Cooling off a hot problem

A customer with a 2011 BMW X5 recently came in with an overheating problem. Because this car does not come with a temperature gauge, it can be disconcerting when the instrument display tells you that the car is overheating.

The customer said he saw the warning light and also heard the engine auxiliary fan roaring at full speed. This gave me a good idea of what may have happened.

Following the state's rules on rural roads

Following rules
Megan V. Winslow / Town Crier
Motorists passing cyclists are required to give them a wide berth.

My previous columns focused on safety in town, but riding on rural roads or in a group of cyclists creates its own set of concerns.

Los Altos Hills, Portola Valley and Woodside are the gateway to the Santa Cruz Mountains, and cyclists are often more numerous than cars on some of their roads. Of course, the rules of the road are the same as in town, but two sections of the California Vehicle Code come into play more often in rural areas, and both cyclists and motorists should be aware of them.

Getting more for less

courtesy of Mitsubishi
Fully equipped, the new Mitsubishi Outlander sells for approximately $32,000.

Those looking to buy a solid, standard-size sport utility vehicle with seating for seven and a full range of safety features will spend at least $50,000 if they choose a luxury SUV with Japanese or German nameplates.

Consumers who don’t care about the nameplate, however, can purchase a fully equipped 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander with a 4-cylinder engine for just more than $32,000.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek is practical for families

Courtesy of Subaru
The Subaru Crosstrek has all the safety features of higher-priced vehicles.

Some vehicles we test don’t scream their virtues or demand attention – they just do a good job of doing what they were designed to do and quietly flatter the owners’ good judgment.

The Subaru Crosstrek, redesigned for 2018, is such a vehicle. It may be the most practical vehicle a family could buy in terms of price, utility and safety, and it’s pretty comfortable and attractive as well.

The lost art of the clutch adjustment

As December ended, I was doing my best to manage the shop, my family and my life. I had been thinking about all the complex problems we solved in 2017 and was trying to pick one to write about.

As I sat contemplating what I was going to write about, a longtime customer walked through the door and asked me if I could take a look at his clutch pedal.

How to get from here to there on a bicycle

Chris Hoeber/Special to the Town Crier
Cyclists and motorists need to be careful and look out for each other where the bike lane ends on Springer Road in Los Altos.

I have been cycling in the Los Altos area since 1975 and witnessed many changes – most of them better for cyclists.

Yes, there is friction between cyclists and motorists, but my belief is that there is less outright animosity. It’s been many years since I have had anything thrown at me, and the frequency of motorists deliberately swerving to scare me while passing has decreased.

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