blind spots – but feel free to sing in the shower all you want.

Allied Auto Works
We're on 2073 Grant Road and 1540 Miramonte Ave in Los Altos, CA (94024)
Call us to make an appointment at 650.968.7227 (Grant) and 650.947.7228 (Miramonte)

This is Cayenne checking out til next week.

 

 

Categories:

Automotive News
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