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News

Los Altos Police nab alleged burglar, identity thief

Los Altos Police nab alleged burglar, identity thief

The Los Altos Police Department received a call from a local resident reporting a suspicious vehicle in the area of Lockhaven and Stonehaven drives in Los Altos at 9 a.m. Monday. The resident, who reported that his mail was possibly stolen, provided ...

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Schools

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Former NFL tight end Eason Ramson visited with Blach Intermediate School students, Feb. 13 to share the perils of drug use. Now a motivational speaker, Ramson works with at-risk teens in San Francisco.

Although former ...

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Community

Chi Am Circle, Chef Chu's prove 'golden': Club sets fundraising goal of $200K for March fashion show

Chi Am Circle, Chef Chu's prove 'golden': Club sets fundraising goal of $200K for March fashion show


Courtesy of Bev Harada
Chi Am Circle members, from left, Gerrye Wong, Sylvia Eng, Pearl Lee and Muriel Kao flank Larry Chu Sr. at the Jan. 31 event honoring the club’s 50th and Chef Chu’s 45th anniversaries.

Chef Chu’s restaurant in Los Altos ho...

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Comment

Freedom's just another word: No Shoes, Please

It used to be that the word “freedom” held exclusively positive connotations for me, but now it’s really become a mixed bag. It all started in 2001 when President George W. Bush asked the question he felt was on the minds of most Americans regarding ...

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Special Sections

Filoli in bloom: Historic estate hosts  classes, events and tours

Filoli in bloom: Historic estate hosts classes, events and tours


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Scenes from Filoli: The historic estate in Woodside is a welcoming sanctuary for visitors. The grounds offer a rotating display of seasonal flowers, a tranquil reflecting pool and paths that wend through the 16-acre Engl...

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Business

Stock volatility still confusing

The market opened down more than 100 points Friday but by noon rose more than 130, the form of volatility that quickly draws investors’ attention. By week’s end, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial aver...

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Books

French novel

French novel "Hunting and Gathering" offers character-driven suspense


Anna Gavalda is a well-known author in her native France, where she has published six books, most of which have met with considerable praise and commercial success. Her fourth novel, “Hunting and Gathering” (Riverhead Books, 2007), is filled ...

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People

CHRIS A. KENISON

CHRIS A. KENISON

Feb 13, 1945-Feb 6, 2015

Resident of Los Altos

Chris was born in Georgia and moved to Oklahoma as a young child. He grew up there and moved to California in 1965. He developed a strong work ethic from his grandparents and parents. He attended the...

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Travel

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon public recreation space, above, features an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Seoul, South Korea, is a study in contrasts. Having grown quickly, the city is a mix of old and new.

Using...

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Stepping Out

'Park' in the hills

'Park' in the hills


courtesy of Foothill Music Theatre
Dot (Katie Nix) imagines her dream job as a follies dancer in the Foothill Music Theatre production of “Sunday in the Park with George.” The play runs through March 8.

Foothill Music Theatre’s production of “Su...

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Spiritual Life

Is your thought life sabotaging your spiritual journey?

My computer started having problems – there seemed to be some sort of malware running in the background. At first it was just annoying, then it began to slow down my computer, interfering with its basic operations. What is it doing? Why can...

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Magazine

Local events serve up family fun

Local events serve up family fun


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Alto...

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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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