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Category Archives: Service Standards

Duke's Diagnostics On Board for Your Vehicle

duke

 

Hey, it's Duke and today for all my Silicon Valley Techs we are going to dive into diagnostics with our vehicles.  Since all of our cars of today have well let's day a big brain, the main computer of the car, it receives information when something is working right or maybe not so right.  So let's watch my video below!

 

 

Today we're going to talk about on-board diagnostics and the questions we hear from folks around Los Altos, CA, who need answers about diagnostic services. They want to know what diagnostics are, what's involved and what the benefits are. They really want to understand the value of diagnostic scans by a trained technician in Los Altos.

These are valid concerns. If you don't understand something it's really hard to know its value. Let's start with some history.

Since 1996, all cars and light trucks in Los Altos, CA, have been required to use a standardized diagnostic system to help repair technicians determine what's wrong with your vehicle. The diagnostic system works with the vehicle's Engine Control Module – the computer that controls many engine functions.

The computer monitors dozens of components and processes. Depending on what the sensors read, the computer will make adjustments to compensate for conditions and minor problems. When there is a condition that it can't adjust for, the computer will turn on the Check Engine light.

It is also called the 'service engine soon' light on some vehicles. The warning light signals you to get into your local service center so that the trouble code can be read and the problem can be fixed. Your service center will have a scan tool and powerful software that will help the technician diagnose the problem.

If you've searched for Check Engine light on the internet, you may have seen that you can buy an inexpensive scanner or go to an auto parts store to have the trouble code read to tell you exactly what's wrong.

That's a common myth. The code itself doesn't tell you what's broken. It starts you looking in the right place. It tells you what engine parameter is out of range – but it won't tell you what's wrong or how to fix it.

Let's say you think your daughter has a fever. You take her temperature and it reads 102 degrees F/38.9 degrees C. You've confirmed a fever, but you don't know what's causing it. Is it a 24 hour flu, an infection, appendicitis or leukemia? A fever is a symptom of all of these medical problems, but it takes a skilled physician's examination and additional diagnostic tests to find out what is actually causing the fever.

An example of a trouble code could be: P0133, which reads 'Bank 1 sensor 1 circuit slow response.' This means that the front oxygen sensor has a slow response time to changes in the air-fuel mix. If that's all you knew about cars, you would think your oxygen sensor was broken and would replace it. Now, it could be the oxygen sensor – but it could also be a bad or contaminated airflow sensor, exhaust leak, electrical problem, an intake manifold leak or any of a number of other things.

You can imagine a lot of oxygen sensors have been replaced because of that code. So the onboard diagnostics point the way to where the trouble lies, but it takes some skill and high-tech equipment to actually pinpoint the problem. The cheap scan tools that a consumer can buy do not have the ability to retrieve some of the operating history that's stored in the engine control computer. That history's very helpful in diagnosing the problem. Service centers like Allied Auto Works invest a lot of money in high-end diagnostic tools to help solve the mystery and get you back on the road as soon as possible without replacing a lot of parts that don't need replacing.

So, onboard diagnostics provide a powerful starting place for a highly-trained, well-equipped technician to get to the bottom of your problem. When your Check Engine light comes on, get it checked at Allied Auto Works. If the light burns steadily – don't panic. Get in to Allied Auto Works soon to have the engine scanned. A flashing Check Engine light means that there is a severe engine problem. Get in as soon as you can – waiting too long can lead to very expensive damage.

And try to not drive at high speed or tow or haul heavy loads with a flashing Check Engine light.

Make an appointment with Allied Auto Works to have your on board diagnostics analyzed today!  

dukeDuke

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

Duke's On Board Diagnostics for Your vehicle

dukeDuke here and today we're going to bark about on-board diagnostics and the questions we hear from folks around bay area who need answers about diagnostic services.  First watch my video below!

 



 Want to know what diagnostics are, what's involved and what the benefits are?  Our clients really want to understand the value of diagnostic scans by a trained technician in the bay area.

These are valid concerns. If you don't understand something it's really hard to know its value. Let's start with some history.

Since 1996, all cars and light trucks in South bay, have been required to use a standardized diagnostic system to help repair technicians determine what's wrong with your vehicle. The diagnostic system works with the vehicle's Engine Control Module – the computer that controls many engine functions.

The computer monitors dozens of components and processes. Depending on what the sensors read, the computer will make adjustments to compensate for conditions and minor problems. When there is a condition that it can't adjust for, the computer will turn on the Check Engine light.

It is also called the 'service engine soon' light on some vehicles. The warning light signals you to get into your local service center so that the trouble code can be read and the problem can be fixed. Your service center will have a scan tool and powerful software that will help the technician diagnose the problem.

If you've searched for Check Engine light on the internet, you may have seen that you can buy an inexpensive scanner or go to an auto parts store to have the trouble code read to tell you exactly what's wrong.

That's a common myth. The code itself doesn't tell you what's broken. It starts you looking in the right place. It tells you what engine parameter is out of range – but it won't tell you what's wrong or how to fix it.

Let's say you think your daughter has a fever. You take her temperature and it reads 102 degrees F/38.9 degrees C. You've confirmed a fever, but you don't know what's causing it. Is it a 24 hour flu, an infection, appendicitis or leukemia? A fever is a symptom of all of these medical problems, but it takes a skilled physician's examination and additional diagnostic tests to find out what is actually causing the fever.

An example of a trouble code could be: P0133, which reads 'Bank 1 sensor 1 circuit slow response.' This means that the front oxygen sensor has a slow response time to changes in the air-fuel mix. If that's all you knew about cars, you would think your oxygen sensor was broken and would replace it. Now, it could be the oxygen sensor – but it could also be a bad or contaminated airflow sensor, exhaust leak, electrical problem, an intake manifold leak or any of a number of other things.

You can imagine a lot of oxygen sensors have been replaced because of that code. So the on-board diagnostics point the way to where the trouble lies, but it takes some skill and high-tech equipment to actually pinpoint the problem. The cheap scan tools that a consumer can buy do not have the ability to retrieve some of the operating history that's stored in the engine control computer. That history's very helpful in diagnosing the problem. Service centers like Allied Auto Works invest a lot of money in high-end diagnostic tools to help solve the mystery and get you back on the road as soon as possible without replacing a lot of parts that don't need replacing.

So, on-board diagnostics provide a powerful starting place for a highly-trained, well-equipped technician to get to the bottom of your problem. When your Check Engine light comes on, get it checked at Allied Auto Works. If the light burns steadily – don't panic. Get in to Allied Auto Works soon to have the engine scanned. A flashing Check Engine light means that there is a severe engine problem. Get in as soon as you can – waiting too long can lead to very expensive damage.

And try to not drive at high speed or tow or haul heavy loads with a flashing Check Engine light.

Make an appointment with Allied Auto Works to have your on board diagnostics analyzed.  

Duke  duke

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

How Does Duke Know What to Recommend At Allied Auto Works?

dukeHi Duke here and I am always asked, "How do I know what to recommend for your vehicle at Allied Auto Works?"  Well today I will bark to you about what we do here at Allied Auto Works so we know how to help you and your vehicle in the best way.......so let's get barkin' now!

When you drop your vehicle off at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos, they don't just poke around under your hood looking for stuff to do. Allied Auto Works professionals have lists and procedures they follow for different types of service. First of all, your Los Altos service center will note the mileage on your vehicle. They'll then check to see what inspections and services the vehicle manufacturer recommends for a vehicle of your make, model and mileage. If you are a regular customer, they will also check your vehicle's history.

If the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations go beyond the services you've ordered, they'll let you know. They'll also indicate whether those services are urgent or if you can wait a while to take care of them. The Allied Auto Works pros won't do work that you don't agree to.

They will, however, perform inspections while they're servicing your vehicle. They'll check belts, filters and fluids. They'll check your windshield wipers for wear. They'll let you know if there's an urgent problem that needs taken care of, and they'll give you a heads-up about problems that might be developing. If repairs or services are in order, you are given options based on driving needs and budget.

You can think of it like a trip to the dentist for a check-up. The dentist will check if you've had x-rays recently. If not, he'll get your permission to take new ones. Then the hygienist will clean your teeth and check your gums. At the end, the dentist comes in and inspects your teeth. You'll be told if you need any work done, about problems that are developing, and if anything is urgent. You'll be given different care options and recommendations on where to get work done that is beyond your dentist's usual purview. Then you'll be sent to the front desk for appointments and paperwork.

These procedures make sure your teeth are in good working order and that you are apprised of any problems. Then you can make a decision as to what work you want done and when. Allied Auto Works in Los Altos operates the same way. They want Los Altos drivers to be able to make informed decisions about their car care.

Preventive auto maintenance is a lot like dental check-ups. Small problems can quickly develop into big ones. A cavity becomes a root canal. A dirty filter becomes engine damage. Skipping check-ups for either your teeth or your vehicle can lead to repairs.

Allied Auto Works follows industry guidelines. A part is replaced only if it can no longer perform its function, no longer meets its design specifications or is missing – or if you ask for upgraded performance. Your Allied Auto Works service advisor will recommend a part be replaced if it is showing signs that it will soon fail.

Dentists often offer services that go beyond routine care, such as teeth whitening.  Hmmm...I need to check my teeth.   Service centers also offer Los Altos drivers help with upgrades to a vehicle. They'll know what parts are needed and how to perform the work so that safety and performance aren't compromised. You can rely on the pros at Allied Auto Works for good auto advice.

The next time you're headed to the dentist's office  or the vet for your favorite canine, think about the vehicle you're riding in.   Is it time for it to get a check-up, too?

Duke   duke

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

Duke Answers What You Need to Know from Your Allied Auto Works Service Advisors

dukeDuke here, Los Altos drivers may feel intimidated when they take their vehicles to a service center. They have questions but aren't sure how to ask. They don't want to feel embarrassed about their lack of knowledge. They don't want to make the service technician feel that they don't trust him.  I'm here to help you on that today so let's get barkin'!

 


If your service advisors, Matt or Travis at Allied Auto Works uses a term you don't understand, just ask him to explain. Remember, they are the auto service experts. If they came to your place of work, they probably wouldn't understand the jargon, either. When you take your car in to be serviced, make sure you understand the financial issues up-front. Ask about payment policies, warranties and, of course, the cost of the work being done.

It helps to understand basic services your vehicle needs. Know the difference between a quick check-up and a thorough inspection, which you are getting, and which you are asking for. Understand that diagnosing a problem takes time, and time isn't free. If you have concerns about cost, negotiate your limits before service is done. Don't be afraid to ask your service advisor for auto advice on how to keep your vehicle on the road within your budget. He can help you prioritize your vehicle's needs. Some repairs are for the safety and future health of your vehicle. Others can wait. Your Allied Auto Works service advisors Matt and Travis can help you set up a plan to get all the work done as you can afford it.

It may be tempting for Los Altos drivers to save money with budget parts. Your service advisor can help you to sort through the options to work within your budget. High-quality parts are always preferable for any auto repair. Your service advisors  will make sure the parts used won't compromise the safety of your vehicle.

Don't leave your Allied Auto Works without your paperwork, either. Ask about warranties for parts and labor. You may need these for claims or if there is a problem in the future. Get detailed explanations of the work done on your car. These records will help you keep track of repairs, service and warranties.

Those records may also help close a deal when it comes time to sell your vehicle. After all, the biggest concern most people in the South Bay is when buying a used vehicle is that they are inheriting someone else's problems.

Records of repairs and service are a good picture of your vehicle's condition and performance and what problems a new owner can expect. People are always happier to purchase a vehicle they know has been well-maintained. Whenever we climb into a vehicle, we are entrusting our health and safety to it.

 

Perhaps it's time to take our vehicles' health a little more seriously. Open up; ask and learn. Oh and tell them the Duke sent ya!

 

duke

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

 

Cayenne's Service Center Standard and Procedures

cay 

 

Hello Cayenne here and today I am going to bark to you about Standards and Procedures in Automotive Service.  So let's get barking!

All CA pilots have checklists for every aspect of flying. They always use their checklists even if they only have two steps on them. They do this simply because a checklist is a great way to not forget steps. It is also how they can assure a predictable outcome.

That is why Los Altos automotive service centers including Allied Auto Works have procedural standards for each service they perform. Allied Auto Works technicians are trained step by step. And they perform the procedures step by step, the same way each time. By training to procedural standards, CA service centers can assure a quality outcome. The job is done right every time and Los Altos customers leave happy with how their vehicle performs.

Each company trains its technicians to standards. The CA automotive industry as a whole is very committed to standards of excellence and encourages individual CA service center operators to apply them to every vehicle they service.

An example is how Allied Auto Works grades problems and communicates their recommendations. If your service advisor tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

The part no longer performs its intended purpose
The part does not meet a design specification
The part is missing

They may suggest repair or replacement if:

The part is close to the end of its useful life - just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
To address a customer need or request - like for better ride or increased performance
To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle manufacturer
Based on the technician's informed experience

Here are some examples:

An exhaust pipe has rusted through and is leaking. Replacement is because the part has failed. If the pipe were rusted, corroded or weak, but not leaking, the may suggest it be replaced because it is near the end of its useful life and replacing it now may be more convenient for the customer.

Suppose a customer wants to improve his car's handling, but his shocks haven't failed. The may suggest replacement of the shocks to satisfy the customer's wishes.

Under these guidelines the Los Altos car repair shop must refuse partial service of a required repair if the repair creates or continues an unsafe condition.

Let's say a customer has a cracked brake rotor. This is a dangerous condition that must be repaired. If the customer does not want to replace the rotor, but instead just wants new brake pads installed, the shop must ethically refuse the partial repair. That can be an upsetting conversation, but understanding that Los Altos service centers operate under service standards and procedures is comforting. You want your service to be done right and to have confidence in your technician's recommendations.

Cayenne, the CA automotive service industry and Allied Auto Works want the best for you and for you to keep coming back.

See you soon,

Cayenne

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

 

Cayenne Knows Service Center Standard and Procedures

Cay

Hi Cayenne here and today it will be about standards and procedures for service centers. 

All CA pilots have checklists for every aspect of flying. They always use their checklists even if they only have two steps on them. They do this simply because a checklist is a great way to not forget vital steps. It is also how they can assure a predictable outcome.

That is why Cupertino and Sunnyvale automotive service centers including Allied Auto Works have procedural standards for each service they perform. Allied Auto Works techs are trained step by step. And they perform the procedures step by step, the same way each time. By training to procedural standards, CA centers can assure a quality outcome. The job is done right every time and Los Altos drivers leave happy with how their sedan performs.

Each company trains its technicians to standards. The CA automotive industry as a whole is very committed to standards of excellence and encourages individual CA service center operators including Brian Aberg (manager at Allied Auto Works) to apply them to every vehicle they service.

An example is how Allied Auto Works techs grade problems and communicate their recommendations. If your service professional tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

The part no longer performs its intended purpose
The part does not meet a design specification
The part is missing


The tech may suggest repair or replacement if:

The part is close to the end of its useful life - just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
To address a customer need or request - like for better ride or increased performance
To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle manufacturer
Based on the technician's informed experience


Here are some examples:

An exhaust pipe has rusted through and is leaking. Replacement is vital because the part has failed. If the pipe were rusted, corroded or weak, but not leaking, the service specialist may suggest it be replaced because it is near the end of its useful life and replacing it now may be more convenient for the Los Altos client.

Suppose a customer wants to improve his car's handling, but his shocks haven't failed. The service specialist may suggest replacement of the shocks to satisfy the customer's wishes.

Under these guidelines the Los Altos car repair shop must refuse partial service of a required repair if the repair creates or continues an unsafe condition.

Let's say a customer has a cracked brake rotor. This is a dangerous condition that must be repaired. If the customer does not want to replace the rotor, but instead just wants new brake pads installed, the shop must ethically refuse the partial repair. That can be an upsetting conversation, but understanding that Los Altos service centers operate under service standards and procedures is comforting. You want your service to be done right and to have confidence in your technician's recommendations.

The CA automotive service industry, Cayenne, and Allied Auto Works want the best for you and for you to keep coming back. AutoNetTV is committed to providing automotive maintenance information to help you be confident in your service decisions.

Cayenne's On Board Diagnostics For Los Altos Motorists

CAY

Cayenne here,

Some Los Altos drivers wonder why Allied Auto Works and other Los Altos auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services.

Think about it: When you hire a local Los Altos HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your Cupertino doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.

On Board Diagnostics For Los Altos Motorists

So receiving a diagnostic charge at Allied Auto Works for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Los Altos area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your sedan brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy CA interstate, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your sedan engine, however, Allied Auto Works diagnosis may be much more involved.

Much of the Los Altos auto owners’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.

There’s a common misconception among Cupertino, Sunnyvale, and Mt. View drivers that the trouble code tells the Allied Auto Works technician exactly what’s wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge - because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.

In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.

The sedan computer's trouble code just tells the Allied Auto Works technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the malfunction.

There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Allied Auto Works customers. The Allied Auto Works service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.

Los Altos service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These vital databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.

Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming, and difficult. Of course Allied Auto Works wants to figure out what’s wrong with your sedan and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Well I hope that clears up any mystery about Diagnostic for today and until next time this is Cayenne your friendly dog blogger

On Board Diagnostics For Your sedan with Cayenne



Cayenne wants you to make an appointment with Allied Auto Works to have your on board diagnostics analyzed.
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024
650.968.7227

Today Cayenne's going to talk about on-board diagnostics and the questions she hears from folks around Los Altos CA who need answers about diagnostic services. They want to know what diagnostics are, what's involved and what the benefits are. They really want to understand the value of diagnostic scans by a trained technician in Los Altos CA.

Cayenne's knows these are valid concerns. If you don't understand something it's really hard to know its value. Let's start with some history.

Cayenne did some research and since 1996, all cars and light trucks in Los Altos CA have been required to use a standardized diagnostic system to help repair technicians determine what's wrong with your vehicle. The diagnostic system works with the vehicle's Engine Control Module – the computer that controls many engine functions.

The computer monitors dozens of components and processes. Depending on what the sensors read, the computer will make adjustments to compensate for conditions and minor problems. When there is a condition that it can't adjust for, the computer will turn on the check engine light.

It is also called the 'service engine soon' light on some vehicles. The warning light signals you to get into your Los Altos CA service center so that the trouble code can be read and the problem can be fixed. Your service center will have a scan tool and powerful software that will help the technician diagnose the problem.

If you've searched for check engine light on the internet, you may have seen that you can buy an inexpensive scanner or go to an auto parts store to have the trouble code read to tell you exactly what's wrong.

That's a common myth. The code itself doesn't tell you what's broken. It starts you looking in the right place. It tells you what engine parameter is out of range – but it won't tell you what's wrong or how to fix it.

Let's say you think your daughter has a fever. You take her temperature and it reads one 102 degrees. You've confirmed a fever, but you don't know what's causing it. Is it a 24 hour flu, an infection, appendicitis or leukemia? A fever is a symptom of all of these medical problems, but it takes a skilled physician's examination and additional diagnostic tests to find out what is actually causing the fever.

An example of a trouble code could be: P0133, which reads 'Bank 1 sensor 1 circuit slow response'. This means that the front oxygen sensor has a slow response time to changes in the air-fuel mix. If that's all you knew about cars, you would think your oxygen sensor was broken and would replace it. Now, it could be the oxygen sensor – but it could also be a bad or contaminated airflow sensor, exhaust leak, electrical problem, an intake manifold leak or any of a number of other things.

Cayenne imagines a lot of oxygen sensors have been replaced because of that code. So the on-board diagnostics point the way to where the trouble lies, but it takes some skill and high-tech equipment to actually pinpoint the problem. The cheap scan tools that a consumer can buy do not have the ability to retrieve some of the operating history that's stored in the engine control computer. That history's very helpful in diagnosing the problem. Service centers like Allied Auto Works invest a lot of money in high-end diagnostic tools to help solve the mystery and get you back on the road as soon as possible without replacing a lot of parts that don't need replacing.

So, on-board diagnostics provide a powerful starting place for a highly-trained, well-equipped technician to get to the bottom of your problem. When your check engine light comes on, get it checked at Allied Auto Works. If the light burns steady – don't panic. Get in to Allied Auto Works soon to have the engine scanned. A flashing check engine light means that there is a severe engine problem. Get in as soon as you can – waiting too long can lead to very expensive damage.

And try to not drive at high speed or tow or haul heavy loads with a flashing check engine light.  Cayenne strongly recommends this needs to be attended to as soon as possible. 

Los Altos Customer Detective Work



One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos CA is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.

Cars are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So it's challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it's not something obvious, it's easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.

Let us introduce you to something we'll call Customer Detective Work – that is helping your Los Altos CA technician find clues to what's wrong.

We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me. You come in to Allied Auto Works and your car is making a funny sound.

  • Q: Where's the sound?
  • A: Around the right front wheel.

  • Q: What kind of sound?
  • A: Kind of a clunk, clunk sound.

  • Q: When do you hear the sound?
  • A: When I turn and accelerate.

  • Q: Right and left? Forwards and back?…

Do you see where we're going? You're gathering additional information to help your Los Altos CA technician know where to start. Based on your car and the tech's experience, he'll know where to look and can start with the obvious suspects.

You can see how that would be more helpful than dropping the car off with a note that says "making a funny noise".

When you think you need to bring a vehicle in, make some notes about the problem. Rather than just saying "it's leaking", tell the tech the color of the fluid, and approximately where under the car you see the puddle.

Things like 'the car is stalling or sputtering' are often very hard to diagnose because they're intermittent. They may not happen every time you drive and usually aren't happening when you actually bring the car in. So, it is a big help for you to describe what's happening in as much detail as possible.

Your Los Altos CA technician at Allied Auto Works will need to be able to duplicate the problem if possible so he needs to know details, like 'it stalls after it's been driven for about 20 minutes and I go over 50 miles an hour'.

If the tech can experience the problem personally, he's better able to make a diagnosis and repair. And, then test to see if the repair solved the problem.

Ethics of Automotive Repair in Los Altos



We're going to be talking about the ethics of automotive repair. It seems like news outlets really like hit-and-run reporting; they hit everyone from groceries stores to retail to physicians. And the Los Altos automotive service and repair industry hasn't been given a pass either.

Unfortunately, every profession in Los Altos has some bad actors that hurt the reputation of everyone else. On the automotive side, industry associations and professional licensing organizations are very committed to high ethical standards.

Yet some people remain uncomfortable with Los Altos automotive service and repair. It may start with the fact that our vehicles are a big investment and we rely on them for so much in our lives. That alone guarantees our attention. And how well we understand the recommendations really impacts our comfort level.

If we understand what's recommended and the benefits of taking care of the work – and the pitfalls of putting it off – we'll have more trust in the recommendation. So communication is key. It's like going to the doctor; If she's using medical jargon and takes a lot of basic medical knowledge for granted, we have a hard time following her train of thought. It can be like that with your Los Altos service advisor too. He's so familiar with all things automotive, he may forget you don't know a PCV from an EGT.

If you don't understand what your doctor's talking about: ask some questions. If you don't understand what your Los Altos automotive advisor's talking about: ask some questions.

Let's go back to those ethical standards; when we hear a repair recommendation, we always ask ourselves, "Is this really necessary?" Well, here's the industry standard:

If a technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

  1. The part no longer performs its intended purpose
  2. The part does not meet a design specification
  3. The part is missing

For example, it you take your car in for a grinding noise when you step on the brakes, you may just think you need new brake pads. After the inspection, the technician at Allied Auto Works says that you have a cracked rotor and need to replace it.

If you tried to get him to simply put new pads on, he would say that if you didn't want to replace the rotor; Allied Auto Works would ethically have to refuse the repair.

To just put pads on a cracked rotor would have been very wrong. The brakes could've failed at anytime and needed to be repaired – not just have a band-aid slapped on them.

Now, looking at something not so serious, the technician may suggest repair or replacement if:

  1. The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
  2. To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
  3. To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle's manufacturer
  4. Based on the technician's informed experience

Of course, the technician has the burden of making ethical recommendations and properly educating their customers. For the customer, if you are uncomfortable with a recommendation, ask some questions. More information is always a good thing.

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

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