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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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Category Archives: Safety

Cayenne's Emergency Items for Los Altos

cay

Good day on this beautiful Spring day! Cayenne here, and with my spring bonnet on, I am ready to go for spring car rides and travel. However, you need to make sure your vehicle is ready and prepared for any unexpected emergencies on the road. So, today, we will bark about being prepared for your road travels.

Safe CA travel starts with preventive maintenance and good vehicle care at Allied Auto Works. But there are other things Los Altos residents can do to prepare for emergencies on the road. Here's some auto advice that can help you plan for emergencies, and just may save your life — or someone else's.

First, Los Altos auto owners should consider keeping an auto emergency kit in their vehicle. The kit should contain items that will allow you to deal with common emergencies on the road.

Some items you should carry in your vehicle include jumper cables (or a booster box), flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools. Other useful items include gloves, two quarts of oil, some antifreeze, water and everything you need to change a tire. You might also consider a can of tire inflator, which is a great temporary fix for minor flats.

But taking care of your vehicle is only part of emergency preparedness. It is to take care of the people in the car, too. For this reason, you should carry a first aid kit, drinkable water and blankets. Other items to consider include high-calorie food items (like energy bars), toilet paper, a towel, a hat and boots. And, of course, when you travel in CA and out-of-state, you should always have your cell phone, some emergency cash, and a credit card.

Depending on where you live, you may need to add other items to this list. For example, sunscreen, sunglasses and extra water would be good to have on hand in a hot climate. For the cold and snowy CA season, some salt, a hand shovelemergency blankets and matches might be in order. Also, if your area is prone to severe weather or earthquakes, you should check with your local Red Cross or disaster preparedness office for their recommendations on what to keep on hand in your vehicle for emergencies.

When you travel away from your Los Altos home, you should check the weather forecasts before you leave and pack appropriate emergency supplies. Also, do some research about the areas you will be traveling through so you can be prepared for the climate and terrain. Remember the basics: heat, water, shelter, light and food.

When you travel, it is important to leave your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member. Check-in periodically at prearranged checkpoints. That way, if something does happen, someone else will quickly know you are in trouble and will be able to send help. These checkpoints will also help rescuers find you quickly, as they will have a better idea of where you are.

The automotive professionals at Allied Auto Works want Los Altos drivers to be safe. Preventive maintenance, proper planning, and smart communication are the basics of safe travel.

I leave you with a travel thought for this week.

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. ~ Lin Yatang

Cayenne

cay

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

Categories:

Safety

Cayenne Knows Your Towing Limits in Los Altos

cay

 

Hello, Cayenne here on a beautiful June day here in  Los Altos.  You know, some Los Altos drivers figure that anything they can attach to their trailer hitch can be towed by their vehicle, including my oversized t-bones. Well, that is not the case. If you're going to do any towing around Los Altos, you should be aware of safety issues, CA towing laws and potential liability.  So you probably already figured it out, we are going to bark about towing limits around town.  So let's get barkin'!

Understanding tow ratings is important for safe towing. A tow rating is the weight limit that your vehicle can safely tow. They calculate the tow rating for every vehicle, but different options on the vehicle can affect that rating. Los Altos drivers need to read the towing section in their owner's manual to get the specific tow rating for the vehicle they own.

Your trailer hitch also has a weight limit, and it may not match the tow rating for your vehicle. Your vehicle may be rated for 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg), but if you have a 2,000-pound (900 kg) hitch limit, you shouldn't be towing more than 2,000 pounds (900 kg). If you tow a 10,000-pound (4,500 kg) trailer on that hitch, it could break free and you would be liable for any resulting damages.

Another example is one popular pick-up truck that has a tow rating of 10,300 pounds (4,600kg). But the owner's manual specifies that a sway control device be used for trailers weighing over 2,000 pounds (900 kg) and that a weight-distributing hitch is required for trailers over 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg). If the vehicle owner tows a 6,000-pound (2700 kg) trailer without a weight-distributing hitch and ends up in an accident, the owner will be held liable for not complying with the towing requirements in CA.

Los Altos auto owners also need to keep in mind that tow weights include the weight of passengers and cargo inside the tow vehicle. So if your tow rating is 7,000 pounds (3,200 kg), and you're carrying 700 pounds (320 kg) of passengers and cargo, you can only tow a trailer weighing up to 6,300 pounds (2,880 kg).

Two numbers that Los Altos drivers should be aware of are the GVWR and the GCWR. These codes are usually imprinted on the inside of the driver's side door. GVWR stands for gross vehicle weight rating. Take GVWR and subtract the total weight of the vehicle, and you have the maximum weight the vehicle can safely carry in passengers and cargo. GCWR stands for Gross Combined Weight Rating. Take that number, subtract the weight of the tow vehicle and the trailer, and you have the maximum weight of passengers and cargo that the tow vehicle and trailer together can safely carry.

This may seem a bit complicated, but you ignore these ratings at your own peril. If you haul or tow loads over the maximum ratings around CA, you become liable in the event of an accident.

Local Los Altos laws require that safety chains be attached when towing a trailer. Some CA jurisdictions may require trailer brakes as well. Others mandate trailer brakes only in certain situations. If you are going to tow a trailer, you should find out the local Los Altos laws regarding trailer brakes and hitches, as well as weight and length restrictions.

To tow safely, CA drivers also need the proper tires on the tow vehicle. Tires need to be in good condition with adequate tread, and they need to have a load rating high enough to handle the weight of the trailer. Your trained Allied Auto Works tire professional can help you select the right tire to use when towing around Los Altos.

Your 's owner's manual is your primary source for auto advice regarding towing since it is specific to your vehicle. Be sure to read it carefully before doing any towing. And as always, keep your preventive maintenance up-to-date, and practice good car care to ensure the safety of your vehicle on the road—especially when pulling a trailer.

Here is my joke of the week, yes, tow related

If there was a film about a car towing a boat, would there be a trailer?

Cayenne

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

Categories:

Safety

Cayenne Wants You To Know Your Towing Limits in Los Altos

cayHi Cayenne here and today we will bark about towing limits when you are driving around town.  I had a trailer full of bones the other day and I did not realize I was over my weight limit so I thought I would share this with you today!

 

 

Some Los Altos drivers figure that anything they can attach to their trailer hitch can be towed by their vehicle. Nope. If you're going to do any towing around Los Altos, you should be aware of safety issues, CA towing laws, and potential liability.

Understanding tow ratings is important for safe towing. A tow rating is the weight limit that your vehicle can safely tow. They calculate the tow rating for every vehicle, but different options on the vehicle can affect that rating. Los Altos drivers need to read the towing section in their owner's manual to get the specific tow rating for the vehicle they own.

Your trailer hitch also has a weight limit, and it may not match the tow rating for your vehicle. Your vehicle may be rated for 10,000 pounds, but if you have a 2,000-pound hitch limit, you shouldn't be towing more than 2,000 pounds. If you tow a 10,000-pound trailer on that hitch, it could break free and you would be liable for any resulting damages.

Another example, one popular pick-up truck has a tow rating of 10,300 pounds. But in the owner's manual, it specifies that a sway control device be used for trailers weighing over 2,000 pounds and that a weight-distributing hitch is required for trailers over 5,000 pounds. If the vehicle owner tows a 6,000-pound trailer without a weight-distributing hitch and ends up in an accident, the owner will be held liable for not complying with the towing requirements in CA.

Los Altos auto owners also need to keep in mind that tow weights include the weight of passengers and cargo inside the tow vehicle. So if your tow rating is 7,000 pounds, and you're carrying 700 pounds of passengers and cargo, you can only tow a trailer weighing up to 6,300 pounds.

Two numbers that Los Altos drivers should be aware of are the GVWR and the GCWR. These codes are usually imprinted on the inside of the driver's side door. GVWR stands for gross vehicle weight rating. Take GVWR and subtract the total weight of the vehicle, and you have the maximum weight the vehicle can safely carry in passengers and cargo. GCWR stands for Gross Combined Weight Rating. Take that number, subtract the weight of the tow vehicle and the trailer, and you have the maximum weight of passengers and cargo that the tow vehicle and trailer together can safely carry.

This may seem a bit complicated, but you ignore these ratings at your own peril. If you haul or tow loads over the maximum ratings around CA, you become liable in event of an accident.

Local Los Altos laws require that safety chains be attached when towing a trailer. Some CA jurisdictions may require trailer brakes as well. Others mandate trailer brakes only in certain situations. If you are going to tow a trailer, you should find out the local Los Altos laws regarding trailer brakes, hitches, as well as weight and length restrictions.

To tow safely, CA drivers also need the proper tires on the tow vehicle. Tires need to be in good condition, with adequate tread, and they need to have a load rating high enough to handle the weight of the trailer. Your trained Allied Auto Works tire professional can help you select the right tire to use when towing around Los Altos.

Your 's owner's manual is your primary source for auto advice regarding towing since it is specific to your vehicle. Be sure to read it carefully before doing any towing. And as always, keep your preventive maintenance up-to-date and practice good car care to ensure the safety of your vehicle on the road—especially when pulling a trailer.

Well until next week, this is Cayenne!    cay

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

Categories:

Safety

Cayenne's Blind Spot Safety For Los Altos Driving

cay

Think You Are Seeing Spots, Blind Spots I Mean, Hi it is Cayenne with my weekly education blog and today it's all about blind spots!                                        

Blind spotsmay be a good thing when it comes to a spouse’s annoying habits, but when driving an automobile in Los Altos, they are definitely to be avoided. So, while it’s not good marital advice, it’s good auto advice to minimize your own blind spots and stay out of other Los Altos motorists' blind spots, especially when it comes to large, heavy vehicles like trucks and buses.

First, minimize your own blind spots. Do this before you pull out of the driveway or parking space. Adjust your rearview mirror so that you see as much of the area behind you as possible. And, no, this doesn’t include the passengers in the back seat. The rearview mirror isn’t designed to be a baby monitor.

Next, lean to the side until your head almost touches the driver’s side window. Now adjust the driver’s side mirror so that it just catches the side of the sedan. Then, lean to the middle of the car and adjust the passenger’s side mirror in the same way. These adjustments will ensure you the widest possible view behind your vehicle.

Of course, you can’t eliminate blind spots entirely. There is always an area behind any vehicle where the driver just can’t see what’s there. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. Toddlers are just the right size to hide in a pickup’s or SUV’s blind spot. The blind spot on an RV or tractor-trailer can actually hide your crossover! You should always check behind any vehicle before getting in and backing up. And if you sit in the sedan for a few minutes before backing up, it is essential to get out and check again, especially if you are pulling out of a neighborhood driveway in Los Altos. No precaution is too extreme if it saves the life of a child.

Once you have taken care of your own blind spots, be aware that other Los Altos auto owners have them, too. And avoid them. Trucks and buses have large blind spots, and they have blind spots on all four sides, so they should always be given extra room on Mt. View roads. They are also heavy, which means they need more room to stop, and their length means they need a wider area for turns, and their large size makes them less maneuverable than a car.

Trucks may cause about 60% of the accidents involving a truck and a car, but 78% of fatalities in such accidents are with the smaller vehicle. The number of fatalities in CA, as well as the number of crashes, could be cut significantly if Los Altos drivers learned to properly share CA roads with trucks.

Never follow a truck too closely. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his side mirror, then he can’t see you. If you need to pass a truck, it is vital to make sure you give yourself enough time to pass the rig. Wait for the right opportunity rather than “cutting it close.” On a two-lane CA highway, it’s always a good idea to wait for a passing zone if they are available. A little patience could save your life or the lives of others. Turn on your turn signal so the truck knows what you’re planning, and pass on the left whenever possible. Remember those blind spots? They are much larger on the right side of a truck.

Once you’ve committed to passing the truck, don’t muck about. Pass it quickly and give yourself plenty of room to move back over. It is critical to wait until you can see both headlights in your rearview mirror before pulling back in front of the truck. Once again, use your sedan turn signals. After you pull in front of the truck, decelerate to the regulated driving speed slowly. Remember that the truck has a long stopping distance, which translates into a long slowing distance. And, since trucks are so big, we often perceive them as traveling more slowly than they really are. Trucks are a lot of weight moving at a high speed, and we need to treat them accordingly.

Never pull to the right of a truck at an intersection unless you are absolutely certain it is not going to turn. Check if its turn signals are on or if it has angled to the left or right. (Trucks often begin a right turn by angling to the left to widen their turning area.) Trucks need a lot of room on city streets, and they probably can’t see you if you pull along their right side. Too many cars have ended up in Los Altos body shops because the motorists thought they could beat that truck to the right turn, or they only noticed the seemingly open lane, and not the truck angling into a turn.

While learning to share Los Altos area roads and highways with trucks and other large vehicles may not seem like preventive auto maintenance, it does, in fact, go hand-in-hand with good Los Altos car care. Keeping your sedan out of the body shop can save you big bucks and prevent the stress of a major accident, along with the injuries that could come with it.

Cayenne and the team at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos urges you to stay safe, and stay on the road!

I will see you next time,

Cayenne

 

Categories:

Safety

Your Well Trained Technician at Allied Auto Works

When your vehicle has a problem or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your vehicle's so important to your life in Los Altos, you need to get back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.

If you've ever checked into some of the technician training Allied Auto Works professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much specialized knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. For example: Today there are four cylinder engines that generate more power than the 1980s-era V-8's. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket's Ferrari in a race to 60 mph/100 kph.

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Los Altos gas prices. They are also amazingly reliable: Kudos to the automotive engineers. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern vehicles driven around CA are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.

Some vehicles have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle operations as well. Los Altos motorists take all of this sophistication for granted, but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It's a real challenge for Allied Auto Works in Los Altos technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technicians and the Los Altos service centers as well.

Allied Auto Works technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at Allied Auto Works by parts and equipment manufacturers, online courses and home study courses.

In addition to the expensive training, there's the financial commitment for Allied Auto Works to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools.

There are many independent certifications held by the pros at Allied Auto Works. The ability to repair your vehicle requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Los Altos auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even online communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It's like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what's the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At Allied Auto Works, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and inexpensive – but sometimes it just isn't.

The next time you bring us your vehicle, don't worry. You're in good hands at Allied Auto Works.

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

Categories:

Safety
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