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Fall and Spring Checkup in Anchorage

Posted September 30, 2010 1:00 AM



When I was a kid, my dad always made sure he took the cars in for Spring and Fall checkups. I was telling a friend that it's about time to get into L and M Motors Inc for a checkup and he said that he read on the internet that modern cars don't need seasonal service.

My friend is (technically) right about some things, but from a practical standpoint, a seasonal check up still makes sense.

Back when my dad was teaching me about how to take care of the family vehicle, most of them used a different weight of oil in the winter and in the summer. But most of today's modern engines run the same oil year round. High-tech engines and high-tech motor oils are better able to handle the seasonal changes.

Your owner's manual or Anchorage service advisor at L and M Motors Inc can tell you the right oil to use.

Of course, you're concerned about the coolant or antifreeze. You don't want to overheat in the AK summer or freeze up in the winter. Your engine cooling system protects against both of these things. And modern coolant  'antifreeze' as it's sometimes called — is up to doing both very well. It's designed to last for longer distances than most people drive in a year or two.

So how does a Spring and Fall check-up fit in? Let's start with Spring. Summer is coming. That means heat, more driving and road trips. It just makes sense to check your fluid levels and do a visual inspection to see that everything is up to snuff.

You may not be scheduled to drain and replace the coolant for some time, but you need to make sure you have enough coolant and that you don't have any leaks or hoses that are about to fail.

That's pretty practical: a check-up to see if there are any problems or emerging conditions that could later become a problem, like a cracked belt.

And the same principle applies for getting ready for winter. Cold weather means lots of failed batteries. It takes more power to crank up a cold engine, and cold also decreases the available cranking power the battery has available.

So a battery test in the Fall could tell you if you've got a battery that is running on its last legs. And of course, if you live where winter temperatures get below 45 degrees F (7 degrees C) or you have ice and snow, you'll want to consider changing to winter tires.

So Spring and Fall auto checkups at L and M Motors Inc are practical reminders to get ready for the demands of the hot and cold seasons to come.

And odds are that you have one or more routine services that are due anyway. Like a transmission service, brake or power steering fluid, differential service stuff like that. Are your wiper blades still good? Are your headlamps starting to dim?

So Spring and Fall, change your clocks, replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and get a check-up for your cars.

See, dad was right again.

Come and see us at L and M Motors Inc for your Spring and Fall automotive checkup.

L and M Motors Inc
400 W 53rd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99518
907-563-4994



Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?

Posted September 29, 2010 10:00 AM

In our auto video today we'll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that "modern vehicles are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free."

Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to Anchorage Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn't so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever.

Here are some examples for our friends in Anchorage.

  • Some vehicles in Anchorage no longer require chassis lubrication. They're made with self-lubricating materials and have sealed joints. There's literally no way to grease those joints.

-Chalk one up for the myth.

On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts are up in the valve train that didn't even exist not that many years ago. These parts are very vulnerable to oil sludge.

  • So, skipping an oil change here and there could lead to very expensive damage.

-A point to maintenance.

  • Electronic ignition has eliminated replacing points.

-Myth gets a point.

  • Fuel injectors on direct injection engines are very expensive to replace so one must be sure to get a fuel system cleaning on schedule.

-Point for maintenance.

I think you get the picture. As automotive technology advances, it eliminates or reduces some maintenance requirements. And maintenance becomes more critical for some items. Most others remain very similar to what they've always been.

So the maintenance mindset is still important for car owners in Anchorage if we want our vehicles to last a long time. The checklist may change over time, but there'll always be a check list. Your friendly and professional service advisor at {[ Shop }} can answer any questions you have about your vehicles maintenance schedule.

L and M Motors Inc
400 W 53rd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99518
907-563-4994


 



What Is a Differential and Do You Have One?

Posted September 1, 2010 12:00 PM

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Anchorage, AK, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Anchorage drivers don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of Anchorage customers' minds. It's not uncommon for drivers to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

Call L and M Motors Inc in Anchorage at 907-563-4994 for information about differential service, or stop by our Anchorage, AK, auto center at 400 W 53rd Ave, 99518.

To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Anchorage high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That's to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It's a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Anchorage, AK area weigh between 3,000 and 6,000 pounds (1,400 and 2,800 kg) – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That's a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.

The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So vehicle manufacturers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.

The professionals at L and M Motors Inc will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then they’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your L and M Motors Inc service advisor can look up the vehicle manufacture's recommended service interval or you can check your owner's manual. Give us a call at 907-563-4994 for more information about your differential service.

L and M Motors Inc
400 W 53rd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99518
907-563-4994



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