Cayenne here, great to be back after my much-deserved vacation with Duke. I hope to get a charge out of you today by barking about battery replacement. So let's get barkin' by watching my short video on this electrifying subject!
Modern vehicles in and around Los Altos run on 12 volt electrical systems. 12 volts is enough to get the job done for Los Altos drivers without having so much power that there is danger of electrocution. But today's vehicles have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks windows and sunroofs. And then us-CA drivers have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players.
We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos. Plus there are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off.
Fortunately, battery technology has given Los Altos drivers resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is, batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your vehicle. Sometimes batteries need to be replaced because they have just worn out. Or, in other cases, they have developed a leak which makes it even more important to get it replaced.
Special safety precautions are taken when working with batteries at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, CA. These precautions also apply to anyone who is poking around the battery. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can damage your eyes and burn your skin, so safety glasses and rubber gloves are a must for any Los Altos resident working with their battery. Be careful to not spill acid on your clothes or the vehicle's paint. Of course, avoid short-circuiting the battery as well.
Sometimes there is quite a price range in Los Altos auto part stores for batteries that will work in a particular car. Think of it as "good," "better" and "best." More expensive batteries have a longer warranty and are guaranteed to last longer. As with most things, paying a little more upfront saves in the long run for Los Altos drivers.
Well, I hope you are charged with information on battery replacement and have a wonderful day!
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
What time is it? Maybe it's time for your PCV Valve to be replaced. Cayenne here and today we will bark about when is it time to replace the PCV Valve. So let's watch the video below.
The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons that power the engine.
When you are diving around Los Altos, fuel is burned in your vehicle engine, it pushes the pistons down and the crankshaft rotates and sends power to the transmission. Some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase.
Now this gas is about 70% unburned fuel. If it were allowed to remain in the crankcase, it would contaminate the oil and quickly turn it to sludge. Sludge is like Vaseline and clogs passages in the engine, leading to damage.
Also, the pressure build up would blow out seals and gaskets. So in the old days, there was just a hose that vented the crankcase out into the air. Obviously, not good for our air quality in Los Altos, CA.
Enter the PCV valve. It's a small, one-way valve that lets out the gases from the crankcase and routes them back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine. Fresh air comes into the crankcase through a breather tube. This makes for good circulation in the crankcase. And that gets the air out. As you can imagine, however, the valve gets gummed up over time.
Your vehicle manufacturer usually recommends they be changed somewhere between 20,000 to 50,000 miles/30,000 to 80,000 kilometers. Unfortunately, PCV valve replacement is left out of some vehicle owner's manuals, but your friendly service advisor Matt or Travis at Allied Auto Works, we will make sure your PVC is replaced if needed.
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
Good day, it's Cayenne again and today we will bark all about PCV Valves and the service they need. So let's get barkin!
Today, we are talking about your PCV valve. Unburnt fuel is forced into the crankcase as your engine runs. The PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve vents this unburnt fuel and oil vapors from the crankcase and sends it back into the air intake system to be burned in the engine. A clogged PCV will not allow these vapors to escape. This can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause vehicle engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at Allied Auto Works. At high speeds on CA freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.
Back in the old days, vehicles were simply installed with a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, environmental protection laws required that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the vehicle's engine.
This is much better for air quality and improves fuel economy also. (Budget-conscious Los Altos drivers take note!) The little valve that performs this important function is the PCV valve. The PCV valve lets gases out of the engine, but won't let anything back in. Over time, the vented gases will gum up the PCV valve and it won't work well. That can lead to all of the problems I've already described, oil leaks, excessive oil consumption and decreased fuel economy.
Fortunately, it's very easy to test the PCV Valve at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it's often overlooked because many Los Altos vehicle owners don't know about it. Check your vehicle owner's manual or ask your Allied Auto Works service advisor. If this is the first time you've heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.
There's another aspect to the PCV system. In order for the valve to work correctly, it needs a little clean air to come in. This is done through a breather tube that gets some filtered air from the engine air filter. Now some vehicles have a small separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. That'll need to be replaced at Allied Auto Works when it gets dirty.
Please ask your Los Altos service advisor Matt or Travis about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Los Altos, you can avoid some very expensive engine repairs. Til next week with Duke, this is Cayenne
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
ALERT, ALERT! Duke here and I'm in a hurry today to get what Emergency Items you need in your vehicle! Let's not waste time and get barkin!
Local Los Altos roadside emergencies can range from a flat tire downtown to being stranded in a snowy ravine for three days. So you may want to consider a basic emergency kit to keep in the car at all times and a travel kit tailored to a specific trip.
Your close-to-home kit for around Los Altos would have some basic items to work on your car: everything you need to change a tire, gloves, a couple quarts of oil, some antifreeze and water. A can of tire inflator is a great temporary fix for minor flats. You'll also want jumper cables or a booster box, flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools.
Now for your comfort and safety: a first aid kit, drinkable water, high calorie food (like energy bars), blankets, toilet paper, cell phone, towel, hat and boots. Keep some change for a pay phone, emergency cash and a credit card.
People who live in areas with frequent severe weather or earthquakes may want to carry provisions for longer emergencies.
For trips away from home, consider the weather and geography as you assemble your emergency supplies. You'll need to have a source of light and heat and will want to provide protection against the elements as well as adequate food and water for everyone in the car.
Always tell people where you are going and have a plan for checking in at waypoints. Then if you run into trouble, you can be reported missing as soon as possible and rescuers will be able to narrow the search area.
The key to safe travel is to keep your vehicle properly maintained, plan ahead, and let others know your itinerary.
Remember safety never takes a day off,
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
It's Duke again and today we are going to bark about replacing your PCV Valve, let's get started!
Improved fuel economy has two benefits for Los Altos car owners: less fuel is necessary and fewer emissions are released. Mt. View cars and trucks run cleaner than ever. Los Altos auto owners may not realize that the first federally mandated pollution control device came out almost fifty years ago.
CA motorists that were around in the early 60's may remember that the PCV Valve came out on 1964 model cars. PCV stand for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons that power the engine.
When fuel is burned in the sedan engine, it pushes the pistons down and the crankshaft rotates and sends power to the transmission. Some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase.
Now this gas is about 70% unburned fuel. If it were allowed to remain in the crankcase, it would contaminate the oil and quickly turn it to harmful sludge. Sludge is like Vaseline and clogs passages in the engine leading to damage.
Also, the pressure build up would blow out seals and gaskets. So in the old days, there was just a hose that vented the crankcase out into the air. Obviously, not good for our air quality in Los Altos.
Enter the PCV valve. It’s a small, one-way valve that lets out the detrimental gases from the crankcase, and routes them back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine. Fresh air comes into the crankcase through a breather tube. This makes for good circulation in the crankcase. And that gets the harmful air out. As you can imagine, however, the valve gets gummed up over time.
Mt. View drivers that skip oil changes now and then will notice that the PCV valve gets gummed up even faster. If the PCV valve is sticking in your sedan, the gases won’t circulate as well, leading to increased pressure in the crankcase. That, in turn, can lead to oil leaks. Fortunately, the PCV valve is very inexpensive to replace at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos. Some can even be checked by your personal and trusted Allied Auto Works advisor.
Your sedan vehicle manufacturers usually recommend they be changed somewhere between twenty and fifty thousand miles. Unfortunately, PCV valve replacement is left out of some sedan owner’s manuals, but at Allied Auto Works, we will make sure your PVC is replaced if needed.
All of us Mt. View car owners can do our part for the environment. Watch that lead foot, stay on top of our vital automotive maintenance and don’t forget to replace our PCV valve.
Here's to another day of learning,
Cayenne here and as your friendly educational auto dog, don't you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood when you're zipping down a busy Los Altos interstate? It usually means there is a problem with the serpentine belt.
The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine accessories. It runs the alternator - which charges the battery; the water pump - which cools the engine; the air conditioning and the power steering pump. All pretty critical parts. It is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around a bunch of engine components.
Serpentine belts are amazingly tough. They can last for years and go for tens of thousands of miles. Like all essential moving parts, however, they eventually wear out. If your belt breaks while you are driving around Los Altos, everything will come to a halt within minutes. You need to stop the sedan immediately or it will overheat, potentially causing expensive engine damage. You can be sure that it won't happen at a convenient time or place. (As if there was a convenient time or place!) You might even need to get your sedan towed to Allied Auto Works. It's no wonder that manufacturers recommend a belt replacement on schedule. It's one of those "have-to's."
Los Altos motorists who hear a squeal when accelerating or a slow, slapping sound at idle, should have their serpentine belt looked at. Your service professional at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos will visually inspect your belt to see if it needs to be changed sooner than scheduled. If the belt has more than three or four cracks an inch, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces or has a shiny glazed look, it needs to be replaced regardless of age or mileage.
Serpentine belt replacement is relatively inexpensive, especially compared with the cost and inconvenience of being stranded or getting a disabled sedan back to Allied Auto Works for vital repairs.
You're mom was right: an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure, or as my mom barked, a pound of cured bones.
Visit us and me, Cayenne at:
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
Well it's time that we talked about Timing Belts, Cayenne here and well let's no waste any more time,
Ever heard the sad tale of a staggeringly pricey repair bill from a broken timing belt? Bad news. Let's Los Altos car owners take a lesson from their woes and remember to think about our critical timing belt.
First, let's review what a timing belt does. The top part of the engine, over the cylinders is called the cylinder head. The head contains the valves. There's at least one valve that lets the fresh air into the cylinder. This air, mixed with fuel, burns to create power. Then another valve or two open to allow the exhaust out of the engine. Each cylinder has 2 to 4 valves - that's 12 to 24 valves for a V-6, up to 32 values on a V-8. The opening and closing of the valves is done by a camshaft. The timing belt uses the rotation of the engine to drive the camshaft which opens and close the valves. It's called a timing belt because it has to be adjusted to rotate the camshaft to keep proper time with the engine so that everything's in sync.
The timing belt is a toothed rubber belt . But some cars use a timing chain or timing gears instead of a belt. Timing chains and gears are much more durable, but auto manufacturers are using belts more because they are quieter - and cheaper. If you have a small or mid-sized passenger car, crossover or mini-van, chances are you have a timing belt.
Unfortunately, timing belts fail without any warning. That shuts Los Altos motorists down right away. Your Allied Auto Works service advisor can inspect your timing belt and look for cracks and looseness. But getting to the belt to take a look can be almost as much work as changing it on some cars. That's why automakers recommend replacing the belt from time to time. For most vehicles it's from 60,000 to 90,000 miles or 95,000 to a 145,000 kilometers. If your owners' manual doesn't specify an interval ask your personal and trust Allied Auto Works service advisor.
One AutoNetTV producer has had two timing belts fail. The first was while he was waiting at a stop light - that pricey repair cost several thousand dollars. The second was while driving on the highway - that one cost more than twice as much. Both had the cars out in the shop for three weeks. His cars had what we call "interference engines", meaning that the valves and pistons are very close to each other. If the timing belt slips even one notch, the pistons will slam into the open valves. That's why our friend's highway failure was so much more expensive - his engine was traveling so fast that the valves were smashed and they chewed up the cylinder head.
A non-interference engine will just shut down if the timing belt breaks. You're stranded, but the engine doesn't suffer permanent damage. In both cases, our hapless friend was just a couple oil changes past the recommended interval for changing the timing belt. This is one of those things that Los Altos car owners just cannot put off. Now replacing a timing belt is not cheap - but repairs for a broken belt can be far more costly.
The team at Allied Auto Works recommends Los Altos motorists check their owners' manual ASAP - especially if you have more than a 60,000 miles or 95,000 kilometers. You may need to get that belt replaced right away. And on many cars, the timing belt drives the water pump. So, it may be a good idea to replace the water pump while you're at it because 90% of the work required for the new pump is already done with the belt change. Doing both at the same time saves you a lot of money because as they say, "timing's everything".
Well that's all the time we have today, Cayenne
Well today I am barking about your PCV valve. The PCV Valve is a little, inexpensive part that does an essential job for Los Altos car owners. PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation.
The crankcase is the bottom area of the engine that holds the oil. When the sedan engine’s running, fuel is burned to generate power. Most of the exhaust from combustion goes out through the exhaust system. But some exhaust blows by the pistons and goes into the lower engine, or crankcase.
These hot gases are about seventy percent unburned fuel.This can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause sedan engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at Allied Auto Works. At high speeds on Los Altos freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.
Back in the old days, car makers simply installed a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, environmental protection laws required that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the sedan's engine.
This is much better for air quality and improves fuel economy also. (Budget-conscious Los Altos motorists take note!) The little valve that performs this important function is the PCV valve. The PCV valve lets harmful gases out of the engine, but won’t let anything back in. Over time, the vented gases will gum up the PCV valve and it won’t work well. That can lead to all of the problems I’ve already described, oil leaks, excessive oil consumption and decreased MPG.
Fortunately, it’s very easy to test the PCV Valve at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it’s often overlooked because many Los Altos auto owners don’t know about it. Check your sedan owner’s manual or ask your Allied Auto Works service advisor. If this is the first time you’ve heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.
There’s another aspect to the PCV system. In order for the valve to work correctly, it needs a little clean air to come in. This is done through a breather tube that gets some filtered air from the engine air filter. Now some vehicles have a small separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. That’ll need to be replaced at Allied Auto Works when it gets dirty.
Please ask your personal and trust Los Altos service advisor about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Los Altos, you can avoid some very pricey engine repairs.
This is Cayenne, til next time!
Nice to see you again,
Today I am going to school you on Headlights!
Like everything on the Los Altos automotive market, there have been great strides in headlight technology in recent years. CA car owners can be safer at night because of it. Good headlights improve visibility on Los Altos interstates, enabling you to see farther. They also improve your peripheral vision, helping you to see the sides more clearly. The more you can see, the quicker you can react to road conditions. This is vital because nearly half of traffic fatalities take place at night. And as Los Altos's population ages, everything that helps older eyes is welcome.
Most new sedans sold in Los Altos come with halogen headlamps. A decade ago, halogens were exotic and expensive. Now that they are standard equipment, the price has come way down. Many luxury cars are equipped with high intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps. You have probably seen them on Los Altos highways, they're very bright and have a bluish tint.
From behind the wheel, there is no doubt that HID headlamps are the best thing going. However, many Los Altos auto owners complain about HID lights in oncoming traffic or when they approach from behind. In fact, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called for public comment, they received a record number of complaints about HIDs. This has lead to several studies - your tax dollars at work. Some expect future regulation of HID lamps.
All halogen headlamps dim over time. Experts recommend that they be changed out once a year. AutoNetTV suggests you replace your headlamps in the fall at the end of Daylight Savings Time. It's easy to remember - when you change your clock, change your headlamps. Remember to replace all headlamps at the same time - then all your lights will be equally bright. You will appreciate it during those long CA winter nights.
If you have an older sedan with old-school headlamps, you might be able to get a halogen replacement. You'll be amazed at the difference this upgrade will make.
In addition to regular halogen lamps, you can upgrade to premium lamps that filter some of the yellow light, making a bright white light that's more like natural sunlight. This light's easier on the eyes and should improve reaction time.
Now, you may be able to step up to HID headlamps, depending on the kind of car you drive. These lamps should last the life of your car, but cost several hundred dollars a pair. If you want other Los Altos motorists to think you're running HID lamps, you can even buy regular halogens that have a bluish tint. Does she or doesn't she? Only her Allied Auto Works service specialist knows for sure.
Over time, plastic headlight covers can get cloudy or yellowed. In fact, AAA reports that nine out of ten headlights are dirty or yellowed, greatly reducing vision. In addition to helping you replace your headlamps, many service centers such as Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, CA can restore headlight covers. Headlights can be restored at a fraction of the cost of replacing.
Well I hope you learned alot and how important those headlights are. I will be seeing you soon,
Hello Los Altos auto owners, let's talk about your often-unnoticed but extremely important PCV valve. The energy from exploding fuel is what powers your engine. But some of the vapors from the explosions escape into the lower part of the engine, called the crankcase. The crankcase is where your engine oil hangs out. These gases are about 70% unburned fuel. If the gases were allowed to stay in the crankcase, they would quickly contaminate the oil and turn it to sludge. Los Altos folks know that sludge is one of the biggest enemies of your engine, clogging it up, eventually leading to expensive failures. Also, the pressure build up would cause seals and gaskets to blow out. Therefore, these gases need to be vented out.
Pre-1963, gasoline engines had a hose that let the poisonous fumes vent out into the air. In 1963, the federal government required gas engines to have a special one-way valve installed to help reduce dangerous emissions. (Can you imagine how polluted our Los Altos air would be if every car had been releasing those poisonous fumes for the last fifty years?) Diesel engines are not required to have these valves.
The positive crankcase ventilation, or PCV, valve routes crankcase gases through a hose and back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine. Fresh, clean air is brought into the crankcase through a breather tube. It's really a pretty simple system, but it does the job. The re-circulating air removes moisture and combustion waste from the crankcase, preventing sludge. This extends not only the life of your oil, but the engine as well. The PCV relieves pressure in the crankcase, preventing oil leaks.
Eventually, the PCV valve can get gummed up. Then it can't move enough air through the engine to keep it working properly. If the PCV valve is sticking enough, you could have oil leaks, excess oil consumption and a fouled intake system. If you experience hesitation or surging or an oil leak, it may be a sign of PCV valve problems. Your owners' manual may give a recommendation for when the PCV valve should be replaced - usually between 20,000 mi/32,000 km and 50,000 mi/80,000 km. Unfortunately, some manufacturers don't list a recommendation in the manual, so it can be easy to overlook.
Many PCV system problems can be diagnosed with an automotive analysis by your personal Allied Auto Works service professional. Fortunately, PCV valve replacement is both quick and inexpensive at Allied Auto Works. Proper oil changes will greatly extend the life of the PCV valve. Skipping a few recommended oil changes can allow varnish and gum to build up in the valve, reducing its efficiency. So now when your Los Altos service technician tells you its time to replace your PCV valve, you will know what he's talking about. If you have had your car for a while and this is the first you've ever heard of a PCV value, ask your service professional to check yours out or call Allied Auto Works at 650.968.7227.