Wed07302014

News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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