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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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Getting to the bottom of the tune up

 

Q: I think my car needs a tuneup, but everywhere I call I get a different price. Why are there so many different prices, and how do I decide where to go?

A: Although the term “tuneup” is still widely used, there is no universally accepted definition as to what “tuneup” means.

Many years ago, it generally meant installing new spark plugs, ignition points and condensers, and this was done about every 6,000 miles. With today’s vehicles, there are no longer any ignition points and condensers, and spark plugs last 30,000 to 90,000 miles. So, when you ask different auto repair businesses about the cost of a tuneup, they are all talking about something different.

For today’s vehicles to last a long time and run reliably, vehicle services need to be performed at periodic intervals. The different levels of servicing involve inspections, fluid changing and parts changing.

Generally, inspections include brake condition, tire rotation and balance, fluids’ condition and level, exterior lights operation, steering and suspension component condition and a check for any fluid leakage.

Fluid changing pertains to engine oil and filter, transmission oil and filter, differential lubricant, engine coolant and brake-system, power-steering and washer fluids.

Parts changing during servicing can include engine and air-conditioning filters, spark plugs, burned-out lightbulbs, engine timing belts, accessory drive belts and batteries.

Servicing intervals are most commonly every 5,000 to 75,000 miles, with major services performed at 30,000, 60,000, 90,000 and 120,000 miles. It is good to know that every vehicle manufacturer has its own list of items that are required to be taken care of at each service interval to maintain the warranty. But it is important to understand that manufacturers do not have a vested interest in the longevity of your vehicle past the warranty period. They would prefer to sell you a new car every three to five years, so their list of services may not include all that should be done to keep your vehicle on the road for the long term.

One example of this is that manufacturers in general are not changing transmission fluid. But if you want your vehicle’s transmission to last, changing the fluid when needed is paramount.

It is also worth noting that manufacturers do not make the service parts for their vehicles. They are contracted to outside vendors. Oftentimes money can be saved and higher quality can be achieved by going directly to the outside vendor.

It is important to take your vehicle to a facility that has your best interests in mind when it comes to servicing or repairing your vehicle. Your decision shouldn’t be based on the price, but rather the value you are receiving per dollar spent.

 

Warren McCord is an ASE certified master technician and owner of Dean’s Automotive Inc., 2037 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View. For more information, call 961-0302 or e-mail McCord at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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