Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Seven ways to pinpoint that high-pitched, whining noise

Q: I own an older vehicle with higher mileage. I recently had new fan belts installed after hearing a high-pitched, whining noise, but that didn’t solve the problem. What else could be causing the noise?

A: There are many potential causes for a noise of this type. To narrow the possible causes, answer the following seven questions and provide your technician with the information.

1. Do you hear the noise when the engine is running and the vehicle not moving?

2. Does the noise change with the engine speed?

3. Is the noise heard only when the vehicle is put in gear?

4. Is the noise heard only when the vehicle is being driven, and does it change with the speed of the vehicle?

5. Is the noise heard only when driving and turning corners?

6. Is the noise heard only when applying the brakes while driving?

7. Is the noise heard mainly when starting the engine and then only occasionally thereafter?

Potential causes

Following are examples of what the answers to these questions could point to.

• It could be that the fan belts were installed but not tightened correctly. Affirmative answers to questions 1 and 7 would point to this being the problem.

• There are bearings in the components being driven by the fan belts. One or more of these could be the source of the noise. Affirmative answers to questions 1 and 2 would point in that direction. These bearings could be in the alternator, water pump, power-steering pump or pulleys that tension and guide the fan belts and timing belt.

• If the noise is not heard until the vehicle is put in gear, either with an automatic or manual transmission (question 3), the cause of the noise could be internal to the transmission (for manual transmissions) or could be a clutch problem.

• An affirmative answer to question 4 – the noise is heard only while driving – could point to the drivetrain. Sources could be the wheel bearings, in the transmission or a differential.

• An affirmative answer to question 5 would direct attention to the drive axles or could indicate a wheel bearing.

• If the noise is only heard when the brakes are applied (question 6), the brakes are the likely source. Possible causes include worn-out brake pads, faulty brake calipers, not enough or no lubrication on the brake parts or simply low-quality brake pads and/or brake rotors.

Special tools are sometimes needed to locate the source of a noise, such as Electronic Ear Sensors. These are clipped to different areas of the vehicle, and each sensor can be listened to individually to help determine the cause.

It is important to be prepared to provide as much information as possible when bringing your vehicle in for service. Note that providing the specific details to your technician is only the beginning step in identifying the cause of the noise. A qualified shop will then take that information and determine where to begin diagnosis, saving a lot of time and thus money in the long run.

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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