Los Altos Auto Repair

Working Time: Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Allied Auto Works(650) 968-7227

Category Archives: Maintenance

Cayenne Asks Drivers "What Is The Most Distracting Food?"


It's Cayenne and we are talking my favorite subject:  FOOD!CAYENNE


So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around Los Altos?

Is it:

  1. A Hamburger;
  2. Coffee;
  3. A Soft Drink
  4. Gummy Bears or a
  5. Nice juicey Steak Bone?

Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears and my favorite, the steak bone are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving, but if you chose 'coffee', then give yourself an extra two points; coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in Los Altos and around the country.

Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!

You'll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the type of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You'll thank yourself later for two reasons, one being that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and the other is that you won't have to worry about getting that cinnamon roll frosting out of your dashboard after that near miss.

Keep drinks in spill-proof containers, too, so you can keep your eyes on the Los Altos road without worrying about where that spill is headed.

So; taking a food break… Or filling out accident reports. We don't have to ask you which you prefer: It's a no brainer.

Allied Auto Works, along with Cayenne , wants you to keep both eyes on the road. Please eat safely and keep your eyes on the road.

Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road or 1540 Miramonte Ave.
Los Altos, CA 94024
Give us a call at: 650.968.7227 or 650.947.7228

Now where did I bury that Steakbone?     cayenne

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne Wants You To Keep Your Los Altos Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter

 

cay Cayenne here again and today we are talking about breathing, your car I mean.

This is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your Los Altos car burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to costly problems. Of course, your manufacturer recommends intervals for changing your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car affects when your filter needs to be changed.

Dusty conditions in and around Los Altos or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often. Your Allied Auto Works technician can check your filter for you. In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.

When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your car needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel economy and performance.

Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most cars. These high performance filters cost a little more, but they increase horsepower and may improve fuel economy to boot.

So have your air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much and it should easily pay for itself in better fuel economy before your next oil change.

Stop by Allied Auto Works at 2073 Grant Road or 1540 Miramonte Ave, Los Altos, CA 94024, and we'll take a look at your air filter for you. Feel free to give us a call at 650.968.7227 (Grant Rd.) or 650.947.7228 (Miramonte) to make an appointment and tell them Cayenne sent you.

 

cay

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne's Advice On Synthetic Oil For Los Altos Autos


Cayenne
Hi from Cayenne and Allied Auto Works,

If you aren’t currently using synthetic motor oil in your Los Altos vehicle, maybe now’s the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil says Cayenne.

Cayenne knows synthetic oil doesn’t gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. "It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Los Altos, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil; with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle." says Cayenne.

Why is this asks Cayenne? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why; we’d need a microscope, so we’ll have to settle for using our imaginations.

The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles? How about bones?   Hmmm I'll have to look into that says Cayenne.

Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there’s less friction. That means better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn’t sludge up like conventional oil, so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up.

Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.

Most of us here in Los Altos have a busy life taking care of us dogs and might occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead admit it. Since we’re not perfect, doesn’t it make sense to use a motor oil that’s got your back?

Now synthetic oil costs more. But it lasts longer, protects better and increases fuel economy. You’ll likely save money in the long run. If you’re serious about making your car last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.

Give us a call at 650.968.7227 to schedule an oil change, or visit us at our Allied Auto Works website and tell them Cayenne sent you.

Till next time,

 

Cayenne  cayenne

 

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne's Severe Service Maintenance Schedules


cayenne
Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Los Altos motorists, sedan manufacturers publish two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should you follow?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:  Says Cayenne.

Are most of your trips less than four miles?  Getting dog biscuits and such.
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles in below-zero CA temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway?  Yes full freedom for us dogs to run.
Do you drive often in dusty areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Los Altos?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold CA weather?

Cayenne wants you to think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Los Altos freeway on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to Los Altos or Cupertino? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool or to your local pet store in stop-and-go traffic on surface streets?

Take a look at your owner's manaual says Cayenne and suppose your owner’s manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Analyze your driving patterns and Los Altos weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you’re closer to.

Why should Los Altos auto owners care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Los Altos or winter driving means that the engine doesn’t heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn’t let the oil protect it adequately. That’s why CA drivers need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.

Carrying heavy loads like dog kibble (with or without a trailer) in nice CA summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs, not to mention your gas mileage. If you want some expert advice,Cayenne suggests you talk with your personal and trusted Allied Auto Works advisor. We can help you restore your sedan to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.

To learn more, watch our informative AutoNetTV auto video tips at the top of this post.  Thanks again for checking in with me.  cayenne

Allied Auto Works
650.968.7227
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024

Categories:

Maintenance

Cayenne's Tip On Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles In Los Altos CA


Welcome to Cayenne's Weekly Blog. Before the recession hit, the median age for cars in the Los Altos CA area (zip code: 94024) was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. Cayenne and  Allied Auto Works hear reports that those numbers continue to rise.

CayenneCayenne recommends if you have a high-mileage vehicle in the Los Altos area, bring it in for high-mileage maintenance:
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227

Many people in Los Altos are keeping their vehicles longer. The economy has influenced that, but the fact that modern sedans are more durable and reliable means that owning a high mileage vehicle doesn't have to be a painful experience.

Local car owners in Los Altos with over 100,000 miles on their vehicles often ask Cayenne which service intervals they should follow. Cayenne's advice starts with the special needs of the older vehicle...

The reality is that time and mileage will take its toll. The engine and transmission will have more sludge. The fuel, steering and brake systems will have gum and varnish built up. There'll be more dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank. Corrosion and deposits in the cooling system. And seals and gaskets will start to dry out.

All of this, plus normal wear and tear, means that the engine might not be as strong as new, so it just has to work harder to get the job done.

So we need to compensate. Consider high-mileage formulations for oil changes, transmission service, etc. These special formulations contain additives that condition the seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. They also have more detergents to clean sludge and other deposits. They cost a bit more, but they're worth it.

In general, if an auto service was recommended every 15,000 miles when the car was new, you should continue to get the service done every 15,000 miles.

Cayenne recommends talking with your Los Altos service advisor at Allied Auto Works about the condition of your engine. See if he thinks you should adjust your auto service intervals for oil changes or other auto maintenance to account for the older engine working harder.

Expect the oil filter to get dirty faster. Same goes for the fuel filter. And some leaks are to be expected so you need to keep a closer eye on fluid levels.

If anything, following recommended service intervals for your sedan is more important in a higher mileage vehicle. Skipping oil changes or other services can lead to problems much more quickly than with a newer vehicle.

So, have your Los Altos auto service advisor at Allied Auto Works help you with an assessment of your older car or truck. If you haven't gotten around to a fuel system cleaning, or replacing power steering or brake fluid, a differential service or transmission service – it's time to start taking care of those things. It'll help keep you on the road for many more happy miles and happy dogs hanging out of the window Cayenne's says.  "We love our car rides!"

Categories:

Maintenance

Keys to Long Lasting Vehicle



New cars cost so much these days. Add financing and insurance and, well a new vehicle may not seem so attractive. A lot of Los Altos, CA people are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.

The good news is that with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacture, there’s no reason a modern vehicle can’t be made to last for a 150,000 miles or more.

There is an old saying that says, 'a stitch in time saves nine' and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your car. A great example is coolant service.

Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That’s why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.

The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And your oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build up of harmful oil sludge.

Don't let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors. Preventive maintenance is a great way to keep your operating costs down.

Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure.

Now this is a lot to remember. Allied Auto Works can keep on top of this stuff. We can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it.

Bottom line – take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent costly damage and maintain your warranty coverage. Call Allied Auto Works today for an appointment; you can reach us at 650.968.7227.

Take good care of your car, and it’ll take good care of you.

Allied Auto Works
Give us a call today at 650.968.7227.
Or stop by at 2073 Grant Road, Los Altos, CA 94024

Categories:

Maintenance

Severe Service Requirements



A lot of Los Altos motorists have asked whether or not they should use their severe service maintenance schedule, which is listed in their car owners' manual. It can be somewhat confusing, so we decided to consult an expert. Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She's been in the automotive business for 24 years and is a speaker, a trainer, and a writer.

Cricket says there's so much confusion on this topic because, "Most owners' 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 car makers create a specific schedule for each vehicle they manufacture. So there isn't one generic schedule that applies to all cars. In addition to your owners' manual, Los Altos automotive repair centers (including Allied Auto Works) subscribe to information services that provide the maintenance schedules for every vehicle - so they can help you know when to take care of needed services. Below is a typical definition for severe service.

  • Most trips are less than four miles
  • Most trips are less than ten miles 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 expressway)
  • Stop and go driving
  • You drive in in dusty or muddy conditions
  • You routinely tow a trailer, haul heavy loads or carry a car-top carrier

It's common sense: Just a few minutes at expressway speeds allows the moisture in the oil to evaporate. Very short trips, or trips of less than ten miles when it's very cold in Los Altos, 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 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 owners' manual, or talk with your Allied Auto Works service advisor who can help you know which schedule to follow. Allied Auto Works is located at 2073 Grant Road, Los Altos CA.

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 motorists just want to play it safe and follow the severe service recommendations, rather than analyzing how they drive each month.

Categories:

Maintenance

Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle



We live in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term "built to last" goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They're still a very big investment and Los Altos drivers want to make them last as long as possible.  We also want to make keeping them running as cheap as possible. When talking vehicles, it's all about preventive maintenance. There is an old saying that says, "A stitch in time saves nine," and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your vehicle. A great example is coolant service in Los Altos.

Your coolant not only protects your engine from overheating and freezing, it must also protect cooling system components from corrosion. Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That's why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.

The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And of course, Los Altos vehicle owners shouldn't forget those oil changes right on schedule. Skipping even one change can start the build up of harmful oil sludge.

Our engines are full of gaskets and seals. Fresh fluids condition those gaskets and seals to keep them from drying out and leaking. Automotive fluids contain additives that help clean and lubricate the various systems they protect. Over time, the additives are used up and the fluid just does not provide the protection it did when it was fresh. And don't forget the mechanical systems. Changing brake pads before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors is a great way to keep your operating costs down.

Replacing serpentine belts and timing belts on schedule is much cheaper for Los Altos drivers than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure. Also, air filters, fuel filters, PCV valves and batteries are all important. Regular wheel alignments, tire rotation and balancing will make your tires last longer. And don't forget to replace your shocks and struts when they wear out. Your fuel system needs regular cleaning to keep running well, prevent mechanical damage and improve fuel economy.

Now this is a lot to remember for Los Altos drivers - too much, really. But it is your Los Altos automotive technician's job to keep on top of this stuff. At Allied Auto Works we can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it. We can advise you about which  maintenance schedule you should use - the regular schedule or the severe service schedule - depending on the kind of driving you do. We also know the right fluids for your vehicle and may even suggest higher mileage formulations for your older vehicle.

Bottom line - take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent damage and maintain your warranty coverage.

Of course, you want your vehicle to look as good as it runs. Regular washing will prevent rust and protect your finish. Take advantage of cleaners, waxes and protectants for your interior and tires. Your vehicle will look great and you'll be proud to drive it longer.

Most of us in Los Altos can't afford to throw away our car when it breaks down. By budgeting for regular preventive maintenance, we can prevent many inconvenient - and expensive - problems down the road, and can keep driving "old faithful" for years to come.

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

Categories:

Maintenance

The Importance of Los Altos Drivers Following Service Intervals

Today in our Allied Auto Works blog, we're going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your vehicle isn't the only aspect of your life in Los Altos with recommended intervals: Let's start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?

Now, what would happen if you didn't follow these intervals? Well, you'd get more cavities. You may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you'd have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.

Clearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don't, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Los Altos takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.

So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our vehicles? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don't seem that urgent. All our Los Altos neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It's easy to put off. The other reason is that we're just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it's a bit intimidating.

From a practical standpoint, people in Los Altos don't need to memorize their vehicle owner's manuals. You can let your Allied Auto Works advisor remind you of the guidelines established by the vehicle manufacturer; he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your vehicle. You really can rely on Allied Auto Works professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.

For Los Altos drivers who want to be more proactive with their vehicle care, here are some simple ways for you to remember what has a maintenance interval.

First: Fluids. If it's liquid, it's got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.

Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing and alignment. And while you're thinking tires, don't forget brakes and shock absorbers.

And what makes your vehicle go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Los Altos car owners remember to take their vehicle in to Allied Auto Works for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.

And if you don't follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy fuel economy, your vehicle doesn't run as well, your safety is compromised and you'll spend more money in the long run. So it's the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.

Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.

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

 

Categories:

Maintenance

Which Item Is Most Stolen from Vehicles in Los Altos?


 

Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in Los Altos?

Is it:

  1. Stereo
  2. Wheels
  3. Air Bag
  4. DVD System

Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in CA – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in CA.

Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.

Contact us at Allied Auto Works for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced.
Find us at 2073 Grant Road, Los Altos, CA 94024
You can reach us by phone at: 650.968.7227

There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.

That is definitely one car part you don't want to take a chance with, so Allied Auto Works recommends following these guidelines:

  • Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at Allied Auto Works).

 

  • Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.

 

  • You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.

 

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

Categories:

Maintenance
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