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News

West Nile fogging commences today

West Nile fogging commences today


Courtesy of the Santa Clara County Vector Control District
Fogging commences Wednesday within the highlighted area.

The detection of West Nile Virus-infected mosquitos means that Santa Clara County officials will begin mosquito fogging operations...

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Schools

LASD trustees reopen negotiations with Los Altos Teachers Association

The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees last week directed staff to reopen negotiations with the Los Altos Teachers Association, a move intended to shore up the district’s financial picture.

According to the district’s current co...

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Community

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Alexandra McCarthy, crowned Miss Golden State Teen in July, earned “Ms. Personality” honors from her peers.

Alexandra McCarthy has a ways to go before reaching her coveted role as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Bu...

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Sports

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High senior running back Patrick Vargas snares a pass in practice last week.

Don’t dismiss the Eagles. Coach Trevor Pruitt is adamant that his Los Altos High football team will be better than expected.

&#...

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Comment

Car spotting 2015: A Piece of My Mind

When I was a kid, September was exciting, almost like Christmas, because that was when the Big Three automakers would reveal the new models for the upcoming year.

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Special Sections

Loving on the Edge

Loving on the Edge


Courtesy of Ford
The Ford Edge has been redesigned for 2015. Ford lengthened the wheel base and added cargo space, among other things. The Titanium model sells for approximately $42,000.

Once in a while, a vehicle we test-drive is just right for our...

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Business

Wine bar aims for October opening

Wine bar aims for October opening


Rendering courtesy of Honcho
Honcho, the wine and beer lounge on First Street, expects an October launch. A rendering of the space reveals the interior layout, which includes bar and lounge-style seating.

A downtown libations lounge that anticip...

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People

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

November, 1928

Lois lost a long and courageous battle with a prolonged illness on July 14th, 2015. She passed away knowing how well she was loved. She was always the life of the party and loved bringing everyone to her home for dinner or an event,...

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Travel

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades


Courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch
Carmel Valley Ranch recently upgraded its Vineyard Oak suites, which feature sweeping views, rocking chairs and private outdoor tubs for soaking under the stars.

Things are heating up at Carmel Valley Ranch, with 30 n...

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Stepping Out

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” includes, from left, Marjorie Hazeltine (as Hermia), Kristin Walter (Jean) and Adrienne Walters (Carlotta).

Los Altos Stage Company opens its ...

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Spiritual Life

Inside Mountain View

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for "Corners Grove"


Courtesy of Undiscovered Countries
Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin received a New York arts festival award for a featured role in “Corners Grove,” a play she wrote.

New York recognized that one of Mountain View’s own can “make it there” when the Planet C...

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Should I stay with dealership for service after agreement ends?

Q: The dealership maintenance program that came with my new car a few years back is running out, and I would rather not continue going to the dealer for service or repairs. If I take my car to an independent shop, how can I be sure that my “baby” is serviced correctly and will stay healthy for years to come? And what about the manufacturer’s warranties? Will they stay intact?

A: I will answer your last question first. Yes, as long as the minimum requirements stated by the manufacturer are met, no matter where you have your vehicle serviced or repaired (even if you do it yourself), the warranty will stay intact. There is a law (the Magnuson-Moss Act of 1975) to support this.

As for your car’s life span, it is more likely that your vehicle will last longer and cost less to repair and service over its lifetime if you take it to a qualified repair facility other than the dealership.

The manufacturer’s dealership network is there first and foremost to sell new vehicles and to get them through the warranty period with as little cost to the manufacturer as possible. The hope is that once the warranty runs out, you will purchase a new vehicle. This does not help the vehicle owner who wants to get 15-20 years of reliable service from the vehicle.

Manufacturers require minimum service items to be performed to keep the vehicle under warranty. The key word here is “minimum.” What we see is manufacturers deleting certain service items from their schedules.

A repair facility focused solely on servicing and repairing your vehicle has a vested interest in keeping your car reliable and healthy for many years.

Also know that a repair facility serious about providing high-quality care for your car has invested in accessing technical information available online to all automotive professionals. These resources help the professional technician stay current on which areas of any vehicle are or can be troublesome and what can be done to help them last longer. Because of the cost to access this information, many repair facilities choose not to pay for it; this is among the biggest factors that set facilities apart.

A qualified repair facility will have:

• ASE-certified techs (this is a voluntary certification)

• Access to information to correctly service and repair your vehicle

• Correct and current equipment

• Ongoing training for its techs

• Insurance that covers your vehicle while it is in their possession

• Warranty for parts and labor (the longer term, the better)

• A clean, neat and well-organized facility

Another point to keep in mind is that any repair facility approved by the American Automobile Association is a good place to start. The area AAA representative inspects each facility quarterly to ensure that it has all the previously stated qualities. In addition, AAA checks that the majority of the facility’s customers are satisfied.

Another way to identify a good repair facility is to ask friends who may own a similar year, make and model vehicle. Is their repair facility keeping their car reliable? Is it serviced or repaired correctly the first time, without having to take it back for multiple appointments? If their main reason for using their facility is that the prices seem low, it may not be the best choice. This usually means that the shop does not have the financial resources to pay for insurance, equipment, training, information or qualified technicians.

Search the Internet for information about repair facilities through their websites, testimonials, etc. Not all testimonials are positive, as no business can satisfy every customer, but when the majority of them are, that is typically a good sign.

There are many good repair facilities out there, and each one has its own personality. Find one that fits you and your vehicle, and you should both be happy for years to come.

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 email McCord at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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